Are recruiters adapting to the online world?

Are recruiters adapting to the online world?

What we'll cover

The Internet has had a profound effect on business, and the recruitment sector has been amongst the pioneers of the digital age. However, despite this leading role in the online world, it seems that embracing new technologies for effective recruitment does have its limitations. According to a recent survey involving head hunters, direct employers and recruitment agencies, an enormous 88 percent of respondents said they would still prefer an emailed CV from candidates rather than via the various other digital and traditional methods available. It would appear that many small and medium-sized employers are a little reluctant to stray too far away from a tried and tested method.

The same survey found that – despite the enormous growth of LinkedIn – only 6 percent of recruiters prefer the business network platform to an emailed CV. This statistic is a little puzzling given that a recent report from CNET suggests that 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to access candidate profiles. Launched in 2003, the business network originally found success through the sale of premium memberships to candidates; however, it is now rebranding itself into a global recruitment service. Its Hiring Solutions service offers corporate recruiting products, career pages and job listings. So, are recruiters wary of the growing influence of LinkedIn? And is that why they seem reluctant to embrace it? What can’t be disputed is the fact that nearly 240 million users think that LinkedIn can further their professional interests.

While other free networking resources such as Twitter and Facebook have struggled to commercialise their products, LinkedIn has had no such problems. Targeting the 0-billion-a-year recruitment industry, the professional network recently announced that its sales in the second quarter of 2013 were up 59% to a staggering 3 million. It could be that recruitment specialists are increasingly seeing LinkedIn as a threat to their own commercial success – and that could explain their apparent reticence in embracing the services it provides.

As part of the same survey, respondents were asked if they would prefer to receive applications in the form of video CVs, and only 2 percent said that they would. Of course, there are some job roles that hinge on a person’s ability to express themselves verbally, and in a few instances, candidates will need to demonstrate their ability to entertain. However, according to the recruitment specialist Bubble, the vast majority of recruiters simply don’t have the time to view countless video presentations in the search for a candidate. They need to have the ability to skim and sift through applications in seconds.

One of the more surprising results to come from the survey was the attitude towards CV websites. Whilst none of the respondents said that their preferred method of CV delivery was via a CV website, a surprising 42% said that they would accept it. According to a recent article on the Guardian website, a CV website is a great way for graduates and school-leavers to showcase their talents when they have no discernible industry experience to call upon. There are a number of services that help people to build their own CV website, and a range of free website-building tools mean people can now do it for themselves – giving almost everyone the power to create their own online showcase. A CV websites is also an effective way for designers and IT experts to showcase their talents, and it may grow increasingly popular in the future as society heads towards an ‘always online’ culture.

Despite the myriad of technological innovations, however, it appears that there are still some recruiters who still prefer good, old-fashioned paper. A surprising 4 percent of respondents said that they still preferred printed CVs, but 55 percent said they would still accept applications made the traditional way. However, the increasing dominance of the online world probably means that printed applications will continue to dwindle in number until they finally become obsolete.

Perhaps the most surprising result to come from the survey is the 5% of respondents who said that they would not accept emailed CVs. Could this statistic point to a change in the online recruitment culture? Is the sector finally coming to terms with the next generation of online communication? According to a recent BBC report, some global corporations are now using sophisticated software to screen applications before they ever reach human eyes, so it probably won’t be long before smaller recruiters adopt similar strategies. What is certain is the fact that the recruitment sector will continue to evolve as technology continues to widen its reach.