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We’ve all said these immortal words at least a hundred times; “[insert relevant thing here] is the best thing since sliced bread“. But did you know that 2013 is the 85th anniversary of someone first taking a knife to bread and slicing through it’s deliciously fresh crunchy crust in regular intervals? No? Well now you do! It’s officially 85 years since bread was sliced, so to celebrate this rather important birthday we thought we’d bring you the 6 best things to happen to recruitment since well, sliced bread!
Skype, and other online phone call services like Blue Face, transformed the traditional candidate interviewing process. Before Skype, the logistics and time involved trying to interview someone who wasn’t within commuting distance of your office was a bit of a logistical nightmare and you didn’t even think about attempting to interview someone living abroad at the time. Today, we don’t think twice about interviewing someone living abroad or at the opposite end of the country for a job opening. Skype has allowed us to find the very best candidates regardless of where they currently live. It has also allowed us to engage with candidates earlier in the interview process and forge deeper connections with them. We can share documents back and forth with potential staff in real time, share screens to demonstrate different things, include other key stakeholders like our hiring managers in the conversation regardless of their location and we can easily access a candidate by other factors like body language and physical reactions. Skype has also increased the speed at which we can interview candidates. Interviews that would have taken two weeks to organise in the past can now be crossed off the list within a day or two. We even interviewed our very own online production specialist George on Skype.
5. ATS Systems
The year is 1995. You need to find a qualified accountant for a firm with a new opening. It’s time to dig in “The Filing Cabinet” *dun dun duuuuuuuun*. That’s right friends, in order to fill that job posting, you needed to enter a room full of imposing grey metal filing cabinets bursting with hard copy upon hard copy of CVs and proceed to manually work your way through each one of them before finally coming across a satisfactory match for your spec. If you didn’t feel like searching through all those filing cabinets you did always have your trusty Rolodex! Your own personal, alphabetised contacts list in which you kept a selection of people you had interviewed in the past or spoken to over the phone. Great! Except you still needed to leaf through it manually, oh and you had to constantly dispose of the odd ‘dead’ person every month or so – people who had either actually died or who had become unavailable.
Then along came ATS systems *cue God-like music*. Applicant tracking systems took all the information stored in those nasty filing cabinets and kept them in one central online database where all you need to is type in the type of candidate you were after and Bob’s your Uncle, the ATS system brings you directly to the candidates that meet your specifications. Genius!
4. Job Boards
Back in the day, (and I’m really only talking about as far back as 1998 people) in Ireland the only way for recruiters to market their job openings was through the business section in both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent. Once a week you had a Tuesday deadline by which time you needed to have selected only one of the possible twenty five jobs you had on offer at that time and have written just three lines of blurb about it (title, salary and teensy description). You then needed to wait for a response once the newspaper was printed and God knows how long that could take!
The introduction of online job boards meant that you no longer needed to carefully select the job you were going to market this week, you could now post all of your jobs online, describe them fully and make them searchable to those looking for those jobs by including relevant keywords. Job boards also meant that you could post a job up in the morning and have a response by lunch time.
Before email, when a agency recruiter needed to send a list of candidates to their client, they needed to complete the following process: physically print out each candidate’s CV, Tip-Ex out all of their personal details, photocopy the altered CV onto headed paper, write your own cover letter for each client describing the candidate and your assessment of them, fax over a general cover note and then queue your list with the lists of every other recruiter in your building (which of course lead to blatant secretary bribery in the form of chocolate to get your list to the top of the pile!) Then, to add insult to injury, every Friday saw thousands of letters printed, each containing the details of currently available candidates which were then sent to different companies telling them “We have X person, that is experienced in X, if you have an opening get in touch with me”.
Email changed everything. Gone were the rems of paper, the pot of Tip-Ex, the paper cuts and bribes and in came instant communication and sharing between you and well, everyone else in the world!
It feels almost silly to have to explain this one, especially when LinkedIn has pretty much revolutionised how we search for eligible people to fill our jobs since 2003, so I’ll let one of our previous blog posts do the talking here: The Top 10 Things LinkedIn has Done for Us .
1. Social Talent
Oh come on! You secretly knew that we’d be number one! We’ve been helping recruiters hire more and hire better candidates by providing them with premium internet recruitment training for just over 2 years now with our Black Belt programme and we continue to do so on a daily basis. We believe your people are your most valuable asset and finding the best people to join your organisation, or for your client’s, is vital. As such, your recruitment team need to have the essential skills to compete for talent in a socially connected world and that’s where we come in. So if you’re interested in upgrading your recruiting skills or those of your organisation click here and experience the best thing to happen to recruitment since sliced bread!
So what do you think is the best thing to happen to recruitment since sliced bread? Let us know in the comments below.