Changing job is right up there with moving home and divorce in the top most stressful things in life. As a consequence, too many of us end up staying in a job that we despise for months if not years because the daily drudgery is more bearable than the stress of looking for a new job and the copious rounds of interviews that we would have to endure to change. I am sure that just the mere thought of putting your resume/cv together and the intense scrutiny you will have to subject yourself to, is already bringing you out in cold sweats.
But it needn't be this way.
First, let me take you back a few years. A brief history lesson in the job market. Or rather, what it was like when I first ventured into the situations vacant page of the local newspaper. (I realise that I will be ageing myself terribly here!) Imagine a time when there was no such thing as the internet. Computers were a stand alone box the size of a small cottage in the country with a screen the size of a smart watch and everything on the screen was in green. Telephones were strictly the wired variety and only resided in a building or a box you stood in outside. In houses this phone would invariably be placed in the hall and you would usually pick it up with announcing your telephone number as the standard call etiquette.
In offices, desks would comprise of a phone, a typewriter if needed, lots of paper and an ashtray if you fancied a smoke whilst you worked. If a company wanted to hire a new employee then they would tap this out on their type writer and then would post the job advert out to a local employment agency or the local newspaper so they could run the job advert in the job section on a Thursday. (Yes this all really used to happen!)
Then you as a potential candidate looking for a new job would buy the newspaper on a Thursday and spend lots of time reading through the job section for something that would suit. When you find it, you would then follow the instructions on how to apply and would get your typewriter out and type it up! Maybe a visit to the local photocopier shop to get some copies printed up and you are in business. You would then put a copy in an envelope and send it in the post for the company to get in a couple of days.
Alternatively you would go to your hall way and pick up the phone and make some calls to either the company who advertised the role or your local employment agency (whose number you had found by consulting the large yellow book that you kept next to the phone in the hallway that was delivered to you for free once a year that had listings of all your local businesses).
The next step was of course patience. For it would invariably take a few weeks for them to write a letter back to you advising you that you had an interview. Having typed out your response and posted confirming it all you would then make your way to the interview. Map in hand, off to where you were going for your interview (your local stationers had map books of all the counties and towns that you could buy at a reasonable price). If there was any problem (train delay, bus broken down etc) then no problem. Take a ready supply of 10 pence pieces and you could use any of the strategically placed telephone boxes that weren't vandalised and you could talk for about 3 minutes per 10p with your recruiter or the company you were going to, provided that they weren't too busy on another call or typing a letter.
Then there would be the interview. A traditional affair of wading through your resume/cv which would invariably be reminiscent to trying to run through a quagmire wearing concrete boots. Of course, you could probably write whatever you liked on your cv (won a few marathons, gained a couple of degrees and the like) as there was no means for anyone to look it up and check whether it was correct other than typing out a letter to someone asking if that had actually happened.
Once this was completed you could make your way back home. If the interview had over run somewhat you might have a crowded train and end up in the smoking carriage. No worries though just join in. The smokers camaraderie meaning you would likely be offered one anyway.
Then a few weeks would go by and you would go through the whole process again with another person and repeat until you got your offer. In the post obviously. This process would literally take months. And you can see why.
The question therefore is: if we have such a plethora of technology at our disposal now, why does it still take months to get a job?
The fact is that so many organisations are still stuck in recruiting processes that were created at a time that if you look back on it now, you simply laugh in disbelief that any business got done at all. Smart phones, the internet, technology generally has made business move at the speed of light yet recruiting simply hasn't caught up.
Competition for talent is growing rapidly and the market is changing dramatically. Companies of any size, from start ups through to large corporate entities are looking to speed up hiring, increase the quality of their candidates whilst reducing their overall cost of hiring. The human element that is needed (and will always be needed) throughout the process is the main barrier to achieving all of this.
It is the change in hiring DNA that is really required as the technology is already there. Some organisations are already embracing these changes and they are the ones who are dynamically growing, attaining and retaining their exceptional talent. Quality in all your processes are just as important as speed and urgency and above all team work and communication are key.
For candidates, making contact and applying for roles could not be simpler and quicker. Working closely with your chosen and trusted recruiter is vital in these modern times. Not only will they be able to provide you with the right roles but also the coaching, interview techniques, communication and offer negotiation that all good recruiters will provide. Google can provide just about everything else!
We still have a long journey ahead of us but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some recruiters and some businesses are finally embracing these changes and technology and ensuring that the pace of hire matches the pace of change. The most important element is that no one should accept the age old practices that make the recruitment process such a turgid experience. Instead adopt 5G recruiting and leave analogue recruitment in your wake.