• Michael Bolt

The Frustrations of Recruitment

The job market is as volatile as ever with regular reports in the news concerning the difficulties for job seekers finding jobs. Here at Need More Time we have been going through a recruitment phase for 2013 and looking for that all important special candidate to join our team of trained Virtual Assistants. The role is unlike any other combining both personality strengths and skill strengths in equal measure. We train our team and mould them to think outside of the box and of course to ensure that their customer service and ‘can do’ attitudes become one of their leading strengths.

As someone responsible for recruitment , I was looking forward to the diverse variety of candidates who apply in order to find that special person to join our team. What I was not expecting was the huge number of applications for this admin role based in our office in East Kent. We had in excess of 200 applicants, and yes I did review them all! Never in my time at Need More Time had we ever received this many applications for this role or any other role. I think the maximum previously had been around 50.

Whilst reviewing these applications at times I did become quite despondent and sometimes even frustrated. The main reason for my frustrations was as part of the application process (in addition to a CV) we ask for a brief covering letter detailing their skills and experience that are relevant to the Business Assistant role (Virtual Assistants). I received a very high number of applicants that failed to provide a covering letter! Already before I had even reviewed the CV they had failed to meet the essential criteria for the role ‘good attention to detail’! It made me wonder whether they really wanted to work for Need More Time or if were just pinging their CV across for any role in the hope that they may just get lucky and be invited to an interview.

During the screening process many other no no’s from applicants emerged. Some of these include:

> Spelling/ grammatical errors/unable to construct a sentence – checking or getting your CV checked before submitting is a simple but essential process. > CV’s badly laid out with irrelevant information – ensure that you tailor your CV to the job you are applying for keeping it up to date. A prospective employer wants to see quickly and concisely the skills and experience that could be of value to them. >  No explanation for large gaps in employment – Any periods of inactivity on the job front should be explained in the CV. If you went travelling say this as this offers both an explanation and a little more information about you. > Applications with no CV attached – Check, check and check again that everything is in order before hitting send. – This is your opportunity to shine don’t miss it due to a simple mistake. Employers want to see that you have taken time and care over your application. > Three page covering letters – Covering letters as with CV’s should be brief, to the point and delivering information that will be useful to the employer when considering you for an interview.

Unfortunately in the times we are in any recruitment process is swamped with CV’s. To really give yourself a chance make it easy for the employer to see that you are the one for them. Think from their perspective and not just yours.

As a company which supports small businesses many of our clients have chosen to use Need More Time to avoid the administrative burden of recruitment and then of course the risks and potential hassles of employment afterwards. However, if you do decide to take the plunge and recruit apart from being prepared for the numbers of CV’s you may get not to mention the phone calls following them up. Ensure you state clearly the details for the role, requirements you have and of course any criteria that will help you quickly and efficiently sort through the applications. A well structured ad can make the difference between finding the right person or just adding to your workload.