Does the recruitment process mirror Tough Mudder?!

Does the recruitment process mirror Tough Mudder?!

It appears the days have long gone when a candidate could simply submit their C.V. and covering letter to an agency or hiring executive, before being invited to a half-hour interview and told the next day whether they’d got the job.

Stories about various companies’ recruitment processes show that some almost resemble endurance challenges like Tough Mudder.
Long cover letter, introductory video clip, long-listing, short-listing, Zoom filtering session, first interview, second interview, third interview, lengthy presentation, marketing/operational plans…this is not a pick and mix list, but a comprehensive description of the things one candidate had to do/attend for one position. And though it wasn’t an entry level role they went for, neither was it to become CEO of the company. Are recruiters seeing the journey as survival of the fittest? That the person left hanging on at the end is the one that deserves the job?

Six consecutive interviews aren’t unusual. A recruitment process that takes months wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in 2021. According to Glassdoor, the average duration of the interview process is 27 days. And though virtual interviewing has become a staple for employers and recruitment web design, they often supplement in-person meets rather than replace them.

One story involves a man driving 80 miles for a job interview, only to find, on arrival, that the interviewer was not available to carry out the interview—even though they had both agreed the most suitable time and date via prior communication. The (unsurprisingly) disgruntled candidate said, ‘At a time people are suffering, I think job seekers should be treated with more respect. It is wrong that you can treat people in this way.’

Despite various laws and attempts to eradicate bias and discrimination, despite calls for transparency during the recruitment process, and despite movements in workplaces to place an emphasis on good leadership rather than a dictatorship, the recruiter currently holds all the cards when interviewing for a new position. With so many people losing their jobs due to the pandemic, it’s very much a hirer’s paradise, but this has led some candidates to fear bringing up a need for flexible hours and other requirements in case they’re not shortlisted/interviewed as a result. Top talent may be able to negotiate a job role to suit them, but it seems that everyone else has to like it or lump it.

Many workers are nervous about going back to the office after working from home for months, but few are in the position where they can vote with their feet and find another job, due to the flooded candidate market. The government has put the onus on employers to decide whether their staff-force should come back to the office or not, but there’s much less leverage for employees to oppose such a move if they disagree—and the endurance style approach to recruiting only adds to this foreboding. Job interviews should be just as much a quiz for the candidate, so that they can determine if they would want to work for the company in question, but currently, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Graduates are finding it particularly difficult, with stiff competition and Tough Mudder style experiences for unpaid roles and internships. A recent survey involving 5,000 UK graduates showed that 28% had had opportunities deferred or withdrawn altogether. And proof that those who want jobs are at risk of being taken advantage of in the current climate…a survey in the financial sector showed that first year analysts are working, on average, 83.5 hours a week.

Jack Kelly, writing for Forbes, suggests that hirers and employers should ‘stop treating job-seekers so shabbily.’ He suggests writing realistic and fair job descriptions and simplifying the recruitment and interview processes. He says, ‘Please keep the actual human being in mind and make it more simple. No one wants to spend half an hour filling out a long and boring online form when they can simply upload a résumé or their LinkedIn profile. Jumping through hoops irritates the best candidates. They view this as a bad omen of what’s to come. They’ll stop midway and seek out other companies that offer a more reasonable and accommodating experience.’
We don’t doubt that every agency reading this will have a fair, transparent and appropriate recruitment process, in the wake of what has been a very tough eighteen months for many people. It is undoubtedly a competitive job market, but that doesn’t mean it has to turn into the Hunger Games, like Elizabeth Uviebinene, co-author of bestselling book ‘Slay in Your Lane’, recently wrote.

Fast Recruitment Websites specialise in recruitment website design. Your website forms part of the recruitment process, as candidates seek out more information about you and the roles you have on offer. Is your site performing how it should? Is it an endurance challenge in itself to find the right information? For help and advice from experts, contact us on 01302 288591.

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