Situations Recruitment is celebrating 30 years in business this year, being the longest-standing Guernsey recruitment agency with the same original ownership. Personally, I have been employed by Situations Recruitment for 14 years and in that time, I have seen a huge change in technology and in the way that we work.
When I first joined Situations, we used to send out speculative CV’s by post, with all Consultants sitting together to double-check the list of companies that should or should not be approached on behalf of a candidate. The “first come first served” friendly agreement between local recruitment agencies regarding the submission of CV’s, which is still in place today, relied on the varied timings of postal deliveries at our client companies.
Then came email and with it our CV submissions speeded up significantly, to just a couple of minutes per application. It enabled us to send CV’s to our clients very quickly, as soon as permission to apply for that role was obtained from the candidate.
Prior to mobiles, we made many telephone calls to our candidates’ landlines in the early morning or evening when they could talk freely about their job search. Then with the arrival of the mobile phone and texting, candidates were much more contactable in the daytime in a discreet manner in order to run new vacancies by them, arrange interviews, etc.
Next we installed texting software on our PC’s, which works like email and means that we can send and receive texts from our computers. Again this has speeded up our processes and we have a paper trail to prove that candidates have given specific permission to apply for a relevant vacancy, which is an important factor in the Code of Professional Conduct of our governing body, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation UK.
Remote system access also means that we can be working in the evenings and weekends as required.
Recruitment Web Portals
But not all developments in technology in the recruitment industry have resulted in time-savings. Nowadays, many international organisations outsource their staffing to external recruiters who operate web portals for all CV submissions. These portals can also be used to monitor and report on the number and type of applications made. However portal submissions involve entering significant information and forms for each candidate as well as their CV, so the process has unfortunately slowed down somewhat.
Candidate Questionnaires by Tablet
It is a requirement of the REC that every candidate who registers with an agency needs to complete a brief questionnaire, which includes giving their signed approval for us to commence their job search and obtain references, etc. For years, this has been done by way of a paper form upon arrival at our office for a meeting with one of our Consultants, however we now have a questionnaire on a tablet which feeds straight to a confidential web-based report and is extremely useful for our own internal marketing purposes.
Candidate Screening Checks
Extensive pre-screening of candidates is another development in recent years. As a matter of course, we obtain a full pack of documentation from every candidate who registers with us, whether permanent or temporary. This includes their Right to Work document, photo ID, academic and professional qualification Certificates, Police Basic Disclosure report and 2 references. We can also obtain Credit and Sanction Checks if required. This is a reassurance both to us and our clients that candidates are who they say they are, they have the right to work here and the qualifications stated on their CV.
The administration required in the running of a recruitment agency has increased significantly over the last few years, meaning we now have a dedicated full-time Administrator who assists us with portal applications, screening of candidates, social media, etc.
The attraction of new candidates has also changed. Whereas the local newspaper and our website were previously the main media for sourcing candidates, nowadays we have a range of social media that we can also use. We are constantly using Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, as well as Google advertising, in order to attract new applicants for our huge range of vacancies. The results are extremely measurable – we can thoroughly analyse the reports to assess which media and postings are working well for us.
What hasn’t changed throughout the term of this agency is the personal service we provide, which we pride ourselves on. We take a lot of time to get to know both our client companies and candidates in order to find the best fit for both sides. The quality relationships we have developed and maintained with our clients over the years mean that we can match up our candidates more thoroughly to their job requirements, and at the same time help our candidates throughout the process of finding their dream role. One of our main USP’s is that we regularly keep in touch with both our clients and candidates. On the client’s side, this means we keep apprised of any changes in their structure, industry developments and expansion. For candidates, it means that what could potentially be a stressful time in their lives is made much easier by our keeping them informed at every stage of their job search.
Working in recruitment, you need to move with the times, adapt to new technologies and processes and relish the challenge of change. However, our experience, qualifications, proactive approach and quality personal service are factors that have remained throughout our years in business and will certainly continue.