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It’s a big ocean to recruit in, but what’s the catch?

“I feel that there are no good candidates.” “It’s definitely a candidate’s market!”

I hear recruiters say such things more and more these days. The impression that qualified candidates are scarce is emphasised by either a limited number of applications or a large volume of unfit applications. Either way, recruiters may feel like they are searching for the needle in the haystack or a fish in a depleted sea. But are there really no more good fish in the candidate sea? Or are we using the wrong net to catch them? Or is it maybe a little bit of both…

The right ocean

The reality is that 50% of the current workforce population is made up of millennials and soon these numbers are expected to grow to 75%. Since many of these millennials are recent graduates, it is indeed harder to find experienced and qualified talent. However, this does not mean that the quality of the applicants is low – many of these graduates are high potentials and can bring fresh ideas into a company. It only means that a recruiter’s job is made harder by the lack of relevant experience shown on the CV. Distinguishing between a bad fit and an inexperienced high potential based on a written application, while staring at a huge pile of unread applications, is a daunting task. Good candidates may indeed slip through the cracks, while less qualified applicants may be invited to the next round. This only reinforces the perception that the recruiter is fishing in an empty ocean.

The wrong net

The problem is made worse by pre-selecting candidates based on their written application alone. All the traits that make a person unique and valuable, and especially those traits relevant for cultural fit and teamwork, are obscured in a 2-page CV and a 3-paragraph motivation letter similarly formatted. According to the “Future of Jobs Report” (and many many others), personality trumps hard skills when it comes to predicting job performance and employee retention rates. This research indicates that soft skills and personality tests should be placed at the beginning of the process, on par with the right qualifications listed on the CV. In the end, you can train employees on technical skills, but you cannot teach grit, cognitive flexibility or emotional intelligence.

Many a times I’ve heard recruiters say that they could tell within the first 5 minutes that the candidate sitting in front of them at the interview was not what they had expected. This goes to show that a well phrased motivation letter, good qualification and good grades are not enough – they may be indicators of success, but they do not tell the entire candidate story. At Cammio, we believe in letting people tell their own stories, in what we call Video CV’s or automated video interviews.

The right hook

Video interviews can come in many forms, to suit different recruitment needs. You could ask your candidates to express their motivation in a video pitch, accompanying their CV, or you could ask them questions related to cultural fit, resilience or any other traits that you look for in your candidates. They are not meant to replace in-person interviews nor do they replace high-level assessments. Their role is to give candidates the chance to show who they really are and allow recruiters to make a better pre-selection of the candidates. This gives all your candidates a fair chance, gives the recruiter a more complete picture of the person behind the CV and saves everyone involved a lot of time.

Even in a shrinking talent pool, using video interviews can help make sure that no talented candidate is overlooked and no time is spent with candidates who are not a potential match. When you ask the most important questions first, the right candidates will stand out of the crowd.

Happy hiring!

Infographic | 10 recruiting trends to watch for in 2017 | Download