Recruiter’s Zeitgeist – June

Published by Millie Goadby on

Being tech-savvy is a great way for a recruiter to get an advantage. In fact, being tech-savvy is becoming more and more vital within recruitment – especially for the fresh-faced recruiter looking to make a name for themselves (and a good commission). Even before the age of the coronavirus (but who remembers that?), recruitment practices have been getting increasingly more virtual.

I’m betting that trend continues now we’re all scared of touching each other.

These days, job applicants can often expect to have to complete some sort of online test before making it to an interview, especially when looking for graduate work or internships. These tests are controversial: some argue that they provide an efficient way to weed out unsuitable candidates, while others argue that the tech is unproven, and that you might miss out on good candidates for arbitrary reasons. You can’t pick up on that special something that makes a candidate shine when you’ve got them trying to finish a sudoku in under a minute. 

Nevertheless, a survey by the Institute for Student Employers in the UK found that only 30 percent of companies used face-to-face interviews in the first stage of graduate recruitment last year, with 59 percent using psychometric tests and 10 percent using gamified tests.Their conclusion: 

“There is a strong indication that online recruitment may become the new normal”

There’s been a lot of talk of that “new normal” recently, what with the coronavirus and the general sense that the world is ending and all. There’s also been a bit of chat about “getting back to normal”. To which I find myself thinking, what exactly is normal and when did we all agree on it? For a lot of people “normal” hasn’t really proven to be good enough and they might be wondering if they’ll get their say in creating that new normal. As 2020 continues to prove to be a year that will vex many a future history student, wide-spread rebellion and protest has been sparked throughout the US and internationally – prompted by the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a group of policemen who have now been charged. While some have condemned the violence and looting that has occurred at some protests, others are viewing this as a revolutionary moment, with the intensity of the reaction an understandable response to the police brutality and racism the nation has battled – an intensity that has been increased by the frustrations caused by the handling of the pandemic. 

Whatever your stance, discrimination is also a significant topic in recruitment. Critics of online tests have frequently noted that they run the risk of perpetuating and continuing bias in the recruitment process. In her book, Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil writes that ‘we have a long history of discrimination in hiring. We cannot allow recruitment platforms to simply propagate the past with naive AI, which is what would happen by default. Instead, we must demand evidence that what they are doing is fair, and how they define fair.” 

Of course, human selection is biased too. Many argue that AI will in fact provide a solution to the issue. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that recruiters are working on the frontline of social, racial and gender inclusion. So, create the normal you wish to see in the world, I guess?

TT’s top story

Investment firm Columbia Partners got a nice chunk of investment themselves this week. They pulled in £40m from British Business Investments. I think they’ll be hiring soon but feel free to pick up the phone and prove me wrong.

Have you heard?

Bringing you some good news again this week

Are you dreading going back to the office?

Well, this law firm in New Zealand came up with a good way to combat the back to work blues. The boss gave each of her employees a $1000 welcome back bonus. This money came with the caveat that they should spend it on local businesses, paying it forward especially to the tourism industry that’s suffered through the pandemic. So basically, welcome back would you like some free money and a holiday and to also be doing a good deed? Yes, actually, I think I would.

But what about when you want to help and no one’s writing you a check?

Youtuber Zoe Amira came up with a way for people who might not be able to donate to support the Black Lives Matter movement. She created an hour long video featuring black artists with many ads throughout and is donating 100% of the ad revenue to a list of nonprofits. The video has over eight million views already and Amira has shared her receipts on twitter to prove she’s legit. 

An app for that

Endel: Uses AI to create different soundscapes which you can personalise to help you focus, relax, and sleep. This one’s ideal if you’re the type of person who needs background noise but can’t listen to your music without getting too hyped and singing along…

Word of the week

Erudite: 

Adjective

having or showing great knowledge or learning.

‘The erudite recruiter was frequently called upon by their manager to help fix the weird thing that the stupid bloody computer was doing’.

Dog of the week

This beautiful puppy is called Dave and has just moved into his forever home in Cornwall. I love it when dogs have people names. He’s a good boy.

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