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This is why Candidate Experience is so Poor

I am sure you have noticed the abundance of online content from job seekers detailing their struggles, not only in finding a role but even in receiving a reply or securing an interview. TikTok, for instance, is brimming with tutorials on "How to get noticed by recruiters" or "How to apply for a hundred jobs per day using AI."


As I'm not a recruitment expert, so I follow those who are and try to find answers and understand the underlying issues people face. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interview with James Hudson, a Forbes contributor who writes about recruitment and I was like hell yes! That's where the problem lies and shows how unprepared we can be in organisations, our lack of ability to plan forward, and consequential thinking. You know what? Based on the TikTok videos, our recruitment practices and systems and my experience I should have put this 1+1 together but I didn't. I had pieces of the problem but not the full picture. 


James mentioned (paraphrasing here and adding candidate experience) that the reason for the poor candidate experience is that recruiters and HR professionals are overwhelmed with CVs due to AI, a factor that hasn't been factored into their staffing levels. So what's happened here? Let's break this down. 


Until the advent of AI, everything "worked" seamlessly. We had Taleo or other ATS systems, and we received a manageable number of CVs. However, the introduction of AI accelerated the application process powered by the rise of online tutorials advocating for submitting a high volume of applications daily. This created the perfect storm, catching organisations off guard. Suddenly, they were receiving a thousand times more CVs, yet they had the same number of people to process them. BOOM!


The interview resonated so much with me that I reached out to a friend who is a global VP of recruitment to get a firsthand account. He confirmed the challenges so I asked how they manage the workload. His reply was "very poorly". They are inundated with applications because due to company policy, they can only close the system after a set number of days. Did I not tell you that the policy is there to serve YOU and not you serving the policy????? Anyway. 

To manage the overwhelming workload, they resort to randomly selecting 10-20% of applications from the top or bottom of the list and sending automated rejection emails to everyone else without reviewing their CVs.And there we thought we could beat the application game using AI. We made it worse for everyone. 


They then take those CVs and select the best candidates even if those might be the poorest quality of candidates out of all submitted applications. He said, "It is wrong but I cannot ask my team for more. It is impossible to manage the volume." 


So there we have it, behind the scenes about why you are not getting even an interview. Do you want a job? Play a different game because this one is played by everyone else. 


Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:




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