Recruitment Myths You Need to Know As You Search for Employment [Part I]

In the course of my career, I have been both an applicant and a recruiter.  So I understand what it means to apply several times, wait at the other end in anticipation of a response that may never come.  Now as a recruiter, I see through the lenses – the high unemployment rate, the volume of applications, the search for talents to meet Clients’ needs, the time constraints and more. 

Like me, most of us have read several critiques about recruiters on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook with regards to responses to job applications.  Understandably, feedback is being sought by applicants at different stages of the recruitment process – application and the various interview stages.  Most times the perception of Recruiters by talent holders (job seekers) are seen more as “they against us” than as a partnership’.  

In my quest to help professionals in their unemployment and job search journey, I have put together recruitment myths that job seekers need to know or remember as they search. This I believe would help persons looking for employment to manage their application process, expectations and emotions better.  This edition covers Part 1 in this edition. 

Myth 1: Recruiters See Every Application:  

This can be a painful truth, but Recruiters do not see every application that hits their in-box. First, some organisations use software that utilizes keywords to select or screen out candidates.  In this case, a Recruiter would only review the applications of candidates identified or selected by the software and engage with the shortlist.

There is also – Spam or Junk Mail issue. I have seen quite a number of job applications in our Junk Mail Folder several months after we had concluded a recruitment process. So why some candidates are waiting for responses, the junk mail is sadly holding back their applications! 

Myth 2: Recruiters Read All Job Application: 

I know what it means to carefully craft your application, perfect your CV and apply for a job where you believe you are a top fit; then nothing but silence follows. 

Similar to number Myth (1) above, Recruiters do not read every application they receive. Here is why. Depending on the recruitment policy of an organisation: example, ‘applications are processed as they arrive’, ‘shortlisted at the end of the application deadline’, or reviewed on a first come basis.  

What any of these options means is that, if a Recruiter reviews the first 500 applications within the timeline allotted for the recruitment process, and finds the number of required candidates for interview, he/she would proceed to the interview stage, and if a suitable candidate is found, closes the recruitment process.  In such a case, chances that the 501 to about 2000 applications would be reviewed after selection become slim. 

My suggestion is, if you want your application to receive attention, submit it within the first few days of a job announcement, and not a few weeks after, and definitely not after the application deadline. 

Myth 3: Recruiters Are Against Job Applicants:  

In real sense, recruitment is a partnership or a search for it.  Recruiters are on assignment to deliver and seek candidates to achieve their set target; candidates are on a journey for opportunities to utilize their talents, and go through Recruiters to secure it.   

Recruitment is like any deal or transaction in the business world; and so it is done by following a process and a goal in mind.   

It is worth noting that every recruitment assignment comes with specific instructions or specifications to be followed. A quick look at the job advert will give you a hint as to the specifications a recruiter has been given; and whether you are a likely fit.

Where a candidate is not contacted, it is possible that the candidate did not particularly fit the specifications or that any of the circumstances described in this article is the case. 

However, it does not make such a candidate a bad fit for all jobs. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, learn to dust up quickly and look for the next available opportunity, till you find yours.  Recruiters are for and not against talent holders, both need each other to accomplish their objectives.  

Myth 4: Recruiters Ought to Respond to All Applications:

My experience shows that it is possible to respond to only so much (except through automated responses for incoming applications). During reviews, it is still possible to miss a candidate in the long list of emails.  

Also reference to Myths 1 and 2 above, we see why Recruiters are unlikely to respond to every application. 

To help manage your expectations and emotions, during job search, my suggestion is, if after six weeks of submitting a job application you do not get a call or mail, close your mind to that application, and focus your efforts on new job openings.  But make sure you do your part – see my article on how to handle job application process for some guide:

Myth 5: Recruitment is Indefinite: 

As we recruit for Clients, I have seen job applications for advertised roles hit our mail box several months after we completed recruitment.

My view is that applying for closed job opportunities is a waste of effort, diminishes resources and increases emotional roller coaster.

So before you apply for a job, check the job announcement date. Except for a reoccurring position or peculiar situations, recruiters are likely to close a recruitment process within six to ten weeks of a job advert.

Myth 6: Presentation Does Not Matter: 

This has been well emphasized by experts. My take is: see the job application process as a competition. Or imagine it to be a beauty pageant, would you not put your best and look your best? 

Presentation does matter. It is important to present your job application documents in as much a professional way as possible. Your CV, cover email or cover letter, all should be professionally written and properly presented.   

Summarily, in the Part 1 of this article, we have looked at 6 Recruitment Myths. These are the realities of some recruitment environments. As every Recruiter faces different task scenarios; some similar and some more peculiar, it is not possible to cover all. However, remember that in every job, there are human and technological factors; and that it is the same with recruitment.  Watch this space for part 2 of the Recruitment Myths as we look at more scenarios.  

I hope this has been helpful.  If you like what you have read, do visit the Resources –Careers’ section of my website for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below. I will be glad to interact with you.

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