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Two of the Biggest Issues right now on LinkedIn: Part Two: Recruitment in Australia

I appreciate that this will seem directed at an industry that is more broken than the safety industry here in Australia and it is. 2020 has been an interesting one and given the number of people that I know who have been looking for work and in some cases still are, their main concern and complain has been recruitment. It is (in my opinion) a massive unregulated concern (some may say mess) here in Australia, so here is what is broken and how to fix it!

The 3 Cogs.

Its has been clear for a number of years that when it comes to recruitment, the candidate (specifically here in Australia) is the least important cog in the wheel. Lets all remember that there are three parties in the recruitment process:

No.1 The CLIENT (Yes remember that) The client is arguably the most important party in this process, they are the ones who are paying the recruiter to go out and find "the candidate" and it normally comes with a number of caveats, the most significant being cost (just remember that as this will be touched on again a bit later). Not only the cost to the business in salary and total package, but cost of the recruiter and/or service. Normally recruiters change between 15 and 20% of the TRP that the candidate accepts here in Australia.

No. 2 The Recruiter This is the person who is going to collect CV's after placing a $495 LinkedIn add that will normally last for 30 days. Traditionally the add will be a cut and past effort of the original PD (that the internal recruitment team had no joy with) and will ultimately flick a handful of CVs over to a business.

No. 3 The Candidate The person either looking for a role or testing the water, the candidate is the revenue generator for the recruiter, but only normally after 3 months in the role.

So the issues!

Issue No.1: No Salary information on the job ad.

We have all seen it, in fact just have a look at LinkedIn, Seek or any of the recruiters websites right now, my guess would be at least 70% of the roles advertised by Australian businesses or Recruitment Agencies will NOT have the salary information posted (example A. Job add from Seek). Why is this? (I hear you ask) because businesses want to get people for as cheap as possible and recruiters will happily play the game. It has nothing to do about all the BS you hear about "Salary Hoppers" and so on, its a basic economics. Business do not want to pay market rate, recruiters are happy to take their 15 or 20% of the TRP as long as you get the role and stay their for 3 months, its a cost driver and here in Australia if you are having any conversation with a recruiter, open up with this "What has been signed off so far as a base salary for the role?" I can guarantee that the recruiter will flip this immediately to be a YOU problem and they will come back with "what is your salary expectations?" Instead of going round and round like some disgruntled five year old sulking in the corner after being told to clean their room, just tell people what the role is paying upfront. We put a human on the Moon over 50 years ago, so the ability to publish a salary banding or telling someone what the role is paying shouldn't be that hard............should it?

This would be an easy solution, to the biggest gripe that a number of jobseekers have, it will also stop the "woe is me" LinkedIn posts by recruiters saying "I had 400 applicants for this role" bla bla bla, yes you probably did have 400 applicants, but you would have gotten 25 relevant ones if you had been upfront with the wages, but that leads on to another issue CV mining, the process of stacking a recruiters CRM with the papery gold of your data in the form of a CV!

Issue No.2: Only successful/shortlisted candidates will be responded to..........

We have seen this golden statement on the bottom of job ads (another example from seek) so why do recruiters put this statement up? especially when the add normally requires the candidate to be a "Good Communicator"?

It should be something that is simple to do, but a significant number of HSEQ Recruiters here in Sydney seem to think that responding to an application is beneath them. Whilst I appreciate that there are some initiatives like "Circle Back" currently doing the rounds,(in my opinion it adds very little value) a good recruiter will naturally get back to you, the bad ones need some form of prompt or incentive or a flag to wave to say "look at me" whilst industries like the RCSA want to be seen as the "Body for Recruitment" they have very little power or weight to enforce anything and are a more of a showcase logo for a business to pop on their website or email footer that a value add to a candidate.

Its a simple fix, give people the common courtesy that they deserve and respond, don't just horde their CV on your CRM.

Issue No.3: Awful job descriptions

There have been some absolute shocking job descriptions published by internal and external recruiters, here is a shocker that is currently on seek (granted its not the worst, but its a shocker I think). I have no issue with have a short PD or Job Add, but don't have 5 or 6 bullet points and then create a 60 second video that just repeats what is in the add itself, that is like giving a power point presentation and reading off the slides and we have all been exposed to that level of pain, suffering and dross!

Recruiters are supposed to be able to find and attract talent, no make cheap videos like a uni student doing a media studies course.

If you are recruiting, be specific. If you are looking for a Unicorn that has worked for NASA and has 50 years or experience in a specific field say so, otherwise the job of the recruiter is to understand he candidate and cross match their experience to the clients needs, its not hard, that's their job!

The Quick Fix!

Lets face it, if seek, LinkedIn or any of the other job portals were actually serious about changing the culture of recruitment, they would be mandating the following:

  1. EVERY JOB ADVERT would need to have an accurate salary banding or range and it excludes super and bonus!

  2. EVERY JOB ADVERT would have contact information of the recruiter, so the candidates can talk to the clone who normally works for a big agency.

  3. EVERY JOB ADVERT posted on a job portal or platform would need to commit (from the poster) to a candidate response, even if that was just an automated email saying you have been unsuccessful.

It seems a easy fix, but lets be honest its never gunna happen!

What can jobseekers do?

There are some simple things that job seekers can do when they are looking for their next role (in my opinion) and

here are my top 5.

  1. Stay away from the big recruitment agencies. This is a cattle market, where you will be seen more as a $ than a candidate. In the 10 years that I have been in Australia I have NEVER been placed by a Safety recruiter or HSEQ Recruitment agency and I only know of ONE other safety professional in Australia that has been placed by a HSEQ Recruiter.

  2. Find a handful of recruiters that you trust and get them to market you. Small independent recruiters are normally the best to work with or recruiters who you can trust and come off the back of recommendations, get them to reverse market you. Just remember if they are not willing to do that, they aren't worth dealing with. I have maybe 4 or 5 people here in Australia that I trust to represent me and significantly more in the UK, UAE and Singapore. The international Recruitment Markets is very different to what will be experienced here in Australia, recruitment outside Oz is still a business but a more candidate respectful one.

  3. Do not use business that offer CV writing or LinkedIn writing services. Use your network and ask you connections which CV worked for them, get examples of cover letters and talk to people. Save you money, its really not worth it.

  4. Remember its a numbers game - stack the deck in your favour. Just apply for a job and move on. Remember that the laziest will use Applicant Tracking Software or Systems (ATS) the chances are that even if you have a bespoke CV and Cover Letter it wont get picked up because the recruiters search field will be so narrow. Don't take it personal, its OK to be another number, we have all been through the mill just keep applying.

  5. Use your network and ask! (or offer to help people). Its almost 2021, the whole idea of LinkedIn is to connect people, to expand you network etc. If you see a role advertised find out who you are connected to and try to circumvent the recruitment process. If you see a business that interests you, send a speculative CV over, what's the worst that can happen? They may not respond.........

Yes recruitment and the industry here in Australia is like the front end of the Titanic and its fair to say not all recruiters are cloned equally (in fact, some are not clones and are quite good) its just they can be really hard to find. (The same can be said of the Safety Industry and Safety professionals here in Australia but again, another blog post for another day). Remember finding a good recruiter is like finding a good low mileage second-hand classic car and not to polarise anyone further (and the good recruiters I know will certainly not take any offence to what I have written, they may not fully agree with it, but that's OK, they will be having a sneaky laugh), I'm happy to pass on the details of the recruiters that I trust, just send me a message.

Stay safe and all the best for 2021!

So here is part two of the Biggest Issue right now on LinkedIn: Recruitment in Australia. Its a light-hearted take on an industry more broken than the #SafetyIndustry here in OZ and given that we are still months away from a #Covid19 #vaccine we may need a bit of a laugh.

Yes #recruitment is broken here in #australia but my ideas on how to fix it are pretty simple along with some suggestions for #jobseekers right now. Not every recruiter is broken, just the majority and non were harmed in the creation of this post. #safety #linkedin #ohs #whs #seek #rcsa #circleback LinkedIn SEEK #jobadvertising #jobadvice #recruitmenttips

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