With a steaming cup of coffee still in hand, Bassant Khedr talked to us about what her day, as a recruitment specialist at WUZZUF, entails.
“Candidates often think that the job of reaching that dreaded interview chair is the hardest there can be, but for a recruiter filling that chair is a horrifying web of obstacles we have to constantly tackle, adapt to, and overcome.”
The struggles of being in the recruitment business seem endless. But as part of the work that got us to be the #1 recruitment platform in Egypt, we sat down with recruitment specialists, HR personnel, and anyone whose job entails hiring to have an open discussion about the challenges they face day in and day out.
The war over the talent pool
The first thing you notice when trying to fill a required job vacancy is there are many variables to recruiting the right candidates. Variables that you have no control over but that make your job harder, nevertheless.
“Companies now have to compete over calibers, not only in the local market, but also in the international market. It then falls on the recruiter to attract these talents in a global economy that is undergoing a ‘war for talent.’”
In order to be able to reach this, Bassant told us how a company’s branding is very important to attract talents. A recruiter’s job doesn’t just begin and end with filling the required vacancy. The whole HR department works as a unit to ensure that this company is the most desired place for employees. In this regard, Bassant Kheder pointed out that companies should focus on being employee-centric not just customer oriented. “And, it falls on the HR team’s shoulder to ensure that employees receive the best care and support through providing them with the best benefits and perks”, she says.
The screening process: your odds are 10 out of 200
After a long talk about the pains of the recruiter’s life, Bassant showed the most disdain towards the lost time and energy it takes to filter 200 applications only to find out that only 5 or 10 are the truly qualified ones, who have a decent enough background/qualifications to move forward to the interview phase. This is a persistent complaint amongst many recruiters.
“Having to manually filter 200 applicants just to find out basic information such as their degree or previous experience might seem like a minor hassle but when faced with it as a part of your daily routine it can be frustrating.”
Recruitment Specialist at Otlob
The CV cannonball
By talking to various recruiters we were able to recognize certain patterns. We found that recruiters go through the exact same struggle. We even started a poll about it, and almost all of the HR personnel whether from the same company or in different companies had this exact same complaint word for word. “Candidates would often apply for a job without being familiar with its needed qualifications or the job description,” says Rania Hamdi, People Acquisition Specialist at Otlob. Job seekers relying on the hit-or-miss strategy apply everywhere for everything and see what sticks. This recurring problem is one recruiters don’t know how to limit or contain.
Persuading passive candidates
While doing our research we came across a statistic that troubled us: almost 70% of the global force is passive talents, people who are not interested in actively pursuing a job. With the number being so high, we asked Samer Mohammad, Recruitment Assistant Manager at Oriental Weavers, about how he deals with such an obstacle. “With an employee pool so shallow, it is up to the recruitment specialists to try and attract these passive talents. This can be done through writing an attractive enough job post, reaching a good salary/benefits negotiation and of course, the company reputation helps in attracting talents”, he says. Even though there are ways around this, it’s still a hard enough task and it falls on the recruiter’s shoulders to know how to extract such talent while preserving money, time, and efforts.
The tug of war between the managers and the masses
The one really striking thing we learned during this was that recruiters and HR personnel, in general, are actually on our side. We are so used to them being the big bad wolf that we almost forgot that their core job function is to help us.
“HR personnel often find themselves the in-between guy trying to balance what the corporate needs with what the employees need. Even if you happen to come across the perfect candidate, you’re still up for another battle. Trying to find a middle ground between budget cuts and an excellent candidate who demands a specific salary.”
Assistant Manager at Oriental Weavers
The pains of battling the management on one hand and having to deal with a taboo reputation while dealing with employees on the other seem like more emotional labor than anyone can sign up for.
Juggling, deadlines, and settling sometimes
Being a recruiter, you need to go through all of that and still make sound decisions, pick fitting candidates that will fit not only the job but also the company culture, and—oh yeah, we almost forgot—do all of that with the threat of an ever-approaching deadline. “What many people don’t realize is that recruiters often have to fill more than one position that is time-sensitive in nature. So we need to go through this process and its obstacles fast” says Rania Hamdi
People Acquisition Specialist at Otlob. While Oriental Weavers’ Samer Mohammad argues that “it is quite frustrating not to find the most fitting candidate because you put a lot of time, energy, and money into the process that if you come out with anything less than what you hoped for, you feel robbed.” It’s funny that one of the infamous HR questions is “Good and on time or perfect and late?” It seems they are the ones who suffer most from the good and on time, just because perfection in their line of work is dependent on so many factors they can’t control.
Most Efficient Recruitment Tools?
The tools to reach candidates vary from using LinkedIn and social media to using our very own WUZZUF. But even with the existence of these tools, some struggles persisted. Speaking about social media as a recruitment tool, Assem Muhammad, People Acquisition Coordinator at Otlob, points out that “For mass hiring, using social media presents a wide array of problems. The rates of irrelevant people applying are higher than ever. I am then forced to look for a skill amongst hundreds of applicants who often have no previous experience.”
“I think the tools present need to focus more on making this a beneficial experience for both the job seeker and the employer. One of the special features about using WUZZUF is the support you get from the account managers. I personally had a wonderful experience where the WUZZUF recruitment consultant assigned to me did his best to help me through many of the questions and requests I had.”
Assistant Manager at Oriental Weavers
Honestly, after this tour into the recruitment world, we have a new found appreciation for this job and the people manning the interviewer chair. Also, the infamous HR reputation seems unfounded and we need to drop it, now!
And in an effort to make the job-filling predicament a little less hard, we are always working the give you the best WUZZUF possible. So stay tuned for some great news really soon!