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Candidate = Individual

A step in the tech direction

The way it was (and still is)…

The definition of ‘candidate’ is ‘a person who applies for a job or is nominated for election’; given the current political climate, I can’t imagine many of us feeling inclined to nominate ourselves for election. That leaves the former option — applying for a job. When you apply for a new career opportunity you apply as an individual with a set of skills, an abundance of specific knowledge and experience and a personality all of your own.

When your application is received by the client, recruitment agency or other talent management broker, you suddenly transform from being the awesome individual you are and you become a ‘candidate’. With hindsight, this is not a surprising transformation as most advertisements start with ‘the ideal candidate will…’. So the question is, at what point do you transform back into yourself (!?!). I would venture that at the point when the hiring manager expresses an interest in your profile.

My point is this, from your initial application through to hiring manager validation through selection, there is the danger that you are not reviewed through a frame of reference that is personal or offers the opportunity for any interaction. In that sense, you are solely dependent on the classic CV review.

I acknowledge that the counter argument here is that this approach has successfully served the recruitment process for decades; why change it now? — the answer is simple, because we can!

Messaging Channels

With Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter we already have established social media hubs to interact with friends, colleagues and peers, however, these are people we typically know. So what’s the alternative? Some stats…

WhatsApp — Monthly active users: 1.15 billion and with daily messages sent: 60+ billion

Geographical focus: Europe, Latin America, South East Asia, Russia, India, Africa, Middle East

Messenger — Monthly active users: 1.1 billion and with daily messages sent: 60+ billion

Geographical focus: USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, South East Asia

…how long does it take to type a message? — less than 10–20 seconds?

What can you get from these types of short interactions?

  • Current status and motivations for application; and with this an actual gauge of their level of interest in your opportunity

  • Additional information about their personal circumstances (i.e. planned holidays, plans for relocation if relevant, availability for interview)

  • Other applications they may be pursuing and the reasons for their interest in these other opportunities

  • The opportunity to ask them some initial pre-screening questions in relation to your business/culture or working environment

  • Explore their interests in more details

  • Even a sense of their personality (i.e. humour)

  • Speed of response and a more conversational and personal interaction

The culmination of these answers alongside the original application will start to turn ‘the candidate’ back into an individual again.

Just an idea…


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