This section looks at traditional job recruitment methods
- all require a different job
While the explosive growth of the
internet has created an unprecedented access to thousands of jobs, there may be an over reliance on using
only internet job search via internet job boards such as Seek, CareerOne and
Monster, for example, where there is a lot of competition. Nevertheless
internet job search has become an important recruitment method.
job seekers may be
missing out on employment and career opportunities by not looking for
work outside cyberspace where there is less competition.
This section identifies 17 recruitment methods and explains how to contact
potential employers using the correct job search approach and process.
The advantages and disadvantages of both
traditional and internet recruitment methods are discussed here and in
How to Look For Work
Traditional Recruitment Methods
Written job application in response to an advertised position - directly to the
This is the most common method of recruitment.
Many people still seem to think that a written application means a hand
written application. If a company does want
a handwritten letter
they will say so. Go to
Letter writing guide
and see an example of an
advertised position and how to set out a letter. See also advanced
information on how to apply for an advertised job at
- Advertised Job
Application Letter - Using Marketing Techniques
Written job applications to recruitment / employment agencies
the same as a letter to an employer, however, refer to the employer as “Your
client” as they are a second party in this process.
- Advertised Job
Registering with a Job Recruitment / Employment Agencies
Job Recruitment / Employment Agencies
are an effective recruitment tool.
Agencies advertise a position on behalf of the employer and conduct the
interview to short list stage. This could be a pool or the best 3-4
Australia it is illegal for applicants to pay a recruitment agency to find a job.
The employer pays the fee and there is a trial period. Recruitment Agencies do not get
full payment until the end of the trial period, so they are very selective
and good job references are one of the most important job criteria.
This job search strategy requires less work
and allows you to access to job opportunities you might not have
found on your own.
agencies specialise only in recruitment.
generally deal with high demand jobs and often specialise in
job areas such as IT, accountancy and administration.
recruitment screening standard is high.
Recruitment / Employment Agencies
tend to advertise most positions
in the newspaper and through
such as Seek and CareerOne
and Monster USA). However, if
you register personally with these agencies and present well, with clear employment
goals, you may be matched to a job through their electronic job
This is why it is so important to have an electronically friendly
resume, showing key words that don’t get altered in the scanning
jobseeker registers with an agency, they can ring the company if they
see a job they are interested in, and advise them that they have been
interviewed and that their details are on file.
recruitment processes vary. Before you decide to register with a specific employment or recruitment agency, phone them first and
check their minimum employment requirements. This may be a car licence,
typing speed, computer knowledge or other specific job criteria. Ask if you can
send in your resume. If so, send a cover letter setting out clearly you
employment needs and credentials and ask for an interview. The recruitment
screening standard is high and your application and resume must also be
The disadvantage of this recruitment method is that the agency is working for the employer, and will
need to satisfy all their criteria. Nevertheless, Recruitment
Consultants who have
developed a good rapport with a client may ask an employer to look at a "wildcard'
- a person who may not meet all the criteria, but has potential.
You can test your typing speed through employment agencies.
4. Registering with a Job Search Firm
These are more exclusive employment agencies at the top end of the market -
mainly executive recruitment. As
part of their hiring strategy Recruitment Consultants "headhunt" applicants from other firms on behalf of their clients.
They often do career transition programmes for retrenched workers on behalf
5. Labour Hire Companies
Labour hire companies have companies generally meet short
to medium term labour hiring needs in the blue collar job
categories. Workers are contracted out and labour hire companies
pay all insurance etc.
This was once a smaller section of the recruitment
market. With the change in Industrial laws and recruitment patterns,
business rationalisation and cost cutting, plus the range of work these
companies receive, they are becoming a more attractive and popular
recruitment method and contracts can be
ongoing. Some tips for using these agencies:-
Hourly rate will vary as the company take a
proportion -so check around.
You need to fill out an application form and
supply good referees. Make sure you take your resume with you to copy
from. The agency may also keep your resume on file.
They generally want people with current
They will want your tax number before they
can register you.
You must have a valid working visa
job seekers should ensure that the agency
covers insurance, and only use reputable companies. Since Industrial
law changes some labour hire companies have come under fire
regarding workplace legislative requirements. This may change in the
future under proposed new government industrial relations
Temporary Staff Recruitment / Employment Agencies
This should be a
popular recruitment method yet many job seekers feel it is too insecure. These agencies can make arrangements to transfer an
employee to the company full time if required (at a fee to employer). Often
companies use agencies to 'trial employees' as they do not have to deal with
Industrial relations issues. Points to consider:-
Many people have
been placed in good permanent jobs after proving themselves.
Often the company will make the approach to
the agency to employ the temporary staff member full time. It
is all about "fitting in" with the company's organisational
culture. Usually this arrangement is considered a 'perfect
match' for both the employer and employee.
Temporary agencies are very selective in
their recruitment. job seekers will have to do a range of work
job seekers may need to establish themselves
and build credibility with an agency to be selected for some of
the better positions.
A wise jobseeker would take any assignment
and use these placements to build a good employment profile.
Some unemployed people are afraid of the
security of accepting temporary assignments. If they have good
skills they should not be deterred by going down this path.
recruitment requiring telephone interviews
recruitment method is used
employment agencies on behalf of a client and some Government Departments to
short list candidates from a large pool. For example , through public service tests, or the
opening of a new company and in Government the introduction of a new policy
initiative or increase in budget for new substantive positions).
Potential employees will be given a time when someone will ring them and
they will have to answer a series of questions. The company will
generally send an information package showing them what to expect.
Applicants must prepare carefully for these interviews.
The interviewer will have a script so that
everyone is asked the same questions.
The interviewer will use a ratings matrix and
will give the applicant a value, or a mark. This will determine
if they have passed the screening process to go on to an
The interviewer needs to be very experienced
to be able to evaluate answers at the same time as asking
questions and may miss a potential match
This is a pretty hard job so the applicant needs to make it easy for the
interviewer, or they may be unfairly rated. Answers need to be constructed
almost the same as
selection criteria writing
using processes used to make a decision. Pro-Active Human
Resource Management can offer a tutorial in this area.Contact
recruitment - information sessions
company is doing group recruitment they may ask you to attend an
information session if you pass the telephone interview. They may do
recruitment testing or simply get you to play silly games meant as a
recruitment assessment technique. I can only say "good luck". An arsenal of
psychology tests are available for use, the main one is to find out if
candidates are team players. If a jobseeker is attending these interview
days I recommend reading up on assessment tests such as team building. Many
recruitment agencies are staffed by people with psychology degrees, and use
these tests as they look impressive and costly and they need to justify
recruitment practitioners from the Human Resource Management stream,
including academics, do not believe they have much validity It is a
much debated topic. You can manipulate these tests as most are visual.
Google " psychological testing", "psychometric
recruitment or team building assessment tests, for example.
A very good
assessment tool is
Future Proof Your Career
the test to see your strengths. Find out where you are coming from in a more
A warning about unscheduled
screening calls in response to written applications or phone applications.
9. Telephone or screening interviews
A screening interview may be conducted
legitimately by a government agency or a new company who are
bulk recruiting as already discussed and you will be advised in
advance when this is to take place. (see above)
There is another type of screening interview that the jobseeker may not realise is happening.
An employer, (and also an employment agency/recruitment firm), may
ring the jobseeker to talk or "chat" about their application. This
is really telephone interviewing. Consider this as an
important screening interview. From this contact you will
either be put on a shortlist for a face-to-face interview, or your
application will be discarded. So if a company/agency phones you to
talk about your application make sure you know what job they are
referring to. Don’t be afraid to question them and to ensure you
know the job and the requirements.
If you are not ready to focus on a screening interview ask if
you can call them in 10-15 minutes.
Ensure they know you want
to speak to them but you need to refresh your
memory. You can say that you have several jobs you have applied
for and you want to be able to refresh your memory about their
Look at the job and your application again and ring them back.
So you can see the need to answer the telephone professionally at all
times and keep good records of your job search activities.
10. Applying for jobs
requiring selection criteria
If an advertisement states that you should send for the selection
criteria you can be confident that it is a Government or Statutory Authority
position or an agency funded by the Government. If you have any doubts
about your suitably you should ring the contact person to check it out. The
package they send out will tell you how to set out and write the
application. This is very difficult if you haven’t done it before. It
must be done correctly or they will not, and cannot, look at your
application under State and Federal Legislation. Although Pro-Active Human
Resource Management does not generally advertise this service, we do,
however, offer a service to polish up your application.
For comprehensive information on how selection criteria is used
before you even look at this method.
Note: Graduate recruitment comes under
this category, and the standard of job applications is getter higher, but could improve.
application in response to an advertised position
this recruitment method used by smaller companies. If you are asked to phone (as opposed to
you must do so immediately. You
will probably be screened by the receptionist who may take job and personal details.
They will tell
you that the employer will ring you back. This is a hit and miss method of
recruitment and used by many smaller companies and very frustrating for
The two most well known examples of a job bank are Seek and Monster.
13. Accepting applications from job seekers cold calling
In the past most smaller employers were impressed by the
applicant who cold called, by visiting the company and leaving their resume. (from my personal
experience as a Consultant). Research confirms a view that has been
held for a long time, that job seekers who cold call are considered to be
highly motivated with a lot of initiative and confidence and really wanted
to work. The extensive use of the internet for looking for work may have
changed this view somewhat, and this is because it is not being done
The attitude to cold calling may change and can be spam if
you do not do it correctly. All cold calling letters that come to this
office can be classified as spam, albeit they are not filtered by the ISP
unless they are using an internet provider with a bad reputation.
They are thoughtless, meaningless letters that show how lazy and uninformed
the applicant is. They deserve to be ignored and deleted. If you really want
to cold call do it properly. --->
How to cold call
14. Industry/Corporate Websites
A good example is mining companies and larger organisations.
Most have vacancies advertised on their site. So do your
Job Network (Australia)
If you are receiving
unemployment benefits in Australia you will know all about job network. Private companies
and community based organisations (and some private companies) are paid by the Federal Government to help
place unemployed customers/clients.
However, many agencies will take
private recruitment contracts for higher level positions and you do not need to be registered and receiving
benefits to use this service. Job Network generally operates at the
mid -lower skill level, although there are some surprisingly good jobs that
come, depending on where you live. Refer to Job network and check out
your local agency. In the current economic climate the use of these agencies
may increase, as they are free to the employer.
16. Employee referral
This method of recruitment occurs more often than you may think and can be a
traditional method of employment for many companies. The advantage is that
an employee would not recommend someone they know that is not up to the job
as it reflects back on them. Used more in USA than Australia. It was
first tried as a traditional recruitment method by American Express
over 30 years ago.
This is a very good job finding
technique and is covered separately---->
combination of contacts.
best approach is to try about a dozen contacts in each of the categories and
find out which ones are giving you the most leads and best contacts.
Don’t waste time on areas where you are not getting results.
search box to look for employment agencies, or
job boards, for
Or specify what type of agency you are looking
for, i.e. mining employment agencies, finance employment
agencies. Job boards+Australia, (or your country) is also a good
area where you are getting the best results
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