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The recruiter’s lot is distinctly a happier one

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 | By Paul Nettleton
The recruiter’s lot was not a happy one as the recession took hold. With growing numbers of candidates chasing fewer job vacancies, recruiters were on the economic frontline.

Noses were put to the grindstone, sorting the wheat from the chaff – or, to put it more prosaically, the suitably qualified jobseekers from the outright no-hopers.

In echoes of the TV classic The Boys from the Blackstuff, the temptation was to take a Yosser Hughes approach to finding work. And somebody had to read the scattergun applications that amounted to “Gissa job. I could do that”.

Nowhere was this more so than in Scotland where, says recruitment platform s1jobs, the downturn “was characterised by rising unemployment followed by sharp rises in the number of applications received by employers for every vacant post”.

Gavin Mochan, head of sales at s1jobs, said: “For applicants this meant they could be competing with dozens of other candidates, while the recruiting companies found themselves inundated and the whole process took so much longer.”

Now, with the economic recovery lifting the hearts of job hunters, comes the good news for the readers of CVs and those all-important covering letters.

As unemployment statistics from the Office of National Statistics show a fall of 7,000 in Scotland’s jobless in the February-April quarter of 2014, s1jobs has begun studying the average number of applications per vacancy each month.

Says Mochan: “Although the average number of applicants is still high, the number has returned to more manageable levels, which we believe is great news for all concerned.

“We still have the same amount of traffic coming to the site, but there’s been a very definite change in the market with people being more selective on what they apply for, which in turn means employers will receive a better quality of candidate who is more suited to the role.

“That in turn means that the job market is showing signs of reverting back to being candidate-driven, meaning that companies will have to work harder for quality applicants and should be investing in their employer brand and candidate attraction strategies.”
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