State of the Recruitment Union

3/1/12

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tailoring their resume (within the facts of their experience of course) to the jobs they are applying for. The job descriptions are written with detail for a reason, and if your resume doesn’t call out the experience required, you won’t get noticed. Assuming the person reading the resume can scan your experience to match what they are looking for is a huge leap of faith and often times a fatal one in the application process. There was also a consensus that a cover letter is a bit dated—often approaching by phone or email is the preferred method for candidates expressing their interest and qualifications outside of the standard resume process.

We also took a look at how—in a climate where competition for jobs is as fierce as ever—do you communicate most effectively with candidates that are not selected? We concluded it’s important to understand just how emotional the process is for candidates and treat them with the respect and timely communication they deserve. However, we also observed that people are not always open to the true honest feedback from the process, and thus it is important to be communicative but also keep it professional and less personal and specific. It is tough to honestly look in the mirror as a candidate sometimes.

The conversation then moved to the ways in which we find candidates—and of course social media was a big part of the discussion. The days of “posting and praying” are over and the traditional job boards are something of a dinosaur today. Recruiting has really transformed back to good old fashioned headhunting—finding the right candidates who may not even be looking to make a career move. We all shared past experiences of the power of a good referral program and how a lot of our companies’ hires come through referrals as opposed to candidates applying online and the like. Employees do a good job of screening out candidates and there’s a sense that those candidates come with the “good housekeeping” seal of approval. After all, if you are referring someone that will ultimately be a colleague—there is sense of accountability there to be sure.

These are just some highlights from the discussion, which cast light on the complex process of hiring the right candidate for a technology company.

Ed Nathanson is Director of Talent Acquisition for Boston-based Rapid7. Follow @

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