We’re All Recruiters

By Tim Barry, Innovate CV

I’m often asked by recruiters: “What experience do you have in the staffing industry?” Well, the honest answer is…none.

But after some thought, it occurred that we all have some recruiting experience. Whether it’s choosing a driving instructor, a builder, or someone to look after your children, we’ve all needed to put a recruiting hat one-time-or-another.

Take me and my wife. When we were looking for a an au pair, my wife and I advertised online. Despite our ad being detailed, most of the responses were not suitable. It took a lot of time to sift through them to find the three we decided to interview. When we met the first applicant, we knew straight away on meeting her that she wasn’t right for us, but still had to proceed with the interview.

After interviewing the other two, who had the same qualifications and experience, we made a decision based on personality, which we of course knew nothing of until we had met them.

Unfortunately, the au pair we employed was not quite as experienced with children or as good a driver as we expected. We let her go, and started our search…again.

Tim with Kyle and Luca!

A friend introduced us to a website where families and au pairs register and view each other’s profiles. After creating our profile we searched for and exchanged messages with au pairs who had viewed our profile online. The process of finding suitable au pairs was much easier as their profiles contained photos, qualifications, experience and outlined their expectations in a structured format which made it really simple to compare one to the other, and having viewed our profile they already had an insight into what it would be like to work for our family.

We invited the au pairs to interview via Skype. Now the cliché about Skype conversations is that it always starts with “Can you hear me?” but as we found out, it’s a cliché because it’s true! That being said, it took less time and effort than interviewing in person and we still had the benefit of seeing and speaking to the au pair.

Whilst we were looking for an au pair we had to go to the expense of employing a nanny. We were fortunate to be recommended a nanny who’d worked for a friend of ours, so this enabled us to entrust the care of our children to her. In the meantime, we made an offer to an au pair who had been working for a family in Oxfordshire, and it turns out that she uploaded her profile, applied for the position and conducted the Skype interviews all on her iPad!

I’m sure recruiters can appreciate my key takeaways:

  • Despite getting many responses to our online job ad most were unsuitable and we knew little of the applicants
  • Online profiles enabled us and the applicants to establish our mutual suitability
  • Video interviewing was useful for screening and took less time than face-to-face interviews
  • The most efficient source was through a referral
  • The successful applicant did it all by mobile

When I told my colleagues about my struggles and conclusions they said: “Why didn’t you just get them to create an Innovate CV?” Now that would have been a good idea…

Tim Barry is an Innovate CV account manager. He (really) loves helping organisations and recruiters get the right candidates into the right jobs. 



Categories: Articles for Employers, Articles for Recruiters


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2 Comments on “We’re All Recruiters”

  1. August 31, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Very interesting reading. Don’t we all experience this truth…even if u have never recruited, many a time you end up with a colleague that’s incompetent and your superiors require you with long service to train new recruits?

    My wife and I also fell subject to a poor builder some years ago and literally PAID the price.

    Good luck and well done ‘broer’ Tim.

    Love from a cold South Africa (Cape Town)

  2. September 6, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    I think there are two fundamental truths here. Firstly we’re all business people – we all retain services, budget and recruit. Some people have this idea that you have to be two different people, but my philosophy is to apply how I go about my business outside work in work (just maybe applying myself a bit harder).

    Secondly business is so often easy. I mean doing it might be troublesome and hard work, but the thinking behind it is easy – you needed someone with a skill set and personality you already know – this is so often the truth. I’ve watched people tie themselves up in knots regarding creating new positions and allocating resource. I recon if you have to think about it too hard you’re probably doing it wrong.

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