Many readers have commented in recent weeks about the changes that have occurred to the hiring process that make it harder to get a job. This got me thinking back to the days before supplier management companies, online hiring tracking systems, emails, and even fax machines were part of the picture.
In the good old days, candidates simply mailed their resumes direct to a company or stopped in and filled out a paper application on the spot. Sometimes, one would get lucky, and a hiring manager would be available for a quick interview and a return visit was not needed. Today, if you walk into a company, they will likely give you a card with a web address and tell you to go home and apply online, sending your resume on a long trip into cyberspace!
When I first became a recruiter over 25 years ago, I solicited job openings from companies and used a variety of methods to cold call potential candidates, plus ran some newspaper advertisements. If a candidate was nearby, I would meet them at my office where we would review their resume. If it needed work, I would use an old fashioned typewriter to create a new version. If they were out of the area, I would quite frequently take down their employment history long hand then type a new resume from scratch. Both of these methods allowed me to avoid the two to four business days needed to receive a resume in the mail which let me get it to my client quickly. To shorten the time frame even more, I would drive up to an hour to hand deliver resumes if the need appeared urgent.
There were occasions when the employer would read the resume in my presence and ask me to get the candidate on the phone to clarify items and perhaps set up the interview appointment for them. Yes, this seemed cumbersome but I would almost prefer it over the current electronic methods. Certainly, I have a huge majority of customers who respond within a day or two to schedule interviews and those are not my concern. A smaller cohort does not even acknowledge receipt leading me to wonder if I will ever receive feedback. Technology is a wonderful thing but there are many days when I wish we could set our clocks back 25 years!