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To ‘P’ or not to ‘P’ - The Portal Trend

04 Jun 10:00 by Daniel Smith


With employment rates high in the UK there has never been a better time to be an active new job seeker, especially in technically disciplined industries. From an agency perspective these are fantastic market conditions to be operating in, demand is high for the best talent. Finding the right talent for the right role is very rewarding, regardless of the process, however, over the last 12 months I am seeing more companies adopting recruitment portals to help streamline and organise their recruitment needs.

Over the years I’ve recruited for a varied portfolio of companies, from SME’s to established global brands, using portals is nothing new but is becoming more common. How does using a portal based system effect the experience of all those involved? 

The Candidate – Probably the least affected if used correctly. Regardless of the selected method to recruit, the candidate should experience a seamless process with clear communication from start to finish. Candidates will have no interaction with the recruitment portal.

The Client – The benefits to a client are that it should be easier to manage a process from start to finish. Only a select number of preferred recruitment partners will have access to each role advertised limiting the amount of speculative applications. Suitable CV’s will have thorough submission forms with details including competencies, salary expectations, current package, notice periods, previous applications to the hiring company, supporting references, why the agent believes the candidate is suitable, availability for interviews etc. The front end in general works well on paper, but I am unsure as to whether it does improve the entire process. From experience I seem to find that hiring companies become very reliant on portal based software which doesn’t always help attract the best talent in the market place. Communication suffers and often there are lengthy delays between CV submission, feedback, and 1st stage interviews which given the market is risky as strong candidates will have more than one new job option available.

The Recruiter – From a consultant’s perspective clear communication is key, as well as a detailed understanding of what it is the hiring manager actually wants. It’s easy to match a person against competencies of a role profile, but difficult to understand the culture, what type of person would complement the team, where the biggest issues are, what problems need addressing and the format of the interview. Using a portal seems to limit the detail you are able to obtain from a hiring manager that ultimately let you paint a more accurate picture to potential candidates for the role. Roles are uploaded with no interaction between recruiter and manager. A good recruiter only wants to send candidates who are relevant, sometimes a portal may limit this and attract a more ‘gung-ho’ approach, sending larger volumes of CV’s hoping that some of the candidates work out at interview. This wastes the time of candidates, clients and candidates which only slows down the process for all concerned.

It will be interesting to see over the next few years how this technology evolves and how its users maintain their working relationships. Recruiting is emotive and personal, a balance between an efficient portal that doesn’t limit managers working with consultants can easily be achieved and will improve the all round experience of all those concerned.  

If you are a Client or Candidate and would like to speak to Core Talent about the about a role in Materials or Sustainabilty incorporting Print, Textiles, Packaging, Plastics, Recyling, Resources, Renewables.   Please call me, Daniel Smith on 0161 832 1378. You can also contact me via email