Trials and tribulations of recruiting from the Job Centre

With an unsurprising lack of joined up thinking, nobody amongst the powers that be seem to have considered what effect the government’s crackdown on the unemployed would have on potential employers attempting to use the jobcentre to look for workers. Here’s a report from one such, copied from a page on the website Real Business –

Jan Cavelle shares her trials and tribulations of recruiting from the Job Centre

For those of you who haven’t attempting to recruit from the Job Centre in recent years, you may be unaware that it has been absorbed. The name is now misleading as the department covers national insurance numbers and benefits rather more than jobs.

There is a website heading “finding a job” but rather surprisingly the first section offered on this is how to complain about the job centre. Conversely, to advertise your position, you will have to delve into the sections headed elsewhere on Gov UK and look for help for recruiters. And help you will undoubtedly need.

Should you persevere and advertise your position – perhaps an admin assistant with good typing skills based in Hemel Hempstead – you will then be amazed to find your area of the site awash with CVs of assorted skills, few who type, most of whom live from John O’Groats to Lands End and firmly confirm they will not locate. 

If you persevere and make contact with the best, you will find some you have selected carefully have no contact details for you to use, while others sound panicked by the mere suggestion of interviews and you will undoubtedly never hear from them again.

You may notice a similarity to some of the CVs. This is due to the advice from the job centres themselves on how to write them, which has resulted in you receiving a multitude with the same cliché ridden enthusiasms on the excellence of their team-playing skills and goal orientation.

If you have been brave enough to advertise your direct email, you will have receive a selection showing the classic blunders. The largest group are usually the ones where the covering email professes to be particularly selecting your company as one they want to work for – yet shows the emails of every local company under the sun in the CC addresses. 

However passionate they are about the possibility of a career with you, many also stop short of any tailoring to the job advertised.

You may also blanch at the email addresses that are suddenly descending on your inbox – or are not the most appealing propositions.

I was cheered to see somewhere recently that my time allocation of a minute per CV to make a first round decision is about average. The length of some are simply stunning. I have seen them list several pages of jobs – and this is not the in depth descriptions but simply positions and dates. 

I had one recently that took a good three pages to describe in some detail how the applicant had been unappreciated and mistreated in all their previous positions and intended taking the last employer to tribunal as soon as possible – all the more amazing in a small town where local companies tend to know each other.

The reason for all this excruciating time wasting of the recruiter is of course the tightening up of the benefit system, resulting in a wide variety of people who have no intention of working being enforced to send off their CV ad hoc, with no likelihood or intent of success.

All that said, some of the Job Centre CVs have brightened my days over the last year – perhaps my favourite ended his covering letter:

Yours sinisterly

I am saving him for Halloween.

Posted in ‘real business’ 27th September 2013