The current recruitment market is candidate driven, candidates are picking and choosing where to work and employers have invested heavily in employer branding to entice the very best candidates to work for them. To intensify the competition to secure the very best candidates, recruitment agencies have experienced an upsurge in the need for their services to seek out niche skills.

There are so many channels for employers to publish their roles on too, from traditional jobs boards to experiential and social media recruitment. Job boards, which typically rely on a reactive approach to posting a job and waiting for the applications to roll in; whereas social media requires time and effort to a talent pool of potential candidates who want to work for the company.

With a combination of stiff competition for candidates and fragmented candidate attraction channels, internal recruiters should consider taking a proactive approach to contacting candidates already registered on a job board. A candidate matching solution can go a long way towards helping the internal recruiter identify relevant candidates for a role.

From Boolean search to semantics

CV searches have been around on job boards since the early days of the internet in the 1990s. Like many other technologies, CV searches have progressed to using natural language and semantics, rather than relying on the user to input the type of words that should appear, in a Boolean search.

More commonly, searches now emulate Google and users expect their results to be interpreted, without having to understand how the technology works.   

A Boolean search would only show candidates who match the search string keywords exactly, for example (TITLE) in (SECTOR) would only seek for those candidates.

Semantic searching differs in that it looks at the context of the title, picks out the key phrases and considers them as equal. It considers natural language, which is how someone would write something in their CV.

Then, a candidate matching solution scours the CV for those phrases, before ranking them in terms of competencies, skills and experience.  It takes into account the current job title and date the CV posted before scoring the CV based on strength of match.

Semantic searching means more accurate matches, because jobseekers use different phrases describe the same job; a Boolean search string would miss this. 

There are practical ways in which a CV matching solution can help an internal recruiter too:

Proactively contact candidates to quickly fill a vacancy

As a recruiter, I often received a phone call on a Thursday requesting new staff to start the following Monday. A candidate matching solution is really useful in this respect, post the job and the relevant candidates will be matched and ready to contact straight away.

View relevant candidates for recruitment drives

Another scenario is where a new department, office, or retail outlet is opening; or simply a scheduled ‘wave’ of new mass recruitment into the team. With a candidate matching solution, an internal recruiter can review batches of matched CVs, without having to wait for an adequate number of applicants.

Identify skills shortages or niche roles

A candidate matching solution will instantly provide the answer to the question ‘why is nobody applying for my role?’ If there are few or no candidates for a role compared to others which are advertised, it could well be a sign that there is a skills shortage in the local area, or that the role is so niche that there are few candidates who could do the role. 

If this is the case, it is worth considering changing the job title or description to be more generic, or the distance the candidate is from the role; the matching software will reassess the candidates’ CVs and may list extra candidates with relevant or transferable skills.

Important tools in the first step in the recruitment process

Both candidate matching solutions and CV searches are helpful to internal recruiters.  A candidate matching solution is a powerful tool in that it matches candidates for a role; it should be used as the first step in identifying suitable applicants in for interview. The interview stage will identify whether the candidate is a good cultural fit for the organisation, as well as having the relevant skills and knowledge.

Traditional CV searching tools are still a useful tool for those internal recruiters who build up banks of candidates in preparation for forthcoming recruitment waves. CV searches help to drill down on candidates, especially at higher levels or for niche roles.

When choosing between a candidate matching solution or a CV search, consider the hiring challenges and what the internal recruitment needs are in order to get the best solution.

Learn more about the candidate matching solutions and CV searches offered by EmptyLemon, the UK based direct employer job board, putting candidates directly in contact with internal recruiters.