If you’re a recruiter or a hiring manager with a tiny budget and an urgent need for new workforce, there are very few things you can do. How can you fill a vacancy with no budget, no manpower and no applicants?
Besides doing all the regular promotion through social, there’s one more thing you can do – check out free resume search websites. It’s a good way to broaden your search for top talent and get some quality applicants for free… In theory. Here’s the true story behind these platforms and what they can actually do for you.
So, what exactly are free resume search websites?
These sites are platforms where candidates can upload their resumes (for free) so that companies can browse them (also for free) and find their ideal candidate. Instead of waiting for candidates to apply, you can just browse these websites and pick your ideal candidate as you would pick apples in a grocery store. The database has hundreds to thousands of candidates with relevant and updated CVs so finding your new employee should be a breeze.
Only it doesn’t really work that way. Here’s why free resume search websites should not be part of your recruitment strategy in 2019.
You won’t get high-quality candidates
Think about the kind of employee you want for your company. You’re probably after someone who’s an expert in their field, several years of relevant experience, plenty of great references and an impressive portfolio. While there are candidates like that, they’re not spending their time submitting their website to low quality databases that will offer them to anyone.
If they’re not already working for someone else, top quality candidates like these are applying to positions that suit them specifically. For them, preparing a resume is a waste of time and not to mention sending it out to a website like this. And for other candidates, it’s a low-hanging fruit – they send out their CV into the ether, with hopes of it reaching a prospective (read: just about any) employer.
In other words, you may find candidates, but not the kind you really want to hire.
The competition is tough
Okay, let’s say that you’ve actually found someone here that has all the necessary skills, work experience and references to match. You’ve picked them apart and contacted them immediately, only to find out they’ve already been hired by someone else.
Since these databases are free to use for everyone, this means that nothing is stopping other companies from reaching out to this candidate. All is fair in love and war, and when it comes to finding top talent, it’s a war out there. If you found someone great on a free resume search website, so has your competition.
Candidates get spammed
If you’re looking for a job, having your resume listed on one of these platforms is similar to having your landline listed in a phone book. There will be calls, as some companies will reach out even if the applicant does not match the job requirements. In fact, agencies that get paid a commission for filling a vacancy will be the most persistent in contacting candidates from sites like these.
Inevitably, candidates get tired of being contacted and if you’re reaching out as well, you may get mistaken for an agency trying to earn a quick buck by spamming bulks of candidates.
These sites aren’t really “free”
You may ask yourself, why are these platforms giving out candidate resumes for free, doing both candidates and companies a favor? What’s in it for them? Well, it’s not that they particularly like you – they have their own business model, and it means that they’re not exactly entirely free.
For most of these websites, you will get a list of resumes for free, so you can take a look and find your ideal candidate. However, if you want to find out more, you won’t be able to – since the most important information and contact data are all left out. If you want to reach out to those candidates, you’ll have to pay for access. In other words, unless you’re shopping around and just looking at CVs, you barely get anything for free.
The databases aren’t always that fresh
If a candidate wants to find a job, they submit their resume to a resume database. But what if they already found a job? One of the most common problems with these platforms is that their databases aren’t updated frequently and candidates who are no longer looking for a job aren’t removed and they get spammed well after starting with their new position.
All you get is a resume
If you’ve been reading our blog for some time, you probably know how we feel about resumes. They’re outdated and they don’t tell you anything about how someone does the job – merely their education and work experience. If that’s all you’re after – good news for you.
If, on the other hand, you want to see actual proof that someone can do the job, resumes won’t cut it.
One candidate = one resume
So, how is this a bad thing? For anyone looking for a job, they probably know the importance of having a tailored CV. The best resumes out there are suited to a specific company, position and job ad. This means extra time and effort put into a job application. On the other hand, a resume database will have a generic CV. Even if the candidate is excellent for one position, they’re making their CV as generic as possible to cast a wider net and be more attractive to more than one employer.
If you work in a very specific niche, your job ad will only interest a small group of people. For example, someone looking to hire a marketing manager for a crypto trading platform will have fewer applicants than someone looking for a generalist social media manager.
If you’re hoping to find a new name in a free resume database in a small niche, you will most likely find the same candidates everywhere you look. When you pay to get the candidates’ names, you may soon realize you already have them in your database.
So, free resume search websites clearly don’t work. What does?
Instead of focusing on resumes, make your hiring process all about skills and whether the candidate can do the actual job or not. Don’t entirely give up on resumes, just don’t use them as the main deciding factor when hiring. Instead, use a pre-employment testing solution such as Hundred5.
Furthermore, don’t expect candidates to do the job for you and leave a resume you can review and simply hire them. Work on your own recruitment strategy based on skill testing and aim for the best talent in the job market. Attract candidates to come to you (and not the other way around) by working on your employer brand and establishing your company as a great place to work.