Jobs Portal Joke

The current trend in recruitment is to encourage candidates to apply through the company website. This can be particularly effective when marketed through social media, if done right. It also cuts out a lot of the middle-men in recruitment and provides companies with a pool of potential candidates.

The Jobs Portal
The way it works is that job-seekers create an account on the company job portal and upload their details, certificates, references, resume etc. As the company is designing the portal themselves, they can ensure that this data is uploaded in a validated format compatible with their existing systems and thus save themselves a lot of money on clerical costs.

The candidates can receive regular email updates about opportunites and be encouraged to keep their career details up to date.

There’s just one wee problem. It doesn’t work for contractors. It is, in fact, an extemely ill-thought out idea to the point of self-defeating stupidity.

Recruitment Gone Mad
Many of them offer three-month contracts this way. They clearly don’t get any contractors signing-up since they still advertise through recruitment agencies – who give contractors a link to the client company’s portal. At which point the contractor, realising he has to create yet another online account, usually says fuck this for a game of toy soldiers and looks for opportunites with a company that doesn’t have its recruitment run by dorks.

They don’t think about it. Imagine you’re a contractor. You work on three-month long assignments. Are you really going to be creating thousands of job-portal accounts on all the companies that hire contractors, and keep them all up to date every three months? It’s insane.

It’s like the interview we once had, for a three-month fixed-term contract in Den Haag. Went something like this:

Recruiter: On your last three jobs you were only there for three months, why was that? 
Candidate: Can I ask a question? 
Candidate: What is the duration of the contract you are offering me? 
Recruiter: Three months, why? 

Clients
Do not expect contractors to be using your employee portals. You’re not offering us employment contracts after all. You need to make your agents do the work you are paying them handsomely for. It is their job to keep a database of contractors, not yours.

Better yet, set up a contractor’s portal along the same lines but requiring less maintenance. We could name a few large companies who have successfully gone down this route, integrating the contractor portal with the payments portal in some cases for even greater cost-savings.

If you choose instead to use recruitment agencies for contractors, check up on them.

They tell you they have contractors on their books, they are lying. Five minutes after you give them the requirements they will be advertising them on JobServe, sending you the first muppet that happens to match the keywords in the ad. An ad which will look suspiciously like all the agent has done is cut and paste your email. And you’re paying him or her around $3-5,000 per head per month for this?