A conversation with Randstad’s Dorota Zablocka.

Starting a new career is a big decision and there are lots of questions many candidates will have regarding the process. Being the largest HR solutions and recruitment company globally, we are here to provide you with the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. Our Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Service Provider and Talent Solutions business; Randstad Sourceright sat down with Dorota Zablocka, Head of their EMEA Business Services Centre, to discuss.

1. when should I expect to hear back from a company after I send my application?

Every employer delivers a different candidate experience, and response time can range anywhere from one day to three weeks. If a company has automation behind the process, the system typically sends a confirmation that they received the application and outlines possible next steps. Depending on whether you gave your consent for contact and consideration for other roles, you may not hear anymore from the company if your application was rejected.

When Randstad manages the recruitment process, you can expect initial feedback within a few days from the time you submit your application.

2. should I give consent to an employer to keep my CV on record?

By giving your consent to an employer to keep your CV on record, you permit the employer to house your CV in their database. The benefit to this is that recruiters from that employer can contact you directly in the case a new recruitment process opens up and your profile matches the requirements of the role.

3. I am not getting any response from some of the jobs I am applying for. why haven’t I heard anything back from the company I applied to and what can I do?

There are many factors that come into play if you do not hear anything from a company you applied to. As most CV submission receipts are automated nowadays, you will likely at least receive confirmation that the employer has received your application, along with information about next steps. If several weeks pass and you still have not heard anything, the roles could still be open. Many companies offer a contact to the recruiters on their careers site in case you want to check on the status of your application.

If you are not getting any feedback or repeated rejections,we would advise you to review your application. Are you applying for positions for which your qualifications match at least 60% of the requirements? Is your profile/application covering all the necessary information? Did you put in the correct contact information? Is your CV professional and free of spelling and grammar errors?

4. how many applicants am I really up against when I apply for a job?

If you are an expert in a niche role, you may be competing with only a few other candidates. If you are applying for a general role where potential or motivation is required beyond technical skills and expertise, there may be up to a hundred or more applications per role. The number of applicants for the same role also depends on the strength of the employer’s brand.

5. should I put my nationality, birthdate, home address and photo in my CV?

In general, no. A photo is not necessary, but if you do opt to put one on your CV, make sure it’s professional, like the one you might use on LinkedIn. As for the other information — do not include it. By adding your nationality, birthdate or home address, you could trigger unconscious bias.

6. is my CV really prescreened by a robot? how can I circumnavigate this?

It depends what tools and talent acquisition technology are used by recruiters. More and more recruitment companies, and companies like Randstad, are implementing such tools to help speed up the recruitment process and avoid unconscious bias. I would not worry about this because it can, in fact, help avoid human mistakes and improve the efficiency of the recruitment process.

7. if I don’t have a LinkedIn profile, will recruiters disqualify me?

It’s your decision how visible you would like to be on social media, including professional platforms like LinkedIn. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, recruiters will not disqualify you, but you will also not be visible to recruiters looking for candidates. By having a LinkedIn profile, access to jobs is easier; plus, LinkedIn functions as an easy-to-use and international job board.

8. is having an “open to work” banner on my LinkedIn profile a good or a bad thing?

If you are open to new opportunities and hearing from recruiters directly, it is definitely a good thing. On the other hand, if you are not interested in changing jobs, it can be a waste of your and the recruiter’s time. Plus, in the future it may decrease your credibility if you are actually in a situation where you want to change jobs. Also, remember your LinkedIn profile is publicly visible, which means that even your current employer can see your status if you are open to new opportunities.

9. I’ve not worked in a few months due to COVID-19. how do I ensure that’s not seen as a bad thing?

If you have a good explanation why you stopped working or could not work during the pandemic, any rational recruiter or employer will understand. While they may question why you have been out of work, they are especially interested in your motivation. The important thing is that your reasons for taking a break or changing work are aligned with the company’s values. Randstad recruiters are always interested in your motivation and in understanding your unique situation while you are between jobs.

Even if you are not working, consider opportunities to upskill yourself, participate in charity activities or focus on other important things in your life. You can always add these to your CV, and employers will be favorably impressed.

10. is it really that important to have more than two years of longevity at every company I have worked for?

The way we are engaged with certain jobs, tasks or projects by the employer or the contracting party is changing. We see more and more people opting for contract work or sophisticated short-term assignments. This means that recruiters are getting more used to seeing candidates with employment longevity less than two years.

Maybe you are a contractor who is assigned to a project for different employers every year. Maybe you worked at a company that did not pay on time. Maybe you are still looking for the company that will invest in you. Many employers want to keep their high performers for a long time and invest in their skills, so you should hopefully be motivated to stay longer than just a couple years.

11. will I be judged on my social media images?

Just as you use social media to look for jobs and research companies, recruiters and hiring managers are doing the same to look into you. Remember to go through your own social media profiles and delete any posts and pictures that may portray you negatively. This includes public posts that may be deemed inappropriate or offensive. You can always set your profiles to private, and it’s a good idea to deactivate profiles you don’t use anymore.

12. is there anything that will make me stand out above other candidates?

You want your experience and skills to stand out above other candidates, but make sure you can also demonstrate your other competencies and potential. Adaptability, creativity, emotional intelligence, negotiation skills and critical thinking are more desirable now than ever. If you can prove that you possess these qualities, you can better position yourself to stand out over other applicants.

13. why is the salary rarely advertised? how do I know if the job is the right level before I apply?

Compensation and benefits depend a lot on the country, sector and company. There is a lot of information available online, and platforms like Glassdoor enable you to research salaries per sector, location and company and among different positions.

14. should I ask whether the interviewer will move my application along to the next stage at the end of an interview?

Yes! It’s always a good idea to be prepared with questions and to clarify or address any concerns before the interview ends. At Randstad, our recruiters also ask if you have any concerns, and our talent acquisition advisors are happy to provide you with guidelines or any next steps.

If you are looking for the next step in your career, Randstad may just be the place for you. Search our latest careers by clicking the button below.