'Computer says no': Is digital recruitment failing candidates?

'Computer says no': Is digital recruitment failing candidates?

Many individuals will remember Matt Lucas' and David Walliams' popular comedy show Little Britain. For a while, catchphrases from the show became social currency in themselves, with many mimicking the characters.

One of the show's most memorable sketches centred around a deliberately obstructive receptionist, played by Walliams, who answered all questions put to her with 'computer says no'. A reply that offered no detail, no extras and no help to those who wanted more. For job candidates who engage in online job applications, it can often feel the same.

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Comments (2)

  • Adam Jones
    Adam Jones
    Mon, 11 Jun 2018 1:49pm BST
    I think the pendulum has swung too far in terms of automated hiring systems and needs to move back to human screening. ATS portals are excellent for logging the details of applicants but screening should always be done by people and in some industries such as retail I would move back to the old system of people going into the shop meeting the local store manager and letting him / her decide whether to offer a trail to someone to see if they are any good which would help a lot of younger people into work
  • Dave West
    Dave West
    Mon, 4 Jun 2018 3:27pm BST
    I've just spent an extended period seeking a new role and this definitely resonates with me - and I'm a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a former Head of HR! Despite all the whizzy systems, very few even acknowledge an application so why would I invest hours filling in a clunky online application form that largely duplicates my CV when I'm unlikely to even get a go away email? Then there are the mandatory shortlisting questions - the job ad asks for a masters degree or equivalent experience, but there is no way of inputting how my experience is equivalent. It just wants details of my degree; so I don't get shortlisted and the company potentially loses an experienced candidate that the system auto-rejects.