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How recruiters select candidates in a competitive market

Technology has had, and continues to have, a big impact on the recruitment industry. Over the years, technology has dramatically changed the recruitment landscape for the better. Generally speaking, recruiters can now recruit mostly without time and space constraints and have access to a diverse pool of suitable candidates.

As recruitment technology advances, some might think that recruiting has become easier or more straightforward, but I can assure you that’s not always the case, even though, there are now many ways to stand out from the competition.

So how do recruiters choose which candidates they submit for roles?

Usually, a recruiter is mostly interested in the candidate’s previous experience within the required modules or skillset, their availability and notice period. These play a major part in the candidate shortlisting process. The size of the previous projects undertaken as well as the previous client reputation will improve a candidate’s chances to be put forward for a vacancy. Recruiters are more likely to select those candidates who have had long term experience with prestigious clients or the ones who have worked for the same client more than once.

On top of this, any testimonials or positive references from previous managers/colleagues will act as a benefit. The same goes for country specific experience – if there is a rollout to a certain country, any previous experience within that country would be beneficial due to cultural awareness.

When it comes to shortlisting candidates for SAP vacancies, industry specific experience will always be preferred - candidates will have a better understanding of the working environment and the speed within certain industries. For example, if the role is for a pharmaceutical client, there will be a stronger focus on compliance and highly regulated processes.

Experience with the latest technologies or latest versions of modules, certifications and /or qualifications with role-specific courses (modular certified, PRINCE2 etc…) are also being taken into consideration by recruiters before they present candidates to hiring managers.

How can a candidate ensure their CV is reviewed properly?

A candidate’s CV is the first impression a recruiter will get of an individual’s previous experience and professional profile. Often, the first round of screening only involves a recruiter quickly glancing over the CV. So, it is crucial to ensure that it is structured in a clear format with each section clearly highlighted (Work experience, Education, Training etc….) and the dates of previous roles accurately and logically ordered.

All of the information within a CV should be clear and concise, without duplication of content.

Typically, the better a CV matches the job description requirements, the higher the candidate will rank in an Applicant Tracking System or in the eyes of a recruitment consultant. On this note, candidates could use tools like Jobscan and/or Wordle, to see how well their CV matches a job description.

How do you usually screen candidates? Do you have an out of the box screening method?

Dean Gibb is the SAP Resource Lead within the SAP division of Investigo. He ensures that Investigo SAP stays in close contact with the most highly skilled and professionally recommended SAP consultants in the UK and European market. He sources candidates for both permanent and contract assignments and understands their needs regardless of their current position or circumstances. If you would like to get in touch, please contact Dean on