How Technology is Changing Recruitment

Today’s graduates and school-leavers looking at how their parents used to go about getting a job would be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into some kind of Victorian fantasy. For a start, everything happened so slowly, letters and CVs trundling through the Royal Mail – and some companies actually taking the trouble to send out formal rejection letters. Let’s have a look at how things have changed.

The Internet

The first change barely qualifies as new technology any more because it’s been in the mainstream for approaching 20 years. But if you’ve been in the same job since the mid-1990s, you’re in for a shock when you come to make your next application. You’ll be expected to be a fully signed-up, switched-on member of the online community. You’ll be submitting your CV online and communicating via email or other instant messaging techniques.

Social Media

If the internet is a confusing territory for you, the phenomenon of social media is going to blow you away. But if you’re reading this article, we’ll assume you know your LinkedIn from your Pinterest.
First of all, recruiters will be using social media to make contact with potential candidates – sometimes actively, sometimes passively. People make contact with companies they are targeting, and will look out for advertised openings, which they’ll no doubt duplicate on social media for maximum exposure. You need to be one of them if you want to get the inside track.
But it works both ways. Your entire social media history (or at least the parts that aren’t set as private) is there for them to see. Candidates from the generation that has grown up barely knowing a world without social media have their entire lives online – from their professional lives to their hobbies, relationships, nights out and family lives – for all the world to see.
While no employer is expecting candidates to have no life outside work, some recruitment experts warn against making the more colourful aspects of one’s social life public. But there’s a balance to be struck – many employers do value people with active social lives. In some industries sociable candidates tend to make better colleagues.


The business social network LinkedIn deserves a section of its own because it’s the only mainstream channel whose stated purpose is to assist business. It works via multiple streams:
• Users have professional profiles, which can augment your CV (although it’s still a good idea to edit your CV to emphasise aspects relevant to the role you’re applying for and to keep you LinkedIn profile as more of a permanent record of skills and qualifications).
• Other users can give endorsements and recommendations – a modern-day reference.
• The number of connections you have gives some indication as to the strength of your connections. Unlike some social media, LinkedIn connections are necessarily mutual.
• You can use the “degrees of separation” on LinkedIn to discover mutual friends, colleagues or ex-colleagues and approach them for a personal reference.
• The network is a place for employers to post jobs.

Your Portfolio

It’s normal nowadays for people to display their wares on an online portfolio. Whether you’re a writer, a painter, a carpenter or a computer programmer, you can put your produce online in a gallery or it could be a self-serving demonstration (in the case of a programmer or web designer). A demo says much more than words alone ever could.

Application Analysis

Not all job applications take the traditional advert–CV–interview path. For many jobs, especially in the middle or lower echelons of a company, the application form will be completed online. But this isn’t only for speed and cost reductions. The data that candidates input might be sent straight to a database to be analysed to produce a shortlist based on the stats you put in. It might seem like a brutal filter – and no doubt some good candidates will be rejected – but when even low-grade jobs can expect hundreds of applications, it’s the only way employers can efficiently do it.

It’s Not All Electronic

While it might seem that the whole process of candidate selection is managed electronically, some things will never change. So expect to be grilled at an interview … although it might well be in a local cafe or over Skype.

Samuel-James McLoughlin is Press and Communications Officer at hronline and has over 15 years’ experience in the field. He has worked in HR for the last 5 years and has been with hronline since its launch in 2013.

Presenting your presentation skills on your PMO CV – PMO CV Tips

Presenting is a fantastic subject to talk about today – further to my PMO CV tips series, I think this article will really give you some food for thought. So, we have talked about presentations being a big part of PMOs, from presenting at workshops to senior stakeholder updates we’ve all had put part in this area. Have you addressed this on your CV though? No? Why not? Talking of presenting skills…. You’re not providing demonstrable evidence of your fantastic information delivery skills if you forget to mention it on your CV are you!?


Remembering that you need to be meeting the core criteria for the jobs you are applying for, presentations are often mentioned in job descriptions and therefore, will be checked for on your CV making it important for you to include some detail or risk being rejected for the role. Yes, screening CVs is that harsh, with hundreds of applications for any one role, the reviewer will use a check list to decide whether to reject or short list.

In the conference Room

Time to make another list! Think about the types of presentations you are involved with, your input and core objectives. What format do they take, who are the audience (PM team, stakeholders, project board, sponsors and consider if they are internal/external/customers/suppliers etc) presentation content, handouts, format etc. there’s lots you can include, which should make for an interesting bullet point to add to your role remit and ensure you are putting a tick in the presentation requirement box of the hiring manager.


Don’t underestimate what employers want to see in your CV, assuming that it’s “obvious” you have done it, remember all organisations, business units and people work differently. If you are not including the detail on the CV then it will be assumed you haven’t done it.

Reporting your reporting on your PMO CV – PMO CV Tips

Love it or hate it, reporting is a part of business life and plays a huge role in project management – continuing with our PMO themed articles, today we shall look at what to include in your PMO CV. So there are a few versions of reports used within the PMO which are (or should be) targeted towards specific groups of people, depending on your PMOs service you will invariably be required to create, maintain and update an overall programme plan and more than likely hold the control of individual project status reports.

Pulling together information to create a management report is an essential part of successful PPM support, knowing what is going on within  the programme and ensuring interdependencies are aligned are core competencies asked for by hiring managers for their PMO. I have read thousands of PMO CVs over the years and more than half of them have no reference to reporting within the role remits, regardless of seniority of role this information is missing. It is also important for those wishing to make a career change into project management and specifically a PM support role talk about reporting in their CVs. It is a transferable skill which does tend to closely align with job descriptions in the field of PM.

So, what kind of reports are you generating/updating/monitoring/presenting? Financial reports are very important, especially for the more complex programmes of work which can easily spiral out of control. Let’s look at some of the other core project documentation which is reviewed against reports to ensure the project/programme is still inline with strategic goals.


  • The Business Case should describe the value to the sponsor from the outcomes of the programme.
  • The Project Plan should define the product being produced, resources and time needed for all activities, also covering any dependencies between activities
  • Project Initiation Document (PID)  defines significant aspects of the project and forms the basis for its management and the assessment of overall success.
  • Stage Plan will detail how and when the objectives for the stage are to be met by presenting the deliverables, activities and resources required.
  • The Work Package provides information needed to deliver one or more specialist products.
  • The Change Control Strategy documents the procedure to ensure that the processing of all Project Issues is controlled.
  • Highlight Reports    provide the Project Board (and other stakeholders) with a summary of the stage status at intervals defined by them.
  • Project Issue Log     – an issue can have a negative or positive impact on the project.
  • Risk Management Log         – risks can be threats to the successful delivery of the Programme or Project.
  • End Stage Reports summarises progress to date and should provide an overview of the project.
  • Post Project Review documents if business benefits have been realised and recommendations for future improvements should also be recorded.


Of course you know all this, but looking at it listed in black and white should really prompt some thoughts about just how important reporting is and how embroiled it can be, so don’t assume that the recruiter/hiring manager/HR know you are analysing all this data and pulling together information for your programmes of work – talk about it on your CV!

Planning the Planning on your PMO CV – PMO CV Tips

Carrying on with the PMO CV tips series, today we will look at Planning. Planning is one of the key areas to success with every element of project management and the PMO pays a large part in ensuring plans are in place and fit for purpose. There are many areas of planning you may be involved in and it is important that you are addressing this core competency on your CV. I have come across many PMO roles which take a different slant to the amount of input  required to programmes of work – some PMOs write the project plans for the project managers whereas others coach PMs to write them and of course the is cross programme planning to take into consideration also.


Portfolio planning is a strong area within PMOs and again it comes down to who is putting these together, monitoring and updating them. Think about all aspects of your input into planning and write a list, once you have a strong list, you need to then think about how you should convey this information on the CV. For example you may be able to box together certain elements of the planning into 2 or 3 core areas, if one area is around coaching and advising PMs on putting together plans then talk through what you actually do to achieve this. In larger organisations with big teams you may find that running workshops is an effective approach. Talk through how you put together the workshop materials and run the events – are you performing presentations or taking a more collaborative approach? Are your PMs actually business heads who have been asked to manage projects, so they are subject matter experts but haven’t formally managed projects. Or are you implementing a new project management structure to the business and working with experienced PMs? What are the templates you are introducing to the team? Are they based on any specific models and what software are you using? By pulling together these pieces of information and placing in a concise bullet point within your role remit, you will be greatly enhancing your CV and making it much easier for recruiters and hiring managers to really understand what your input is into this core area which is almost certainly always asked for in a job description.