Well, I had previously started a thread focused just on the pain of being a hiring manager. Here goes some further random thoughts on this and experiences/thoughts as someone who is casually looking for opportunities as well. Feel free to vent your spleen - I heard it's good for one's health :)
Being a hiring manager/dealing with corporate HR (mostly idiots)
a) I get the need for JD standardisation and the need to get across our values blah blah but when I am hiring for a relatively beefy professional role where the usual applicant is either a lawyer or chartered accountant, please don't insult their intelligence by putting in all these "feel good" drivel about living our values and so forth into the JD. I know I'll never win this battle. And JDs for team-member roles that are 6 to 7 pages long? Oh please spare me.
b) If some HR/"talent acquisitions" muppet insists on pre-screening applicants and producing the interview shortlist (mercifully I have somehow either become too difficult for HR to deal with or my manager has made enough noises that I am now left alone to do this for my roles), at least extend the applicants the courtesy of reading their CVs properly. Don't waste people's time with routine phone-screening stuff that requires them to repeat what is already on their CV.
c) Can I appeal to those people who have wild fantasies of themselves being capable of doing almost 90% of all advertised roles: you're dreaming. Apply only for jobs where you can honestly demonstrate most of the competencies and essential skills. Idiots who apply for everything is one of the reasons why everyone has to suffer the pain of modern recruitment practices.
Employers continue to dehumanise applicants and rarely do what they preach
a) I just cannot believe that employers here routinely believe it acceptable to take two weeks to tell someone whether they might be offered an interview. People get sick and take holidays blah blah, I hear? Make sure you plan your hiring so that the decision makers are around and actually making decisions ASAP after closing date. I determine my interview shortlist within 24 hours of closing date.
b) HR departments especially bang on about how unprofessional it is to have mistakes in your CV. What about this from my own employer? The standard form rejection e-mail to anyone not offered an interview has the usual drivel: "large number of applicants.....", "others more closely matching current requirements", and ends with a line saying that "I" am happy to discuss and offer feedback and is signed off as "[company] recruitment team". Three issues: most of our ads do not identify the recruiter, there isn't any general recruitment hotline that people can ring, and the sign off doesn't match the body of the text. A large number of hiring managers have complained about how unprofessional this is. Does anyone at HR care? Nope.
c) "We value transferable skills; 21st century workplaces require agile employers with a wide range of experiences blah blah blah". Don't make me laugh. Most people continue to make selections solely on the bases of (depending on the stages of hiring) keyword hits, whether someone has worked in the same industry before, and so on.
Dealing with recruitment agents
I am interested in exploring (potentially) leaving the banking and finance industry and working in risk/compliance roles elsewhere. I recently expressed interest in a role that largely manages the dealings with the relevant regulatory body on behalf of what the recruitment agent described as a large, reputable corporate in another field. To cut a long story short, after suffering the usual rubbish involving the agent not reading my CV properly, he said I didn't quite match what the company required. I relayed my experience to an acquaintance who managed to find out that it was his company that was hiring for this role.
My CV eventually went to the hiring manager, who was appalled that the agency's ad clearly referred to his company, despite the company terminating their relationship with the agency due to perceived poor performance. I have since learnt that it is common for some agencies to put up ads without authorisation in the hopes of getting good applicants (in their eyes) and then trying to leverage their way back into the good graces of the employer through dangling the candidates.
And the hiring manager has offered me an interview. I can frankly write a book about how much I hate recruitment agents.