When It’s Raining Job Candidates

Before the pandemic struck, employers were struggling to find people to fill open positions. But the pandemic has changed that in many respects. There were almost seven million jobs available in October (latest figures available), but in November (latest figures available) nearly 20 million people were getting some sort of unemployment benefits.

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What this leads to is more people applying for openings, and companies faced with more candidates to screen. Moreover, many people are simply sending in applications for anything that looks remotely like something they might be qualified for. This causes a lot of headaches for recruiters and hiring managers and results in hiring processes taking longer than they should.

So, in the midst of this glut that is clogging the hiring pipeline, what can companies do to improve the process and improve their hires? The answer is to provide clarity and openness – about the requirements for the job, the duties, the pay, the application, and the hiring process itself.

  1. Job Requirements

When posting job ads, most companies frame job requirements in terms of education and experience, which actually may have little to do with the actual skills needed for the work. Moreover, requirements are often expressed in abstract terms whose meanings may be clear to the hiring manager, but no one else.

Rather, the job requirements should focus on the skills, knowledge and abilities the person actually needs to do the work and how these skills will be measured.

  1. Job Duties

Too often this is a general description filled with language that sounds more at home in a courtroom than a job ad. Companies need to show what the job is really like. To do this, they should include things such as photos, videos or a podcast to describe it. Candidates need to see all aspects of the job, both the good and not so good parts.

  1. Salary

There is no reason to keep salary information hidden on the assumption it will strengthen the company’s negotiating position. This is not a useful approach. Nor is discounting candidates who ask about salary early in the process.

Again, companies need to be open about salary, including a pay range in the job posting.

  1. Application

Too often the application is long and detailed, prompting many qualified candidates to simply look elsewhere. Sometimes companies ask candidates to upload a resume into an applicant tracking system and submit an application, which is a recipe for candidate frustration.

Applications should be as easy as possible to complete. You need to consider what information you really need at this initial stage of the process. Do you really need a Social Security number and references at this point? The simpler the application, the more likely the candidate is to complete it.

  1. The Hiring Process

The hiring process at many companies is often rather mysterious. Not many understand how it works, why it is set up the way it is, or how long it should take.

Companies need to be transparent about the hiring process. In fact, some recruiters advocate putting it online, offering regular email updates as to where things stand. Moreover, hiring managers need to be accountable for evaluating candidates according to established criteria. They should not be allowed to kick the can down the road, to hold candidates in limbo. They need to review resumes and applications with an eye toward skills and not simply education and experience.

Changing these things will make the whole process less of a numbers gambit, but rather an effort focused on finding someone who can do the job and add value to the company.

Helpmates can help you sort through “too many” job applicants so that you interview just the top candidates. Contact the recruiters at the Helpmates branch nearest you to learn more.

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