There have been many complaints by some companies that they can’t find people to fill positions, despite a 7.3% unemployment rate.
What gives? Are the unemployed a bunch of no-talent, bottom-of-the-barrel drudges who should never be given a job?
Check out Twitter or LinkedIn, and you’ll find experienced, smart, driven people looking for work. There are currently four million people who are now considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been looking for work for more than six months. A recent Urban Institute study finds that these long-term jobless are better educated than the other unemployed Americans.
So why do some employers say they can’t find the right talent?
Because they’re lazy.
They let software automatically screen for keywords so they can eliminate hundreds of resumes without even looking at them. Other pre-screening methods eliminate anyone who doesn’t have the exact skills mentioned in the job posting.
Next, they rule out anyone who looks “too old,” is unemployed (there must be something wrong with them if they don’t have a job, right?) and anything else that gives them an excuse to dump a resume, such as – gasp! – a misspelled word.
When it finally comes time to do interviews, more applicants are rejected because the employer asks basic, uninspired questions that fail to really plumb the depths of what an applicant may have to offer.
So, now the recruitment process by these employers has come down to only a few remaining applicants. But after a quick huddle with human resources, those candidates are determined not to possess “it” (which is never really defined) and so it’s decided the search process needs to begin again.
Now everyone sits around complaining that no qualified talent is available.
But could it be that the problem isn’t the lack of qualified applicants, but a lack of quality recruiting?
If managers were better trained in the hiring process, they could use pre-screening and interview processes that didn’t weed out candidates based on a lack of certain skills. They would understand that employees do best when they are challenged and can see career development in their future. Hiring someone to do the exact same job they left earlier doesn’t make a lot of sense and can lead to job dissatisfaction within the year.
In addition, more employers need to be asking better questions in interviews so that they find people with the skills that often can’t be taught: a dedication to quality work, a commitment to teamwork; an ability to think strategically and creatively; and an ability to get along with others.
In “Hiring for Attitude,” by Mark Murphy, he says that of the 20,000 new hires he tracked, 46% failed within 18 months because a majority of the time they couldn’t be coached, had low levels of emotional intelligence, were unmotivated and had the wrong temperament.
If employers want to start hiring smarter, then they need to:
What are some other strategies that result in better hires?