The Catch-22 That’s Destroying the Hiring Process!

On the surface hiring should be simple.  An organization advertises a job, a group of crumpled resumequalified applicants apply for the job and from that pool the recruiter/hiring manager selects the best person for the position.  Maybe in the old days that’s how the process worked but not so much now.

Think about this, recruiters report that at least half of all applicants that apply for a job don’t have the basic qualifications for that job.  As a job candidate looking for new opportunities one may think “why not” when they throw their resume at the proverbial hiring wall but in reality they are creating a bigger problem for themselves and others.  On average organizations receive about 118 resumes for every job posting.  Recruiters have learned now through past conditioning that at least sixty of those resumes aren’t going to be a fit because unqualified people continue declaring, “what the heck” when clicking the resume submittal button.  To save time recruiters will either employ an ATS to quickly weed through a candidate’s qualifications or they will spend less and less time reviewing their resume.

According to the Ladders.com, recruiters spend an average of only six seconds reviewing each resume.  If you think six seconds is startling then here is another stat for you, 61% of recruiters will dismiss a resume if it has typos.  So forget whether you are the most qualified for the job, a simple slip of using “there” when a “their” was actually required could send a job candidate back to the drawing board.  How many good candidates are eliminated for a mere typo or due to the fact that overburdened recruiters simply can’t allocate enough time to adequately review resumes?

One solution that employers turn to in a battle for time is the applicant tracking system which screens candidates’ resumes based on key words.  According to one study, these talent management systems will filter out up to 50% of all resumes before the recruiter looks at a single one.  The problem here is that the job requirements are often so unnecessarily numerous that good candidates unaware of how to avoid elimination by peppering their resume with keywords are eliminated sight unseen.

What we have is a catch-22.  Candidates can’t get jobs or even interviews because overburdened recruiters and ATS systems give them little chance.  Therefore candidates apply to as many positions as possible hoping their resume will stick somewhere.  This glut of resumes in turn creates more work for recruiters and as a result they increasingly dedicate less and less time to reviewing each candidate’s credentials.  The job candidate’s plight worsens resulting in them applying to any and everything that remotely matches their qualifications in hopes of getting seen.  And so recruiters employ more and more measures to filter job candidates that inevitably kick an increasing amount of good candidates to the curb.

The hiring process is flawed primarily because recruiters don’t have the time to thoroughly evaluate the talent before them.  We will never get candidates to stop haphazardly applying for positions.  Employers must utilize solutions that help them save time but simultaneously give them a better understanding of the candidate and their qualifications.

Do you want to know what’s especially troubling?  Most candidates fail for attitudinal reasons and not skills which is something no human or robot can detect on a resume anyway.

About Ryder Cullison

Ryder has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction. Follow him on Twitter: @hireintelligent and @cullison1
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2 comments on “The Catch-22 That’s Destroying the Hiring Process!

  1. Terence Verma on said:

    Hi Ryder,

    The cultural fit being really what gets you the job (company), means that a partnering Recruiter had better know his client Company’s culture like the back of his hand.

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