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The Dilemma for Hiring Strategies

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job boards and recruitment software
A recent essay in a prominent journal raised the issue of “Software raising the bar for hiring”, the basic premise being that due to cuts in HR or recruiting teams, a greater emphasis was being put on either automated screening or being too specific on specific skills with no latitude for future training.

Screening software weeds out anyone whose application lacks particular keywords, and with so much talent looking for work, why are you not getting what you really need? Here’s why:-

Increasingly Managers pile up so many requirements that they make it nearly impossible to find anyone that fits. A recent example was from a company that obtained 25,000 applicants for a standard engineering job, only for the HR department to say that not one was qualified!!  One applicant stated, “I was told I was perfect for the position except for the fact that my previous job title didn’t match that of the vacancy”, a title unique to the employer.

As anyone who has applied for a job lately knows, the trick is replicating all the words in the job description into your CV, but not just copying and pasting the text, which can lead the software to discard the application. It's a whole new skill: Clearing the software hurdle is as important as being able to do the job.

This is seen as a long-term trend because the recession has caused employers to be pickier, to get even more specific in the skills they think they can find outside the company, and to cut back on training. An HR Executive recently applied anonymously for a job in his own company but didn’t make it through the screening process. It highlights that for every story about an employer who cannot find qualified applicants, there’s a counterbalancing story about an employer with ridiculous hiring requirements.

Some Simple Tips.

  1. Don’t use job titles that no-one else has heard of, keep it simple, use generic ones so that the application market immediately identifies with the role.
  2. Try not to load the job description with too many skills, pick the ones that make the difference, that is absolutely required on day one.
  3. Invest in training, many people already have the basic skills to do the job but can take additional training to further enhance their profiles and your own, as a forward-thinking employer.
  4. Don’t get too hung up on keyword matching, good skills and good people can express themselves in different ways.

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