Drowning in a Sea of (Unqualified) Applicants?

A friend who works for a mid-sized oil & gas company told me a few weeks ago that they didn’t spend any money on recruitment marketing, or any type of recruitment for that matter. She loved the idea of what we do, but wasn’t sold on the benefit of creating a marketing campaign or developing content to attract applicants. Her alternative was to simply post an ad on Kijiji.

“We actually got more than 1,000 applications!”

Which is great…right?

Except, of the 1,000+ applications and after her team weeded through completely unqualified people, applicants who seemed to know nothing about the job, and resumes littered with questionable content, they landed upon only five people to interview, after what seemed like weeks later. From this group of five, two were no-shows, one was confused about the actual job they were applying for, and the other two presented so poorly at the interview that her company decided to do another round of applications.

This had now taken the HR Manager multiple days of sifting through applications, reading resumes, calling people back, and actually carrying out the interviews—only to start at square one again.This is not an uncommon problem. Within limited budgets, HR Managers are being challenged to do more with less and often lack the tools they need to succeed. Job sites such as Workopolis, JobShop or Indeed can be costly and are not guaranteed to be effective. In fact, a very low proportion of hires.

This is not an uncommon problem. Within limited budgets, HR Managers are being challenged to do more with less and often lack the tools they need to succeed. Job sites such as Workopolis, JobShop or Indeed can be costly and are not guaranteed to be effective. In fact, a very low proportion of hires are actually obtained this way. The cost of hiring can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and that’s just the beginning; this cost grows exponentially once you factor in onboarding, training or termination expenses.

So how is an employer expected to find the right candidates within a reasonable budget?

I would argue that a shift in perspective is long overdue. Employers will eventually realize that there is a cost to choosing quantity over quality, or repeatedly using ineffective recruiting practices. By committing to a sustainable strategy or a well-executed recruitment campaign instead, companies can accomplish their hiring goals in a strategic and effective way. Instead of targeting “everyone,” they will begin to see applications from individuals who are qualified, align with the values of the organization and connect with what the company stands for. Whether ‘recruitment’ is officially a line item in the budget or not, the cost of having a poor recruitment process is evident, let alone the expense of a bad hire.

So when my friend tells me that her ad on Kijiji was free, I reply: “Was it really?”

Vivid Shift is a recruitment marketing agency based in Western Canada. We help organizations share what makes them unique so they can attract the right employees, volunteers or students. Find out more at www.vividshift.com.

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