Posting & Applying Online – Why it isn’t working!

With a recovering market there must be a lot of “great candidates” on the market – right? I believe that due to some unfortunate circumstances there are some “great” people out there looking. So when you post your jobs on Hcareers or any other job board why aren’t they applying?

I am fond of saying that the great thing about the internet is that it makes it easy to apply for any job you like and the bad thing about the internet is that it makes it easy for you to apply for any job you like.

What I mean is that the ease of the internet enables people to apply for jobs that they may not have considered before or even known about. People apply for jobs they feel qualified for, dream jobs they know that they are not qualified for but would love and really any job that catches their eye. They apply for jobs that are close to home, across the country or even in different countries. It all sounds incredibly exotic and exiting, but the reality is it produces little to no outcome 99% of the time.

Here’s why. Companies advertise job hoping to get a local candidate most of the time. The might look to a nearby region, locations within their own province or perhaps a neighboring province. Their last resort is someone on the other side of the country and the next option after last resort is an international candidate. The reality is that their comfort level is lower with a “long distance” candidate as they can’t see where you have worked or who you are, not to mention the cost to fly in “long distance” candidates for interviews and then relocate them can be thousands of dollars.

So when a job is advertised and 90% of the respondents are what would be considered unsuitable or “long distance”, hiring managers get frustrated. When a hiring manager posts several jobs and more that 90% of the dozens of resume they receive are not what they are looking for they get very frustrated. This frustration can lead to them not getting back to the people who may not be suitable regardless of where they live.

This failure to respond in return frustrates applicants. “Why apply online, they never get back to you” you might think. Many very qualified people have applied to several jobs online and not received any feedback at all which leads to their frustration in the online application system. I have heard from many very strong candidates that they choose not to apply online anymore as they do not get any results. So the breakdown of this system is in fact the reason some of the best people on the market may not be applying to your job ads.

So you have frustrated hiring managers and frustrated applicants with no effective way to connect! What to do.

I would love to hear your suggestions.

Views: 27

Comment by Sean Ryan on February 24, 2010 at 6:56pm
I would highly recommend a strong ATS that can help filter those candidates - location, skill-set, experience - etc.
Comment by Saleem Qureshi on February 25, 2010 at 12:39am
@Corey..I agree with Sean, as ATS technology has been enabling to ease up the work of recruiters in sorting out the resumes accurately. First of all, recruiters should design exact job description for better communication with their target audience, other than this, if still they get piles of resumes, so they adopt new technology like online talent assessment to gauge the applicants, and will help to sort out the candidates to be called out for an interview.
Comment by Will Branning on February 25, 2010 at 11:41am
I agree that ATS systems can help...I also know that this is one of the significant reasons that Recruiters are a crucial component of successful staffing. As a Recruiter I source and screen candidates - some from job boards, some from direct sourcing, etc. I add value to the staffing equation!
Comment by Paul Alfred on February 25, 2010 at 12:18pm
@Corey Great Blog Corey .... This is so true ... I have worked as a Consultant for large Companies looking at this process and even with a Strong ATS in place qualified candidates get over looked we are talking about 50 plus resumes per job spec.
Comment by Jonathan Duarte on February 25, 2010 at 1:05pm
Corey,
Great questions. I think they are very timely too, because social networking is radically changing recruiting, leaving most recruiters trying to understand what the impact is.

I did a little research and noticed that your company is using HireDesk as an ATS.
I'm sure that it too, might allow for filtering questions.
But I also noted that your company postings allow candidates to submit their resumes via email (or at least recruiter email addresses are attached to the job postings).

This seems to be the dilemma that both corporate and staffing industry professionals are facing... do you post jobs and make it easy for everyone to apply, so that you can source those candidates in the future?
Or do you implement qualifications questions that create a firewall. Of course, the firewall makes it harder for all candidates and you risk loosing the best and the brightest.

If you answer is yes, and your opening your door to lots of individuals, then you need some way to save face and either build some sort of relationship with them... even virtually, or potentially loose them, because of your inability to engage them all at once.

The best bet, of course, would be to let everyone in, then, figure out a way to classify and invite the most qualified of candidates, the ones that you want to source in the near future, to a deeper relationship. This of course would all be done systematically, so that your "Qualified" Talent Pool is being built over night for you.

It is possible to do the above... there are lots of ways; including building private networks or groups /communities, like recruitingblogs, or create private groups on sites like Ning, or even LinkedIn. The cost is comes down to simply maintaining these communities in a 1 to many way, so that your leveraging your time with all the candidates at once.

If you want to get really crazy, you can create 2 communities... one anyone and everyone who applies, and the other for the Top Talent. Then, as the apply, and someone reviews their resume, send them either Email 1 inviting them to join the basic group, or Invite 2- The VIP group.

Then, let the 80/20 rule take over... spend 80% of your time with the 20% of the Top Talent.
Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on February 25, 2010 at 3:09pm
What you have pointed out is the state of being since job boards came into existance 12+ years ago. 90% of applicants are never qualifed for the position they apply for. It was the same when people mailed or faxed in resumes. So there is no real news here. It's our job to sift through those that are qualified and most qualified candidates do hear back. Some of us have ATS that do the filtering for us. Some of us have to do it manually, which means looking at every single resume to determine who's real and who's not. It's just what it is. If this were easy, then everyone in the country would be a recruiter!
Comment by Christopher L. Poreda on February 25, 2010 at 3:45pm
Bravo Peter. I completely agree.

I believe candidates inherently know if they are qualified or not. If not, they are looking simply to get a foot in the door and job boards make it easy. And clients who are technologically advanced can store those resumes and bubble them to the surface should they be needed.

One also has to determine the definition of "qualified". Because I receive a resume from someone who can [do] the job, that doesn't necessarily make them qualified per my clients specs. Perhaps they are a job jumper, wrong industry, wrong education, lack certain certifications, more or less experienced than my client would like, my client may have an EEOC issue, etc. The list goes on and on.

The argument about communication is a valid one however, I'm in the business of making placements and if a candidate is qualified, I will contact them. Unfortunately, that little thing on the wall known as a clock prevents me from being on the phone all day calling or emailing everyone who has applied (and I'm not a fan of the generic "thanks for applying" email). I'm sure I've lost relationships and referrals but I can't be all things to all people all of the time. In this day and age, candidates need to understand that if they are not being called back they are probably not right for the job.
Comment by Paul Alfred on February 25, 2010 at 4:11pm
@Chris .. Can't agree with you more ....
Comment by Christopher L. Poreda on February 25, 2010 at 4:55pm
Alas Paul...glad we agree!
Comment by Paul Alfred on February 25, 2010 at 5:04pm
@Chris .... You know if we were to have a Beer Summit ... I think we would agree on alot of things in this industry .... :)

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