Job applications up but quality down
The advent of online recruitment and job search websites has created a new 'flick and stick’ mentality amongst job seekers, resulting in a significant increase in the number of applications employers receive, but a decrease in the quality of those applications, according to a new study by web-based applicant management solutions company Expr3ss!
The Expr3ss! study, released today, looked at the number of applications received by hiring companies and the suitability of individuals applying for roles. The results of the study showed that the number of applicants applying for jobs had increased by as much as 75% in the 12 months to June 2007, but of these applicants, the number who were of below average suitability had increased 96% compared to just 51% of above average suitability candidates. (See chart 1)
The trend identified by the study highlighted the increasing burden felt by small business owners who were trying to recruit staff, with recruitment being up to three times more burdensome using conventional recruitment methodologies (reading and selecting applicants from resumes) than it was in July 2006. "Job search websites have made searching and applying for jobs easier than ever before", says Carolyne Burns, Managing Director, Expr3ss!.
"This has seen many job seekers adopt a 'flick and stick' approach, where they build an online profile, run a key word search for applicable jobs and flick their resume through to all of them. So while we expected the candidate short market to result in reduced numbers of applications received, in fact the opposite is happening."
Burns says that from the job seeker's perspective, the Internet provides an easy way to apply for multiple jobs at once, including jobs which might not be suitable, or simply to provide a platform for salary negotiations with their existing employer. From the employer's perspective this means receiving dozens or even hundreds of poor quality applications.
Having seen the emergence of the 'flick and stick' mentality, Burns identified a need for a web-based service that integrated screening questions, the Express! checklist and instant applicant benchmarking tools to help businesses screen and filter responses to their job ads.
"Our SME clients were telling us they needed help simplifying their hiring processes", states Burns. "We launched Expr3ss! with this objective in mind and as a result our clients are seeing a reduction in their hiring costs, improved time-efficiency and above all, less bad hires."
Burns says the Expr3ss! service helps hiring businesses sort the 'tyre kickers' from the serious applicants and automates the process of selecting which people to interview. "In a candidate short market where hiring companies have to 'sell' their jobs to potential recruits, the winners will be those who apply consistency, process and method using newly-evolving technologies, particularly those that are web-based, to secure the best people."