Are Employers Overlooking Qualified Candidates?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released an employment report stating that only 80,000 jobs were created last June and that the country is still suffering from severe unemployment after 41 straight months. The unemployment rating in the United States is currently at 8.2 percent. Economists and career analysts have been talking about the various factors contributing to the very high unemployment rate, with opinions ranging from inadequate and ineffective economic policies to appalling tax hikes being the blame.

While the country is suffering from unemployment, USA Today claims that there is an abundance of high-skill jobs in technology, engineering, health care and other fields. That said, employers are having a hard time finding the qualified persons for these available positions. But is this really the case?

In a recent survey conducted by Beyond.com, an employment and career help services website, it was found that most employers had already interviewed many viable candidates but had overlooked them due to poor communication. They claim many HR officials fail to recognize talent and potential and this may have contributed to the growing unemployment rate in the country.

Rich Milgram, CEO of Beyond.com, says that many human resources staffers tend to rule out many qualified candidates because they do not really know what their employers are looking for in an applicant, often due to job titles and descriptions often being too vague or too particular. “There’s a gap in posting and relaying the information,” Milgram said.

Milgram pointed out that many recruiting personnel do not see the nuances exhibited by many applicants. A technical writer may also be good at creative writing, or an accountant may have extensive bookkeeping skills instead of deep accounting analysis. In many cases, recruiters often make the assumption that a candidate absolutely must have all the talents required for a position.

Indianapolis-based Laura Crafton, 23, has experienced being overlooked by recruiters personally. In her experience, she claimed recruiters often based their search on the posting or the job description they had. While following what’s on the job posting may seem imperative, many recruiters missed out on qualified candidates because they did not try to look at people with a more rounded perspective.

Another reason raised for why many recruiting personnel do not spot potential employees is that their job description contains too many specific details. This approach has screened out many good applicants. For example, employers who are specifically looking for “certified public accountants” may be able to see 1,500 resumes online. However, they may miss more resumes that contain the accepted shorthand “CPA”.

Milgram puts the blame on companies and staffing agencies who have laid off experienced HR employees in order to survive the recession. Massive firing of skilled HR staffers has led to the hiring of cost-effective recruiters who are less familiar with hiring tactics and approaches. Kathy Kane, senior vice president for top staffing firm Adecco, also subscribes to Milgram’s idea, saying inexperienced HR personnel have little time to acquaint themselves with their employer’s needs and wants and must only play by the book to get their job done.

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