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Why do we have so many applicants that are poor fits?

Applicants, Staffing Solutions, Job Searches, Jobs, South Carolina, OpSource

Stack of binders with job applications, Why are we getting so many applicants that are poor fits?, OpSource Staffing, South Carolina

Finding quality applicants for your company is time-consuming work—especially if you’re looking to hire a large number of workers at once. So it’s extremely frustrating to sift through hundreds of resumes or make time for interviews, only to find out the people applying for your open position(s) aren’t even close to what you were looking for!

A poor-fit applicant may be someone with an unreliable work ethic or who does sub-par work. Other times these applicants are great people, but they don’t have the skill set you’re looking for at all.

Here are some possible causes for an influx of low-quality applicants for your job posting.

When you’re doing your own recruiting:

Whether you’re simply posting open positions to job boards or doing more hands-on recruiting at job fairs, it’s discouraging to get responses only from those who don’t qualify for your positions. Here’s what could be going wrong:

You have unrealistic expectations

First of all, take a look at the qualifications you’re requiring for the position. Are they realistic? Conscientious applicants will see those requirements and not apply, while less-qualified people may send resumes anyway.

You may not be able to find someone with 10 years of experience in the industry, especially if it’s a relatively new technical field. You also can’t reject workers for not sticking with the same company for 10 years when, statistically, today’s workers only average between 3 and 5 years at one job.

Or perhaps you’re requiring applicants to have completed a list of certifications that aren’t actually a true test of skills. Of course, some certifications are critical to the field. But others may simply look great on paper without being a true reflection of necessary on-the-job talents. Consider whether there’s another, more accurate way to measure qualifications. By the same token, don’t refuse to consider “overqualified” candidates who may actually be a great fit.

You aren’t accurately representing the job or your company

It may be that your applicants are a poor fit because you’ve attracted them with a version of the job that just isn’t realistic. Perhaps your job description is lofty, is filled with buzzwords, and sounds important, but neglects to communicate the actual day-to-day nature of the job.

Or maybe you advertise your company as being “innovative,” “open to new ideas,” or featuring “plenty of upward growth opportunities” when in reality you’re looking for someone to come in and do a particular job a specific way.

When writing your job description, be transparent about your company and what you’re looking for. It’s better to be honest than write something glowing but insincere.

You’re looking in the wrong place

Maybe you have a perfectly written job description and very reasonable expectations for applicants. It could be you’re just not getting news of your open position into the right hands.

Evaluate the networks in which you’re advertising your available jobs. Do they include lots of people in your particular demographic, or are you just taking the “shotgun” approach and hoping that luck will be on your side?

If you aren’t tapping into the right networks and don’t know where to start, that’s where working with a staffing agency can be an enormous help.

When you’re already working with a staffing agency:

What if you’ve outsourced your recruitment tasks with an agency, but are still getting too many applicants that aren’t a good fit? Here’s what may be going wrong on the agency’s end:

The agency does not truly understand your business

Perhaps the recruiters working for you simply don’t understand what it is you do and who you’re looking for. Or perhaps they work with other companies in your industry and assume you’re like them in all ways, without seeing the distinctions that make your recruiting needs different.

If this is the case, you may need to schedule a meeting with them in which you more fully explain who you are and what your recruiting needs are.

The agency does only a surface-level check before sending you applications

Unfortunately, some staffing agencies focus only on “filling orders” or fulfilling a number quota. You ask for 100 applicants, so they send you 100, check off their spreadsheet, and head home for the day. Whether or not the applicants are a good fit is up to you to decide.

Of course, this defeats the whole purpose of a staffing agency. You want someone who’s working in the best interest of your company and in the best interest of your future employees—not someone who’s content to just throw resumes at you and hopes one or two might stick.

If you talk with your staffing agency and find out either of these things are the case and that they’re not willing to change their methods, it’s probably time to find a new agency. You’ll want to focus on finding someone who’s willing to invest in your success and sees their job as relational in nature, not merely transactional. If you’re looking for a staffing agency in the Southeast, OpSource Staffing may be the right fit for you! Learn more about what makes us different.

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