… And work against the most qualified candidates.
This sounds shocking, doesn’t it? After all, aren’t hiring processes supposed to find the most qualified candidates?
Actually, they aren’t. Instead, hiring processes are designed to find candidates who meet minimum hiring requirements as efficiently as possible.
Why would employers set up their hiring processes in a way that works against the most qualified candidates? It doesn’t sound like that would make sense.
It wasn’t always this way …
Like most business decisions, the decision to use hiring processes that works against the most qualified candidates are based on costs vs. benefits. Employers realize that as the number of applicants has exploded to an average 1,000 per advertised job, it became more and more expensive to read most of the resumes sent. Not only were employers cutting production staff, they were also cutting administrative staff, including the HR department to make their operations run more efficiently.
Employers began to depend more and more on automated pre-screening via applicant tracking systems and realized that the fewer resumes read, the lower the cost per hire. So employers began to use hiring processes that are now almost universal – based on finding minimally qualified candidates as quickly as possible.
This led to today’s hiring processes … incredibly efficient but also incredibly dysfunctional.
3 ways to take advantage of hiring processes
- ATS pre-screening: Most candidates barely change their standard resume, guessing at the criteria that’s most important to the hiring manger, giving them terrible odds. Understand that applicant tracking systems search for:
- Exact matches of words and phrases, not synonyms, not even close matches
- 7 – 10 search criteria
- Goal: Short list of about 50 resumes that meet all or almost of search criteria
To increase your odds, gain superior information than your competitors to learn the hiring manager’s problems and priorities. Even if you’re applying for the same administrative assistant position, each hiring manager has their own unique problems and priorities – Hiring managers base criteria they give to HR on problems and priorities.
You should notice, that the typical hiring process described doesn’t choose the best candidate … it chooses the best candidate that passes the pre-screening process. Since the pre-screening process doesn’t look for the best candidates, to get noticed you’ve got to do both.
Only choose the right keywords, and you have a tough time getting past visual screening, who won’t see confirmation that you meet minimum criteria. Only focus on first impressions during a visual screen and you won’t get past the ATS or show the hiring manager that you’re the superior candidate. Only focus on the hiring manager and you won’t get past the pre-screens to get you to the hiring manager.
Choose the right keywords. ..
… Make it easy to see that you meet minimum qualifications
… Then close the deal with the hiring manager by showing why you’re a superior
Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?
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