There are two sides to every recruitment story, and a mutual understanding between recruiters and candidates is crucial in order for everyone to achieve their objectives at the end of the hiring process.
Quite often, the needs and expectations of both parties don’t match up, which can cause reluctance among potential applicants. Misalignment can stem from a number of factors including pay, skills, qualifications, progression opportunities, and general role requirements.
With an advanced applicant tracking system at their disposal, staffing and recruitment agencies have a number of tools to help them succeed in an unbalanced labor market.
Labor shortage or misalignment?
There is lots of talk in the recruitment industry regarding an apparent labor shortage. Experts will often highlight that the retirement of the baby boom generation has coincided with The Great Resignation, resulting in millions of job openings that recruiters are struggling to fill.
While it is easy to blame a perceived labor shortage, the high percentage of mismatched candidates out there currently is far more likely to be the cause of recruiter woes.
Most employees that quit their job in the last few years haven’t left the market altogether, they are instead looking to set off on a new career path or simply secure a new role that is a better fit for them based on factors such as pay, work environment, and work-life balance.
According to data from Indeed, The problem is not being caused by a lack of job seekers, it is the imbalance between job type and candidate type that is making recruitment difficult for certain roles.
What is causing misalignment?
While the current mismatch between candidate types and job types is partly due to the recent shift in labor force demographics, there are other underlying factors at play too.
It is important to remember that misalignment is usually a result of perception rather than reality. Sometimes it can be difficult for candidates to fully understand the requirements of a role based on a job posting. This can lead to assumptions being made by job seekers, which in turn, can dissuade them from applying for roles that are actually a good fit.
The search for suitable candidates can also be made harder by job postings that are too specific. If skills, experience, and qualification criteria are too rigid, skilled candidates with alternative credentials will slip through the net. Recruiters can be more open-minded by widening criteria and taking a comprehensive view when it comes to skill tagging.
How big is the problem?
Misalignment is a still a significant issue, but the good news is the situation is improving.
Despite the huge impact that the pandemic has had on the staffing and recruitment industry as a whole, the level of misalignment between employees and employers remained relatively stable (albeit high). Data suggests that the occupational mismatch actually dissipated somewhat through the second half of 2020 and beyond – dropping from 23.4% in June 2020 down to 20.1% in December 2021.
This means that the market moved from a position where around one in four jobs were mismatched in terms of available candidates, to a position where just one in five jobs were misaligned.
It is believed that improved rates of pay could have prevented the mismatch becoming worse than it currently is – many businesses have boosted wages in an attempt to attract and retain employees in what has become a hyper-competitive job market.
How can recruiters mitigate this issue?
While the situation already appears to be improving, there is always more that recruiters can do to place candidates in an unbalanced job market.
In terms of advertising a position, job boards have a pivotal role to play. First and foremost, a job posting needs to be easy for a candidate to find based on their own unique search criteria. This is where Mindscope’s advanced job boards come into effect.
Mindscope ensures that its integrated job boards are SEO-friendly by utilizing a revolutionary API plug-in. Job postings can then exist within an agency’s site just like any other webpage, automatically formatting them so that Google easily scan the content as part of their site ranking process. Not only does this boost the overall ranking, but it also enables them to be featured on Google Jobs, which is an effective platform for directing candidates to the agency website to apply.
With the appropriate search terms included, postings made through this fully functional job board tool can quickly attract suitable candidates.
Of course, it is important that job adverts are transparent, and recruiters must find a balance in terms of how specific they are when outlining role requirements. Potential applicants can end up feeling overqualified or underqualified based purely on the (sometimes unclear) wording of a job description.
Encompassing a wide enough range of skills without being too vague is also a balancing act. One advantage of focusing on a range of skills is that it helps classify individuals and improve searchability within your applicant tracking system.
Mindscope users can create and customize skill tags for each candidate profile based on information parsed from their resume. Combined with the Boolean advanced search function, this makes it easy to filter existing candidates that match the role. The benefit of this is that recruiters can place more importance on skills and broaden their search beyond restrictive criteria such as job title or qualifications.
For more information on how Mindscope’s recruiting software can transform your approach to staffing, get in touch.