We know the candidate market is tight right now, and that is likely affecting the quality of the candidates applying to your jobs. If you’re experiencing a lot of unsuitable candidates applying, it might be time to reassess your job descriptions and screening processes to improve the responses. Here’s what you can do now, even in a tight labor market, to promote the chances that you’ll find the right fit. 

First, Refocus the Job Title and Job Description 

Determine if the job title accurately reflects what the candidate will do and the skills they need. If the job title, job description, or abilities required are off, you will receive candidates that just won’t fit. Work with the department hiring manager seeking the candidate to create a more accurate set of criteria for the job description and for reviewing resumes. Create a fresh checklist for the hiring process that includes: 

  • The minimum requirements and must-haves for the job. This will help recruiters immediately screen out candidates, but it may also cut down on the number of unqualified people that apply. 
  • Make a list of skills, attributes, work experience, required credentials, and general knowledge the candidate will need. Are these listed in the job description? 
  • Add a list of “nice-to-haves” to the job description to further weed out unqualified applicants. 

Despite your best efforts, you will receive applicants that don’t even fit on paper. It’s inevitable, we suppose, but a carefully crafted ad will help.  

Step Two: Improve the Resume Review and Screening Process 

Look for resumes that are neat, clean, typo-free, and professional. Don’t drop your standards in these areas just because the candidate market is very thin. Watch for grammatical or spelling errors; these are still signs of carelessness. 

Review each resume carefully; while we know recruiters spend just a short time on each resume, it is crucial to consider each applicant thoroughly. Your standards should probably include: 

  • Look for resumes that were tailored to fit the job. Candidates that take the time to make their resume more attractive for a specific role go above and beyond. 
  • Employment gaps may or may not be a red flag. But be sure to ask candidates about anything that seems out of place. 
  • Beware of job jumpers, although it should be noted that two years today is “a long time” in a job.  
  • Ask yourself if the candidate had a logical career progression, or are they all over the place in a seemingly haphazard fashion.  

There is one more important step you can take to improve the quality of applicants: Work smarter with the right applicant tracking system (ATS). 

Step Three: Let Your ATS Automate Some of the Busywork 

Improving the quality of your candidate pool by placing a more accurately worded advertisement is highly essential. But your ATS can also improve the candidate process by helping your recruiting team work smarter. A robust ATS can eliminate the busy work of placing job ads and pre-screening applicants so that your recruiting team can focus on the best resumes, the best candidates, and conducting the best interview. These tools can help improve the quality of the candidates, making it through to your recruiting team. It can track candidate pipelines, conduct email marketing, and automate the busywork out of recruiting. Contact us to improve your recruiting process today.