I hear this all the time from employers. They keep getting low quality candidates and employees who can’t be left alone for a moment.
The thing is, at one time there were natural barriers that kept unmotivated applicants who needed babysitting away. At the bare minimum, you had to get in your car and drive somewhere to pick up an application or drop off a resume.
Not only has that barrier been removed, but a lot of companies have removed all the “friction” from the process. You can apply for a job or send your resume off from job boards with just a few taps on your cellphone these days.
At this point, people are probably applying for jobs while driving.
Low quality candidates who are often unqualified can just glide right through application process now, with little to no difficulty. Which is at least part of the reason why you may be getting employees that are unmotivated, along with lots of applications from people that aren’t remotely qualified for your position.
So should you go back to the pre-internet days and make people drive to pick up applications?
No. Definitely not. At this point, I believe it will reflect poorly on your business. To the good candidates, it will look as if you don’t have any respect for their time, and you’ll miss out on candidates who may have been willing to relocate.
So what can you do?
How to Screen Out Low Quality Candidates
One of the other things I constantly hear about from employers is the amount of time it takes to go through the many applications and resumes they get these days.
Making the application process easy has not only let more low-motivation, low quality candidates in, it’s caused employers to be flooded with applications from people who are taking a scattershot approach to finding jobs – because applying is easy, they’re not even reading the qualifications of the job, they’re just applying for everything.
The “solution” I’ve seen a lot of employers use is adding more and more bullet points of qualifications and requirements to their job postings.
Here’s the problem with that approach.
The low quality candidates were never reading your job postings anyway. They were going straight to the “apply” button. The good candidates who take the time to read what you’ve written are just seeing a wall of demands from the employer.
Considering that we’re living in one of the most difficult hiring markets in a long time, this might not be the best approach. Great candidates are in high demand. They’re probably already employed, and they’re on the lookout for something better than the opportunities they already have.
If you want the great candidates to apply, you should be listing reasons they want to work with you, rather than all the things you’ll be expecting of them.
I know. You’re probably thinking that this will just bring you even more applications that you’ll need to get through. But there’s a simple step you can add to your process that will get rid of the time wasters and low motivation candidates that need babysitting.
It’s actually quite simple too.
Just write up an email that asks about 5 questions of the candidates. These questions should take some thought to answer, and should be difficult, if not impossible to answer for people who don’t have the qualifications you need.
It should take about 20 minutes for them to answer the questions.
Low motivation, unqualified candidates in need of babysitting won’t bother getting back to you. If they do, you’ll see low quality answers that you can instantly weed out.
But here’s the best part.
The high quality candidates will stand out like a sore thumb. Just skimming the answers, you’ll get an immediate idea of who actually took some time and put thought into their answers. A closer reading should give you an idea of how qualified they are, and from there, you’ll know exactly which resumes you need to review.
Ok, I hope that helps you save some time, find the great candidates and hire better! Good luck with your next hire.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.