Employers: Too Many Unqualified Candidates Got You Down?

You write a great job description.  You add a world class job title with very specific information about exactly what you are looking for in the job requisition.  You post it to your career site, job boards and maybe even do a social campaign to really target in on an awesome candidate. 

The problem is that seven out of ten resumes are not even qualified for the position.  Next week we will be releasing the 8th annual 2015 Insurance Industry Employment Outlook and once again, unqualified candidate applying to positions is by far one of the biggest challenges employers are facing.

The weird thing is that before the internet even existed and you posted your jobs in the Sunday paper, the same thing was happening!  How much time does it take to open 100 letters?  Or, in today’s world, 100 emails?  Too long for sure. 

When I speak to employers groups, many think that applying to jobs is so easy now (if you don’t have an applicant tracking system) that job seekers apply to any job in hope of getting noticed.  Maybe this is the case but it still takes a job seeker time to apply and they are doing it for some reason. 

Job seekers use a job posting as a “gateway” into a company they want to work for and therefore thinks applying to these jobs is their only recourse.  In many ways, they are right.  What happens at your company if a potential job seekers calls, asks for human resources and gets thrown to a voice mail the may be even deeper than the infamous black hole? 

Job seekers feel like they have nothing to lose.  And they are right.  How your company treats unqualified candidates is an entire article itself, but many companies recognize job seekers could be customers, stock holders or unbelievable referral group if treated well when they apply no matter how far away from having the right skills sets.

So what is the answer to help you?  PRE-SCREENING QUESTIONS

In my opinion, it is one of the best and easiest ways to help sort out candidates who answer your questions correctly from those who don’t.  Let’s take it a step further.

Say you are looking for a workers’ compensation adjuster with at least 5 years’ experience handling loss time claims in the state of Texas.  The candidate must have a college degree. If your company MUST have this experience and level of degree, three simple pre-screen questions will separate the “haves” from the “have not’s”.  Before the candidate submits their application, have them answer the following 3 questions.

First Prescreen Question:  Have you completed a 4 year college degree?  YES    NO

Second Prescreen Question: At of the time of this application, do you have at least 5 full years of workers compensation claims experience?   YES   NO

Third Prescreen Question:  Do you handle claims in the state of Florida?  YES  NO

Do you see how simple this can be and how it can apply to all levels of insurance jobs?  An applicant that answers yes to these questions will go to the top of the list.  All the other applicants will appear in a separate area.  Is this a 100% cure for too many unqualified candidates? No, but it certainly will give you a great snapshot of the candidates that must have certain qualifications.  It’s simple but it works!

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