Eight Roadblocks in the Search to Finding Qualified Candidates for Any Job


image_13An open job position means that it’s only a matter of time before the resumes start flooding in. Sorting through and eliminating the candidates who aren’t the best fit can be quite the undertaking.

Here are eight roadblocks that hinder employers from finding qualified job candidates.

  1. Technology: Many big brand employers rely on tracking systems to lend a hand in the job search. Resumes are scanned for keywords, and in turn, the employer is able to quickly find candidates who meet the specifications. However, this process allows many qualified candidates to fall through the cracks.
  2. Poor Branding: The strength of your employer brand can directly link to recruiting top talent. A poor employer brand can significantly cut your talent pool in half because many people won’t want to work for a company with negative perceptions.
  3. Cultural Fit: While hiring people that fit in the company culture is great, it should not be the deciding factor. Attitude and aptitude are not synonymous. Employers should assess the candidate’s ability to do the job first, and later analyze whether they would be a good cultural fit in the company.
  4. Vague Job Description: It is important to be as detailed as possible when writing a job description. If a candidate is unsure of what the job entails, he may not apply for the position. On the other end of the spectrum, you may get resumes from a number of under-qualified people.
  5. Years of Experience: Employers often jump the gun and hire people with the most years of experience. Years of experience does not always equate the most qualified candidate.
  6. Passive Candidates: These candidates are sometimes difficult to reach because they are already employed and are not actively looking for employment. However, if the right opportunity presents itself, it is very possible to recruit a passive candidate.
  7. Recruitment Competition: With the job market continuously growing, employers may have to compete with other companies in order to recruit top talent. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to offer a higher compensation or benefits package, but if you want the best, you may have to work for it.
  8. Overly Specific Keyword Searches: Don’t make it difficult on yourself to find potential job candidates. Being too specific for keyword searches may lessen your talent pool.

The truth is qualified candidates are out there actively searching in the job market. It is your responsibility to evaluate your recruiting process and revamp it or make the necessary changes if needed.


When to Introduce Recruits to the Company Handbook


image_28According to Sarah E. Needleman of the Wall Street Journal, the hiring process is one of elimination, getting rid of unsuitable candidates to end up with the best choices [1]. Along the way, there are screenings of cover letters, application reviews, personal interviews and even studies of past employment. Many hiring managers wait until after a candidate has been hired before showing them the company handbook, but that might be a mistake.

Benefits of a Company Handbook

A company handbook, which in today’s digital world need not always be printed and bound, does the following:

• Shows employees where to go for HR help
• Introduces the dress code or behavior policies
• Explains management and leadership techniques
• Showcases benefits for employees

However, a company handbook can do a lot more than serve as a map for new recruits. In some cases, like the investment firm The Motley Fool, the company handbook was made public and served as a recruitment tool [2]. By outlining perks of employment as well as an irreverent, appealing company culture, the handbook actually brought in more candidates for future positions.

Introducing the Company Handbook Before the Interview Phase

Because a company handbook can reinforce the brand of a company, introducing the handbook to top talent can encourage a desire to want to belong to an organization that leads the industry or is simply a fun place to work. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a company or employee handbook can also include details like any standards of conduct, compensation protocol and vacation leave policies [3]. Recruiters will notice that these are often key questions and issues brought up at interviews. Streamline the interview by offering candidates access to the company handbook in the days or weeks prior to a face-to-face or video meeting.

Reintroduction on Day One in the Office

When new recruits show up for their first day of work in a new position, having a physical copy of the company handbook is often a smart idea. Include a page or document, typically called an employee acknowledgement page that can be signed by the employee verifying that it has been read and agreed to [4]. It’s a good idea to offer to meet one on one to discuss any aspects of the company handbook that are confusing or unclear to the new hires.


[1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703808904575025250789355156

[2] http://www.businessinsider.com/how-one-company-is-using-its-employee-handbook-as-a-recruiting-tool-2014-8

[3] https://www.sba.gov/content/employee-handbooks

[4] http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/what-to-include-in-employee-handbook.html