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Dear Workforce How Do We Handle Frustrated Job Seekers?

Our company is in a geographic region suffering from high unemployment. As a result, our in-house recruiters can't keep pace with the hundreds of résumés from desperate job seekers that we receive each week. Our standard response is that a recruiter will contact people if there is an opportunity to discuss, but that hasn't stopped people from telephoning us in search of more information. And the calls are becoming more frequent and confrontational. How should we handle this? We want to be fair to the people seeking work, but we simply lack the staff to give personal attention to each résumé. At the same time, we are worried about overlooking a potentially promising candidate.
June 15, 2010
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Related Topics: Internet, HR Services and Administration, Candidate Sourcing, Dear Workforce
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Dear Besieged:
I sympathize with what you and your team are going through. This is happening in recruiting departments across the country and is directly related to the high unemployment. Technology was supposed to make all of our jobs easier. However, it also makes it easier for job seekers to fire off lots of résumés to job postings for which they may not be remotely qualified. Most job seekers don't realize the effort recruiters make to screen and qualify applicants. Many a job seeker may realize that he does not qualify for the position, but will submit a résumé anyway with the goal of "getting a foot in the door" with the company.
From what I read on your efforts, you and your team should be commended. Your company seems to do much more than most companies during these tough economic times in responding to both e-mails and phone calls from applicants. I can understand why this is putting a strain on your limited resources and not permitting your recruiters to focus on filling positions.
Here are some suggestions (you may already be doing some of these) to help alleviate the pressure on your recruiters and still maintain courteous relations with your applicant base:
• Drive as much applicant traffic to your company's career site as possible to force applicants to apply online. Make sure that the online applicant submissions via your career site go right into an applicant tracking system, or ATS. It should permit your company to send out an automated response letter in which you can thank the applicant for the response and let them know that they will be contacted only if there is interest from your company. Mention this: Please, no phone calls.
• With any online or newspaper ads that your company runs, make sure to drive the traffic to an online site that will automatically go into your ATS.
• Don't place phone numbers for any of your recruiters in any ads.
• Set up a second phone extension for each of your recruiters and have any calls from applicants directed to that number. This will permit your recruiters to screen the calls and call only the applicants in whom there is interest.
• Try running more blind ads for your open positions. This will permit you to answer only those applicants in whom there is interest.
• Consider using a third-party firm to be your first line of screening. For example, have this firm run all your ads and pass on only the names of applicants who truly are qualified. This should cut down on your applicant traffic directly to your company.
SOURCE: Mike Sweeny, principal, MAS Recruiting, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, May 4, 2010
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Workforce Management Online, June 2010 -- Register Now!
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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