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Dear Workforce Why Can't We Get Qualified Applicants in a Recession?

Our experience seems to run counter to national trends. Our company has posted several jobs internally, but the candidates who applied really didn’t wow us. These jobs require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Although they are lower-level jobs, we provide competitive pay and solid benefits. Given the high unemployment situation, we expected to have more top-notch candidates than available openings—especially since we recruited externally and used our employee-referral program. Instead, the jobs remain vacant and we are frustrated by the inferior candidates. Are we alone in this experience? Are we being too choosy? And what can we do to recruit better applicants?
November 17, 2010
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Related Topics: Candidate Sourcing, Workforce Planning, Dear Workforce
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Dear Short on Candidates:
Your company's experience is not unique in today's job market. I believe that you are faced with two problems.
First, many candidates who are qualified for your particular openings are probably working. Although they may have issues in their current job, they are afraid to make a move in fear that if the new job does not work out, there will be no job to go back to. In a better job market, these candidates would take the risk and make a move, figuring that if things don't work out, they would be able to find another job. In today's market, they hear the horror stories of others who are unemployed for many months.
Second, there are a certain percentage of unemployed job seekers who would rather collect unemployment than go back to work. This should change when their unemployment benefits end, but with the government extending unemployment benefits for many, it may be a while before this changes.
You did not elaborate on which sources you use to find your candidates. Have you posted with your local unemployment office or community colleges? Have you tried reaching out to candidates who are leaving the military? Internet ads probably are not a good source to find people based on the level of position that you are seeking to fill. You also should consider raising the employee referral dollar amount for positions you have trouble filling.
SOURCE: Mike Sweeny, MAS Recruiting, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
LEARN MORE: Please read why retention is as important as recruiting during a sluggish economy.
Workforce Management Online, November 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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