Studies done by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) have shown there is a disconnect between what job seekers, recruiters and hiring managers think is important to secure a job interview. The interview is obviously a critical step in the process of filling a job. Candidates are focused on work experience as the most critical factor, while only 37% of recruiters say work experience is the top factor in filtering candidates. In still other studies, hiring managers list “accomplishments” as the top consideration and “skills and abilities” before “work experience” as determining factors.
There is obviously a significant lack of alignment between recruiters and hiring managers and the candidates looking to fill these job openings.
Some reasons for this lack of alignment may be rooted in the tools that are used in job search by employers, recruiters and candidates. Candidates sometime lack resume writing skills to do more than document work experience. While working with recruiters, I have often heard the disappointed candidate that declares their work history is an exact match to the job requirements, why are they not getting an interview? Candidates need to do more than document work history. They must use resume writing techniques that highlight accomplishments and the challenges of the assignments they have worked. Some of the things that can be drawn out in an interview must be presented in the resume. With hiring managers obsessed with candidate “fit,” applicants must do a better job of documenting and presenting a biography of themselves that shows more than just facts about where they worked and when.
Another significant disconnect is the job description and the job posting used by both recruiters and hiring managers. Hiring managers need to be more explicit when documenting the skills required and clearer about the “fit” details they seek for a successful job candidate. It all starts with the job posting which attracts the candidates and their resumes. Considerable time needs to be invested in the job posting. The posting should not be a canned document passed down from the HR department, but rather a collaborative effort of recruiter and hiring manager. The time invested in this step of the process will save much time and disappointment in what follows.
Candidates, work on improving your resumes. Recruiters, spend time with hiring managers to get explicit about skills and fit issues that can be well described and documented in the job posting. We will all win! Let’s fill some jobs!