The hiring market has always been evolving, but lately, the changes have become more radical. We went from 2019 and early 2020 with unemployment rates (3.5%) not seen since four decades prior. Then, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the pendulum swung, and unemployment rose to an unprecedented level (14.8%) that hadn’t been reached since six decades prior.
What does this mean for recruiters? For one, it means a massive shift in the ratio of supply and demand. First, a dearth of talent on the market, then flooding of qualified candidates filling job boards and applications. In other words, first, there aren’t enough resumes to review, and then there were too many, without a good way to easily differentiate.
How does a recruiter save time and effort and find the ideal candidate for important positions? Let’s explore a few ways to do this.
Look beyond the resume
First, let’s talk about the standard of candidate reviews that is often used as the first line of defense to create a shortlist of candidates. I’m talking, of course, about the resume.
While the resume has persisted, there are flaws in its design and purpose that are made worse by the changing nature of work. For instance, with more individuals pursuing project-based or freelance work, the traditional resume is often unable to demonstrate how great experience can be built over short-duration assignments. Instead, a review of a resume that shows several 1-year (or less) positions looks unfavorable.
In reality, however, the person that moved between assignments might have gotten more rapid learning than the individual who did the same task for 8 years straight, with the same organization, serving the same needs. While that may not always be the case, it does underscore a flaw in this traditional method of assessing talent.
Skills-based hiring is the future
Instead of relying solely on resumes to evaluate candidates, you need to find better ways to assess qualifications other than looking at titles, companies, and length worked. The recruiting and hiring world is moving to a more skills-based method of assessing candidates, and there are good reasons for the switch.
First, with so many different titles and role descriptions, it is difficult to assess if an individual is a great match simply based on previous official roles. So many factors vary between companies, such as how a “manager” or an “associate” is defined, and even general descriptions of tasks leave a lot to be desired. Skills, however, are the same whether you are performing them as an associate, a manager, director, or VP.
Also, many skills are transferable between different types of roles, industries, and areas of focus. An expert in Microsoft Excel can come from any number of fields, and if that is your primary consideration for a candidate’s qualification, why limit yourself to someone with an arbitrary job title?
Marketplaces help equalize the process
The term “marketplace” can mean many things, but in this case, I’m referring to platforms, job boards, and other online destinations where candidates and companies can interact with one another.
There are several advantages to using a candidate marketplace, but an obvious one is that it allows you to see and review multiple candidates in one place, side by side, and the sourcing of those candidates is all handled by the third-party marketplace.
This means that instead of trying to market and advertise your available positions on a multitude of channels, the marketplace can help broadcast it more easily for you. If you find a marketplace with a quality selection of candidates, your job is made straightforward.
The nature of a side-by-side comparison makes an “apples to apples” comparison of candidates much easier as well. The quality of these marketplaces can vary drastically, however. A job board that only replicates the details of a resume may not allow you to have a more in-depth understanding of an individual’s skill level in key areas or other relevant details.
However, a more robust marketplace allows you to see detailed information and have a deeper understanding of skill sets, qualifications, and more. Being able to search by these factors makes it even more powerful still.
Finding and hiring the perfect candidate will never be easy, but with the right approach and tools, recruiters can save valuable time and effort while achieving great results.