Employer Insights

Hiring Managers | How you can save time shortlisting in the current climate!

Kim Padmore Posted by Kim
min read
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Have you experienced a longer lead time to fill job vacancies?

Our recent COVID Impact Report highlighted that even though 55% of Australian employers had to freeze their recruitment, the balance were still actively recruiting and employers noticed time to fill roles had increased.

Why is it taking longer?

On one hand, this is due to job seeker hesitancy across particular sectors, with 38% of job seekers admitting they are reluctant to make a career move until the current climate improves.

In other instances, employers have been inundated with applications. In my state of Western Australia, unemployment rates reaching 8.7% in June 2020 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Whist volumes of applications have increased, the quality of job seekers who meet the criteria has not, resulting in hiring managers needing to invest more time to review and shortlist. Many of the hiring managers we work with, have shared with us, that they are receiving more unsuitable applications than ever, partly due to job seekers who appear to be applying, purely to meet their Job Seeker requirements.

How you can save time

Here are just a few ways you can save yourself time in your shortlisting process, to focus on the best people who will meet what you are looking for:

Clear, specific criteria

Firstly, make sure your criteria for suitable candidates is clearly spelt out and is not subjective. Be as specific as possible, for instance “must have experience creating pivot tables and using macros” rather than just “confident using Microsoft Excel”. This is where you want candidates to rule themselves out rather than in.

At the time of writing (August 2020), there are 201 live job ads on SEEK in Perth, which include “must be well presented”. I don’t believe there are many people that would read that and think to themselves “no, that’s not me, I won’t apply!”

Give candidates a task

Include an instruction in your job ad so you can see who has taken the time to actually read your ad and put in the effort. It could be as simple as to “call to introduce yourself.” This is especially helpful if they will be in a client-facing/customer service role. You can then reject the applications which haven’t followed through with your request and I guarantee you will save time!

Phone screen

Create some questions to ask during a phone screen that will help you rule out applications quickly. Ask them what attracted them to apply for the vacant role. If the response is that they can’t remember which job you are referring to, I’d be ruling them out then and there! You can also hone in on the competencies set out in the job advertisement, to ensure they meet the minimum requirements.

If you are an employer in Perth looking for advice or recruitment assistance, please don’t hesitate to call me on 08 6160 6201 or email me at kim@people2people.com.au