Our grandparents tell us that when they were young, all you had to do to find a job was go out and ask for one. You might end up walking around, asking for a job for days on end, but as long as you put yourself out there you were sure to find a job.
Fast forward to 2018, and it’s not quite like that anymore, is it? There are of course some people who put a lot of effort into their job search (something grandma and grandpa would be proud of), but for an increasing number of people, this just isn’t a reality.
It’s long been known that in many sectors (the IT sector being one of the most prominent ones) companies are actually fighting over a limited talent pool. This may be a bold statement, but we can actually see the same happening across almost all sectors!
There’s an increasing shortage of applicants, something that business leaders are fretting over in growing numbers, and the frustrating thing is that they don’t know (or care to know) what to do about it. The world is changing, and although automation is making more and more jobs disappear, many jobs require an increasingly complex set of attributes and expertise.
With the imbalance between potential applicants and would-be employers growing, you’d think that companies would put effort into changing their ways, right?
Whatever the reason, though, we see many companies continue pushing the same methods as they did 30 years ago. Potentially losing up to 90% of the people interested in their job openings. Instead of thinking about what’s happening in the candidate market, they insist on applicants answering dozens of questions, writing out their employment history, and jumping through any number of hoops just to be considered for the role.
Take a minute and think about this in another context; let’s say you own a café, and in order for customers to get to you they have to complete an obstacle course that you’ve set up outside. After all, your coffee is excellent, so people should be willing to put effort into getting it. You’ve noticed that a few other cafés have opened up shop just down the street, all with unobstructed entrances. That shouldn’t be a problem though – you know for a fact that your coffee is the best, so there’s really no clear reason why all the customers are going to the other cafés.
I bet if you really were the owner of that café, and you told a friend about your challenges, your friend would do one of two things: stare at you in disbelief, or tell you that you’re an idiot!
The above example may seem like a silly story, but it’s not far from what the reality is in many companies. Every single organization needs to wake up to what’s going on, and really think about what they’re doing – this isn’t just an issue for IT companies to tackle anymore.
If you’re new to this and are seeing your applicant numbers going down, or if they’ve never been very high to begin with, don’t hide your head in the sand. Seek help.