Higher Applicant Numbers ≠ Higher Applicant Quality

Higher Applicant Numbers ≠ Higher Applicant Quality

We have seen a significant increase in job applicants since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In some instances, we’ve seen similar roles from the pre-COVID-19 era receiving twice as many applicants as usual. That should be good news for hiring managers right?

This new reality, in contrast to what many think, actually presents a number of new challenges for hiring managers looking to fill executive positions.

Increased workload for hiring managers

COVID-19 has dramatically increased the workload for hiring managers during a time when the entire hiring process is being revolutionized by digital technology. More applicants means more screening and resume filtering. Even if you’re using an applicant tracking system (ATS), there is still a human component to make sure that the best talent isn’t passed over by technology because the candidates didn’t use the right keywords or format their resume for an ATS.

Executive search firms can provide a compelling value proposition to ease the workload from human resource and hiring departments that are now trying to focus their energy on new hiring processes, remote work, and new labour policies.

More resumes doesn’t equal more qualified candidates

Applications have indeed increased, however in the majority of cases the number of qualified applicants has not. There are more job seekers that are now applying for roles that they are not qualified for because Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? If they’ve recently been laid off, they’re looking for anything and everything to keep the bills paid. Posting jobs and receiving applications is still a valid way to engage candidates, however don’t expect a large increase in qualified candidates from your job postings, even during COVID-19.

The majority of top candidates are still passive

The modern reality is that “post and pray” technique rarely works. Although some hiring managers and internal recruiters saw COVID-19 as an easier way to hire top candidates – simply posting and waiting for resumes to roll in with qualified candidates jumping at the bit to work at their organizations just didn’t happen. The top candidates are still the passive ones, meaning they are not applying for your positions. They are however more likely to engage in conversations with recruiters and hiring managers, as uncertainty about their job security and the long-term viability of their organizations may be in flux.

Executive search firms have expertise in proactive candidate outreach and marketing to entice potential candidates to engage in conversations about a new role with your organization and assess them properly with due care and skill.

Get in touch with Keynote Search to see how we can help with your next executive level search.