Is there such a thing as too many candidates?

Finding a needle in a haystack

For the best part of a decade, there has been a shortage of candidates. Strong economic conditions have resulted in extremely low unemployment and the demand for candidates has outstripped supply. With the exception of retail and hospitality and perhaps graduate programs, most recruiters have had to work hard to attract candidates.

The focus on talent attraction is a mindset most recruiters have adopted and it has increasingly made recruitment more and more akin to marketing. Recruiters have become sellers of jobs and candidates have become buyers of new job opportunities.

This has given rise to most recruiters focussing their energy on attraction – not selection – and many of those who have worked in the profession for less than ten years have never really had to contend with candidate screening at scale as screening hasn’t been a problem for them.

In March 2020 that dynamic was reversed. Not in one industry, not in one role type, and not in one geography – but right across the board. The market has shifted under our feet in a dramatic way and now every role has too many job applicants.

Hold on! Isn’t having too many applicants a good thing? Isn’t it what every recruiter craves?

The recruiting game has changed

There are only two variables that determine the quality of a new hire a company can make, excluding the impact of the company itself after that person starts working in the role. The first is the available talent pool – that is the quality of people the company is able to attract to the role. The second is the selection process – that is how good the company is at choosing the right person from the available talent pool. In the last decade most of the focus has been on the first variable – candidate attraction – and, unfortunately, that has come at the expense of the second – candidate selection.

We’ve heard all the reasons. “I don’t want to add friction to the process”. “We’re dealing with passive candidate so we can’t ask them to take an assessment.” “These people can get a job anywhere, why would they jump through hoops?”.

But now the talent pool has grown overnight. The attraction problem has disappeared and it makes sense because fewer companies are hiring and many, many more people are applying for jobs. That’s just the market.

So now it’s all about candidate selection, and it turns out that having too many job applicants isn’t an easy problem to solve.

What do you do when you are swamped by CVs? High applicant volumes resulting from unemployment is hardly a new concept – it happens in every recession. What is new, however, is the simultaneous occurrence of such drastic changes to market conditions, on the one hand, and the rapid evolution of technology on the other.

Our award-winning combination of advanced technology and cutting-edge methods, produces in-depth candidate assessment, streamlining the recruitment process, reducing costs and commercial down-time, and increasing new employee retention.

We create a scenario to only spend time with those candidates that truly match your requirements, so if you want to stop sifting through piles of CVs book some time to have a chat about how we can help you find that needle in a haystack!

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