Do recruiters give job seekers the same/more/less opportunities than those who in work? Are job seekers as good at applying for jobs as those in employment? How important is experience when applying for a job? How important is a qualification? The Talent Pulse, an employee survey conducted by Acerta and Stepstone, yields some tips. Tip for job seekers: do not overestimate the importance of experience. Tip for employers: offer constructive feedback. That way everyone gets ahead.
Fresh blood entering the labour market, at a time of a war for talent, is more than welcome. But what do we see instead? It is easier for someone who is in work to find (another) job than it is for an unemployed job seeker to get the job at the end of the application process. The finding that it is always the same people who are seen to rotate on the labour market will not solve the tightness or boost the employment rate. Whilst a higher employment rate remains a goal after all.
Apparently, unemployed job seekers tend to believe that professional experience is the most important asset to get hired. Not only would this be damaging for job seeker activation, it is also wrong. Employers definitely also look at applicants’ skills, attitude and the way they match with the team. By overrating the importance of experience, job seekers underestimate their own chances. Underestimating themselves not only makes them less likely to apply for a job, it also makes them more hesitant to call in to enquire about the outcome of their application, for instance.
Where job seekers also miss opportunities, the survey reveals, is in the online channels through which recruiters seek out suitable candidates. Job seekers are apparently less familiar with these channels, even though they may well prove rewarding when it comes to finding job opportunities.
Obviously, not getting feedback on an application does not do much to boost job seekers’ confidence either. On average, almost half of job seekers do not receive any feedback. Which is a lost opportunity. Those in work who are applying for jobs also run into this problem: 17.4% of them are often left without any feedback. However, even if a candidate is not found to be suitable for the job, the contact may be valuable: those who experience the job application process as positive are likely to speak positively about your company, which benefits your employer brand. And, given valuable feedback, the job seeker himself finally gets ahead on the labour market and one step closer to work.
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