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The mystical market for job ads

Jobseekers believe that at least 80% of the jobs advertised will be filled with the help of job ads. The reality is something very different. Some companies use job ads to monitor the market, recruitment is not necessarily the goal. And there are others where they already have a candidate, an internal one, but they look around to see if there is a better one. Written by Anikó Pethő, HR consultant (Aarenson Consulting).

Pethő Anikó Aarenson Consulting-

Job adverts are the most underrated texts in the recruitment process, and the least well-received by employees. Too general, too much expectation, too little specificity, too short, too specific, too technical, too sector-specific and so on, all of which can and do attract criticism when it comes to the way a job is formulated and communicated.

However, candidates nevertheless rely on the information that is published during the headhunting process and, in the absence of other options, concentrate on these in their CVs, professional material and presentations.

67% of the Hungarian labour market demand is currently invisible, which means that this proportion of job vacancies is not directly advertised. In such cases, headhunting companies are the main ones to conduct direct searches or organisations operate an internal referral system. For the latter, more and more professional software and solutions are available every year, so their effectiveness is measurably improving. In fact, the more advanced headhunting agencies (including our own) are running their own. And to take advantage of this, it is worth investing heavily, because the quality of candidates and the return on investment exceeds the advertising space. The bottom line is that candidates looking for a challenge are looking at a maximum of 30-35% of open jobs.

What happens when job seekers see the same job advertisement repeatedly every 4-6-8 weeks? Many people question that once an opportunity has closed and been rejected, why does the company re-advertise the same job at a new cost, why do they not choose a new candidate from the second-liners?

In our non-representative survey of more than 100 people, we asked HR managers and recruiters what the reasons behind this were.

70% of the more than 100 respondents indicated that they would not select a candidate if they did not have the right one, if their ideas did not match the materials submitted by the candidate. They may even re-search for the same job more than once, sometimes taking a break, sometimes re-advertising immediately, trusting that another dip will attract a more relevant pool of candidates.

Slightly more than 10% were transparent that even if they find an internal candidate, they filter the available and open job search layer, so the function of advertising is primarily to see if they can find a better (more highly qualified, more experienced, etc.) employee than the one already available.

About 10% - respondents use advertising to monitor, i.e. if there is a better candidate, if there is a talented candidate, a candidate who stands out in one way, they are open to it. Hiring for a specific job is not a goal here, but they are constantly looking at the job market, maintaining the option of expansion if there is potential. While this will of course be portrayed as another outlier advertisement in the eyes of the candidate, as employers we have very few channels to build a talent pool, to attract talent and to be seen. For those companies that do take advantage of this opportunity - although the means are dubious - would they achieve greater results if they stated in the advertisement that they were not looking for an open position but were seeking candidates for the opportunity to expand? Can this be done in a way that is reassuring to all?

In my opinion, instead of ads, the company's career page and social media communications would be more convincing, as those who follow them are already interested in the brand, service or product. Along this line, if a well-worded post shows that the employer is opening its doors to interested people, they may well apply with more confidence and the likelihood of a match is much higher.

Only 7% of decision makers indicated that they always hire someone.

If any of these numbers need no explanation, it's this. Only 10% of advertised jobs are filled. This number, because it is not measured on a representative sample, could easily be higher given the effectiveness of the platform, but the point is that it is far from the 80-90% imagined by candidates. When they think the selection is complete, but they don't have the vote of a particular employer.

There are many points in a recruitment process where the employer has different ideas and the employee has different ideas. It's hard to be optimistic as a candidate when it's the third time I've seen the ad,
why submit it if I haven't been called for an interview twice. It is hard to understand the underlying dynamics, many of which cannot be communicated publicly.

It's not uncommon for the selected colleague to withdraw after making an offer, so the process starts again from scratch, completely setting aside any relevant material received up to that point. The new benchmark will be the candidate who has already been caught in the net once.

Advertising is necessary, useful, a cornerstone of recruitment. However, relying solely on them for our future is no longer enough, waiting for a change, a new advertisement is a very passive solution. It is worth looking more closely at the underlying reason, looking for contacts, applying prepared and making the most of ourselves and the application we have prepared, in proportion to our potential.

Anikó Pethő Managing Director of Aarenson Consulting

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