Finding Talent is Already Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack…But is Your Haystack Getting Bigger?

If you look at labor force statistics, they are confusing. Supposedly we’re sitting at 3.5% unemployment, 62.5% labor force participation rate, 225k jobs cut in the tech sector alone over the past 15 months, and inflation has made everything from gas to groceries way more expensive.

Anecdotally we saw talent acquisition (TA) teams struggling to find talent just 6 months ago, and now we see posts about having too many applicants.

One could argue that managing job applicants has never been more challenging than it is right now. With the ease of applying to jobs online, the bipolar hiring environment, high expectations from applicants and hiring managers, it’s made the process downright miserable. No wonder TA has one of the highest turnover rates of any department in a company.

We expect technology to help us with this management, but in many cases the technology TA teams use acts more like a band-aid rather than a cure. But that could be fixed if companies upgrade their technology.

It’s very likely applicant volume will continue to increase. If you’re still on that old fashioned train of “we’re going to stick to reviewing applicant résumés one-by-one in our ATS,” then the higher volume is only going to exacerbate the problem.

If there is one area that should be automated in TA, it’s the reviewing/screening of applicants. And I’m NOT talking about using a machine (i.e., “AI”) to do the same process a human does of scanning résumés for keywords. I’m talking about ACTUALLY screening 100% of the applicants faster, easier, better, less biased, and giving the hiring managers exactly what they are looking for in a candidate.

There is a way to stop going through every haystack to find the needle, because as that haystack gets bigger, so do your problems. But you will NOT solve any of these problems if you can’t shake the “this is how I’ve been taught and how we’ve always done it” mentality.