The Notes of a District Recruiter

Dear employer! Today important deals are concluded not within days but within hours! … Don’t wait, get on with it! Call immediately if you see an interesting resume! There are many job offers on the market (up to 4-5 offers per one good candidate), and the early bird catches the worm. Slow-thinking employers get no employees. It is a fact …

How to abate the quantity of rejections on the part of the candidates? The answer to these and some other questions may be found in the research note by Sergei Dembsky, Personnel Manager in Southern Region of “Pharma Personnel” Company.

Statistics is believed to know everything. And statistics, multiplied by expert analysis, like electronic microscope, allows perceiving things hidden behind the chaos of scattered empirical data, everyday bustle and routine, the subtle structure and underlying processes that take place on different levels of the system. Let them say, that the language of figures is dead. Let skeptics laugh up their sleeves … This article touches upon the burning problem: when and why do we lose the best candidates? And not in general, not “on the whole”, but on the example of specific vacancies in a specific region.

… As an iceberg in the ocean …

The given below data refer exclusively to regional service and to the category of medical representatives.

While thoroughly recording and monitoring each completed deal, one comes to a terrible conclusion: from year to year one has to work more and more. At first sight, it does not seem really noticeable, but the figures prove the opposite: in 2012 it took an average of 281 contacts to fill in one medical representative vacancy, this year it takes 316 contacts … Calls, interviews. More calls … The employer sees only the top of the iceberg, but knows nothing about its underwater part. He hardly needs to know anything about it at all. Those who don’t believe it, may give it a try: good candidates not only want finding; the procedure also involves benevolence of the HR-God, Fortune and stars to make everything “coalesce” and take shape … 316 contacts to fill in the one-and-only position … and with the best possible expert …

But these “best”, as a rule, “break off” most often … and the farther in, the quicker … Do you happen to know how long it takes for the employers and the candidates to start “rejecting” each other? And who happens to initiate this process? And what has changed within the last year?

The Evil Magic of the “Short-list”

We have witnessed two peaks of the employer’s rejections of the proposed candidates as of year-end 2012:

  • on the stage between filing a CV to the Customer and the primary telephone interview with the candidate (PTI);
  • and after primary personal interview (PPI).

According to the year 2013 results, only the first peak – at the stage of resume screening – remained topical. At this stage rejections increased by 57%. At the same time, the number of candidates screened by the employer at further selection stages decreased. What does it convey?

The employer does not want to waste time on the interviews of little promise and prefers to conduct a resume-based selection of candidates.

To make the things worse, the candidate nowadays is somewhat different … To put it mildly, spoiled. And impatient. The number of candidates’ refusals at the stage of their CV screening by the employer has grown by 49% compared with the previous year. There are a great number of alternatives on the market …

But even the most impatient job seeker must admit: the employer needs some time to examine all candidates reasonably and calmly. How much time, though? How much time (days, hours, weeks) is there at the employer’s disposal if s/he really wants to “get the best”?

Candidate is a short-life product

Conventionally, two groups of rejections on the part of the candidates may be singled out: immediate – within up to ten days from the day of resume submission, and delayed – after ten days. Nearly half of the candidates “withdraw” just within the period of up to ten days.

What does it prove? The candidates are quickly “discouraged”. Psychologically they may be overwhelmed by the feeling – if they did not call me right away, they are not interested. And if so – why let the grass grow under your feet.

Interestingly enough, just in the year 2012 candidates were ready to wait for a longer time. And the telephone interviews like all further contacts with the employer were of much greater importance: the quantity of rejections (particularly on the part of the candidates) after each of them was considerably higher last year.

In other words, if interview impression was the factor that determined the employer’s choice last year, this year it is the response rate (which means the interest) of the employer!

A rather interesting tendency may also be traced among the candidates who waited until the interview … Namely, the interview takes place within 10 days from the date of filing a resume and the probability of rejection on the part of the candidates is twice lower! In other words, they are ready for compromises and collaboration and are not inclined to look for the catch. If the employer lingers with the interview, the candidate loses motivation to work for this company.

The article was published by the courtesy of “Pharma Personnel” Company.


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