Today, it isn’t tough for companies to find job applicants. The supply pipeline is strong. What’s tough is the challenge candidates face in getting a job, beginning with trying to get past the “iron curtain” surrounding companies. Today, it’s not easy for job candidates to get the opportunity to convince employers that they have the right skills, experience and personality for the job..
The job-hunting iron curtain is aided by powerful data tools and cheap online software that screens and blocks candidates. Many resumes today get their first read from a machine. That’s because large- and medium-sized companies use online automated tracking systems (ATS) to winnow job candidates and deal efficiently with the onslaught of online job applications. Piles of applications that used to take months to evaluate now take minutes.
Companies are also using pre-hire assessment tests to evaluate candidates. Of course, pre-hire tests have been around for a while but what’s different today is the sophistication of the assessment tests and their use for entry-level candidates, not just mid and management level hires, resulting in more hurdles for the beginning job applicant to jump. In 2001, 26 percent of large U.S. employers used pre-hire assessments, by 2013, the number had climbed to 57 percent.
But all this automated efficiency has slowed the process as well. In February of 2015, employers took 26.8 days on average to hire for open jobs, an all-time high, according to research done at the University of Chicago.