Are online job applications more of a hindrance than a help? Was your dream job easier to land before Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and Google got involved? And is job software filtering good people out for the most minor reasons?
Some people think so.
Indeed, Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book Why Good People Can't Get Jobs, was recently on PBS to discuss just that.
In his interview, Cappelli said online job postings were drawing thousands of candidates for every position, significantly reducing any given individual's fair chance. “Somebody told me that they had 29,000 people apply for a reasonably standard engineering position, and nobody made it through the screening process. The software told them nobody was qualified,” said Cappelli.
With the economy still rocky and the unemployment rate high, many Internet job postings are flooded with applications. This typically overwhelms regular HR systems, forcing many firms to start using software to sift through CVs.
Unfortunately, since software lacks human judgment, applications can be rejected on the flimsiest of reasons, creating a lose-lose situation for both job seeker and employer.
After all, there is no such thing as the “perfect” candidate for any job, but HR managers in the past, through face-to-face interviews and good old-fashioned probing, have been able to discern between applicants and decide who is the best fit in terms of skills, ability to adapt to company culture, and potential.
No wonder so many tech firms are complaining about talent shortages. Keywords pulled coldly from résumés by machine are not going to find the diamond in the rough. So many firms claim to want new hires who display “out-of-the-box” creativity, but if you failed to tick the right box, your résumé may not even end up being read by a human.
It’s time things changed. The Internet is a blessing in many ways, but when it comes to landing that dream job, pick up the phone, be persistent, and schedule a face-to-face interview.
Readers, what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
This story was originally posted by EE Times.