The State of Online Recruiting: iHire Investigates Disconnect Between Employers & Job Seekers

By: Steve Flook, President & CEO, iHire

If you’re struggling to find qualified talent, you’re not alone. According to iHire’s inaugural State of Online Recruiting report, 53.5% of employers are not receiving applicants who meet their needs. More specifically, when asked to cite their No. 1 online recruiting challenge, 30.9.% of employers said they receive too many irrelevant applications, and 22.6% struggled with an overload of underqualified candidates. While today’s widening skills gap and competitive job market may be partially to blame, our survey of more than 1,650 U.S. employers and job seekers pointed to several areas of disconnect between these two groups.

First, iHire found that stronger two-way communication is needed between employers and candidates. More than 26% of job seekers surveyed said their top online job search challenge was not hearing back from employers after applying or interviewing. However, candidates are also contributing to this “ghosting” phenomenon, where one party suddenly ceases all contact with the other: 5.8% of employers surveyed said “being ghosted by candidates” was their top challenge, while 4.6% cited “reaching out to applicants and not hearing back.”

In addition, we investigated which online tools employers and job seekers are using to find one another. While general job boards were the clear favorite for both sides, the survey implied that they aren’t necessarily the most efficient platform. Of the employers who cited receiving too many irrelevant or underqualified applicants as their top online recruiting challenge, 53.7% prioritize posting their ads to a general job board. In contrast, 14.7% of those employers said the same about an industry-specific job board. On the job seeker side, 45.6% of respondents who have been searching for a job for more than 12 months listed general job boards as their favorite resource.

Regardless of where an employer publishes their job ad, they won’t attract applicants if that ad does not contain the right details. When asked which pieces of information are most important in a company’s ad, job seekers’ top responses included salary range, location of job, and qualifications and requirements for the role. Moreover, we found that job seekers and employers aren’t aligned on the importance of company culture in job ads: 62.6% of job seekers said they are more likely to apply to an ad if it includes company culture information, yet 46.1% of employers said they include these details in their postings. Company culture information (i.e. describing what it’s like to work at your company, including fun photos, mentioning unique benefits, etc.) has become an invaluable component of a job ad and helps employers stand out from their competitors.

Lastly, our research provides evidence of high employee turnover rates: 43.1% of candidates surveyed said they are employed and actively searching for a new job. In other words, employees are keeping their options open and enjoying the flexibility to choose where their work, thanks to today’s candidate-centric market. However, this also means that employers must become more proactive in their recruiting and pipelining efforts so they can quickly fill positions left by employees looking for greener pastures.

If employers and job seekers want to maximize the wealth of online recruiting tools at their disposal, they should take the time to better understand one another’s challenges, wants and needs. As a result, it will be easier to identify the right resources and technologies for employers to find qualified talent and candidates to find meaningful work.

For more insights, iHire’s full report is now available for download:

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