If you’ve never had the pleasure (or discomfort) of watching the television show Hoarders, you may not know how unsettling clutter can be. Stacks of newspapers, shelves collapse under canned goods. Furniture, pets and even people can find themselves disoriented and hidden under piles of old items that are no longer useful. It’s impossible to find anything, enjoy anything or use the homes featured on the show for their intended purpose.
In some companies, this hoarding mentality can be found in the talent acquisition department. The symptoms are similar: a disorganized candidate relationship platform (or none at all), a cluttered applicant funnel filled with outdated contact information or poor fit candidates, and an applicant tracking system that has collapsed from the clutter of thousands of resumes imported from heavens only knows when. Could you be… a candidate hoarder?
The market is a constantly shifting one and because it’s difficult to predict what positions will need to be filled in the future, it’s easy to collect candidates who didn’t make the first cut, hoping for that day when you just might need them. The trouble doesn’t come from having a large network, it comes from the inability to notice you have an issue with organizing. If you find yourself hoarding resumes, collecting candidates and storing outdated and useless information, read on.
Have you been hoarding candidates this whole time without knowing it? Check here:
Symptoms and Behavior of Candidate Hoarding
When your company has a candidate hoarding problem, hiring teams may experience:
- Overwhelming collections of outdated resumes and skillsets
- Partially completed candidate profiles
- Underutilization of collaborative tools like notations and internal communication
- Absence of workflows/reminders
- Frustration when searching for information or applicants
In serious cases, those afflicted with candidate hoarding do not have a recruitment system in place at all. In those situations, victims are left to manage interested candidates with spreadsheets and paper or digital filing processes in which many applicants fall through the cracks. Often, the employer brand begins to suffer greatly as many applicants go without any response or correspondence from the potential employer. This is critical as 9 out of 10 job seekers expect at the very least, an automated response confirming the application was received.
Causes of Candidate Hoarding
If these symptoms sound like your team, the diagnosis is clear. A CareerBuilder study found that 30% of hiring managers have applicant tracking systems due to the fact they have too many applicants to manage individually. The very same study reported that 51% of companies turn to applicant tracking systems in order to streamline the hiring process and create workflows. If your current system is bogged down and disorganized, all signs point to a lack of process.
While it may sound comforting to believe that there is an entire community of talent within your very own backyard, you are probably holding on to applicants with whom you will never align. The point is to focus on quality of hire, not keep every candidate that’s sent a resume your company’s way.
Treatment of the Affliction
Treating the symptoms of candidate hoarding is a little time consuming, but worth the work. The tools your company uses may cause the team frustration while disorganized but 94% of recruiters and hiring professionals say their applicant tracking system or recruiting software has positively impacted the hiring process. That means quitting cold turkey isn’t really an option. In order to remedy the situation, you must first be sure your current methods are actually working.
Create a formal process in which the entire team is trained.
- Layout standards for how long candidates, passive, active or otherwise, remain in the system before they are considered outdated.
- Set reminders for when an applicant is contacted depending on their status, such as dates and times for check-ins with passive candidates or updates with old contacts.
- Communicate accordingly with applicants based on their place in the cycle. If weeks and weeks have passed with no reply, chances are these applicants should be pulled from the ATS.
If the above does not ease the overload, consider the job advertisements your company is using. This is especially true if after each job advertisement goes live, the team is bombarded by applications. Don’t get discouraged, 30% of employers say they have too many applicants to manage individually as well. Today’s technology, like mobile job advertisements, has eased the application process for candidates, which is great for your talent pipeline, but might not be so great for quality of applicant. Laser focus your job ads with additional parameters, specific skills needed or even an assignment to determine fit.
Spring is a wonderful time to reevaluate and reorganize current process. ClearCompany’s Applicant Tracking Software makes establishing a process and collaborating with team members easier than ever.
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As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.