National Survey Reveals 75% of HR Professionals View Job Seekers as Unqualified

Nexxt uncovers potential reasons why so many Americans are not getting hired

Nexxt, The Career Network, today announced that there may be a significant disconnect during the hiring process. Following a national survey of nearly 4,000 job seekers and HR professionals, 75% of the HR respondents said they were having trouble filling open positions because too many of the candidates were unqualified. Meanwhile, the same survey found that 55% of job seekers felt they were not getting those open positions because they were competing with too many qualified candidates.

One reason why HR professionals might not think candidates are qualified is because of their resumes. 73% of HR professionals feel that job applicants do a “bad job” of tailoring their resumes to specific positions. In fact, only 28% of candidates said they always customize their resumes for a position, which means the majority of candidates may not be taking advantage of the opportunity to highlight their most relevant experience.

The survey findings highlight one the biggest challenges job seekers currently face – proving that they are qualified enough to be interviewed. Because of the subjectivity of the term “qualified,” those looking for work aren’t sure whether their hard skills (i.e., degrees, technical training, etc.) or their soft skills (i.e., communication, teamwork, etc.) are what employers are looking for – further emphasizing their need to alter the way in which they present themselves to HR professionals through their resumes.

Additional survey findings showed that:

Keywords Are Key

  • 63% of HR professional respondents reported that job applicants do a “good job” of including relevant keywords in their resumes.
  • The majority of job seeker respondents (64%) include keywords in their resumes.

Hard Skills Get You In The Door

  • 69% of HR professional respondents said that when searching for candidates the first thing they look for are hard skills.

Soft Skills Get You The Job

  • However, 56% of HR professional respondents also said that the “most important” abilities in a new hire (and those that often get them the job) are soft skills, especially interpersonal relations.

“Hiring has increased over the past few months as employers become more confident, but job seekers are still struggling with how to prove they are fully qualified to HR professionals. There’s no secret password for getting hired, however job seekers can increase their chances by highlighting hard skills in their resumes and demonstrating soft skills during the interview process. Many job seekers have the right ingredients; now they need to put them in the right order.”

Joe Weinlick, Vice President of Marketing, Nexxt

“Well-placed keywords on a resume will get you noticed and a solid phone call will get you even further – however in this age of social super-connectedness, nothing trumps a warm in-person personality. People have to feel like they can trust you to do the work, and by the end of the interview you need them thinking, “Yes, I can share a cubicle with this person for hours at a time.” Managers like to see some of their own personality reflected in a candidate and while qualifications are essential, it’s personality that goes a long way towards helping another person relate to you. Quite often, that last little intangible connection will make someone want to hire you over the other person.”

Jim Stroud, Senior Director, RPO Recruitment Strategies & Support at Randstad Sourceright
Author of “Resume Forensics” and “Content is the New Sourcing”

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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