A scroll through business media or even a stroll through your local downtown is enough to reveal just how desperate companies are to hire right now. “Help Wanted” signs adorn nearly every shop window, and the press is full of stories of companies offering extraordinary perks to attract talent.
Given the incredible difficulty of hiring during “the Great Resignation,” you’d therefore probably be pretty shocked to hear that many of America’s most respected businesses are turning away millions of qualified applicants for no good reason at all. But that’s just what recent research from Harvard and Accenture found.
Employers are rejecting millions of qualified applicants.
The report, titled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent,” digs into why the process of matching job seekers to available openings has been going so slowly. And while the research turns up a number of issues, the lion’s share of the blame falls on companies’ recruiting practices, particularly due to specific job descriptions and automated hiring software that unnecessarily screens out many qualified candidates.
First, the researchers note that companies often do a less than stellar job of writing job descriptions. Instead of thinking critically about the handful of competencies crucial to perform the role, they often adapt existing descriptions, or throw every “nice to have” item they can think of into their job ads.