FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Companies across Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana are desperate to hire and yet some workers still can’t seem to find a job.
“I think there isn’t an employee shortage, I think there is a process and a system which are in place that disqualify people,” said Lisa Mungovan, owner of Mungovan HR Consulting, LLC. “The applicant tracking systems are automated and the employer puts their ad out there defining what they need. When an applicant submits their resume, if their words don’t have enough matching words, they can get disqualified in less than a second.”
Mungovan has spent over 30 years in the human resources field. In 2016 she saw a need for small businesses that needed human resources but didn’t want to hire someone full-time. Mungovan makes sure her clients are in compliance and is always a phone call away when they have a question or need help.
She says employers today rely on increasing levels of automation to fill vacancies efficiently, deploying software to do everything from sourcing candidates and managing the application process to scheduling interviews and performing background checks.
“The applicant’s system is meant to be a resource to help employers to expedite things and in theory, it would send the most qualified candidates to the hiring manager,” Mungovan said. “But because they are disqualifying people, a person may never see the resume. And a lot of systems have a default filter that employers aren’t aware of so there may be a larger number of candidates who are capable of performing a job are disqualified.”
With applicants’ resumes being put aside by the system, should employers go back to the old fashion paper resume? Mungovan said some of her colleagues and businesses are.
However, Dr. Michael Kirchner, professor of organizational leadership at Purdue University Fort Wayne, said there are tips to get your resume to the top of the list.
“When we apply for a job it’s a lot like playing a game,” Kirchner said. “A job description is almost like a cheat sheet for applicants to closely review and break down the job description and then go back to our resume to make sure I am including all of this relevant information.”
Another item throwing a wrench into the hiring process is candidates who are too qualified for the job they are applying for. Mungovan says employers invest in training with new and current employees and employers assess the risk of developing a new person but have a concern that the overqualified candidates will leave when an opportunity becomes available that better suits their skills and experience. Its cost-prohibitive. However, someone who is overqualified for a position may be someone who can be considered for other positions and help the business build their bench strength.
Mungovan says many candidates are leaving out parts of their resumes that would make them overqualified. She says many are removing skills that don’t apply to the job resume.
“It’s important [that candidates] know the company well and that they know the job they are applying for,” Mungovan said. “When I recruit for my clients and in my past positions, I would be upfront with them regarding the wage. It’s important that employers and candidates are transparent especially if the candidate is overqualified.”
“I think it’s important that in the cover letters candidates’ acknowledge they have all the qualifications but here’s why I’m interested in this position or industry,” Kirchner said. “Maybe they have a master’s but want to go into a field that’s different and they want to learn or want more flexibility. Comments like that give the hiring manager someone who is interested and not just someone who is overqualified.”
Though the hiring market is “hot” right now, employers have seen three main trends in those looking for work:
- Employees retiring earlier or at retirement age
- Those looking for more flexible hours, better pay and more opportunities
- Employees who are content in current jobs, but are curious about other jobs
Mungovan says that because of the number of employees leaving automated applicant systems and the additional duties added to HR Professionals due to COVID compliance, candidates who are filing applications should be patient as it can take longer for an employer gets back to them.
Mungovan and Kirchner both say they don’t see the help wanted signs going away anytime soon.