8 Reasons Why Your Small Business Isn't Attracting the Best Job Candidates

by M. Sharon Baker on October 5, 2012
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Despite a national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent and some 12.5 million people [PDF] looking for work, attracting and finding top-notch job candidates can be tough. You’ve likely been overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants and underwhelmed by their qualifications.

Many job seekers, it seems, are applying for positions they aren’t trained to fill — or simply to meet unemployment requirements. Sorting through a pile of resumes is tedious and time-consuming, especially when your company isn’t finding the person or people you need.

So where are all the people who could help your company grow? They decided not to apply for your open position because your job requirements were unconventional or unreasonable, seven job seekers recently told the Intuit Small Business Blog in candid interviews. These highly-skilled professionals said they are frustrated by various trends emerging in the hiring practices of many small businesses.

The following eight aspects of a job post made them decide they didn’t want to work for a company:

  1. The company asked for a criminal background check for which the applicant has to waive all personal rights.
  2. The company asked for a list of references as part of the application process (before calling the applicant in for an interview).
  3. The company asked for a credit check for a position that doesn’t require handing cash or accounting work.
  4. The company required executive and management candidates to submit to a drug test.
  5. The company asked job candidates to fill out a lengthy application (three pages or more).
  6. The company asked for transcripts and diplomas from high school and college for a position that requires more than five years of work experience.
  7. The company asked an applicant to list their past salaries or state what their desired salary would be for the new position.
  8. The company required many years of experience in a specific industry for a general position (in which the industry really doesn’t matter).

The bottom line: When you require seasoned professionals to jump through extra hoops just to apply for a job, you are bound to miss out on some excellent candidates.

What application requirements have you found to be excessive or even uncalled for? Tell us in the Comments section below.

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