Job Application Software Is Filtering Out Quality Candidates

Workers looking for a new position may be getting snubbed by automated hiring systems.

A report from the Harvard Business School suggests that employers who use software that scans resumes for them may inadvertently be turning away qualified candidates. Many individuals are rejected by the software, which is used by 75% of employers in the United States. It categorizes people into “good” and “bad” candidates, which may not offer enough nuance to create a realistic picture of an applicant.

Depending on the software used, some of these companies may be rejecting people based on too specific of a skillset. If a specific key word or phrase isn’t included in a resume, such as “computer science”, the resume may be rejected when in reality, the job role only requires basic data entry skills. A system may also throw out applicants who were out of work for longer than 6 months, without allowing room for an explanation.

Advancements in technology should, in theory, make it easier for companies to hire candidates. But the ease of applying for a job online via companies like Indeed or Glassdoor, mixed with a larger amount of qualified professionals, has made the hiring process more difficult. In response to a larger group of job seekers, businesses have imposed stricter filters in an effort to narrow down the most relevant individuals for the job.

The use of automation isn’t surprising– CEOs and hiring managers only have so much time on their hands, in addition to the idea that the technology used will create a more efficient and streamlined process. Regardless, the systems being used are creating scenarios where job postings may have double the applicants, leading to a frustrated labor market. If qualified professionals aren’t being screened properly, it’s likely they may overapply to a number of positions, after not hearing back from postings they did qualify for.

Many executives are already aware of the issues with their hiring system, however fixing the problems would result in a major change. They may need to look for workers elsewhere, or perform massive updates to the software they use. Overall, it’s unfortunate that skilled candidates are being missed by the software, and in turn are missing opportunities to showcase their potential.

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