How Employers Find Employees

Understanding how employers find employees will help in planning a successful job search. Many job seekers find the hiring process frustrating. Usually, that is because they don’t understand the process. They feel a loss of control. In their minds, the employer holds all the cards and they aren't showing their hand. However, when you understand the hiring process, you will feel more empowered. It will help focus your efforts and will eliminate some frustration.

How Do Employers Find Employees?

Hiring practices vary from industry to industry, company to company, hiring manager to hiring manager. Managers at the same company may use a different approach. No two hiring processes are alike. However, there are a few strategies and tools used in the hiring process that are common.

Recruitment, screening and selection are three basic components all employers use to find employees.

The Recruitment Process

Employers need an applicant pool (or a group of job applicants) from which they draw to fill job vacancies. Employers who do extensive hiring may be continuously recruiting applicants, even when there is not an immediate need. They simply want to maintain the pool of applicants. Employers, who hire less frequently, or for very specialized positions, usually recruit on an “as needed” basis. Some employers will recruit simply to test the job market. They may be planning some future expansion and want to know if they could fill their labor needs. Therefore, when an employer is actively recruiting they may not have an actual job opening. There are many strategies employers use to recruit applicants. Here are a few of the most common:

Advertising: Employers may advertise in newspapers or trade publications, on the radio or television, and on the Internet.

Internal Posting: Some employers find employees internally by posting their vacant positions within the company first so interested employees may apply.

Referral: Referral from a trusted employee, colleague or peer is the source preferred by most employers. Many employers actively solicit these referrals as part of their recruitment efforts.

Placement Service Providers: Employers may use private and public placement agencies to recruit candidates.

Temporary and/or Contract Providers: Many employers are turning to temporary and contract agencies for employee recruitment. This option is becoming more popular, too.

Job Fairs: Some employers find employees for entry level positions by recruiting at job fairs. Other employers who recruit at job fairs may be building a pool of candidates and may not have an immediate opening.

Screening Applicants

Once the employer finds employees who are interested in working for them, they need to narrow it down to the best qualified. This is not easy. The employer is usually working with limited information. An application and/or a resume may be all they have. In some cases, they may also have a cover letter. When you consider that for any one job, an employer may have hundreds of job applicants; the task to whittle down the list of qualified applicants becomes daunting. For this reason, the first task is to eliminate as many as possible, as fast as possible. During the initial screening, employers generally spend no more than a few seconds on each application. Often, this is when typos, grammar errors and spelling mistakes can be critical problems. Employers will spend more time reviewing the smaller number of candidates left after the initial screening. They will look more closely at qualifications and may contact references and/or past employers. Some may call the applicant first to conduct a telephone screening interview. In some cases, they may schedule an in-person screening interview.

The Selection Process

While every step in the process is an integral part of the hiring decision, employers nearly always make the final selection based on the interview. The employer uses the interview to verify the applicant’s qualifications and to evaluate how the person will "fit" into the organization. When someone is called for an interview, they can be reasonably confident the employer believes they are qualified for the job. What the interview does is determine of the person is the best qualified person for the job. "Best qualified" doesn’t simply mean skill, experience and education. Employers are looking for motivation, a passion for high performance and a dedication to quality. There is more, though. They are also looking at how much a new employee will cost them. Salaries cost companies a lot of money. So do the added benefits packages that most employers offer. Employers want to make sure that they get the best value for their money.

The Hiring Process in Organizations

Usually larger employers and those that do a lot of hiring will have a formal hiring procedure. Smaller employers and those who hire less frequently will be less formal. Also, larger employers may have several people involved in the process, while smaller employers may have one person handle the hiring. Not everyone in the hiring process has the authority to hire. Usually one person makes the final decision. Most often it is the manager of the department where the person will work. If possible, it is worth finding out who will make the final decision. However, you should treat everyone as though they are the hiring authority. You never know who has influence on the hiring decision. At the very least you may be working with that person if you are hired. The Human Resource Department is not usually the hiring authority. They manage the hiring process. Exceptions may be when hiring for an entry level position, when the company has many positions open, or when the position is in the HR Department. Human Resources will usually recruit, screen and schedule interviews. Although the HR usually does not hire, they often have a lot of influence on the hiring decision.

The Job Market

The hiring process is more structured than it was in the past. Employers are more selective now than they ever have been. Employers find employees in a variety of ways and being prepared for the process will help you get hired faster.

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