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Job seekers are aplenty; but where is the talent?

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New Delhi: Although the number of job seekers has grown substantially since the beginning of the economic crisis, employers around the globe are having a tough time in finding suitable candidates with the right skills.

According to the study by SHL, a global workplace talent assessment solutions provider, recruiters are still struggling to identify the right people for their firms, despite the fact that unemployment has touched a record high globally. Almost half (41 percent) of the recruiters surveyed said the number of applications per job has increased since the start of the recession.

On the other hand, only 23 percent of the employers covered in the survey have actually found it easier to find suitable candidates. The survey of more than 350 recruiters found that 36 percent have been taking longer to recruit because of the downturn while, the majority said this is because there are more candidates.

"While it may seem that recruiters currently have the pick of the talent due to the increase in job seekers, it appears that this is not necessarily the case. Not only has the sheer number of applicants made it difficult for employers to identify the best candidates, but many employers do not appear to have an understanding of the skills and competencies they actually need," said SHL CEO David Leigh.

Almost two-third (60 percent) employers have become more selective, with a third of them (35 percent) saying they are looking for the best people to help their organisation survive the tough economic conditions, the SHL survey revealed.

Due to the increase in candidates, recruiters are being more selective about experience (69 per cent), competencies (61 per cent), enthusiasm (46 per cent) and fit with company culture (42 per cent), it added.

Further, many employers are also wary of candidates looking for a `stop-gap` until the job market improves, rather than a job that is actually right for them.

These concerns seem to be well-founded with a recent SHL survey of employees showing that 18 per cent had taken a job in the last year that was not in line with their expectations.

Additional methods of selection have been brought in by two thirds of those recruiters surveyed, including competency interviewing (32 percent), trial periods (26 percent), additional interviews (21 percent) and psychometric testing (13 percent).

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