August 22, 2001
Employers Getting Pickier
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Economic uncertainty and continued layoffs have combined to make employers much more selective about hiring, according to USA Today.
Employers are team interviews, phone screenings, and written tests much more vigorously than before. Candidates are being brought back two, three and even four times for repeat interviews.
For instance, more than 40 percent of employers required basic skills tests of applicants, according to a May study by the American Management Association. Eighty-five percent of those firms say they don't hire those whose skills are lacking.
Employers are also turning to behavioral interviewing techniques, which require workers to answer specific situational questions, such as, "Tell me about how you handled the last mistake you made," rather than, "What are your weaknesses?"
In addition, candidates are being interviewed by a panel or being asked to return for multiple interviews over a number of days. This is done, experts say, so more participants can have a say in the process.
"They're meeting with the boss two and even three times," says Bernadette Kenny, executive vice president at career services firm Lee Hecht Harrison in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. "It can be frustrating for a job seeker, but it's leading to better hiring decisions."
Moreover, employers are:
- Checking references and revoking job offers if the evaluations are negative, putting candidates through phone screenings before bringing them in, and asking more questions about gaps on résumés.
- Being more selective because the quality of hires has become critical as productivity pressures mount.
- Demanding that job seekers b flexible and consider a wider array of jobs and even relocations.
Still, laid-off managers and executives are finding new jobs in a median time of 13 weeks, according to outplacement firm Manchester.
"Employers want as many guarantees as possible. That's what's changed," says Robin Ryan, author of 60 Seconds & You're Hired! "Managers in the recession in the '90s found it took 9 months to get a job. Now, when it takes 2 to 3, people say 'Why is it taking so long?' People want an instant cure, but a little perspective helps."
To view the USA Today article, click here