Many recruiters don’t read. Most of them don’t write. Fear not. The Career XRoads 2015 Mystery Job Seeker Survey doesn’t indict our educational systems; rather, it highlights basic failings endemic to corporate recruiting.
The study, featuring the fictional job seeker Frank N. Stein, found that many major employers do not carefully read or review resumes – that is, the rare times they take the time to read them at all. Too many of the world’s biggest brands and most reputable businesses still treat candidates like The Invisible Man.
The fact that a staggering half dozen recruiters actually followed up with personalized communications prompting Stein on next steps is truly horrifying. That’s right. Six recruiters in our relatively small sample, supposedly the top talent for finding top talent at some of the world’s top brands, actually expressed enough interest in a candidate named “Frank N. Stein” to call him back without noting that he is fairly obviously a completely fictional job seeker.
It is worth noting that this year’s study presented Stein as a somewhat unusual candidate, with what should have been more than enough blatant red flags and obvious reveals on that resume to give any recruiter pause. For example, we put Mr. Stein on a six month, self-imposed bicycling sabbatical as his most recent relevant experience before beginning his current job search.
The Candidate Experience Monster Is Alive. Alive!
Of the hundreds of positions at dozens of employers for which Stein threw his resume into the ring, only two – count ’em, two! – recruiters saw through the ruse. To be sure, we give the companies who even took the time to respond in the first place, such as health health services provider WellStar, credit for responding in the first place. At least they provided some kind of closure to Stein’s narrative. Most of the time, our fictional candidate never heard back at all.
We create a fictional job seeker with a fictional resume. Then we submit that resume to companies on Fortune’s 100 Best Places To Work List. Then we sit back and wait for what happens next after we apply for jobs at such industry stalwarts as Google, Deloitte, Wegmans, Goldman Sachs and LL Bean, all considered models for consistently defining the leading edge of recruiting and HR best practices.
What these companies do in HR influences countless employers – and workers – all over the world. We engage professional recruiters as unwitting volunteers in our annual experiment – and in the actual processing and analysis of the data itself. There are many Frank N. Steins in our talent laboratory. Based on their own real world experiences, these recruiters answer a dozen survey questions, provide some additional remarks and comments and provide a practitioner’s point of view to our candidate creation experiment.
The Mystery Job Seeker Survey is designed to gauge the ease and efficiency by which candidates can access information about an employer online or apply for an open position via the company’s own career sites. We do not rank these websites in any way; rather, we believe the information more or less speaks for itself. Job seekers aren’t stupid. They can pretty easily discern the good from the not so hot, just like companies.
Weird Science: The Mystery Job Seeker Survey by The Numbers.
It’s those companies that Career XRoads primarily focuses on because it’s these sites that remain the most common entry point for sending resumes to recruiters, the destination that determines whether or not a passive seeker will become an active applicant. Given the explosive growth of mobile applications in the job search process, though, that may change.
The most cutting edge firms, of course, have steadily added resources to keep pace with this trend.
Here’s the 2015 Mystery Job Seeker Report By The Numbers.