With the job market still in a sad, sluggish state, the number of workers that are displaced and unemployed is still too high for any kind of comfort. As a result you’ll see seasoned, overqualified job seekers seeking positions that seem more fitting for young adults or recent graduates. On top of that, you’ll be swamped by a sea of resumes with each job post you put up. In fact, the average number of applications submitted per job opening is at 118 for the fourth quarter of this year. Of those applicants, only about 35 percent will meet the basic requirements. Of those 35 percent, even less will be along the lines of what you need in a candidate to fill your position.
Weeding out candidates and screening for the top qualified takes a lot of time- especially in this slow job market. That is why so many employers are turning to video interviewing to cut down the time spent on the hiring process. But what about when you have a handful of qualified candidates to choose from and still find the process difficult? You want someone that is dedicated to the position and not someone that is just taking this job to fill time until a better one rolls around in a few months. How can you tell in your job interview if a candidate is just looking for a “right now” job and isn’t in it for the long haul?
Depending on the position you are hiring for, job longevity is important. Of course, there are jobs out there that are destined to have a high turnover rate. However, most of the positions you fill you hope to fill for a long time. That is why it is important to ask the right interview questions and look for signs that can tell you if your job seeker is just looking for a job to pass the time and earn a paycheck.
One of the first ways to spot a job seeker that is looking for a “right now” job is to take a look at what industry most of their experience is in. If you are looking for a copywriter or an editor and you receive an application from someone who has spent much of their career in public relations, then they may just be desperate for a job. They may have spent the past couple of months diving for PR positions and decided to try their hand in an industry that is similar and knew they could penetrate.
This is not to discredit any job seekers that are looking to make a change though. You need to be careful in your observations. Perhaps they spent most of their time in a certain industry because it was convenient, but realized a while back that their talent was in writing and that it’s what makes them happy. That is why it is important to ask interview questions about why they are interested in this position and why they are leaving, or left, their past position. Their answers can either confirm or negate the idea that they are a “right now” job seeker.
Let’s be honest, it’s not important to have passion for all jobs. If it was we would all be superbly happy in our positions day in and day out. However, it is generally ideal to hire someone that has a passion for what they do and for the industry they are in. You can see if your top candidates have passion for what they do by asking specific interview questions and carefully gauging their answers. Plus, a passionate job seeker that has been unemployed for some time will have taken actions to stay embedded in their industry in any way.
For instance, if they lost their job due to the job market and have yet to find one, a passionate job seeker will have volunteered in their industry to keep their skill set up. They may also take online classes to stay up-to-date with industry trends. Even though they are struggling to find a job, they love what they do and continue to do it regardless. A job seeker like this has passion and that passion will likely transfer to their work for your company if they are hired. They’re most likely not just looking for any job they can grab- which is great for you. Ask interview questions geared towards career passion and see what kind of answers you get.
Candidates that take the time to research your company and search for knowledge they can use in the job interview to impress you are serious about the position. They want to make a good impression and show you that this is a position they truly want. It’s likely these job seekers are in it for the long-haul. On the other hand, if you are getting vague answers to your interview questions and the job seeker seems to have no in-depth knowledge of your company in the job interview, then you may want to be cautious.
Job seekers like this usually send their resume out to all open positions that match what they’re looking for in hopes of getting an answer from at least one. A job seeker like this is most likely just desperate for a job right now and will take whatever they can get. They will constantly be on the look-out for the job they truly want and won’t hesitate to leave you high and dry when it comes up.
Sometimes it’s really easy to spot a job seeker that is just looking for a “right now” job. Other times though, you’ll run into very savvy job seekers that know how to talk the talk and walk the walk as well. Be on the lookout for job seekers that will jump ship when their desired job comes along. Watch for these signs in a job interview and you’ll be on the right track.
How do you spot a “right now” job seeker in a job interview? Let us know in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Dita Margarita