Glassdoor Survey: This Is the Largest Problem Facing American and UK Employers

The largest problem facing American and UK employers at the moment is attracting quality applicants, according to a recent study published by Glassdoor in September. When surveyed, 76 percent of hiring mangers stated they have experienced difficulties drawing the attention of suitable candidates.

With U.S. unemployment at 4.3 percent in May, employers are now struggling to extract the best talent from a smaller applicant pool. During times of low unemployment, getting the attention of passive jobseekers becomes more important, but today’s recruiters have grown hesitant to contact applicants via networking sites, such as LinkedIn, as response rates are down.

Attracting top talent wasn’t the only problem recruiters have been experiencing recently. Glassdoor polled 750 hiring decision makers in the U.S. and UK and found that other challenges include budget constraints, knowing where to advertise job vacancies to attracted quality candidates, and difficulties competing in terms of benefits and compensation packages. This combination of factors has led many to believe that their companies’ recruitment strategies are outdated or no longer as effective.

Glassdoor also asked hiring managers what factors they believed influenced whether or not an applicant would accept a particular job offer. The top issues in the mind of potential employees include having information on: company culture, salary and compensation, company reputation, interview experience, senior leadership, and company mission and values.

Despite feeling that current recruitment strategies could be stronger, the Glassdoor survey found that those responsible for hiring agree on what makes an applicant a “quality” candidate. Almost nine out of ten (88 percent) employers consider an informed candidate to be a superior applicant. These individuals are more discerning when applying for positions. Rather than spamming employers with resumes, these applicants tend to select positions that are a right fit for their experience. Overall, survey respondents found that informed candidates made the hiring process both easier and faster.

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Glassdoor found that five factors contribute to making an applicant an informed candidate. As mentioned before, these candidates are more likely to have the necessary experience. Informed applicants are prepared for their interviews and ask relevant questions. They also tend to have more knowledge about the role they are applying for. These individuals already know about the organization’s culture and values prior to an interview. Informed candidates also have more accurate expectations as to compensation and benefits packages.

Companies that focus their recruiting efforts on cultivating and attracting informed candidates have found improvement at all stages of the talent lifecycle. During the interview process, informed job applicants improve the candidate experience, reduce the time it takes to hire, and increase hiring manger satisfaction. In addition, they lead to a fewer number of interviews and a reduction in recruiting costs.

Glassdoor’s survey found that the benefits of informed applicants don’t stop after the hiring process is over. Informed candidates also make better employees, which leads to higher level of retention, more productivity, and more engagement. These individuals also seem to be better team players and improve overall employee experience.

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.


3 Comments on “Glassdoor Survey: This Is the Largest Problem Facing American and UK Employers

  1. As long as recruiting takes ‘surveys’ as gospel truth, this field will never advance and these ‘problems’ will become permanent.

    The first question to ask is are they right? Just because hiring managers say they are having trouble finding talent doesn’t mean they are having trouble finding talent. It could as easily mean they expect a 100K candidate for 50K, and in my experience that is far more likely.

    The second question to ask is whether or not to trust official unemployment figures. There are various alternative sources which show the unemployment rate is much higher. The official numbers are easily manipulated, and other numbers, such as those from ShadowStats as just one example, take the labor participation rate into consideration and show the unemployment rate as still above 20%. Furthermore, the mix of jobs that have replaced the jobs lost in the recession are not the same, there are far more low level and part time positions than there used to be, which means even if you could trust the official unemployment numbers, there should still be a healthy pool of people looking to trade back up to where they were. And even furthermore, how can these hiring managers be complaining about being ‘spammed’ with applications if the labor market is tight? How do they know whether or not other companies have received a person’s application? Unless of course most hiring managers are receiving tons of applications, in which case how in the hell can anyone, they or this article’s author, have the gall to call the labor market tight? All in all, simply stating the labor market is tight is at least arguable, and most likely factually incorrect.

    Now, are these hiring managers being reasonable or not? Well, the article itself states they themselves think they aren’t competitive in salary and benefits. But then, if they can’t even offer that, where the hell do they get off complaining about their available candidates? “Gee, yeah, we don’t offer even average comp or benefits, but we still feel we’re entitled to the choicest of choice candidates…” They also complain about being ‘spammed’ with applicants, but have no actual way of knowing that, which heavily implies they are making assumptions about the candidates they do get. Absolutely no objective assessment of these HM’s interviewing abilities has been offered, they may be the most incompetent idiots on the planet for all we know, but hey, they can answer a survey… Not to mention how stupid it is to expect ‘informed’ candidates when companies bend over backwards to hide anything and everything about such information. Your culture? Does the candidate know what it actually is, or do they know what you want them to think it is? Because an HM can simply say, “Candidate X didn’t know about our culture,” because the candidate trusted the hundred or so horrific reviews left at Glassdoor or Indeed, and not the company’s ad copy. Yeah, that’s a real “uninformed candidate,” because they didn’t parrot the information you wanted them to, and might have actually known the truth about your company’s ‘culture.’

    All in all, another sad entry from Ere, in the never ending attempt of recruiters to excuse incompetent hiring managers, crappy pay, disappearing benefits, and paper over the destruction of the middle class and ever fewer job opportunities. Why not an attempt at an objective assessment as to whether or not such HM concerns are justified or valid? You know, check the data set and compare what these HMs are looking for against actual market data from capital and labor market research companies? We couldn’t do that though, because not only would it take some time and effort, unlike a survey, but the results are very likely to force recruiters to tell their Almighty Clients that they are full of crap, and that there are plenty of candidates, qualified and ready, and they just have the horrific expectation of being paid a decent salary, not working 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, and getting health benefits with a deductible less than 50K.

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