Candidates: My Cup Runneth Over

The Current Situation

With unemployment reaching close to double digits there are many qualified people pounding the pavement looking for a job.  As of April there were 2.5 million job openings in the U.S.; the lowest number since 2000.  As employers we should be happy, right?  After all we now get the pick of the lot.  The only problem is we can’t keep up with the number of possible candidates.  Our mailrooms are full and on-line resumes are clogging our systems.

What to do

Our technology can only do so much.  We can screen out resumes based on key words and even more sophisticated techniques.   However, more candidates will get through these gates now than they did before because:

  • There are more candidates
  • The candidates are more qualified

How to pare down

Use a Realistic Job Preview (RJP).  A Realistic Job Preview is designed to assist a candidate in determining whether they are indeed a good fit with this role or the company.  RJP’s provide a total view of a particular job, including a balanced picture of the advantages and potential disadvantages of the job.  When designed well, the RJP involves the candidate in the selection process and places shared responsibility in making a productive hiring decision.  The idea is that the job candidate, provided with the time, opportunity, and information, can in many cases better decide his or her own appropriateness for the job.  This process increases the chance for success and reduces voluntary turnover.

It is important for you to know that this is not a test.  The answers candidates provide are never shared with the company and do not determine whether or not a candidate gets a job.  A Realistic Job Preview is an instrument/tool meant to provide candidates with a chance to be a part of the selection process.  It demonstrates how important it is to the employer that the candidate makes the best decision for themselves that they can.  It is for this reason candidates are given time and space to reflect on what they learn about the role and the organization.  They are usually encouraged to think through the questions and answer honestly and candidly.  After they have finished with the Realistic Job Preview, the candidate will determine if they want to continue with the selection process.

Realistic Job Previews come in many forms.  RJPS can be administered via:

  • Computer
  • Video
  • Paper
  • Live

The key is to be consistency in the manner in which it is administered and space for a candidate to make reflect without pressure to perform.  RJP’s have been known to screen out up to 15%-50% of candidates and increase job survival rates by up to 10%.

How have you involved candidates in the selection process?


9 thoughts on “Candidates: My Cup Runneth Over

  1. Well, I can say today I reached a new high. Today I am a “RJP”! Maybe you employers should put yourself in a RJP’s world for a minute or two. I have been out of work for 7 months because, well, I don’t know why. I am educated, plenty of experience, certifications and a wife who is on disability and no one seems to want to give me a chance. My kids who are old enough to understand look at me when they come home from school and I am in the same place they kissed me good bye from when they get home. The last thing they say when they leave and the first thing when they return is “any luck today Daddy?” And I put my head down and say no girls and proceed to give them an Economic lesson. I’ve read many articles and they all say the same thing that the difference between a man and a woman is that men have this built into our makeup that we need to be working to feel like we are worth something. Guess what you feel like when you have been out of work for 7 months and you see the looks on your kids face EVERYDAY?

  2. I am in Supply Chain Management or Procurement. There are many different names for it but I have a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. I hold a certification as a certified purchasing manager from the Institute for supply management and well over 20 years experience. How do I get you a resume?

  3. William,

    I too have been out of work since January. I know how the other feel, being unemployed for so long. I too have a master’s Degree and many years of experience in Human Resource Management. I’m looking hard, still know takers…


  4. Hey William,
    Along with the solution you mentioned, don’t u think pre-employment screening would also help in choosing the right person from the lot! At HireLabs, we have a product ProfileSense that will be of great help to recruiters in hiring the best candidate amongst hundreds. Its easy to use. For details, please visit:

    • The advantages of a chronological resume include:

      1. Highlighting your most recent experience which usually relates most to the position you are going after.
      2. It is easy to illustrate and see your career progression.
      3. a strong format for highlighting the organizations you worked for
      4. Tends to be more credible than other formats

      The Disadvantages include:

      1. It is easier to see gaps in employment.
      2. It is easy to see a career progression or the lack there of
      3. It is easy to see if you have switched job often

      There are many examples on the internet of this type of resume format.

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