Recruiters knowingly hire the wrong candidates, claims TalentQ survey

More than a third of volume recruiters knowingly hire unsuitable candidates for frontline roles, according to a new study by assessment specialist Talent Q.

Thu, 19 Sep 2013More than a third of volume recruiters knowingly hire unsuitable candidates for frontline roles, according to a new study by assessment specialist Talent Q.

The survey of 102 UK organisations that hire 200 or more frontline staff each year in sales and customer support roles, including retail, service and hospitality, found 37% of volume recruiters are fully aware that they are hiring the wrong people for frontline positions.

However, it reveals that many recruiters go through with hiring these candidates because of the need to fill the role quickly.

The report argues that ever-increasing volumes of applications are leading recruiters to hire the wrong people, which in turn is leading to a vicious circle of high staff attrition leading to more inadequate hiring.

Among the other findings:

  • Recruiters are not describing their frontline roles with sufficient accuracy; 48% of respondents claim that staff are leaving frontline positions because the expectations they have of the job are not matched by the reality of the role.
  • Recruiters are being swamped with applications for frontline roles; 12% of organisations are managing 50,000-100,000 applications per year and 45% receive 51-100 applications per role.
  • Staff turnover rates are reaching unprecedented levels – 60% of companies with large numbers of frontline staff have an annual attrition rate of more than 20%; 32% experience 31-50% staff turnover in frontline roles each year.

Talent Q estimates that a 'typical' volume recruiter will spend more than £2.8m per year just to recruit for its frontline roles.

Kelly survey highlights staff turnover issues
The latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index throw additional light on the issue of staff turnover. It reveals that as many as 50% moved jobs in the last year. However, of those who made the transition it finds that only 45% consider themselves happy in their new role.

A fifth found the job differed from what they expected, while many found the work less challenging than they were led to believe it would be.  

Debbie Pettingill, director, Kelly Services UK and Ireland, says: “Employee retention will become an increasing challenge for employers as we move out of the recession … Our findings indicate that this problem is being exacerbated by the misrepresentation of job role or company culture at the interview stage, leading to the dissatisfaction of new hires.”

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