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Hiring is Difficult, Even With High Unemployment

High unemployment should lead to a large pool of potential hires, but many businesses are finding applicants lack the skills they need.

Quality Differs From Quantity

Finding the right person to fill a vacancy should be easier when there are a large number of potential applicants. However, that will not always be the case. Most businesses need their employees to possess certain skills, and many applicants, in any environment, will not possess those skills.

Success in business requires having the right people, and business owners should not compromise on the skills they believe are critical to a position.

High unemployment may increase the number of candidates for a position, but it could have little impact on the number of qualified candidates. In fact, high unemployment could simply lead to more applications from unqualified candidates. With a large number of applications, it can be even more difficult to find the best candidate for a position.

Define Qualifications Before Accepting Applications

Business owners are likely to find that it is impossible to limit the number of applications they receive for any position. They may find that job seekers are not limiting applications to only the positions they qualify for. Some applicants submit as many applications as they can, especially since online submissions make the process simple, from their perspective.

Before soliciting applicants for a position, business owners should define exactly what they need the new hire to do. As one of the largest employers in the world, the Unites States government has developed a process that helps supervisors write standardized position descriptions. Their experts have considered every aspect of the problem and developed a guide for the process. The format they require may not be needed by small businesses, but the factors they consider in writing the description could be helpful to business owners.


Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.