Why Companies Think They’re Still On The Bachelor

Will you accept this rose? Why do companies still think they are on the Bachelor, and they are the ones giving out the roses?

The Great Wake-Up Calls upon us, (the term being borrowed from the great Rayanne Thorn Krueger). And it’s a true Wake-Up Call because the companies that are driving these top employees to resign and reshuffle (hence, the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle).
But, if companies aren’t getting the message that the Great Resignation is a result of their employment practices, then they aren’t paying attention. After years of being the belle at the ball, the employer with all the power, the tides have shifted and you are not the Bachelor anymore, handing out roses to the contestants after each round of dates (interviews). You are actually a contestant, and your outdated processes and short-staffed recruiters are ensuring you get cut by your candidates before hometown dates.

6, 9, or 12 interviews. 8, 10, or 12 weeks from contact to offer. 1, 2, or 3 weeks from application to first contact. Post a job and then give the job sites a few days to do their job, right – make sure you have a good slate of candidates. Sound familiar? The time to hire is increasing (and has been even before the pandemic). The number of candidates opting out of the process is going up. Candidates are ghosting more interviews. The market has changed. The employment power dynamic has shifted. ‘It’s a Candidate Market’. It sure as sh*t is, so why are you still looking at candidates as if the decision is yours alone?

Who controls the interview process?

The mentality of who controls the interview process is very different from what it was two, three, and five years ago, even if the data suggests that we are in a similar employment situation. While the unemployment rate might look similar, the number of available workers has gone down (even as kids enter the workforce).

It’s January 2022. December data had unemployment at 3.9%. 600K more people are unemployed today than they were in February 2020. In February 2020, the US hit its highest point of participation in the ‘laborforce’, the number of people working or available to work: 164.6 million available workers. By November 2021, we are down to 162.05 million available workers. Essentially losing 2.6 million workers (retirement, long-term sickness, opting to leave). Where it is different is the number of open jobs. In February 2020, there were 6.9M open jobs, by October 2021, that number has skyrocketed to 11 million open jobs.

Companies focused on the unemployment number, the number of available workers are missing the increasingly competitive nature of what is really happening.

February 2020:

5.8 Million People Unemployed

6.9M Open Jobs

84 People for Every 100 Open Jobs


November 2021:

6.9 Million People Unemployed

10.6M Open Jobs

65 People for Every 100 Open Jobs

There has been a 23% increase in open jobs to unemployed persons. Mathematically, it seems like it has only gotten slightly harder. But in the trenches, it’s gotten a lot tighter. But that’s only part of the story. It’s not just the unemployed applying to and being hired. A massive number of employees are leaving their existing jobs to take on new roles at new companies. So for some jobs, there are more candidates, more activity, more action…so it feels like recruiters are still in control. Those companies think they are still the ones in control, handing out roses.

But with 11 million-plus open jobs and 4.2 million quits (that’s 4.2 million new open jobs!) in October and 4.5 million quits in November, as a company, the numbers are not in your favor. As a group of hiring organizations, we are running behind.

And recruiters are working harder… filing the positions that are being left, while also filing new jobs that have just opened. All while every other company is chasing those same top candidates.

How can we fix experiences within the hiring process?

  1. Improve your Employee Experience – stop the bleed and to the degree the business can improve the employee experience to lower the turnover, this, in turn, will change the workload of the recruiters

  2. Stabilize the Recruiter Experience – right-sizing the workload of the recruiting team is key to ensuring they can reach candidates, engage them and bring them on

  3. Change the definition of Candidate Experience – it’s not about the number of clicks or if you finally get around to emailing those candidates – it’s about removing the power dynamic. Give candidates a way to interview your business while you interview them and treat them as humans, not as another resource

Remember, your top candidates are actually playing the role of the Bachelor – if you wait too long to profess your undying love – you won’t get that final rose. Happy Sourcing!