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Myth of a lack of skilled workers: Why applications fail

In my more than 30 years of professional life, it has always been my task to bring employees and employers together. To do this, I have used a wide variety of instruments and methods in a wide variety of organisational forms. Initially, further training programmes were used, later outplacement methods. These ranged from individual outplacement to the placement of employees within transfer measures or companies.

Over this period of time I have also had to deal with different demand situations. Most of the time, however, the demand for the jobs was greater. That is, there were more applicants than job offers.

For more than two years now, I have been responsible for recruiting at Wanner. So we are tasked with finding employees. So for me it’s the same situation, with the signs reversed. However, I operate in a market that is characterised by a shortage of skilled workers.

Where are the obstacles in the application process?

We take care of the exact needs assessment and job definition, the creation of job advertisements and the search up. We also help with the initial interviews, an essential part of the recruitment process for our clients. We have clarified the professional and personal qualifications in the applications, agreed on the salary and clarified other important general conditions as well.

All right, you might think, so what should come together does come together. So why is it so difficult?

The exchange of information in job applications

Basically, the participants in such a process want nothing more than clarity about whether the applicant and the company (and the boss) are a good match. For this, both sides need information. All steps in the process serve this purpose. The job advertisement provides information about the position and the company. The CV reveals information about the applicant and in the interview information is exchanged about skills and abilities, company culture and much more.

What if both sides – sometimes unconsciously – withhold this information? If companies cannot or do not want to make a concrete statement about the corporate culture, the teamwork, the job or the expectations. Or if the applicant – apart from repeating the data in their CV – says nothing about how they do their job. Then the exchange of information is incomplete, both sides find it difficult and overall it is rather frustrating for employer and applicant.

What not to do when applying

Apart from the fact that, especially in smaller companies without a personnel department, conducting job interviews should be just as much a part of the further training programme, I am in favour of already practising in a subject at school how to apply successfully and what is important.

Because when I look at the CVs of graduates from secondary schools or grammar schools today, they still look as if they arrived in a time capsule from the 1960s. In these CVs, the date of birth, denomination and home address are still on the first page, the photo is usually too small and, on the other hand, important information for the future employer is completely missing. Form and spelling are yet another issue. We are happy to offer all schools in the region a short workshop to explain what is important today when applying for a job – free of charge, of course!

Would I apply at my company?

However, the information provided by the employer is often just as bad. Job advertisements read bulky and often seem more off-putting than appealing. So why should a candidate apply if there are no incentives at all?

In this context, I think it is particularly important that interviews should take place at eye level. An employer needs an adult and rational person to fill a job well, for that they need to perceive and treat that person as such.

Employers should basically answer this question before they place job advertisements. And applicants should ask themselves what skills they bring to the table to handle the tasks and challenges of the job in question.

We at Wanner can help both sides to answer the questions about job applications in such a way that a satisfactory employment relationship is established in the end.

Yours, Amélie von Schoenaich

Head of Recruiting