October 29, 2009 – Despite high unemployment levels, recruiters are still struggling to identify the right candidates for their client organizations, according to research by SHL, a provider of talent assessment solutions. Almost half (41 percent) of the recruiters questioned say that the number of applications per job has increased since the start of the recession, yet only 23 percent have actually found it easier to find suitable candidates. The survey of more than 350 recruiters found that 36 percent have been taking longer to recruit because of the recession, with the majority stating that this is because there are more candidates. Almost two thirds (60 percent) have also become more selective, with a third of these (35 percent) saying they are looking for the best people to help their organization survive the tough economic conditions. Many employers are also wary of candidates looking for a stop-gap until the job market improves, rather than a job that is actually right for them – a fifth say this is the case. Furthermore, 18 percent had taken a job in the last year that was not in line with their expectations. Due to the increase in candidates, recruiters are being more selective about experience (69 percent), competencies (61 percent), enthusiasm (46 percent) and fit with company culture (42 percent). Additional methods of selection have been brought in by two thirds of those questioned including competency interviewing (32 percent), trial periods (26 percent), additional interviews (21 percent) and psychometric testing (13 percent). “While it may seem that recruiters currently have the pick of the talent due to the increase in jobseekers, it appears that this is not necessarily the case. Not only has the sheer number of applicants made it difficult for employers to identify the best candidates, but many employers do not appear to have an understanding of the skills and competencies they actually need,” said David Leigh, CEO of SHL.