Getting Many Unqualified Job Applicants? Here are 4 Reasons.

When you are hiring you to want to hire the best talent which also means you need to attract top talent to apply for the job. Some companies struggle to receive job applications whereas some get job applications in large numbers. However, most of these job applicants are unqualified. Either the candidates do not have relevant experience or they lag the basic skills required for the job. If you do not receive quality job applicants it’s a waste of time and productivity as recruiters spend countless hours screening these unqualified job applicants. But what is the reason you are not getting qualified applicants? Are you pushing off top talent with your candidate sourcing process or simply you are not able to attract them?

Let’s find out the top reasons why you would receive a large number of unqualified job applicants.

Sloppy Job Description Is The Primary Reason For Attracting Unqualified Job Applicants

The job description is your true opportunity to attract the right talent. It could compel candidates to apply for the job or it may just push them away. Unfortunately, many hiring managers or recruiters do a sloppy job in writing them.

So, how do you write a job description that could attract the right talent? Your job description is your unique opportunity to sell the job and hence it must be descriptive, clear, attractive. It must include the following information –

Job Title

Don’t invent job titles. Use job titles that are commonly known. Also, use a job title that reveals the true nature of the work. For example, job title Application Developer confirms that the company is looking for a developer. However, if you use job titles like Java Developer or Java Application Developer would reveal the main skill required and the nature of work.

Mention Skills Separately

Although your job description will list the skills required for the role, it is strongly recommended you must write skills required in a different paragraph or under a separate heading. Candidates are quickly browsing through multiple job positions and if you highlight the skills required, it would just catch the attention of the candidates.

Understand The Job Profile

Many times companies mention too many skills or responsibilities in the job description. This mainly happens when there is no clear understanding of the skills or the nature of the job. If your job posting writes about everything then it would confuse candidates. Either they will ignore or just apply for that role. This is a great recipe for inviting unqualified job applicants.

Highlight Special Requirements

If you need your future employee to work in shifts or to travel frequently or a person needs to make 100 cold calls every week or anything different than a normal job requirement, then you must highlight it. 

Salary Details

Many companies avoid writing salaries in the job posting. Although it is debatable, if you see many candidates dropping off from the hiring process post their salary discussion, it is advisable you include the salary details in the job posting. Quality job applicants not only means people who are right for the role but also means people who qualify for your company culture, pay scale, etc.

You may check this article to learn more about How To Write A Good Job Description.

Employer Branding

A few years ago a giant financial institute from the USA stared working on their employer branding so that they can attract the top tech talent. You might think a giant or a well-known brand doesn’t need an introduction and not so much of branding either. However, they realized they were losing top talent to technology giants. These candidates were more interested in working for tech companies rather than financial institutes.

So, take a close look at your brand proposition. What kind of candidates you want to attract. Talk to your top employees. Ask them what they liked about the company. Conduct an employee survey. Find why employees are leaving you. This whole exercise will help you identify what you need to work on from an employer branding perspective.

If you are just any brand out there, you would not get quality job applicants. You could be a company that offers the best work like balance or best medical insurance or has the best remote working policy. You need to decide the kind of image you want to build for your company. Top candidates evaluate the brands they want to join. Your company career page is the best place to leverage for employer branding.

unqualified job applicants

You Are Not Pre-screening The Candidates

Recruiters generally rely on phone-screening the candidates. The problem with that, it takes away a lot of productive time. Why not pre-screen candidates at the job application state? You should ask candidates to answer important questions when they are applying for the job. For example, ask them how many years of relevant experience they have. Many times candidates have required overall years of experience but they do not have enough relevant experience for the skills you are looking for.

It’s better to eliminate unqualified job applicants at the prescreening by asking all important questions. However, you need to make you do go overboard with too many questions that make candidates abandon the job application.

Poor Candidate Experience

Top candidates usually do not like it if they have to fill up a lengthy job application form. There is a high probability they may abandon the job application process if it is cumbersome. Similarly, if you are not providing a great candidate experience to job seekers, you are bound to lose a lot of top candidates who would have applied to your jobs.

If you want quality job applicants to come your way, make sure your job application process is intuitive. For example, when candidates are applying, just ask for their resume and use a resume parser in the background to extract all the information. Do not ask candidates to fill out a 5-page form. Instead, ask questions that would reveal the information that is not mentioned on the resume, such as expected salary, if they are willing to relocate.

If you are using modern hiring software, you should be able to achieve this with ease.

Also, during the entire hiring process, you should be answering or addressing queries raised by candidates. As per the CareerBuilder survey, 44% of job seekers who never heard from the employer after applying for the job had the worst opinion about that employer. You can use recruitment technology to automate such communication.

Poor candidate experience can affect your employer brand as these candidates do share their experiences on platforms like Glassdoor. Bad reviews would certainly push the top quality job applicants away.


The basic reason why you are receiving many unqualified job applicants is that you are not able to communicate clearly with the job seekers. It could be a poorly written job description or not asking the right questions at the pre-screening stage. You are probably not passing the message correctly about the kind of candidates you are interested in. Maybe it is poor employer branding. All these reasons reflect poor communication. The only way you could remove or reduce unqualified job applicants is by communicating effectively. And recruitment technology can help you achieve that with a lot of ease.

Picture of Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande is a Co-Founder of CVViZ, an AI recruiting software. He has more than 15 years of experience in software development and leading large teams. He has built products using NLP and machine learning. He has recruited engineers, programmers, marketing and sales people for his organizations. He believes in using technology for solving real-life problems.

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