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What Goes On Behind the Hiring Scenes: How Employers Find Job Candidates

Updated on Mar 25, 2021 9281 views
What Goes On Behind the Hiring Scenes: How Employers Find Job Candidates

Have you wondered what happens after you click the apply button when applying for a job? Can you count how many times you have gone to a job interview and you are told - “we will get back to you..”, but you don’t get to hear anything for weeks, months, or even years.

One of the most frustrating parts of the job search journey is what happens after you apply for the job or what happens after the job interview. First, you have done your part (applying for the job), but you don’t have control over what the employer is doing or how long it will take for them to get to you. 

Once you have applied for a job, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is going on with the employer?
  • What can I do to make things go well as much as possible?
  • How can I speed up the hiring process?

These questions may appear not to have answers but you don’t have to worry, we have all the answers to the questions you may want to ask.

In this article, we are going to walk you through what happens after you apply for a job. 


The following happen generally after sending in your application

Stage 1: Scanning with ATS or manual shortlisting 

As soon as you send in your application, there are chances that your application will land in an ATS (applicant tracking system). The ATS is a software that is programmed to scan CVs/resumes for specific keywords. Recruiters use the ATS to quickly scan qualified CVs to select the ones that closely match the job description. Employers use the ATS because it saves them time.

If your CV passes the ATS, the recruiter will go through it and decide whether or not to move you on to the next stage of the interview.  

In the case that recruiter does not use the ATS, they may decide to shortlist job candidates by manually going through their CVs.


Stage 2: Recruiter sends an email/telephone interview

Once a candidate has been shortlisted, the recruiter may decide to send the candidate an email to inform the candidate that he/she has been shortlisted for a particular role and then schedule/state the details of an in-person or video interview.

Some recruiters prefer to schedule a telephone interview with the job candidates immediately after the shortlisting process instead of sending an email first. Many recruiters organize a telephone interview to have a better understanding of the job candidate. 

Most times, after the telephone interview, the hiring manager will discuss with the recruiter/employer to decide whether or not the job candidate will be invited for an in-person or video interview. 

Stage 3: In-person/video interview

Recruiters organize in-person or video interviews to learn more about the job candidate beyond what they read in the candidate’s CV. Employers also organize interviews to allow job candidates to know the company better and decide if they would love to be a part of the company. 

After the in-person/video interview…

Most job candidates find this aspect frustrating because this is where they get to hear the epic “…we will get back to you”. 

Although the waiting period after the in-person/video interview may feel like real torture, but the recruiter is not trying to make you suffer for no reason. There are real reasons why you may have to wait for a while. These are some of the reasons:

1. They may be interviewing other candidates for that position: Some times, a recruiter may receive referrals from staff members or friends for the same position. Depending on the position and company, the recruiter may need to interview more candidates after interviewing you. 

When this happens, it means that you will have to wait for a while for them to complete the interview with other candidates. 

2. They are doing a background check: Some companies run background checks on job candidates before hiring them. Some go as far as paying background check organizations to help run a background check on candidates to find out some details like their health records, criminal records, etc. 

It can take a company a few days or weeks to run a background check on you. The position you are applying for may determine the number of days they will spend on the background check.

3. They are trying to make a decision: Hiring a job candidate to fill in a position does not just revolve around one person as many job seekers think. Many times, after the in-person or video interview, the hiring manager may need to discuss with the Recruiter/employer, HR manager, senior staff members, and sometimes board of directors before a decision can be made. 

Also, read; entry-level interview questions and answers

Stage 4: The offer letter

Once a recruiter or the company has made a hiring decision, an offer will be made. Once an employer decides to hire you, they will send you an offer letter. The offer contains some information like salary, benefit, role description, and other useful information. 

When an employer gives you an offer, they will give you a day or two to sign the offer letter and further time to consider the offer generally. 

Now, you can see that many things happen during the hiring process. Every stage takes some days or even weeks for the employer to achieve a result. Therefore, you should be patient with yourself and the process.

Now that you have an idea about what happens during the hiring process, it is good you understand how you can pass through all these processes and get selected by employers. 

We know we have talked extensively about what happens generally after you click the apply button. We know you still have some questions you would love to ask about the hiring process. Specific questions like; why do recruiters say, “I will get back to you and never do?”  And so on.

In this section, we are going to provide answers to some of the random hiring questions job-seekers wish they could ask the employer. 


Questions job candidates wish they could ask the recruiter

We know there are some questions you wish you could ask the recruiter. These are not the “accepted questions” you ask a recruiter during the interview. These are questions that you have thought about secretly. 

Questions you wish you could ask a recruiter:

  1. What happens after I click the apply button?
  2. Why do I get a form letter after the interview, does it mean I did not do well?
  3. Is it wrong for me to apply to the same position many times?
  4. Do I get disqualified if I don’t add a subject to my email when applying for a job?
  5. Why did the recruiter fail to get back to me after the interview?
  6. How can I impress the recruiter during the interview process
  7. Why was I asked very few questions during the interview?
  8. I get nervous during the interview, is that the reason why I have not gotten a job?

In this section, we are going to share some tips about the questions you wished you could ask the person on the other side of the apply now button. 


What happens after I click the apply button?

As we discussed earlier, a lot of things happen after a job seeker clicks the apply button on a job vacancy. As soon as a candidate applies for a job, a process known as a recruitment or hiring process begins. 

This process continues until the job candidate accepts the offer and then seals the deal. This is simply what happens after a job candidate clicks the apply button.

There is a sorting process to filter correct applications from incorrect ones.

  • All the correct applications are gathered and sorted.
  • A shortlisting process is initiated to select the most qualified candidates for the position/positions.
  • A shortlist of qualified candidates is generated.
  • The most qualified candidate/candidates are selected for the position/positions.
  • The recruiter/hiring manager schedules an interview to select the best man for the position.
  • The recruiter/hiring manager reaches out to the candidates by email, SMS, etc. to invite them for the interview.
  • The recruiter/hiring manager may organize follow-up interviews.
  • A candidate is selected and an offer is made.


Why do I get a form letter after the interview, does it mean I did not do well?

What is a form letter? 

A form letter is a letter written from a template, rather than being specially composed for a specific recipient. The most general kind of form letter consists of one or more regions of boilerplate text interspersed with one or more substitution placeholders.

Although form letters are generally intended for a wide audience, many form letters include stylistic elements or features intended to appear specifically tailored to the recipient. (wikipedia)

Getting a form letter after the interview does not always mean that you did not do well. Employers send form letters sometimes to reduce the time they will have to spend to directly reply to every candidate one after the other. 

Receiving a form letter from an employer does not necessarily mean that you did not do well in the interview. You must have done a good job, but someone else did a little bit better than you. 

Some employers wish they could explain to you why you were not selected for the position, but most of the time they have hundreds of CVs to respond to.  


Is it wrong for me to apply to the same position many times?

While it may seem like a smart thing to do, it may not work like you think it would. 

For some organizations that make use of the ATS or other automated systems, when you send your application more than once the system will return a message to inform you that you have already sent an application earlier. 

Even when an organization goes through its application manually, sending an application twice just tells the employer that you are desperate rather than telling them that you are qualified for the job. An employer may get angry seeing a job application that does not fit the job description twice or more.

Instead of sending your application multiple times, it is better you follow-up your application with an email or a phone call (depending on the communication channel that works best). 


Do I get disqualified if I don’t add a subject to my email when applying for a job?

You may not be out rightly disqualified if you don’t add a subject line to your email when applying for a job, but you can be indirectly disqualified. Recruiters/employers receive hundreds of application emails, so adding a subject line to your email quickly gives the employer an idea of your email content. 

An employer may not have the time to open all the emails to read the content. An employer will understand the content of an email from the subject line (especially when they request that job seekers use a specific one).

If you fail to add a subject line to your application email, your email may just end up being unread by the employer. Even if you don’t get disqualified as it were for not adding a subject line to your email, there is a high chance that your email may be ignored.

You may also love to read email etiquette for job seekers


Why did the recruiter fail to get back to me after the interview?

As a job seeker, you would love to get immediate feedback as soon as the interview is over. At least to know whether or not you got the job so that you can know the next thing to do. 

As quick as you would love to get feedback from the recruiter, it may not be possible. Recruiters don’t just make hiring decisions immediately after interviewing you especially when they are interviewing a lot of candidates. 

Most times, recruiters collaborate with a hiring team or a team of HR managers. So they would want to discuss the job candidates’ performances concerning the job description before deciding on the candidate they want to hire. 

Another reason is that a recruiter may not have the time to give feedback to the entire candidate that applied/interviewed for the job. 


How can I impress the recruiter during the interview process?

You may easily feel like you don’t stand a chance during an interview especially when the recruiter doesn’t give off a positive response during the interview.

Sometimes, a recruiter may not be able to give you the confirmation you need to know that you did great because they may have a lot of candidates to interview. They may just want to get your response and then move on to the next person after which they will discuss all the job candidates' performance.

If you want to impress the recruiter during the interview, you can do the following:

  • Show enthusiasm for the job and the company.
  • Show that you fit into the job description.
  • Show that you are open and willing to learn. Etc.

These are some of the things that you can do to impress the recruiter during the job interview. To impress the recruiter during the interview, you have to prepare well for the interview. Practising job interview questions and answers will help you impress the recruiter and ace your job interview. 


Why was I asked very few questions during the interview?

A recruiter may decide to ask you only a few questions during the interview, but you don’t have to worry about that. Sometimes, recruiters don’t want to waste time asking different questions that do not reveal the information they need to know about the candidate.

A recruiter may ask you a few questions because they have gotten the information they wanted to get, and they want to save the remaining questions for the next stage of the interview. They may also ask a few questions when they have a lot of candidates to interview. 

So they may decide to keep the interview short and fast so that they can meet up with time.


I get nervous during the interview, is that the reason why I have not gotten a job?

Employers indeed observe your composure during the interview, but sometimes they may not judge your composure based on the position they want to fill. Employers tend to judge your composure more for a higher position than for an entry-level position.

Recruiters may ignore slight nervousness, but an extreme display of nervousness can affect you negatively. Employers look forward to hiring a confident person that can sell the product/services of the company. 

If you are usually nervous during an interview, you can consider practising your answers to some questions that the recruiter will likely ask. Practising before the day of the interview will make you feel more confident.

You can also prepare to ask the interviewer some questions. You may feel more confident when you are in charge. See some questions that you can ask the interviewer

Now that you have gotten answers to some of your secret questions, it is good you know how employers can find you. It is one thing for your CV to land in front of an employer, it is another thing for you to be finally selected for the position. To ensure you get eventually selected by an employer, you have to first make yourself visible to the employer.

Just like you search for job vacancies, employers often search for the best candidate to fill their vacant positions. Now the question is, where do employers find job candidates?


Where employers find job candidates

Employers don’t just rely on posting job adverts to find job candidates like many job seekers think. Many employers do not make their job vacancies open to the public at all. This kind of employers searches for job candidates that fit into the job requirement.

Many large and even start-up companies search for job candidates that suit the role especially if it is a skill-based role. Some employers like to take this route to save themselves from the hassles of sorting through loads of CVs.

In this section, we are going to expose you to some places where employers go to find job candidates. Employers go to these places to find job candidates:


Personal recommendations

Before job adverts became a thing, people got to find jobs because someone they knew told someone they are good enough. 

A research done by MyJobMag reveals that 64.5% of job seekers in Nigeria got their jobs through networking. Some organizations rely on personal recommendations to get talents to join their teams. 

Like you know; there are lots of hidden jobs that are not advertised on job boards. Research has shown that there are even more hidden jobs than advertised jobs. Employers often treat candidates that are referred by someone differently because they already have an expectation. 

Since employers find candidates through personal recommendation, then you should consider making friends and building useful relationships. You can’t tell who will recommend you.


CV databases

There are CV database platforms that allow job seekers to upload their CVs (this is usually done for free). Employers subscribe to these platforms to filter candidates CVs and eventually find the talent that fits into the position they are looking for. 

There are CV database platforms that are specific to certain job fields, regions, etc. So if you want your CV to get to the eyes of your prospective employer, then you need to start uploading your CVs to CV database platforms. 


Social Media

Gone are the days when social media was a thing that was done by young people for leisure. The narrative has changed, now almost every single person both young and old have social media accounts.

Social media is longer a place made for individuals to just have fun. Companies now have social media pages that allow them to connect with their customers/followers on a personal level. Employers/recruiters search for candidates on different social media platforms.

If you are actively job hunting, then it is time for you to clean up your social media pages. You should optimize your social media pages with your skills and ensure it looks good because you never know who is searching for someone with your skills.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are great for networking. Many employers/recruiters search for job candidates on LinkedIn. So it is time for you to get active on LinkedIn. 


Job/career Fairs

Job/career fairs is another place that employers find job candidates. Most times, employers that have urgent positions they want to fill usually attend job fairs. Employers find job fairs as an effective place to source for candidates because it allows them to interact with the job candidates on a personal level.

Asides from meeting with employers, job fairs allow you to network with other candidates that can also refer you if the need arises.

If you have never attended a job fair, it is time you start attending relevant career fairs. When attending career fairs, be prepared to meet with employers. Remember to dress like you are going for an interview.


Why It Makes Sense for You to Be Found on MyJobMag

Employers indeed go to the different places that we have talked about earlier to find job candidates, but how soon can an employer contact you? No one knows.

This is why making yourself visible on a recruitment platform like MyJobMag just makes sense. How so right?

There are a good number of employers subscribed to MyJobMag. These employers search for job candidates to fill their vacant positions regularly. These employers love to use MyJobMag because they are sure to get the right candidates that will immediately fit into the position that they are looking to fill. 

MyJobMag online recruitment option for employers functions quite easily. Let’s take a quick look at it.

First MyJobMag has a robust database of job candidates with different skills on her platform. 

  • Employers register on this platform and get access to job candidates’ profiles depending on the skills they are looking for.
  • Registered employers search for job candidates that fit into their specification.
  • The employer can decide to filter the result he/she gets based on the information they find on the candidate's profile.
  • The employer can immediately shortlist candidates and schedule an interview with selected candidates.

Since you know how MyJobMag recruitment works, it is good you understand how employers can find you on MyJobMag.

Ready, let’s go:


How Employers can find you easily on MyJobMag

It is no news that employers are constantly searching for qualified candidates on MyJobMag, but how do you make sure the employers searching for job candidates find you?

It is easy, the answer is to optimize your profile.

As good as it sounds to know that employers are constantly searching for job seekers on MyJobMag, it is also good you know that there are thousands of job seekers that have their profiles on MyJobMag. The questions here is how do you optimize your profile to stand out on MyJobMag?

Since employers are searching, it means that some job candidates profile will show up first before the others in search results. So this is how you make your profile visible to employers searching:

  • Make sure you create a job seekers’ dashboard for your self on MyJobMag (this gives you access to filter job adverts based on your preference amongst other benefits).
  • Upload your CV. (You don’t have to worry if you don’t have one. You can easily create one with the CV builder).
  • Then finally, make sure your profile is complete. The more complete your profile is the more visible you will be. This simply means that employers will find you easily if you have a profile that is 100% complete.

A complete profile will allow employers to get the information they need to decide whether or not you are the right person for the position. 

With a complete profile, you don’t have to put in any job search effort. You can practically engage in other things like (acquire skills) while you have employers searching for you, and finally invite you for an interview even without applying for any job.

This is great right. Click here to complete your profile now and expose yourself to amazing job opportunities. 

A lot of things happen behind the hiring scenes that job candidates are not aware of. Many job candidates wish there could do something to put themselves in a more advantaged position.

We have given you a sneak peek into the things that happen behind the hiring scenes. We are sure you would find these pieces of advice useful. 

Feel free to drop a comment if you have a question, we would love to hear from you. 

Not sure of how to start job hunting? See all you need to know in this book.


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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