Bert Sadtler - President
Mankind has been hiring critical talent for a long time. There are companies who have been around for as long as 500 years. The business itself is almost as ubiquitous as air. By now, the activity of hiring critical talent should be fairly easy.
But it is not easy. Why?
In my experience, today’s hiring model is broken. Job seekers struggle to navigate their way to being hired for the right role and businesses to struggle to acquire the right talent. Yes, of course, successful hiring is occurring but even a broken clock gets it right twice a day. A broken clock is not the result of a reliable process or a proven approach.
So, why is hiring so hard today?
Here are three reasons:
Our society is constantly looking for faster, more efficient methods to turbocharge an outcome. Technology has delivered many great tools. Hiring is the exception to almost any other transaction as it requires a deliberate, two-way human investment. Regardless of the complexity of the product or service your company delivers, there is nothing more complicated than the people who work for your company or the people who you would like to work for your company.
Less attention is being given to the human, psychological aspect of hiring when much more attention should be the direction.
Turbocharging the hiring process with the technical tools or shortcuts that have been developed ends up reducing the critical human interaction factor. It turns the hiring process into nothing more than another transaction. It prevents an important connection from forming between the hiring manager and the newly hired talent. It prevents the hiring manager from hiring the talented candidate who meets the basic technical requirements while is also the best cultural fit or the most “likable”.
Hiring managers must be hiring people who they like and believe can succeed. Candidates must be working for someone who they want to work for and feel some sort of human connection. Too many of the tools today are being allowed to replace this interaction and too many hiring managers are not making it a priority to participate directly in the hiring of the people who report to them.
If you want to learn about interviewing or about how to get a job, just ask anyone within earshot. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is an expert. You can also Google how to answer interview questions and practice all of the traditional interview questions, then learn the scripted answers and commit them to memory. Congratulations, now you are a parrot, not a candidate!
You could become a search word expert, insert all of the right search words into your resume and then post your resume into the various job boards. Wait, let’s look at this from a cynical view. What if a 20 something-year-old was a search word expert who developed the greatest search word resume and then applied to the same job as the mother or father who had years of demonstrated experience, would it make any sense that the 20 something should be considered over the much more qualified, experienced alternative?
Then there is an industry that targets job seekers, telling them for a fee they can get the job seeker a great job. Sadly, this is not plausible and is more about taking advantage of the unemployed who are hearing a fairy tale.
While there is an abundance of advice and abundance of hiring experts, how much of the advice is coming from qualified sources?
Questions to ask that offering advice might include:
“When was the last actual hire that you were directly involved in?”
“What is the number of hires that you have been directly involved in during the past 12 months?”
“What type of hiring positions are you directly familiar with?”
When you think of hiring, you probably think of Human Resources, Recruiters, LinkedIn, and job boards. It goes much deeper and most business leaders along with most job seekers have failed to obtain a real understanding of how all of the various models really work.
First of all, today’s business world is constantly changing. Business must be nimble and agile. Roles and responsibilities are changing and the size and growth capabilities of every business is changing.
There was a time when a Human Resources professional was on the front line for hiring. Today, that professional needs to be a benefits expert, an employee relations expert and is concentrating a lot of their time on internal administrative functions, leaving very little time to devote to outward facing recruiting and hiring. Things have gotten so bad that I rarely if ever hear an interviewee tell me that they met with HR and found it to be an enjoyable experience. This is the department that has the first name of “human”. The human interaction should be the best thing they do.
As for LinkedIn and the job boards, I am active on LinkedIn but it is not a hiring solution. How could it be when it is limited to being online? LinkedIn and the job boards should be regarded as tools, nothing more. Someday, they may be replaced by better tools.
The recruiting models exist in multiple forms. The name “Executive Recruiter” is now being applied to almost any type of recruiter because it gives the recruiter some perceived credibility.
To make this simple, today’s traditional recruiting model is largely to blame for today’s broken hiring model.
Most recruiting models have a fee structure that is directly tied to the compensation paid to the candidate being hired. In many cases, there is NO fee paid to the recruiter unless that recruiter’s candidate is hired.
This model does not align the true needs of the business to acquire the right fit. This model means that it is more important to the recruiter that their candidate gets hired then it is to the hiring company or it is to the candidate. Remember, the best talent is not necessarily the highest paid candidate.
Steps to consider as a business leader or hiring manager would include taking a little time to audit and objectively gain a first-hand appreciation for what a candidate goes through when being considered for a role in your organization. How would you feel if it were you?
Worth noting, I will be on a speaker’s panel at the Small Satellite Symposium on Thursday, Feb 8th, 2018 discussing business growth and the challenges facing small companies to grow by acquiring the right talent.
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