Monday, October 28, 2013

The No. 1 Reason Employers Can't Find the Right Talent

There have been many complaints by some companies that they can’t find people to fill positions, despite a 7.3% unemployment rate.
What gives? Are the unemployed a bunch of no-talent, bottom-of-the-barrel drudges who should never be given a job?
Check out Twitter or LinkedIn, and you’ll find experienced, smart, driven people looking for work.  There are currently four million people who are now considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been looking for work for more than six months. A recent Urban Institute study finds that these long-term jobless are better educated than the other unemployed Americans.
So why do some employers say they can’t find the right talent?
Because they’re lazy.
They let software automatically screen for keywords so they can eliminate hundreds of resumes without even looking at them. Other pre-screening methods eliminate anyone who doesn’t have the exact skills mentioned in the job posting.
Next, they rule out anyone who looks “too old,”  is unemployed (there must be something wrong with them if they don’t have a job, right?) and anything else that gives them an excuse to dump a resume, such as – gasp! – a misspelled word.
When it finally comes time to do interviews, more applicants are rejected because the employer asks basic, uninspired questions that fail to really plumb the depths of what an applicant may have to offer.
So, now the recruitment process by these employers has come down to only a few remaining applicants. But after a quick huddle with human resources, those candidates are determined not to possess “it” (which is never really defined) and so it’s decided the search process needs to begin again.
Now everyone sits around complaining that no qualified talent is available.
But could it be that the problem isn’t the lack of qualified applicants, but a lack of quality recruiting?
If managers were better trained in the hiring process, they could use pre-screening and interview processes that didn’t weed out candidates based on a lack of certain skills. They would understand that employees do best when they are challenged and can see career development in their future. Hiring someone to do the exact same job they left earlier doesn’t make a lot of sense and can lead to job dissatisfaction within the year.
In addition, more employers need to be asking better questions in interviews so that they find people with the skills that often can’t be taught:  a dedication to quality work, a commitment to teamwork; an ability to think strategically and creatively; and an ability to get along with others.
In “Hiring for Attitude,” by Mark Murphy, he says that of the 20,000 new hires he tracked, 46% failed within 18 months because a majority of the time they couldn’t be coached, had low levels of emotional intelligence,  were unmotivated and had the wrong temperament.
If employers want to start hiring smarter, then they need to:
  • Stop writing crappy job postings. Employers need to really understand what an open position needs on a short- and long-term basis. Hiring managers should spend time talking to colleagues and customers to solicit their ideas on the key skills that are needed to really rock the position. If a cool head in a stressful environment is needed, applicants might be asked to tell a story about a time that they faced a crisis and how they dealt with it.
  • Look for referrals.  Other employees often know people within their industry or even have friends who might be a good fit for a job. Always open a position internally first as it can help drive retention, motivation and engagement for employees to know an employer sees them as helping the company be successful.
  • Quit taking the easy route. If you’re looking for an easy way to eliminate the number of people you need to interview and quickly fill the position so you can move on to other things, then you will pay for that slacker attitude when you hire the wrong person.  Department of Labor statistics shows that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the person’s first year of potential earnings. So, dig (read more here)


Pink said...

I completely agree, especially about the poor job descriptions. When I was still searching, there were constant disconnects between what they needed and what the description said. I won't go into the additional problem of letting experienced (higher paid) people go, then combining two or three skills and expecting someone to have all those skills, do more work, and yet pay them less.

tom g said...

Totally agree with this! Be it HR or someone else, the screening process is lame, the on-line assessments provide no insight into the candidate and the auto screen on resumes are terrible. Whatever happened to real people interviewing real candidates?

josh said...

One thing I have noticed is that depending on which side of the divide you sit on, you place the "responsibility" for the issue on the other side. I think what is overlooked by many people, regardless of position as a job seeker or job giver, is the role personal relationships play in the process.

Another indication of the problem is the number of software/automation products that attempt to "make hiring easier/better". Do they work? I don't know

Anonymous said...

The main reason that most of them cannot find the right talent is that they are unwilling to pay for it. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Employers want an *exact* match by someone who is already performing those tasks to reduce costs - either by avoiding training or the description matches the low-cost visa-seeker they want to higher.

Anonymous said...

No kidding.
Add to that:
1. Processing interviewees by a game of "you drew the short straw".
2. Having a process that requires group interviews, then ignoring it (because we are too busy today.) Tell the candidate your company can't be bothered.
3. Interviews by people who haven't a clue about the skill area.
4. Don't bother to look at a resume. Just ask insulting questions suitable for fresh out of college. Show complete ignorance and disdain for the candidate.

Agnelo Rocha da Silva said...

Very good points! I'd like to highlight one the mentioned aspects by means of an example. Sometimes, we are looking for an item A at the grocery store and we end up finding an extraordinary offer for an item B which can be not very closely related to A... Anyways, it can be a real achievement for yourself. Similarly, this scenario can be applied to the recruiting process. Even if someone does not have the required expertise for a certain skill, his "strong" portfolio of courses/training/achievements at related areas is an indication that the same person can achieve the desired skill very quickly... The term "strong" here is associated to the fact that the candidate has a much better portfolio than the average of the persons employed at the target job department. Therefore, "keywords"-based filter can eliminate the chances of the recruiter to recognize the mentioned opportunities.

Anonymous said...

I strongly believe this research. Let the recruiters do more than depending on software.

Gary O said...

I also agree and that is coming from someone in the recruiting field as well as someone about to reenter the job market. The problem is that there are too many non qualified people that are in the middle serving as filters/firewalls to the hiring manager. Unless the right words jump off the page, you'll never set selected. Spell out Intrusion Detection System instead of IDS, you'll get skipped.

Best advice is to do a custom resume for every position, take their exact keyword requirement descriptions and use those in it. Even do an A/B column. Your requirements say you are looking for this, I have done that at xxxx by doing yyyy. Basically help them but keeping them from thinking.

Linked-In and networking are your best friends.

Anonymous said...

One problem is that employers look only at the last job on the resume, without considering what else the person has done. A person might take a job they weren't completely happy about for many reasons. Maybe they wanted to give up the nomad life of a consultant, or they thought they might be given a chance to advance.

If that latest job didn't use the latest versions of the hottest software, then the person is considered completely ignorant of the software - even if they used it for 15 years prior to the latest job on the resume. How many people would spend $100,000 for their own personal copy of some software, just so they can keep up with the latest versions?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree! HR/Recruiters are now just order takers. They don’t know how to ask the right questions or push back on the hiring manager for poorly written or unreasonable job requirements. Hiring manager asks for XYZ, so they go their search engine and only look for XYZ. There is no thought to long term fit. It is about the low hanging fruit. Very lazy! Why do we even need HR or Recruiters? Let's let the machine make the decision and save some money.

Anonymous said...

Assume for a moment that human nature being what it is, things will not change on the hiring side of the equation. I would like to hold a discussion on what steps the unemployed and talented can take to counter these hiring faults. -doug

Anonymous said...

Outsourcing, automation and the quest for maximum profits in a constrained maximum scenario(by substituting poor work/life balance and laughable wage/benefits packages to boost profits) have hampered the ability of employers to find who they're looking for. They want 21st century employees with 22nd century outlook and productivity while offering 19th and 20th century workplaces and wages. I know people with MS degrees in engineering and economics who prefer to work at a microbrewery or REI due to the respect and quality of life they have, as opposed to working like slaves for companies that view them as a commodity with a finite lifespan. I can't say I blame them.

Unknown said...

I can agree with most of this article. But hiring someone for specfic skill and talent is to leverage that experince and push the vision forward of the hiring company. Nevertheless as a repeat I placed it on Linkedin. The NOW HIRNG graphics really stands out.

Unknown said...

Well, that may be true in some cases, particularly with large-company employers. BUT... as a small company, we had one heck of a time finding any engineers looking for work recently. Could it be that out-of-work professionals purposely 'shun' employment situations where the prospective employee will not just be another cog in the wheel? We pay well, have good benefits, an idyllic work location, and we're all nice people too... the kind you'd want to take home to meet mom! Why are we invisible?

Anonymous said...

I'm now 59 and have a job, but some 8 years ago my applications were rejected immediately unread. I know it, they were still on paper - untouched. On the first page I had all basic facts, including age. Many companies look for specific skills - for the first project. In the next one you will need new skills, so the correct question is "have you the correct background" + "can you learn". Well, some HR guys "know" that at a certain age you cannot. They also "know" you will be too epensive, without asking.
What they don't know, is that entering a running project is the most costly thing, so further questions are "can you READ code" and "are you willing to fix existing stuff".
But for this you need so called EXPERIENCE.
(Jan Sliwa)

Anonymous said...

This article is #1 reason and to that I'd have to agree. Real and good work will generally fill almost any position unless the position is really bad (poor pay etc.) There are of course a host of other problems as highlighted here which if addressed would also help, but if those are fixed and the recruiter get even lazier there is still a problem. The basic issue is that the assumed cost of leaving the position open is less than paying the recruiters to do a good job. That assumption may be true in some cases, but I expect largely it is not... It is however very easy to justify poor company performance on whatever stat that happens to be handy!

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the part about lousy job descriptions, I disagree with the assessment that it is all on the employers. Like UNKNOWN above, we are a small business that has a hard time finding quality developers. The number one reason for decline of an offer? It's a small business and too risky. Yet we have all the benefits they look for (and more) that large companies often don't provide. And we read every resume. Maybe this should be directed to big company HR people, but I'm not seeing what the author is seeing, at least within my company.

Anonymous said...

There is more to this than just HR rejecting most resumes which come in, which does happen a lot these days. It is also the fact that management has unrealistic list of what they want is also a problem as stated here, but there are other things going on as well.

These days you generally do not talk to the manager at first about what you have done in the past and what you can do for them going forward, you generally have talk to one of their programmers first who acts as a gatekeeper; you have to know what they know which is very bad for any group. They are usually young and ask all sort of coding trivia questions just as they were asked in school. So you have to have similar knowledge of the language they are using that the programmer you are interviewing with has in order to get a pass. You have to know every feature in the book because you do not know what they will ask.

They also give coding test, some of them timed some and some at the interviews itself. They have no relationship to commercial work or knowledge but they usually consist of are what one would describe as homework questions they had once gotten in school. So an experience programmer is at a disadvantage if learned what they needed to do the job on their own and had not taken extreme coding 101 in school. This eliminates a lot of very good experienced people who could answer these questions on an interview, and it proves nothing about what a good experienced person can do in the job. This might be alright for someone with just a few years of experience and no long list of accomplishments but it makes no sense to test someone with many years of real experience and someone who can talk about their past work, but they do it anyway.

Then of course, as mentioned here, they have a long list of requirements. It seems like they keep coming up with new frameworks and packages every few months. One cannot know all of them or have worked on everyone. An experienced programmer could pick it up quickly enough but they will not let you do that. They will only talk to people who have everything they are looking for at the moment. After that gets old they just dump these people every couple of years and hire new ones who knows the latest and greatest hot thing of all time at the moment.

There is one more thing at play now a days. There are so many people to choose from management will not commit to anyone (no shortage but a large glut of people to choose from). Even if you had a good interview with the manager, they may still not decide to hire you until the looked for who know how many more weeks or months at all the people they can. No one seems to be good enough these days for these managers. That is the true issue. They will train the cheaper H-1B labor without a problem though.

Unknown said...

The current business model used by the Recruitment industry is every bit as broken as the banks.
Reform is needed, for it is plain to see that the present system is just not fit for purpose.
These days we have the kind of social media tools that would allow us to build brilliant platforms for recruitment. But my guess is the HR industry would fight this to the bitter end because power would then reside with the hiring manager. And we can't allow that to happen, can we?

Unknown said...

'Amen' to Anonymous at 3:03. Working for a big employer has its perks, which include being hidden from job-performance scrutiny. I encountered this working for Ma Bell many years ago where, in fact, creativity and ambition were actually discouraged by peers. A small company can be a risk, but when soliciting for engineers we made it a point to say that we've been in business for more than 40 years. That should count for something, I would think.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what prompted me to read this article, as I gave up trying to find work as a real-time and/or storage systems coder several years ago. Lots of good observations, though. And I could almost still care, if I thought it would do any good. But there are so many things wrong with the hiring process in the "hi-tech" world that it's impossible to enumerate them. "Dilbert isn't a comic strip, it's a documentary."

Joe said...

Well said. I agree with all of these points. I've been on the hiring end as well. You really can't tell what you're missing in a candidate until you talk to them.

Anonymous said...

Unknown said: "as a small company, we had one heck of a time finding any engineers looking for work recently."

But didn't say what you/they were doing to try to find and recruit engineers, nor what kinds of engineers.

Did you place ads in engineering trade publications?
Did you place ads on your company web site?
Did you buy display ads in several of the closer large-circulation pet-cage lin..., er, newspapers?
Did you include your hiring managers' e-mail addresses and desk phone numbers in those ads?

Did you offer a bounty to current employees?
Did you consult with a head-hunter or local employment agency?
Did you go to local NSCoder Nights or CocoaHeads meetings or equivalent, and pass out your business cards?
Did you visit the nearest dozen universities with engineering degree programs and give the profs (and/or students you addressed in your presentations to the student chapters of the appropriate engineering societies) your business cards and a brief printed run-down on the jobs for which you're recruiting as reminders?

Are you in a location with high costs of living, high taxes, over-bearing regulation...?
Some firms have ethical reputation issues which put off competent people.
Did you set aside sufficient funds to fly in candidates from across the country for interviews?
Did you set aside sufficient funds for relocation assistance?

Anonymous said...

This is the first article I've seen that even comes close to revealing what's going on.

There's no question that there's a large disconnect between jobs going unfilled and workers being unemployed. But if employers simply don't want the workers who are unemployed - for whatever reasons, good or bad - there really is no "problem" to solve as far as "matching" people to jobs goes; the employers will have to change their behavior either voluntarily or by coercion, or "never the twain shall meet".

Meanwhile, anyone in the workforce would be well advised to choose a profession or skills which are so much in demand that employers are forced to hire whomever they can get in order to simply stay in business - and acquire more than one such skill or profession as a hedge against the vicissitudes of the "Job Market" during one's working years.

Anonymous said...

I've seldom, if ever, gotten a job by responding to an ad placed in a newspaper or online. Even before resumes went electronic, it was clear that the job of Personnel (Human "Resources") 'droids was to run interference so that good candidates would never even get an interview. All the good jobs I've had in my career have been via the back door, because I had direct contact with the hiring manager first. After he decided to hire me, we'd visit Human Resources and have them fill out the paperwork.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all of these points. Many companies won't hire anything but a perfect fit. Some won't hire disabled (look at the empty handicapped parking spaces at Silicon Valley companies), some advertise the ridiculous to justify more H1B visas. Also, like many engineers in the Valley, I moved out of California because of restrictive gun laws and went to a strong gun rights state. I've refused opportunities to interview in MA, MD, NY and NJ for this limit on personal freedom.

Anonymous said...

Of COURSE it's lazy recruiters and employers.

I receive four or five times as many feelers from robots -- or human drones -- who haven't so much as scanned my resume' on LinkedIn than from people who have. The resume' CLEARLY indicates my kind of EMC is *not* data storage as that EMC^2 Corporation whose shortcut name has displaced the common engineering abbreviation.

They never get answered, of course.

WRT filters... I never took any engineering courses and have no degrees -- but I've been an EMC (the real kind) engineer, at least when working for a firm* that hires them, for some thirty years, working on computers, TEMPEST, telephone, medical and aerospace equipment. A few weeks after starting at my first job, which came soon after an interview by the hiring manager, I got a snooty letter from the same firm;s HR department. "Dear sir, we have no openings at this time for someone with your qualifications."

I'd started at 25 percent more than I asked for and almost doubled that in three years. Not qualified? Heh; they wouldn't know a decibel from a drumstick!

*Some states make it unlawful for anyone to call himself an engineer unless either employed as one or a licensed PE license. I am available on contract from my employer.

Paul Conaway said...

Many companies have all but eliminated training. Saying in effect that if we wanted you to have that skill, we would have hired you (or someone else) with that skill.

Paul Conaway said...

Many companies have all but eliminated training. Saying in effect that if we wanted you to have that skill, we would have hired you (or someone else) with that skill.

Anonymous said...

The USA has a huge bias against STEM workers and talent.

Don't listen to the words: they are free, instead watch the actions.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with much of what the article says, I do think that many of the respondents are taking the easy route and copping out.

HR systems look for keywords? Really? This isnt news. Use this feature to your advantage. Make sure you include the same buzzwords that appear in the job posting.

Yes, this means that you have to customize your resume and - gasp! - do work for each new posting you apply for. But guess what? Looking for a job is in itself a full time job - and more taxing at that.

As far as the gatekeepers and HR persons are concerned - the fact that we're all complaining they're merely simpletons who only take orders - again, use this to your advantage. At the risk of sounding manipulative, if you lack the intelligence or ability to persuade these HR 'simpletons' then maybe you're not fit for the job to begin with.

Before I get flamed, I want to confirm that I am a) not in HR (and have no interest in the field) and b) am currently an active job-seeker myself.

Is job searching hard? You betcha. But the day you make the locus of control external to your powers is the day you have failed.

Unknown said...

Absolutely correct!!! My wife was in IT for 20 years and now out of work for more than a year. Why? Completely unrealistic list of requirements and autoscreening to eliminate applicants. What do employers end up with doing things this way? People who lied on their resume or applications to get through the autoscreening. My wife does not lie so even though she has experience with another software package that is nearly identical to the exact one they want, the autoscreener does not see that exact keyword and so rejects her. The only way to even have a human with some actual understanding of the advertised job look at your qualifications these days is to lie. Many people have no problem with lying about their abilities and so in the last few years employers have ended up with employees that totally lied their way through and then have no idea how to do the job. That is part of the reason you have employers these days saying they can not find qualified employees. If they had real people with a decent idea of what the job was about doing the screening then, long term, employers would be happier and more people would be doing productive work.

Anonymous said...

One problem I have seen is that development cycles are so short and every company is trying to hire someone with the latest technology experience, in which there is a limited pool of experienced candidates. The companies have employees very capable of learing the new technology, but the company prefers to try to hire the skill.

Unknown said...

Networking is the only way to get a job. It is 'what you know' AND 'who you know'.

Unknown said...

I am 65 (66 in January) and got a job 2 years ago with a tier one tech company. The good side? They have a serious non-discrimination policy with regard to age, gender, sex, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. They did do a serious interview process with me - my interviewers were all younger (by far) than I was, and were Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, American, and "other". I think I got the position (senior systems/performance engineer) because of my background and ability to adapt to new technologies. My latest project was to build a web-based mobile phone emulator with PhP. I didn't know PhP when I started a few months ago, and I had to fix bugs in PhP's http code base that would not handle "chunked" transmissions properly. Yes, it was a major PITA and I spent a lot of cycles figuring out the protocols (not well documented), but it is working now!

So, adaptibility, flexibility, willingness to learn new stuff. These are the things that employers need to look for. Age is irrelevant - my father (an astro-physicist) was capable of thinking most techs under the table at the age of 70+. He would still be today if he hadn't had a heart attack in the mountains of Colorado with no medical support around 20 years ago.

Feng Ouyang said...

Great topic and great article. I would like to add two more points.

1. Applicants bear some responsibilities in this situation, as well. By indiscriminately mass-sending applications, they overwhelm the employer's screening system, resulting in automated or mechanical filtering process that lead to suboptimal results. Maybe a profession-wide black list can be established for the super-mass-applicants, or make the applicant pay a small fee to encourage them to be more selective (something like the college application fee).

2. The value of job agencies. A good headhunter can go a long way in matching candidates with the "real" job requirements, and to educate both sides about market conditions so they can adjust their strategies and expectations. Unfortunately, with the advance of IT, everyone thinks they can do it themselves. And it is difficult to tell a good headhunter from a bad one.

Unknown said...

So very very true. As a hiring manager I take the time to read every resume even if it is 100's. I even accept brief phone calls as long as time permits, because all things being equal the person that takes the time to get to me shows ambition and desire which is a good trait. The other problem that I see is the lack of ANY communication or feedback. I always made the point of getting a reply to anyone who did not meet the requirements, and personally contacted anyone who actually interviewed if they did not get the job. I think is it just good business and treat applications how I myself would want to be treated.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind the functions of Human Resource professionals.
1. Maintain their own positions. They do this by advertising positions even during hiring freezes and at other times when the position is not really open.
2. A function of Human resource professionals is to prevent hiring managers from getting the people they need. (It happened to me when I needed help.)
3. HR people generally try to prevent the unemployed from getting work. One way they do this is with "Active SECRET clearance required."

Clearly there is a shortage of qualified HR professionals. We need to crank up the colleges to turn out more, and we need to immediately bring in thousands on H1-B visas to fill the "Army of Industrial Reserve".

Anonymous said...

Good article and all too true, but what this shows is a huge problem with general management that shows up in HR management.

The problems with general management go further, even once hired employees are poorly utilized, poorly developed, and thus guess what, poorly retained.

Almost as if most companies plan to fail rather than strive to succeed. This is very different today than mumble years ago. Of course my perspective is within IT and STEM generally, but it doesn't sound so different elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" on November 20, 2013 at 3:16 PM, hits it on the head about the junior engineer "gatekeeper" problem.

Many tech workers don't even get TO the HR department, because they've been "screened" by a junior engineer on the phone asking pet questions, who thinks if we don't know what he does now (and it's almost always 'he'), then we're useless.

Doesn't matter if the phone-screen came from a recruiter or networking direct-reference: you can't get further without acing the phone quiz.

Hiring managers usually understand the essentialness of soft skills to the success of an employee, but the gatekeep-engineer giving the phone-quiz usually doesn't.

One commenter mentioned the important of "feedback :" I guarantee that your engineer-phone-quizzer's feedback will over-weight the "phone quiz" results.

All tech-workers have come across the problem of incompetent workers.... think that problem will be solved by dropping cert-exam questions on the phone? No. Employers still have to do the real work of investing the hiring-manager's time and talking to tech-workers, instead of funneling the, through a phone-quiz.

(speaking as a tech-worker who was just hired, largely because I passed the phone-quiz, because I was lucky to anticipate the questions and studied the right ones, not because I'm a good or bad employee -- track record is solidly "good" but that did not matter at all in the interview process.)

Dalbert said...

I completely agree. For Young Graduates in Nigeria we face similar problems. For example, I had to solve 16 questions on statistics in 18 minutes. I kept asking myself, 'is this really necessary?'

Anonymous said...

too lazy, too cheap, unwilling to provide in-house training or re-imburse outside courses/seminars/certifications. Employers get what they deserve...a poor quality, unmotivated, and un-loyal work force. the FEW who have a clue...they are blessed with innovative, loyal, and productive workers! so....why don't YOU GET A CLUE

Anonymous said...

I agree with 99% of what has been said in this article.
One common technique I have encountered by employers used to weed out applicants is to string together a long list of requirements for the job, some of which are relevant and some not. Unless your background has EXACTLY the right match your resume is canned. The odds of finding someone who has EXACTLY the right match are small, but employers think they can get away with it if they have a large number of applicants to choose from (which happens during a recession).

Another complain that was a dead bulls-eye was about the use of automated software to screen out applicants. If the HR department is looking for a resume that contains "IDS" and an applicant's resume contains "Intrusion Detection System", the automated software will will reject the applicant.

I offer one way around this, suggested at a meeting during the Great Aerospace Meltdown, when the Cold War ended and there was no plan in place to deal with unemployed aerospace engineers.

If you can find out who the hiring manager is, address a letter to him/her with the stamp "PERSONAL/CONFIDENTIAL" (or some variant) on it.

This completely bypasses HR, and serves as a deterrent to the manager's secretary opening the letter, since opening someone else's mail is illegal.

I hope someone finds this post to be useful.


Anonymous said...

One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post.

In the past few months I have become aware of a feature that tends to level the playing field a bit.

Prior to getting an offer, I would research a prospective employer on the internet as a routine procedure.

It turned out that once I started working there, the company as viewed from the inside bore absolutely NO relation to what I saw on the company's website.

In hindsight it also becomes clear that the company was very selective about which employees it allowed to interview me. Only those employees that management routinely smiled on were allowed to interview me, giving me a slanted view of the inner workings of the company.

The feature that levels the playing field a bit can be found by going to Google and typing in
the company's name, followed by the word "review". This has provided me with anonymous reviews of the company both from former employees as well as current employees.

If you should use this feature make sure you don't reveal your identity to the powers-that-be.

I hope this also helps someone.


Unknown said...

The HR industry literally encourages mendacity.
Everybody knows that the best way to get an interview is to fill your CV with bull****. People have gotten wise to the fact that if they have only modest ability then the will not get hired. Hence the great temptation to 'game' the system.
Employers have only themselves to blame for themselves for this situation.
When selecting candidates for interview they should divide them into 'Poor', 'Moderate' and 'Excellent' CVs. They should then invite 3 of each type to interview.
This is a much more scientific approach, as the 'Poor' CVs serve as a control group, against which those who claim to be 'Excellent' can be judged.
Employers should also be more rigourous in their checks of qualifications, references and work experience.
As things stand now, the people who shout the loudest are the ones that get the jobs. Nothing whatseover to do with meritocracy.

Unknown said...

This is a very interesting post and thread.

Much of it I don't agree with.

As a recruiter, I think every individual who has applied for a job we have posted has been PERFECT for the job (in their own head).

In this article most of the comments are in this vein.

Most company's hiring processes are disfunctional. This doesn't mean that most of the individuals rejected should have been hired.

The current economic situation and demand (or lack of) for talent, has done more to effect this.

In the 90's when hiring was crazy, people were hired if they could breath. To get back to that, the economics have to become robust.

Personal opinion, there is no way that will happen under the current environment.

What generates the hire today is having what the company needs and the company (hiring manager) knowing it. Not a simple equation to solve but that is the equation.

Oh ya, on the age thing, 50 is the new 30!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that "whack-alongside" IHR bureaucrats.

I've worked with pros, but most are bureaucrats who aren't properly connected into business interests.

Often managers are not skilled.

Of course poorly led companies have managers who do not want the "best and brightest" as they view them as a political threat.

(I'm not saying every job needs a rocket scientist, every job does need a conscientious person who can do the job reliably.)

- Kurmudgeon Keith Sketchley

PS: I mean I for InHuman.

PPS: A wild story out of the interior of B.C.:
An organization changed recruiting agencies. The new one found that the employer had been advertising that they paid well and had good opportunities for advancement. Both wrong statements, but they were a nice place to work, which would suit many people.