Death Knell of Hiring As we Know It

Take yourself back ten years to the last throws of the Dot.Com Era and compare the difference between the amount of people available for job openings then to what we have today - way too many. When the economy is cooking and there are fewer people seeking work than available jobs, it’s all about finding people to do the work. When you have too many people for the jobs at hand, the real effort lies in making sure you get the right person for the job.

Pity the poor hiring manager that makes a bad hire with so many choices...but it is happening every day.

With hundreds of resumes to paw over for each opening, you’d think making a hire would be easier….think again. Resumes are woefully inadequate for times like these and better assessment methods are needed to uncover the 50 people you get for each job whose resumes all indicate a qualified match. Then consider trying to pick the five or so people out of those to interview for the role. How do you choose? Phone screens? Psychometric tests? Coin flip? Whatever the method, you then need to interview people that are given one chance to make their mark – and one chance for the interviewer, typically within 30 minutes, to make their choice. After 5-6 weeks of time invested (sometimes less), you settle for the best person of the group – I mean how many hiring managers will say all that time was wasted. So, somebody gets the job. That folks is the hiring process for 95% of all jobs…there has to be a better way, right?

There is, well, er…sort of…at least it is somewhat evolving!

I think it is inevitable that the Internet will continue to shape employment initiatives for the better, the way it has since the early 1990’s (OCC, Monster, ATS, Google, etc.), how it evolves will depend on the thought leaders of the employment universe.

For several years now employment focused people have marveled at the opportunity that the Social Web could provide, claiming it as the next frontier of job recruitment. I certainly believe this will happen, but not until human resources and recruitment gives up on the resume as the vehicle for job consideration. A resume does not work at all for Social Networks and goes against the basic doctrine of the Social Web - helping others and genuinely sharing interests, motivations and passions. A resume can never divulge the truest sense of a person. They diminish our skills and demean the complexity of our experiences. Resumes in their simplest context are for screening people out, plain and simple – not much helping or sharing there…

While the employment world comes kicking and screaming to a non resume world (it could take a while…), the Social Web can provide an excellent, world class benefit that hiring authorities can put to great use today. In fact, it has been my prediction that this will help bring the demise of the resume (I’m betting my career on it actually…), and that is providing a career development, training and job hiring process where people actually get into careers that they love, possessing the skills to do the work and getting hired for the right jobs at the companies where they fit in the best.

The last part of the equation is the one that the Social Web offers right now. There is absolutely no reason that a person should get into a job situation where they knew very little about what they were getting themselves into, nor for a hiring manager not to know whether a person they offer a job to has the right interests, motivation, attitude and functional capability to do the job they offer them. The tools at our disposal to evaluate both sides of the hiring equation are available and both parties make a big mistake by not using them. Through the use of Talent Communities, Online Assessments, available Internet data and other Social Media activities – we’ve never had more opportunities available to make the best hiring choice.

I agree that not all companies have availed the public of their employment “brand” and it is a bit more work for a person interested in a company to get a sense of this, but there are plenty of ways to do it (using Linked In to contact a current employee for example, checking Clean Journey’s Career Investment Score, etc.). More importantly, a career minded person has tons of ways to create a Professional Brand and make a Career Investment that will get them noticed and position them to be considered for the work they crave.

For employers with way more resources, there are no excuses. The Social Web provides all the ammunition that is needed to uncover most of what should separate one candidate from another (Twitter, Facebook, Clean Journey, Linked In, Google, etc.). Finding people that have the skill is of course important, but finding people that have the interests and passions to do amazing things with those skills is the key separator to finding the "best" person for the job. The Social Web has and will continue to greatly improve the Quality of Hire for both company and new hire alike, and the benefits that this will provide the overall American Economy should be immense.

A wise person taught me a long time ago that a passionate worker is a hugely productive worker who won’t dream all week about Friday Happy Hour…uncover the passion!

Views: 365

Comment by Jerry Albright on August 13, 2010 at 1:30pm
K.C. - what you have suggested here has proven in many instances to be the perfect solution. It's called an interview. They're happening all over the place even as we speak.

Comment by Alasdair Murray on August 13, 2010 at 1:35pm
What I'm trying to say Jerry is simply that once someone has worked in a couple of companies they come to realise that the corporate bullshit is just that and in truth the grass isn't any greener, despite the wooings of the companies that invest in employer branding.

And KC, as Jerry said, that's called an interview.
Comment by K.C. on August 13, 2010 at 1:43pm
Jerry - this thread is about improving the quality of hire by improving the way people learn about what it is actually like to work at a company - and improving what the people at the company know about the person they may want to hire. We all provide recruitment to clients, but many clients don't want to pay (or can't pay) hiring fees. So the next best thing is to help improve the way they hire on their own hoping to ensure that they hire quality people that can the work.

The situational example I asked you to consider earlier today where a casual or active job seeker pressed a button to join a Career Community is actual not a mythical is actually a service that one of my companies is launching.

I was interested in whether you felt that it would add value. Don't get off track here about whether a person would become an employee of a product they enjoyed using or had a positive feel for...that is not at issue...what is at issue is attracting people at a company career section to join a Community confidentially for that company who would then invite some of them (the most interesting) to Networking Events with their employees (and provide everyone with info about their business, industry and other useful bits of info)

That is what this thread is about!
Comment by K.C. on August 13, 2010 at 1:47pm
RIght, but not everyone wants to interview today...especially with the risk of making a bad choice in this economy and getting laid off or placed into a work or die environment, and so on...
Comment by Heidi on August 13, 2010 at 4:11pm
KC the concept is interesting and I am sure you will find some buyers. Quite frankly, I struggle with these technological platforms that seem to threaten the very existence of what good quality recruiters do. Thus I am leary when I hear about platforms that can "do all the work" minus the recruiters.

Sadly many companies do not value recruiters and therefore establish them to be post and pray experts (another topic) overseeing the gadgets. Now we are at a place where companies are afraid to hire because they do not know whether a person is a good hire or not- They have become dependent upon the technology gadgets, gotten rid of recruiting experts and forced a few folks to manage the masses. To add insult to injury they've left the hiring to the hiring managers who in some cases have never trained to hire. It is a recipe for disaster.

To be clear people connect, communicate, establish trust, and build relationships.... not machines. You still have to drive people to the organization and then have open honest dialogue. Furthermore some systems are so bad they rely on key words that dismiss qualified people altogether- that's another topic.

A lot of people are not comfortable with a digital footprint thus there are people who will not hang out on the internet and those may be the individual the client is seeking. I’ve worked in corporate and now third party: the two worlds are different. Every market is different and candidate flow varies on a lot of factors. In some fields shortages exist therefore you will not get a lot of candidates period.

Furthermore let’s be honest a lot of folks that are in communities do not even engage in the conversation and those who do are usually the same folks. I manage several online communities and it is a lot of work just trying to get people to open up and talk. Seriously think about it…a candidate makes one slip up and the employer snubs them- so the candidate has to be on alert all times. Ultimately, it takes a great recruiter to get a person to open up.

None the less the success of communities and using them as a hiring tool will really depend upon the role, company and level for example, it might be great for technology people because that's their space.

I personally know that they may be cool tools but hiring managers (in particular operations) do not have time to recruit let alone manage a social network site. Even so a lot of companies are still warming up to the idea.
Comment by pam claughton on August 13, 2010 at 5:05pm
I think one of the biggest issues to what you are proposing is simply the time factor. Who has the time to engage in this kind of community give and take? Hiring managers probably don't, they barely have time to review resumes. Great candidates don't, they're busy working. I think that's my biggest challenge with social media in general, I hear how important it is to 'engage with the talent community' you are trying to recruit from, but as a busy recruiter, I just don't have the luxury of that. My time is better spent on the phone talking to people I've identified as potential candidates and getting great referrals. Not to say your idea doesn't have merit, it could certainly be another tool in the toolbox for some, but I don't see it taking over as a major way to find people.
Comment by K.C. on August 13, 2010 at 5:18pm
Heidi - here is the secret...for the past 10 years we built Talent Communities and managed them for several pharma and medical device companies - one phone call at a time...with 100% person to person interactions for us, thecontacts in the communities and the client recruiter/hiring manager. One of our clients wanted to make it more automated and we put it together for them so there was more of technology managing the process - but still maintaining the human element through video meetings, conversations, and challenges all on the web - it worked great and actually enabled teh client to expand their reach and cultivation of the top 20% of the talent pool for future hiring...we have taken that approach - used it as a guideline and are about to go to market with the program...

The recruiter is absolutely not replaced - in fact their role is enhanced in he process as they manage the Networking Events - monitor the digital conversations meetings - and feed questions to the Twitter hash tag chats and on and on...of course this is just another tool in the recruiter's arsenal and it is not meant to replace other means of recruitment - but we do expect that all other sourced candidate flow we hope will be asked to join the Career Community too!

With a targeted Community membership engagement drive - where we target folks with specific talent to join the Community - hopefully if successful we'll be able to add difficult to find and hire individuals that are drawn by the confidential aspect of the community and their curiosity that we generate in our approaches to them...its not like we are asking them for a resume or to be submitted after all...

Social Web helps to increase the ease of creating community - just look at the FB with their 500MM members as evidence of that...thanks so much for your was invaluable!
Comment by K.C. on August 13, 2010 at 5:51pm
Hi Pam - I think you're right about time spent...I mean look around, there are fewer and fewer of us left (particularly on the corporate side where cuts were made in a big way over the last two plus years). In fact, I recently spoke with a hiring manager who laughed when I called to chat recently because he was in the midst of conducting 5 phone screens and certainly had no time for me...although he was kind enough to call back when he was done...

Taking that into consideration and knowing how much time it has taken (a lot) for us to build up 2,500 Twitter followers and 5,000 Linked In contacts we knew that there had to be a better way if we were going to help companies improve their Quality of we went back to the drawing board and came up with a slew of fun and interesting Advanced Networking Events that would be impactful enough to provide the benefit we were seeking, and dramatically lessen the time needed. These Events would cover three areas for us.

One, they needed to be interesting enough to grab the attention of the Community members to sign up to participate, secondly, they had to be geared to help measure the "mental acuity" of those that participated (not just the ones that speak up - but everyone), and third they had to be Networking Events where the people monitoring or leading them (recruiters and hiring managers) with virtually no prep time and they would take no longer than one hour to conduct. The objective is for growth divisions to conduct one of these 3-4 times a month figuring that 3-4 hours spent on external team building each month is about the right amount for divisions that are hiring (that’s a very small time commitment indeed)...

Funny, when we put this idea up on the white board earlier this year - we sat back and said – “great, how are we going to come up with these”...but interestingly enough - once you start conjuring up the cool events the time savings and member/client take away from them pretty much fall into place...

One other thing Pam, this type of effort is NOT about finding people - but is ALL about improving Quality of Hire. We envision eventually every company using this type of method to engage with those interested in joining their companies with a community sign up at every careers website section. The few people that are forwarded from agencies such as yours will also be encouraged to join the Community - and an email once a month or an invitation to stop by for an open house or to a request to sign up for an Online Networking Event will keep the member’s interest. By getting to know your potential hires better, the quality of hire has to improve - and that is the key to this whole endeavor...
Comment by Alasdair Murray on August 14, 2010 at 5:52am
The theory is OK, the reality is that you'll already find the web full of forums etc. created to buiold a community but where cyber tumbleweed rolls through to the tolling of a distant online bell as, after the novelty wore off, people realised they were actually too busy getting on with work and life in general to commit to regularly popping in for a chat with some strangers about their career aspirations. Going back to your original point about getting 50 good resumes but missing out on 100 people because maybe their resumes weren't good enough, well then maybe those people simply need to polish up their literacy and presentation skills or hire a resume writer.
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 14, 2010 at 10:21am
OK. I'm trying to picture this. Another community - but this time it's not about Fantasy Football, Cat Loving or some other actual interest. It's about some company. So - off the bat - this is a stretch.

Unless you're Apple or Starbucks I doubt you'll have many people actively participating. You'll have some sign up when they're in the middle of a job search - they may read a few of your emails - then they'll get a job somewhere and a few months later wonder why they're getting all this career spam and hit the REMOVE link.

I've given up on this "community" thing as a strategy long ago. It's a farce. Why do we call a simple contact info database a community now?

That aside - what of any of this K.C. gets to your point of ensuring a "quality hire"?


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