Traditional recruiting has been about filling the funnel. Find the candidate pool. Fish the pond. Applicant to hire ratios, cost per hire, assessments, job postings, and diversity advisory groups each provide great fodder for analysis. Truly, they do. They are tools and resources used to decipher an age-old quest, “How do you find right person for the right opportunity?”
Let’s face it, if there were a magic hiring pill, there would already be a pharmaceutical tech company making
millions billions from it.
Hiring the right people is not easy. Savvy talent acquisition leaders know this instinctively despite the continued search for the hiring Holy Grail.
Before 1997, hiring was done in person. Newspaper (ask your parents about this) classified advertising was the only real way companies could capture prospective candidates’ attention when looking to fill a job. Personnel departments relied on job fairs and referrals, but the predominant applicant flow came from newspapers. Then, technology made a leap from curled facsimiles to online portals.
The playing field was even. Big and small companies alike could post a job, view resumes, and direct candidates through the application process. The problem with the online job sites was they completely removed a major – and perhaps the most important aspect of hiring a person to do a job – interpersonal interaction.
Yes, tools are fabulous. Tools help identify stop points throughout an interviewing and hiring process. Tools, when used effectively, can absolutely help the process along; refining the funnel as it were, and validating for all people involved.
The ease of use, and the available data, entices organizations with that Holy Grail promise. But, no matter how great the tool, interviewing is still about making a connection with the individual sitting opposite you (or adjacent for a more comfortable exchange).
Hiring technology lacks soul. People make the process.
A trained, and experienced, hiring leader can review a resume and draw an alignment with a job description. The interview is where the candidate justifies his or her knowledge and experience. If done well, a second interview will be scheduled, thus thrusting a candidate from the first stage of the interview process (one of the stop points referenced earlier) forward. Most candidates participate in 2-4 interviews for a given position, some of which may include multiple people. Each interview, and each person involved, is attempting to connect (and sometimes disconnect) from the candidate being interviewed (stop point). If the candidate can navigate the process, he or she may find a job offer. The job offer, of course, is typically contingent upon successful complete of a background verification process (stop point).
There are plenty of stop points in every hiring experience. We just need a better balance before people are removed from a people process.
What if the dynamic was flipped? What if we invested time in people? What if we took the time to understand commitment, dedication, motivation, and desire as much as skills and experience? What if we invested in learning programs instead of hiring someone with competitor experience to avoid having to train them? Would hiring the right people get easier? Would retaining the right people get easier?
Let’s start a new dialog. The right person in the right job will always lead to great things.