I see searches going on for 6-12 months or more even with all the qualified workers out there. Why? I spend a lot of time while doing client consulting working with their recruiting efforts. Unfortunately, corporate recruiting is still in the 20th century for a lot of companies, and it is no one’s fault. It is just the nature of companies and how they do business- slow to change when they believe a process is working even if it is inefficient because they often do not evaluate accurately the cost/benefit of how they are accomplishing a task e.g. recruiting/hiring.
Regardless of the APS and assessments they use today like Success Factors, Lominger, DISC, or other assessments, most all APS and assessments are good but it is the way you use them that makes the difference. I find that managers are taught how to read the systems and assessments but few are taught well how to interpret them and utilize them effectively because they can be really complicated and unless you have a doctorate in management and behavioral science and human behavior, like me, you are in the dark and confused more than enlightened. I spend a lot of time at clients doing training how to use the APS and assessments, they have, effectively and integrate them into their recruiting, hiring and interviewing processes that the vendors did not do effectively (that is to say not all vendors are ineffective but there are enough out there that keep my practice humming).
Why do I wind up doing this re-training for clients? The clients, the real clients- the managers who have to use the applications daily, feel it takes too much time to read, understand, interpret, and use. Many still feel they don’t get it. How do I know? I hear complains all the time at clients from the managers. Why don’t they speak up to their bosses? The company has spent so much time and money for these applications that managers feel the upper management appears to be unapproachable because of the money spent. So companies aren’t getting the most out of these applications. Because the applications are used ineffectively, the companies lose more talent than they hire in their recruiting practices.
I know, executives and managers out there will refute all this because they swear by their processes and assessments but they are going through life with blinders on. How do I know? When I do a real assessment on their ROI on the applications and process they have, I, time and time again, can show them they are losing money not recouping their investment because they are using an outdated turnover calculator and cost/benefit analysis that doesn’t account for all aspects of the employee development cycle.
What are the other challenges for hiring managers?
1- Managers who have to hire are almost never trained in the hiring/interview process. Their companies haven’t realized that recruiting and hiring and candidate interviews are skills you have to learn. There are very, very few naturals out there. I spend a lot of time doing this training for clients. Being on the other side of the hiring/interview desk is a very different experience. One experience doesn’t naturally transfer to the other side of the desk.
2- Hiring managers still tend to hire people most like themselves because of a lack of training and/or feel more comfortable with people most like themselves, which is a mistake in my opinion. Why? If everyone is like you, there isn’t enough positive conflict to get the creative juices flowing and new ideas implemented. Hiring managers need employees who bring diversity of thoughts, creativity, and innovation. They should not be hiring just to manage another person by hand holding or controlling which happens when you are just filling slots and not hiring real talent better than yourself! The new blood has objectivity by not having a vested interest in the status-quo and that makes for genius and excellence. A lot of skills today are transferable. Exact industry experience, a lot of times, hampers objectivity, creativity, and innovation. Instead of saying- that can’t be done here – new, fresh ideas beg the question-why not?
3- Those who are over-qualified and don’t get hired: what does that mean?
- The hiring manager doesn’t want to pay you what you are truly worth because they haven’t figured out that if you can save them or make them $1 million, a salary of 90-100K is peanuts. This person would be working for nothing even if you had to pay them another 15-20K for relocation. They use salary range as an excuse and limit hiring real talent instead of fighting for a more appropriate salary range for really talented candidates.
- They are filling slots and not hiring talent. An SVP at one of my town hall meetings, at a company I worked at, once said, “We must begin hiring talent and then find the right slots for them or our company will stagnate and we shall lose our competitive edge”. He knew what he was talking about! He only hired talent, found places for them, and was one of the most successful SVPs I ever worked with.
- The hiring manager is threatened by someone as bright as themselves or of a higher caliber and they might take their job. They haven’t figured out that you always hire people better and/or more qualified than yourself because they will make you look good. You, as the hiring manager, will get the recognition. Hiring managers who suffer from this malady lack self-confidence. I coach a lot of these people to understand what holds them back and how to gain self-confidence.
The real joke about this last one is that they will hire a consultant which they believe more qualified than themselves and pay thousands in fees (more expensive in the long run) rather than hiring the candidate that they say is over-qualified. I don’t get it! They are not threatened by the consultant but are threatened by an employee they hired. HUH?
4- Those who are under-qualified or don’t have the right industry experience: what does that mean?
- The hiring manager has a false idea of what the ideal candidate’s qualifications should be. They want the candidate to have everything possible but the candidate shouldn’t ask for much money. Guess what? These people really don’t exist but they keep looking for Mr. or Ms Ideal. Good Luck to that. These managers hire on the “WOW” Principle. If you “WOW” me, you’re hired. These WOWers usually peter out in the first 90 days and lose their luster.
- Or, they don’t know what they are looking for because they haven’t really figured out what they need because they are using some job description from 5 years ago which hasn’t been updated since and they are just trying to fill an empty slot because if they don’t fill it, they lose a position, or they don’t have a job description at all. I do a lot of training and re-training on how to do Smarter Recruiting to solve this challenge.
- c. Or, they insist the candidate must have specific industry experience which is valid if you are a welder to do welding, an engineer to build a machine but if you have human resources experience, as an example, people are people no matter the company or industry. No matter the industry, people want to know:
- i. They are appreciated
- ii. They are recognized for their contribution
- iii. Their contributions are valuable
- iv. They want to make a difference and be utilized to their best abilities and skills
All this transcends industry! But hiring managers, at all levels, cling to the idea, for example, that you don’t know how nurses or doctors act or what training they need if you haven’t worked in a hospital. That is true if you are hiring a trainer for technical training but if you hiring someone for, let’s say, leadership development- leadership development is the same no matter the industry and I’ll argue that point with anyone!
5- The last I want to touch upon is those who are “more experienced”- a euphemism for candidates over 50 and too old. The worse kind of stereotyping. The argument is that they will only stay a little while or they are difficult to handle or relate to because of their age, they want more money than you want to pay. Or, worse yet, we more experienced people are just grumpy curmudgeons that grouse all the time and take too long to think and respond to challenges or can’t talk to the younger generations. They want your expertise and experience but don’t want to pay you or pay for benefits that are more costly for “more experienced” employees. For this group of candidates, all the above reasons for poor recruiting apply in this article. They are the most discriminated against, besides minorities, and the hardest to prosecute for discrimination because they are discriminating for age bias but it is under the guise of all of the above reasons for not hiring.
Now I know a lot of executives and hiring managers and/or companies won’t agree with any of this. But over the past 5 years, having spoken to so many recruiters, internally and externally, from companies, they all agree and are frustrated with this old process that is not working as well as it could. They are frustrated that they bring well-qualified talent to the table only to be rejected for some of the worse excuses you can imagine.
Let me give you an example:
About 6 months ago, a recruiter, I know, asked an individual to apply for a position with a company he felt that person was thoroughly qualified for, in fact the perfect candidate with the perfect resume having everything the hiring manager wanted and needed. The hiring manager came back to him, angry (probably having a bad day) and said the person’s resume was the worst resume she ever saw. He asked why. She couldn’t or wouldn’t respond but had the recruiter removed from account for arguing with her even after trying to discuss her objections and why she felt the resume and credentials were so bad. He later found out she was fighting for her job and was afraid if she hired such a qualified individual, she’d lose her job. My answer to that is HUH? Talk about a lack of self-confidence. She needed to read this article and my coaching really bad!
What are your thoughts about recruiting, hiring, and candidate interviewing in the 21st Century? Does any of this make any sense? What are your experiences?
About Dr. Fred (DocFred) Simkovsky…
DocFred is an accomplished organizational development, talent management, certified master coach building more effective organizations and individuals. His objective is to work with an organization and/or individuals that truly understand the concept and value of Visions of Success. Visions of Success fosters that each individual contributes their talents, abilities, and skills to a shared achievement of peak performance where everyone benefits for the whole. DocFred has a dynamic 35+ years of experience in multi-disciplinary environments both nationally and internationally.
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