5 comments on “A Recruiting Disruption

  1. I think you’re spot-on that it’s SO much about how the recruiter engages the candidate. I’m sick of obvious mass emails that begin with “Dear Actively”, and proceed to pitch me a job that any idiot *who had bothered to glance at my resume* could tell was absolutely inappropriate… followed by a bunch of nosy questions, making me think it might even be a phishing attack. All in horrible grammar of course, including much rambling about how great the client company AND the staffing agency are and the excruciating details of what *every* person in my line of work is expected to do day to day.

    In my Copious Free Time, I’ve been working on an e-book for recruiters, about how to hire technical people. Methinks we ought to take this to direct email and see what we can come up with. :-)

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  2. Here’s my take on the “Uberising” of Recruitment. Whilst it’s fun to talk about this stuff and all. Bottom line, Recruitment is all about “the right bums on the right seats at the right time” It’s not that difficult. That said, all these bright and shiny new things are fun to look at etc, but show me the hires made from them. Show me that… You may get a sale! Steve, let’s try again :)

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  3. IMO, the hiring problem (recruiting is only one component) begins with Requirements, which are arbitrary. There is no correlation between employer requirements and candidate capability. If I require 5 years of rock-licking and 3 years of toe-stubbing, I’m going to get lots of resumes showing that the candidate satisfies those requirements (whether true or not). But that doesn’t mean those candidates can do the job I’m trying to fill, or that they’ll fit on my team. As a result, candidates can’t make an informed judgment

    The only way for someone to show that they can do the job is [drum roll] to have them do the job, whether literally or virtually. Some companies are attempting the former, paying promising candidates to perform the job for a week or so in their spare time. That’s tough for a lot of candidates to allocate time to. A much more promising approach is to paint a clear enough picture of the role and the environment that candidates can decide a) if they want the job; b) if they want to be on that team; and c) if they can perform successfully. Then, let them demonstrate those three things by submitting a work sample or other concrete evidence of capability. By taking the time to complete this, they’ll also demonstrate interest. There’s a well-publicized example of Ryan Graves who, after Foursquare declined to interview him, opened up 30 accounts for Foursquare and recontacted them, saying simply, “Now can we talk?” (Graves subsequently became Employee #2 at Uber.) Despite not having the credentials that Foursquare arbitrarily required, Graves demonstrated his capability to do the job.

    Here’s where software can help, by making all this simple and easy, and facilitating productive interaction while preserving candidate anonymity (to eliminate biases).

    We received an unsolicited message from the Director of Engineering at one of our alpha customers, saying of the person they hired, “Later, when we saw his resume, we realized that, had we seen that first, we wouldn’t have considered him. It didn’t look like he had enough experience. We’re glad that your process kept us from missing out on a good team member.” He demonstrated to them that his capabilities exceeded his experience.

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  4. Recruiters, good and bad, are definitely here to stay.

    If on the one hand the trend towards automation and data analysis is indeed strong, we are also witnessing more and more companies trying to show a more human face, and the millennial generation has been clearly shown to be attracted to value-driven, human-centered companies.

    Companies are starting to realize that candidates are more than a list of experiences. They are people, and it’s often exactly the things that can’t be measured that make or break the deal.

    Still, a large part of the profession is still stuck in the past. Quoting Mike above, requirements in job descriptions are definitely a problem. But there is more. Here are the top 3 things it is urgent to improve:

    1. Get rid of the resume. 50% contain “half truths”. The other half doesn’t tell you anything about what really matters
    2. Make the recruitment process an awesome learning experience. In an age of talent wars, the recruiting process is more than ever an integral part of a company’s brand. The typical resume-based application is an extremely disempowering experience for the candidate. Candidates should be given a chance to prove what they are worth, and they should be given feedback on their performance in the recruiting process, however this may go.
    3. Help junior recruiters make up for their lack of experience by giving them a framework to avoid bias and clearly understand the value of the candidate for that specific role at that specific company, well beyond what they could tell from just the name of a previous employer.

    I have been working on a software that helps recruiters do exactly what Mike is envisioning: test the candidates on the actual skills that will be needed for the job (not necessarily those in the JD!). But more than that: check their fit with the company culture and their personality. We do that by launching challenges, and we do that early on in the assessment, instead of the usual screening done with resumes. It dramatically improves the quality of the candidates that get to the interview.

    Check it out if you’re interested, http://www.emergenow.co

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