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Friday, October 06, 2017

Rethinking Our Recruitment Mindset

Is it possible we are missing out on really good talents because of our screening biases? Here are a few so called red flags  and stereotypes that I came across and some guilty of believing myself that I think  needs to be revisited.

  1. Tardiness - some interviewers have strong opinion about tardiness and that's understandable. However, with the ridiculous traffic in the metro nowadays, maybe we need to keep a more open mind? Maybe we should even consider virtual interviews. 
  2. Unimpressive communication skills - some great talents are bad at interview while many of your current problem employees aced the interview and that's probably why you hired them.  I'm not saying communication skill is not important, it is, or it relatively is!  Sometimes we get mesmerized by a candidates ability to answer our interview questions, we forget the more important competencies needed to do a job. This is why I think we need to go beyond interviewing and use other forms of aptitude and competency-based screening methods.

  3. Candidates who keep on rescheduling interviews - Sometimes we get frustrated by those who keep saying they need to reschedule the interview because there are urgent demands at work they need to prioritize. We feel it's so unprofessional of them to cancel a commitment. If I have a candidate like this who prioritize his current commitment over his professional exploration, I will find a way to make it convenient for her/him to have the interview. Should we meet in a coffee shop near his/her work and/or after office hours? I will do it! I will accommodate it! 
  4. Candidates who ask about salary even before the interview. I don't understand how this turns a lot of recruiters off. It's efficient! Eventually, you get to this part of the conversation and if the salary expectations don't meet the job offer, you would have both wasted your time because you are both withholding information that could have saved you both time and effort. Oh, OK being focused on the salary rather than the job sounds unprofessional? Greedy? Interested only in compensation? Really? Herzberg said salary is a maintenance factor and not a motivational factor. In short, if the salary is not an issue, we can focus on the things that would really motivate prospective employee; the job itself, opportunity to do a meaningful work, utilization of one's talent, etc. Candidates who ask about the salary at the onset is not an indicator that they would be bad employees. It's just an indicator that they want that issue out of the way so they can look at what the job really is all about. Incidentally, candidates who are nice enough not to ask about the salary in the beginning is no guarantee that they'll be good workers as well.  So...
  5. Job hoppers - I know a good number of people who are successful at their current companies that I would not hire if I'm still in my old paradigm against job hoppers. I think it's important to note this and to ask why, or maybe even investigate, but never an automatic no, which I see a lot with people in charge of screening resumes. Some job hoppers are looking for organizations to align with. I'd rather have employees leave my company if they feel their values are not aligned rather than endure being in the company and be miserable for a long time.
  6. Candidates who have special request on time and date of interview, and other arrangements like Skype. This one is quite important. Some recruiters are keeping some great talents away from the organization because they are unwilling to go outside of their recruitment box and certainly outside their official work schedule. Some of the best candidates are passive about exploring because they are busy and engaged.  Some candidates who are open anytime may be desperately looking for work and may have been unemployed for some time. Sure they're available but do you really want to limit your options to those who are always available?
  7. Mistaking experience for talent -  I mean really? Does it automatically follow that one with 10 years of experience is better than the one with 5? No, right? But that's the stereotype. Why don't we screen based on competence rather than experience?  When we peg the qualifications to years of service rather than competence, we kinda prohibit people with less experience but exceptional talents to apply. 
  8. Interrogating rather than interviewing - Why is this still a thing? On my first job interview, the recruiter was trying to make me admit that I have a connection with some labor unions. I didn't even know what I labor union was at that time! So I'm glad I'm seeing less of it now. I said less not none. Some recruiters still think that their role is similar to that of a stern gate-keeper rather than a match maker. That is, I believe, the job. To make a good match, it helps to disarm your candidate with your friendly and welcoming demeanor. You need to allow them to put their guards down and be vulnerable. It will help you see clearly that there really is a good match rather than see a facade. 
  9. The three-candidate rule - Ugh! You find a great candidate, you hire him/her! Great talents are hard to come by and often highly desired by other companies as well. When they open up for career exploration, they don't just open up to you, they open up to everyone. The only reason why they will wait for you is because you offer the best employment opportunity and you have the best employer brand. If that is the case, go ahead with your three candidate rule, otherwise, grab 'em while they're hot!
  10. Thinking that recruitment is a courtship rather than a two-way exploration - this is the cause of a lot of it isn't it? Thinking that your candidate/suitor should show he's deserving of your affection before you lay down your cards. There's nothing wrong with that if you don't care about being unnecessarily single for a long time. Being single for a long time or in this case, not being able to hire for a long time is OK(?) if there truly is no qualified candidate. But what if you lost some great candidates because you easily get turned off.  I'd like to think that the only recruitment is a courtship is when a candidate sent his/her application without knowing if there is a vacancy because that person is keen on working for your company and is desperate to get your attention. If you're the one who called or if you posted your vacancy, It's mostly a blind date, otherwise, who's really courting who?
 The dynamics of recruitment has changed. People are more knowledgeable. They are more discerning of the companies they would join. It has become less of a courtship and more of a two-way exploration. Candidates who are worth their salt, know what they are looking for in an organization, just like how organizations know(?) what they're looking for in a candidate.  While candidates are  expected to put their best foot forward, the company should do the same.  Eventually, the 6 months of probationary period should be able to say when both are meant for each other. 

Lastly, employer branding starts at recruitment. How we post our vacancies, how we seek out and attract candidates and how we deal with them from the first interaction, speaks volume of what kind of employer we are. That's one of the reasons why people show up... or don't show up on the second interview.

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