HR, Recruiting, and Candidates


I read a well intentioned post on LinkedIn today that really got me thinking about the recruiting process. This being near and dear to my heart since I’m going through the process of finding a new job. While at my last job I was fortunate enough to be both a hiring manager for 2 employees and involved in the hiring process for 5 positions that would not be reporting to me. Discussing with my manager the different requirements for positions he and I aligned on one thing, we wanted the best person regardless of how they looked on paper. In many cases this directly conflicted with the requirements of HR since the salary bands the employees we were hiring for required degrees or certifications.

For example one of the Business Analysts we decided to hire didn’t have a college degree, but because of the salary band required to get high quality candidates we had to have a college degree as a requirement, even though we didn’t believe it was truly a requirement. This BA turned out a better hire than one of the other BAs that had a college degree and a great deal of BA experience. Another perfect is example is the face that one of my hires was “required” to have a nursing certification to earn the pay band we knew was required to find a highly qualified candidate. I had to fight HR and argued it wasn’t truly required for the position. I eventually won and the person I hired worked out amazingly well and in fact is more highly regarded than his counter part that has that certification. Finally, one of our POs for the product had neither certification nor college degree. He has done extremely well without those certifications – granted he earned a certification and a great deal of trial by fire experience, but he started out strong because of his business experience.

These are just examples from my personal experience. This is ignoring the number of great people that have become famous despite their credentials that would have had them relegated to the dust bin in less than 6 seconds by the recruiter above. If this is the best system our current Recruiting and HR experts have developed, it’s a deeply flawed system that needs some serious rework. Finding the right candidate is difficult. It requires team work between HR, Recruiting, and the Hiring Manager. These conversations and dissociation of salary and degree requirements from applications will likely reverse the trend of college degrees required for every position. I think our thought leaders in Recruiting and HR need to do better, the article above indicates there’s a great deal of waste and non-value added activity in the vetting process because a good fit that is excluded after 6 seconds is a defect and any candidate that looks good on paper but is clearly a bad fit is also a defect to the process.

The hiring process is extremely expensive as is the onboarding and training of a new hire. Any clear poor fit from the start indicates there defects and waste in the hiring process that need to be addressed. Bragging about a 6 second “review process” isn’t the right thing to be doing, figuring out how to fix the process to ensure that the right people are hired the first time at the right time should be the goal of recruiting.

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