LAST CANDIDATE STANDING

From what I am seeing the right companies attracting the right workers for the right jobs continues to be a bit of a quagmire.  Overstuffed pipelines, uncooperative online systems, inflexible corporate policies, human limitations, and labor-market tension are all major components of that quagmire.  One of the people who has articulated this best is Liz Ryan.  She contends the overall recruiting and hiring process has become so complicated and stressful, as a sad result, many hiring organizations do not ultimately obtain the most talented workers, but rather the most compliant ones:

The whole encrusted recruiting process (not to mention unfriendly, robotic auto-responders and the unending stream of honesty tests, writing tests, and other recruiting hurdles) makes it easy for organizations to hire drones, and it makes it hard for them to hire the brilliant and complex people they need to solve their problems.

Knowing how to play the game is half the battle.  Then again, if the game you are playing feels rigged, perhaps you just do not want to play.  To that point, Ryan further contends due to the sheer number of hoops through which candidates must jump, you have a falling-off curve which ultimately translates to the last candidate standing.  Well, that last candidate standing might be a very persistent individual, but that does not guarantee he or she is the most qualified to do the job.  “Last candidate standing” is not automatically a badge of honor or a guarantee of quality.  Ryan bemoans the collective frustration over corporate America’s apparent lack of desire to improve matters:

It is strange that even though every hiring manager knows that the sharpest candidates don’t stay on the market long, corporate recruiting processes don’t change.  They don’t get nimbler or faster.  They don’t get less burdensome or bureaucratic.  You’d think that employers hungry for talent would innovate, making their recruiting processes easier and more human.

I completely agree with her assessment.  Nevertheless, the subject is more complicated.  Therefore, I offer these counterpoints:

1—Necessary Systems.  As much as some candidates might hate the online systems they must use, the bottom line is they are necessary.  Our 24/7 global universe of business is far too complex to think about operating without them.  The system used to be walking into an office and filling out a job application; now the system is an online equivalent.  Whether it is yesterday or today, a system is necessary.

2—Positive Evolution.  In spite of the fact we have all seen myriad recruiting and hiring systems and processes that are ineffective, the fact remains a positive evolution, however slow, is happening.  Some companies are better than others in this realm, but overall, things are evolving positively.

3—The Friendly Internet.  Many of the most recently hired workers attest to the power of LinkedIn, Facebook, or some other online social media as the key that opened doors to new opportunities.  Even when a company’s online systems and its recruiting and hiring policies seem glacially slow, the Internet is increasingly proving to be a job seeker’s friend.  Just one key connection in the online world often has a way of accelerating all the paperwork.

4—Passive Screening.  However frustrating the online hiring systems may be, the fact remains they serve as a sort of passive screening mechanism.  If a job seeker cannot even navigate through an online system, I would have serious questions about his or her ability to do most jobs in corporate America today.

This is one subject that will continue to provoke diverse opinions.  Nonetheless, I am hopeful that discussion will also provoke us to improve the process wherever possible.  Too much talent is waiting to be tapped, and too many companies are needing that talent.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-23/why-hr-cant-innovate





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