“The hiring system is unfair!” I hear many people saying this and complaining about how they don’t get calls back because the candidate selection process is broken. The intent of this article is to answer the question “Do the current hiring methods eliminate good candidates” To answer this question we must take a step back and understand the process that is used to select candidates for a position.
Step 1: The first thing that would happen in the hiring process is that the hiring manager would inquire internally to get recommendations for individuals that would be a good fit for the position. If a good recommendation is made internally then you would never hear of this position as it would be filled before it ever gets posted. The recommended individual may not be as skilled or qualified as you are but they would save the organization the hassle of going through the entire Hiring process and mitigate the risk of bringing in someone that isn’t pre-vetted.
I used to think this was unfair till I examined the way that I select a barber or mechanic. If I want to get a haircut or my car fixed I would be more inclined to go to a service recommended by a friend. Does a friends recommendation guarantee that I will get the best possible service ? Probably not but it saves me the hassle of having to go through the phone book, checking websites and taking the risk of getting bad service . My friend has also pre-vetted the barber by using his services so I trust that the barber will do a good job (except if someone is playing a practical joke on me).
Assuming you were the perfect candidate for this position you may never have heard of it except if you were friends with someone who knew the hiring manager. This particular step doesn’t guarantee that the top candidate is picked but it also minimizes the chances of selecting a bad employee.
This is one of the reason most qualified candidate some time can’t find a job.
Step 2: – If the organization cannot find anyone internally then they will post the position on their website. This job description will most likely describe the ideal candidate and give a long list of required qualifications. Even the most qualified of individuals may feel intimidated by the list of requirements in the job description. A qualified candidate may see this list and decide that they aren’t qualified for the position. Having a long list is not necessarily a bad thing as the alternative is no better e.g. Posting a job description with a minimum set of requirements will open the floodgates of applications and overwhelm HR staff.
I’m reminded of my friend in College that had a long list of requirements they wanted in their dream partner. The list was over eight pages long and for years she was disappointed because nobody fit all her requirements. She is now happily married to an individual that meets very few of the requirements on her list, yet if the guy had seen the list beforehand he may never have approached her and they may have missed out on a marriage of a lifetime. Creating an exhaustive list of qualifications and requirements helps sieve out the unqualified but may also intimidate top candidates as well.
Conclusion on why most qualified Candidate some time can’t find a job?
There is no perfect system that would guarantee you get the perfect candidate e.g. You would have to date every eligible single person in order to guarantee that you married the perfect person and this just isn’t practical. If a recruiting manager had an infinite amount of time and resources I’m sure they would invest all their time and effort in combing through every single resume and possibly interview every single applicant in order to find the top candidate. Unfortunately we don’t have infinite resources and must resolve to strategies that help make the best possible solutions but not necessarily the perfect ones. A common theme that you may have observed is that the process leans more towards minimizing the risk of getting a bad candidate versus getting the perfect individual.