A Peek Inside the Broken Corporate Hiring Model

A Peek Inside the Broken Corporate Hiring ModelI was reading with interest some of Linkedin’s recent #HowIHire series and in doing so it was interesting to see how many people are still operating under the old, broken hiring paradigm when it comes to the labor market.

The best of the bunch that I read was Beth Comstock’s You’re Hired. Now What which has more to do with what she thinks people should do after she gives them a job rather than how she hires, which I thought was a good angle to take.

My day job was recently eliminated in a budget reallocation, so I’m out there in the market looking for my next new challenge. Throughout this process (and my consulting work over the years), I’ve observed a number of different challenges that companies face with hiring, and identified some opportunities for companies to increase their return on human capital:

Challenge #1:

Scanning resumes and online applications for keywords is a very bad way to find talent. It’s very good however at finding people who at least know how to spell the keywords.

Challenge #2:

The way most organizations handle human resources is very much a product of the industrial age. Hiring new employees is still a very bureaucratic affair, a far cry from reflecting an Internet Age approach, and farther still from what’s needed in the era of Social Business and Digital Transformation. Having an outdated, bureaucratic hiring approach prevents many organizations from growing (or changing) as fast as they may need to maximize revenue and profits.

Challenge #3:

Building on Challenge #2, the hiring process is incredibly slow. It can take weeks or months to finalize and post job descriptions. It can take weeks to source candidates. It can take weeks or months for a hiring manager to get around to interviewing anyone because they are too busy. This can result in the loss of the best candidates, can lead to the loss of current employees picking up the slack (leading to more job openings), and impacts the financial performance of the organization.

Challenge #4:

With the exception of professional sports franchises, companies are so risk averse that they would rather hire someone with a lot of experience doing something in a mediocre way than someone with limited experience but a higher upside (higher capacity and capability). Following this analogy, most companies would never have hired a high school kid like Lebron James.

Challenge #5:

Automated and recruiter-led screening systems are better at identifying people that fit the job description than they are at identifying people that will thrive in the company culture and be a productive team member. You can’t train people to be a good cultural fit, but you can train smart people to do just about anything.

Opportunity #1:

Every company whether it likes it or not, is a technology company. So, if you’re running a technology company, and ideally a social business, shouldn’t you want to hire people who know how to use technology (or at least how to build a Linkedin profile)? And if they have a Linkedin profile, why wouldn’t you use that instead of asking them to create another profile on your careers site?

Opportunity #2:

Things are changing at an increasing rate. Hire people who embrace change and like to learn, because you’re always going to be asking people to learn something new as the world continues to change around you.

Opportunity #3:

Looking around the landscape, it seems like we’ve created more ways to help people find the ideal new romantic partner than the ideal new employee. Are there things that the recruiting industry could learn for the romance industry?

Opportunity #4:

There is more to an employee than their intersection with the job description. In fact employees often have knowledge, skills and abilities that intersect with multiple job descriptions. Below you’ll find a visual depiction of this and of the increasingly less well-defined organizational boundaries:

Organization of the Future

Opportunity #5:

As the boundaries of the organization become less well-defined (see above) and as business makes increasing use of open innovation, partnerships, and co-opetition, hiring managers should consider not just matching the job description but also consider their ability to build and leverage external networks, and investigate the scope and quality of their existing networks.

Conclusion

Of course there are many more challenges and opportunities than I have space to list here, but I find these to be an interesting start to a conversation. What challenges or opportunities would you like to add to the conversation?

Image credit: businessnewsdaily.com

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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