Why doesn’t good recruiting begin with the end in mind like Stephen Covey advises in his foundational work, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“?
It sure would save a lot of time.
I speak often about how hiring managers and candidates have the same goal – to make a great match. It doesn’t happen because one or another party does not begin with the end in mind. Hiring managers complain that they receive many unqualified resumes in response to advertisements for open positions. Of course you do. Your advertisements are too generic. Why do you advertise in that way anyway?
Candidates complain they do not get a response even when they meet most of the requirements. But does the candidate meet the right requirements?
The generic nature of the advertisement forces candidates to guess. At least some, maybe most candidates who respond will guess wrong so their responses will be tossed. The hiring manager has to sort through all the responses to find the few that match the real, perhaps unstated requirements.
What a waste of time! There must be a better way.
If both hiring managers and candidates want the same thing then why is it so hard to make great match? Because at least one of the parties is not being clear enough about what they want. I don’t mean purple squirrels, the elusive candidate that perfectly matches a long list of multi-faceted requirements. We don’t have to go that far.
What if the hiring manager took a bit more time to describe exactly what they want? What if the hiring manager had a clear vision in their head of the criteria necessary to be successful in the job? I call these “critical success factors”. Then qualified candidates would respond and unqualified candidates might just sit that one out.
Let me give you an example. The other day I was working on a resume for Jane, a talented benefits manager. Jane is a well-known Affordable Care Act specialist, knowledge that should be in demand in corporate America these days.
Coincidently a large company in the community was seeking a benefits manager. The advertisement was almost an exact copy of a generic Benefits Manager job description found on the Internet. It was hard to tell which of the dozen requirements listed were most important. We had to guess.
We structured the resume around the Benefits Manager job posting, highlighting Jane’s ACA experience in the hope that if the hiring manager wants a benefits manager who is an expert in Affordable Care Act then Jane is their candidate. Let’s hope we are right.
Why not be specific about the company’s needs? The right candidates can respond. Hiring managers can more easily compare candidates to the specific list of needs. Everyone wins. But until one or more of the parties to the hiring game are more specific from the outset, it will continue to be difficult to make a good match.