The State of the Job Market
Having been in the job market one and off, formally and informally, I’ve come to realize that the prospects are still very bleak, even despite quoted improvements. The recession really did a lot to damage the job market and to make it difficult for highly qualified candidates to obtain employment in a reasonable amount of time. There are several other observations I can make. One of the major ones is that it’s really become a recruiter’s market. Recruiters have the benefit of a larger applicant pool whereas applicants themselves find themselves in a larger pool with fewer opportunities. It’s really kind of mind-blowing to really think about how anyone actually gets hired because what it comes down to is company culture and compatibility. This is something that is really difficult to ascertain and I don’t see how most company’s application processes manage to discern this important, but overlooked characteristic of any potential employee. I look at most company’s application processes and note that there are many traditional, yet seemingly outdated tools that are prevalent throughout most every process. To name of a few there is, of course, the resume, a behavioral interview, and typically elongated follow up. I feel like most human resources departments are hesitant to be open to new and bold ideas regarding how to bring in candidates and eventually hire someone or a group of people. This is a space that chopping at the bit for new innovative and bold ideas to breathe life into human resources and the hiring process.
The Google Example
Google is one of those company’s that tends to be on the cutting edge and their hiring process is no different. Google in large part does away with traditional resumes, formal interviews, and exams, all of those traditional elements. Their focus is on corporate culture, conversation, and compatibility. There is no dress code. There aren’t those typical behavioral questions and personality is encouraged. Imagine it. It’s an interview in which you’re not getting 20 applicants who are dressed alike, giving similar answers to questions, and have excellent resumes that they’ve all spent hours working on. You’re getting 20 different identities and the kind of conversation that brings character. We have to learn from companies like Google and to be open to bold ideas.
One Bold Idea: Actual Employment “Tests”
This is just one idea I’ve been throwing around, but what if companies starting implementing hiring processes that actually allowed actual employees to work with prospective candidates and make a decision based on actual work. The idea is to bring in candidates, provide them with training materials, and bring them in for a one to multiple day trial as a prospective employee. Further, why not compensate the candidates you choose for the days they’re under “test.” With all of the money that goes into human resources departments, why not add an incentive to candidates to really be open enough in order for you to make a decision whether or not they are compatible with your particular company culture. It’s one of those things where I ask if it really isn’t just best to try out prospective candidates rather than jumping through a series of hoops that might give you inconclusive information to make a decision on. The bottom line is that I see a great dearth of innovative ideas in regards to company hiring process and this is a space that I hope receives new life in the coming years.