Recruiting in The Future

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Recruiting in The Future

For the longest time, there were distinct industries, and reasonably well defined job roles. And of course, an education system that did a brilliant batch-processing job of creating products people, that fit those roles.

However, as people grew smarter, some of them worked hard to revamp the education system. They have been making it more flexible to innate individual talent and skill. However, how has the HR community been evolving to this change? Because at least from the outside, it looks like an increasingly difficult task to match requirements iwth candidates.

In the past, with no disrespect to people of the times, it was almost like fitting a circle or square into its slot. Relatively similar and standard positions across the industry. And now, average job descriptions read more like a position for a superhuman, or for a mother. With experience ranges sought, being as wide as a decade or more. And with the broad skillsets demanded, one would think they’re trying to replace 10 people with one.

But in coming times, while requirements themselves might not be as simple as ‘PHP Developer with 3 years experience’, neither will candidate profiles. With people thankfully opening up to a lot more varied learning experiences in the last decade, resumes are becoming increasingly interesting.

I’ll end this with a question for HR professionals. How is the selection process and mapping evolving to keep pace with candidate experiences?

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Work to be Hired

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One of the early screening processes to make it to the defense forces, is that of physical fitness. It is one of the more fundamental requirements of the job. Of course, subsequently, those who make the cut are broken down and rebuilt to be stronger, both mentally and physically.

In the corporate battlefield, potential candidates are put through interview boot camps which are at best, spread over a few days. But are these processes measuring the fundamental requirements you need from the candidate? Skill, while ever-changing, can still be taught. But what are more long-term character traits you’d want your next hire to have?

Once you’ve identified those traits, what if you took the hiring process and turned it on its head?

What if you then shortlisted applications based on simple initial screening criteria, and on gut feel? And then, have them come and work with your team for a week or two, or more. At the end of the period, both parties can decide where to take things from there.

One of the bigger concerns might be the transition and uncertainty, especially for people already in jobs.

Compensation is the easy bit. Even an approximate pro-rata salary-type compensation given to the candidate if rejected, would be far cheaper than the cost of hiring a wrong candidate.

From the point of view of ‘interaction time’, interviews, case-studies and other hiring processes can only be so effective. In comparison, working on a live project, albeit factoring in necessary confidentiality, might be a better way to assess a candidate. To assess traits like integrity and mettle, among other important qualities, which go far beyond a quick and temporary display of skills at an interview. The little I’ve watched of the mentally disturbing Big Brother and Big Boss, it is evident what a short amount of time spent in the same reference (a common project, not an interview) can reveal.

These are times when many MBA students and even experienced professionals focus more on being interview-ready, rather than on cultivating a curious mind. And it is partly because of the illusion of limited time.

Instead of hiring people to work, having people work to be hired might be a better way to build a team that is more suited for one’s company in the medium-to-long term.

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