Many standard operating procedures in the business world were developed decades ago and have not changed much. The “modern” employee recruitment process, for example, dates back around 80 years to the start of WWII.
About 10 million men entered military service during the war, leaving many jobs unfilled. Companies ran job ads at unprecedented rates, and we saw the birth of the staffing industry. Companies began to standardize the application and interview processes, and candidates began to format resumes to highlight education, experience, and skills.
Sadly, the core of the hiring process has largely been stuck in idle while the technology surrounding it has advanced at lightning speed. Companies no longer must rely on newspapers for their job ads but nothing else has changed. Candidates do not have to type their resumes and look around for an envelope and a stamp, but no fundamental advancement has been made.
Here are some basic problems that need to be addressed before we can make any real progress:
Problem 1. Only hiring for open jobs. I get it — this is so deeply coded in our hiring DNA that it may be impossible for many to overcome.
Problem 2. Starting the search with a job ad. No matter how beautifully written the ad is — and most are terrible — it will only add more time to the process, not good people.
Problem 3. The interview process is too slow, with too many steps and interviewers. Something else that dates back many decades is the truism, time kills deals.
Problem 4. Pre-employment tests, questionnaires, and applications, like many other parts of the process, are defensive plays designed to weed out bad apples, not to attract top talent.
I believe we need radical change in the coming years if we are to keep pace with other countries that do not have the same employment headwinds as the United States. Over the next two weeks we will discuss some concepts that will move us in the right direction.
About the author
Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].