Recruiting: The Fundamental Fallacy

The Fundamental Fallacy of Modern Recruiting

Think the hiring process is tedious and a waste of time? You are not alone. Lately, there has been growing concern among policymakers and journalists about the increasing time gap between the posting of a job listing and the actual hiring of a worker . The most popular explanation for this trend among economists is that labor quality is dwindling – that there is a “skills mismatch” between job seekers and employers. Another theory advanced by Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argues that there are too many applicants per position , complicating the process of finding the right employee. These theories and others miss a critical point: built into these analyses is the assumption that recruiters and human resources professionals actually know what they are looking for when hiring. They don’t, and I am going to call this the Fundamental Fallacy of Modern Recruiting. Recruiting Is More Than Final Candidates Recruiting would seem to be one of those things you really can’t screw up if you want your business to grow. Talent is everything, according to every business conference and TED talk ever. Human capital, after all, is the lifeblood of the modern corporation, and so it must get incredible attention from senior executives. That’s worth a real lol, and maybe even a roflcopter. As anyone who has worked in one of these modern corporations knows, recruiting has become a profession like every other function in the business world. It’s essentially outsourced, or maybe insourced is a better way to put it. Sure, these people work just down the hall from you. Sure, you give a technical interview as part of the hiring process to assess competency and culture fit. Sure, you get to pick from the final candidates to choose the one you think is best. The problem with that […]

2 thoughts on “Recruiting: The Fundamental Fallacy

  1. Andy Harrison

    I remember one time I went to apply for a job, I ended up talking to three or four different people for my interview; not at the same time either. In the end I didn’t get the job which I was quite bummed about. One of the things that I’ve noticed with referrals is that the person might be a really good person and is competent, but they might be horrible at whatever particular job they are wanting. You are right that referrals are where the quality problems come from.

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