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Harvard Sees the Pain, Headhunter Remedies It

Harvard Business Review recently published an article about recruiting and how the approach is all wrong. They are correct on a lot of things.

“Companies seek to fill their recruiting funnel with as many candidates as possible, especially ‘passive candidates,’ who aren’t looking to move.” — Why is it a numbers game? Companies are hiring extra staff to screen out this massive number of candidates (most of whom aren’t even genuinely interested). Then, the recruiters subscribe to more job boards, pay for more ads, and get even MORE people in the funnel… and then you need to hire ANOTHER person to help… and on and on. Totally inefficient. QUALITY is what you should be after.

“Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context.”– Yep, and that is pretty disrespectful when you’re asking people to waste their valuable time filling out long applications, stress over the perfect resume formatting and keywords, and submit a ton of personal information just so the employer can gather a little bit of data on the job market to include on their next Powerpoint to the team.

“Many U.S. companies… have outsourced much if not all of the hiring process to ‘recruitment process outsourcers,’ which in turn often use subcontractors, typically in India and the Philippines.” — Nobody cares about your company and employees as much as the people already on your team. The fact that companies pay so much money just goes to show how broken the system is and how much they hate dealing with recruiting.

“Why do employers spend so much on something so important while knowing so little about whether it works?”– Great question!

“The root cause of most hiring… is drastically poor retention.”– Why don’t employers increase pay and hire within? Even if it means paying to train the person (as opposed to an outside hire with more experience), I think it is safer, builds employee confidence, and boosts engagement.

“JR Keller, of Cornell University, has found that when managers could fill a vacancy with someone they already had in mind, they ended up with employees who performed more poorly than those hired when the job had been posted and anyone could apply.”– Employers must cast a wide net! Even personal referrals, while easier to hire, are prohibitive since the net is limited to your personal network. Who says you know they best person for the job?

“Make me unhappy.”– People are open to moving jobs… at the right price.

“If the goal is to get better hires in a cost-effective manner, it’s more important to scare away candidates who don’t fit than to jam more candidates into the recruiting funnel.”

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