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The Hiring Mess

LinkedIn's hiring stories never fail to entertain! The mess we have in organisations is partly to be blamed on recruiters and hiring managers. I mean, if there was a scale to measure incompetence... 20 out of 10. 

Let's start with the incentive to hire. 

The folks in charge of finding people for jobs and the ones hiring (talent acquisition and hiring managers) are mainly interested in getting the positions filled fast. They care more about quantity & speed than finding the best candidates. Talent acquisitions have goals tied to how many spots they fill, and hiring managers just want warm bodies, even if they're not the best fit. So, when time is tight, they tend to lower their standards really quickly. They lower the bar by saying "This person is good enough." This is where the first mistake happens. Numbers and speed over quality because their incentive is to hire. 

Pair that with incompetent hiring managers who have either never been trained on how to conduct interviews or went through a half-day competency-based interviewing workshop but then continued their horrendous way of hiring. How do we know that? We are at the end of their incompetence stick and we have a first-row view of their "skills".

  • They ask random questions about your family, vacation plans, what you do outside of work or what your hobby is. 

  • They have not one question prepared for your interview based on your background (the interview is the first time they actually read your CV) so they just have a chat with you to see if they like you. How many times have I heard HR saying "I don't like that person." 

  • They ask "Which job are you interviewing for today?" 30 minutes into the interview. 

  • They fall into interviews unprepared and late................. And they dare to ask the question "How do you manage your time and workload?" Better than you Richard. 

  • They reject your CV because they saw something on it to which they crafted a story in their head (change of job or break) instead of asking you about the details. 

  • They drag you through three rounds of interviews and they ghost you because...... I don't actually know why you would do that. You need to tell me. I hope that you know that by doing that, you are ruining the company's reputation that is paying you. And I also hope that companies are aware that they are actively paying incompetent hiring people to ruin their reputation. Just saying. 

  • They say the interview process takes 2-3 weeks and at week 6 you are following up on it. They don't reply immediately saying "Hey, we need more time or that's a no from us" they wait another 2 weeks and you get a rejection email. 

  • They ask, "Are you single?" 

  • They cannot put acquired competence together and create a new role for you! They stick you in a box of whatever you have been doing up until now. 

The last point always blows my mind. It is like giving ten ingredients to a chef and instead of making a yummy dish out of them, the chef would say "Carrot? We can only make carrot juice out of it. Let's juice it all and we will have ten different juices." Ok, chef but we need only one juice! 

Effective hirers possess a unique talent and it is a very hard to train skill —unlike most, they can assess acquired skills, knowledge, and experience to craft an entirely new role out of it. It's like playing with Lego; they take the pieces and construct diverse creations instead of adhering to a rigid "you can only build a house" mentality depicted on the box

They can turn an HR director into a hotel manager rather quickly. People skill? Check! Financial acumen? Check! Leadership skill? Check! People management skill? Check! Influencing stakeholders? Check! That's it! The rest will be learned later. 

This is why your organisation is failing. It is not that you are thinking inside the box. You are following what is printed on the front of the box (Lego box) or in this case the CV. So if you want to put your hiring people through any training this is the training you should be looking for! Your organisation and people will be grateful for it. 


IMAGINE, if we god forbid had a talent database where competencies are mapped out properly and you enter, Szilvia has A,B,C skills what job could she do? The system would pop out roles you would never even think of. This is how you build organisations not through the silly CV technique and incompetent hiring people. 

PS: I know that you cannot do that with highly specialised jobs like doctor etc. But you can easily do that in the world of big corporations where positions are all made up and there is no rule or criteria for performance. I know Debbie would like to think there is but not really. We are all just winging it. 

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