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Recruitment – Big Black Darkness

Everyone thinks recruitment is an easy job and they assume that they know everything about recruitment. Most of them think they know how to recruit.

There is always this question that pop-up about recruitment –  what’s the rocket science in recruiting? Hang on, we will take you through the whole Big Black Darkness of the Recruitment Cycle. 

Some Hiring Managers think that they can interview candidates and hire; some Recruiters think that they can find candidates through keywords in their resumes; Some Employment Agencies owners think that they can hire freshers and those freshers can find/schedule candidates and recruitment will happen. Unfortunately, none of this is entirely true.

The Epic JD Problem – Job Description

The problem in recruiting starts with JD(Job Description). Most of the job descriptions are copied from an existing job description and sometimes edits are made. A lot of times, hiring managers stuff lot of expectations and keywords as they are looking for multiple skills/hats in one single candidate. The popular saying goes, “hiring managers are looking for a Superman”. Well, hiring managers are not wrong, they are looking for the best possible candidate to do the job. However, a lot of times hiring managers are not aware of the market reality and the talent landscape available.

In my experience of Qualifying hundreds of Job Descriptions with hiring managers, 99% of the times hiring managers just want one thing in the candidate and all the keywords, jargons used in the job description are unnecessary and unwanted. For example, in a Java Developer – JD there could be keywords including Spring, Hibernate, Micro Services, SQL, JavaScript etc. But, when you have a requirement qualification discussion with the hiring manager, he/she says all they want the candidate to be good at coding in Java and the fact that they should be a quick learner to pick up other things faster.

Once, I sent an Automation Testing Candidate for a Manual Testing Job. Of course, I prepared the candidate well and requested the hiring manager to just meet the candidate once even if she was not into Manual Testing because I had a good rapport with the hiring manager, he agreed. Post the interview discussion, Hiring Manager told the candidate that he is hiring her for the job even though she does not have manual testing experience. Why did this happen? You would have heard the popular saying, “Most people hire for attitude and not for the skill”. I experienced this in reality. Most hires don’t happen primarily because of the skill but because of other factors including attitude, confidence, smartness, enthusiasm, interest, ability to learn, high level of energy, presentation etc. etc.

The Epic Candidate Resume Problem

Over 98% of resumes are copied from a friend, colleague or associate. My recruiters come across at least 2 resumes every week which are identical from top to bottom except candidate name, phone number and email id. This is not by chance because the number of resumes being copied from someone else’s resume is overwhelming. Add to it, most candidates have no formal training, guidance or information on how to put together a resume. A resume can have a ton of issues. From formatting being bad to a choice of fonts to colours used in resumes, grammatical mistakes, choice of words etc. etc. Additionally, candidates stuff a lot of keywords in their resume in order to get their resumes shortlisted for multiple job opportunities for which they have no background or experience.

The two most common interview feedbacks in the industry are:

  1. The candidate does not have the experience of what he/she has claimed on the resume
  2. The candidate is technically not strong

These feedbacks are the result of keywords being stuffed in the candidate’s resume. Also, resume writing freelancers are really good. When they develop a candidate’s resume, they make the candidates look really bright and potentially the best possible candidate. But, can a good-looking, well-formatted resume make a mediocre candidate good? I doubt that.

Real Twist- The So-Called Recruiter

99.99% of the recruiters are not recruiters by choice. Have you ever heard anyone growing up who says that I want to be a recruiter when I grow up? Have you seen any universities offering ‘Recruitment’ as a course? Most people get into human resources jobs by chance and mostly because either they can not get jobs in other fields or because they feel its a comfortable desk job. Fortunately, I got into recruitment by choice. I was like most people, I used to think that Recruitment is a low barrier business and one can start the business with just a phone, computer and internet. However, I am over 10 years in recruitment and now my thoughts about how recruitment business is done, have completely changed.

Over 90% of the recruiters hired by 99% of the staffing agencies are ‘Freshers’. Are we expecting freshers to be equipped and competent to solve the challenges created by Job Descriptions and Resumes of candidates?

If you consider the Global Recruitment Companies, the quality of ‘Fresher Recruiter’ will be good. If you consider the mid-sized recruitment company, the quality of ‘Fresher Recruiter’ will drop. You go to mom n pop shop, local recruiting companies, you can not have a meaningful conversation with their ‘Fresher Recruiters’ as the quality is lowest as the focus is to get a ‘Recruiter’ in ‘human body’ that can be hired at the lowest possible salary and not because they are competent to wear a ‘Recruiter’s hat.

As a result, most recruiters in most Staffing Companies find candidates based on keywords in their resume and hiring managers get frustrated that they are getting junk resumes as they are nowhere close to what they are looking for.

This is the reason, most clients are not consistently happy/satisfied with employment agencies and most employment agencies are not consistent in generating results for all the requirements that they work for. Sometimes, you get a hit as a result of fluke and mostly you waste a lot of time and effort working on various requirements only to create dissatisfaction and disappointment for yourself and your clients.

Probable Solution

The solution lies in creating a realistic job description and definitely start from scratch. Not only put the skills, background, experience you want but also provide details about your organization, brand and what’s in it for the candidate and how can this opportunity provide career progression to the candidates. If you are a recruiter, you need to talk to the hiring manager to read what’s on his/her mind to understand what exactly he/she is looking for. Definitely, there is a need to guide the candidate to create his/her resume exactly reflecting their experience/background and not jazzy keywords/jargons. When, you do this right, every time you have a requirement and candidate you can get very close to filling up that requirement.

Happy Recruiting!

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