Friday, March 18, 2005

Is 100% fit just wrong?

We live in an era when many corporate recruiters hide behind their recruitment tools. Keyword resume search is the norm, and to get to the attention of a recruiter you now have to be a closer and closer fit.

And what is wrong with this I hear you ask? Well quite a lot. If you think through the dynamics of the situation it just doesn't work.

Let's take the applicant's perspective first. HR professionals have bleated on for the last 15 years about the 'self managed career' and guess what, your ambitious young manager believes it (many at the junior levels think it just means 'we're not going to develop you any more')

So people are building their marketability. When someone sits in front of you they are thinking 'what can this job do for my CV'. Fail to answer this and they won't join you.

People are looking for advancement, new challenges, to learn new skills. Forget training courses learning is mainly situational.

So what do recruiters do? Well, we search for people who have done the role before. That's how they get those key skills on their CVs. If we're recruiting into the organisation it is typically to do a very similar job to the one they are already doing.

And you wonder why you struggle to excite them? What are you offering in terms of improvements in marketability? You wonder why they get bored quickly and want to move on?

By looking for great fit what you're doing is limiting their development. The question is not 'have they the experience to do this?' but 'have they the potential to do this?'

And guess what? Looking for 100% fit takes longer than looking for potential so you're left with big gaps all over the organisation. But that will be the theme for the next post...