Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bass Ackwards

Business publications can't stop screaming about the lack of skilled and especially highly technical workers. Meanwhile, companies screen-out by the millions the very people qualified to interview for these positions.

How did we get here? Here's how:

The people screening these resumes are doing nothing more than looking for a series of keywords on these resumes. No keywords or not the right keywords? Into the electronic trash pile it goes. A reasonably intelligent Golden Retriever is capable of this type of low-level resume screening.

Such a colossal waste.

What these screeners are missing is what might be an unconventional background or possibly a somewhat parallel set of skills and work history in which a manager/supervisor can VERY quickly size up and determine if this person is capable and qualified to do the work.

Backing most organizations, managers who primarily supervise work are also asked to do some hiring. We're talking about "hiring managers" here.

Now, these managers are told by the executives above them what an important part of their job hiring is.

These same employers and these same executives, in their endless efforts to increase production while lowering cost, then sabotage the very act and process of hiring good people. More on that below.

Not to be forgotten in all this: jobs that don't get filled are putting the burden of all this extra work on to existing employees.

So here's the part that is just SO ass backwards. People ENTIRELY unqualified to determine if a potential employee is CAPABLE OF DOING HIGHLY TECHNICAL AND SPECIALIZED WORK are the ones screening most or all of the resumes- instead of the line of business manager who has spent years both doing the work and, later, supervising the people doing the work.

Now it's true that, if asked, hiring managers often state they want nothing to do with the labor-intensive screening process.

I ask: What if hiring managers were fairly compensated for being much more involved in the recruiting process? I mean, after all, companies talk a good game about the importance of hiring. But the overwhelming majority of these firms burden the hiring manager with extraneous work, creating a collective position that does echo: "I don't have time to look at candidate resumes!".

Get the hiring manager VERY involved early and often. That is the solution. That is the solution to this perceived "shortage" of skilled and/or technical positions unfilled by the millions.

Friday, May 5, 2017

We're passing on Mr. Hodges..

Mine was not an exciting resume. I changed jobs frequently and, on paper, appeared content to coast for years on end. Didn't make me a bad guy- but it did make me something.

Imagine yourself a business owner or someone who answers directly to either an owner or a major stakeholder in a company. Years of blood, sweat and cold beers, er..ah. I mean tears. Years of busting your stones and making sacrifices. Business owners know the intense pressure of meeting payroll when receivables are shaky and lines of credit are shrinking...or worse. They know a million other major stressors that 8-5'ers will never know.

When owners are thinking about hiring someone, it's important the someone they're considering appears to be a person who gives a shit.

I've read, witnessed and most important lived endless discussions about resumes and how important they are (or aren't) when considering hiring someone. It's true there are many instances of a subpar resume resulting in a great hire. It's considerably MORE true, however, that a person with a consistent and stable work history is a WAY better investment than someone who has neither.

Recruiters used to ask me why I left an employer. I almost always answered I didn't want to work there anymore. I wasn't being a smartass, I was simply being honest. I knew the recruiter wanted one of those stock, bullshit-intensive answers as to why I left but it seemed pointless to play that game. My honesty rarely if ever rewarded me with recruiters. But I wouldn't expect an owner to like the fact that I never seemed matter where I previously worked.

(Worth noting, as a self-employed person, I am all in. Apparently, this is what I needed to feel the same commitment and zeal as the people who hired me in the past).

It's common to hear the phrase Think Like an Owner in business.

I suggest to people who can't understand why their resume isn't opening more doors to think like an owner. Like it or not, resumes tell a story. What story is yours telling?