- The myth of the passive candidate. Far too many people say, “If they want to work here, we don’t want them. Keep looking.”
- The paradox of choice. When faced with 600 resumes in an applicant tracking system and 50 resumes from internal referrals, recruiters don’t triage those resumes and dig in. They continue to look because the perfect candidate is probably. out. there. somewhere.
- The implementation of unscientific, culture-based hiring methodologies. Instead of hiring for competency, recruiters screen candidates for likability. They make hiring recommendations based on invalid and unsubstantiated criteria.
Recruiters can fix these three problems. Recruiters can move faster, hire people, and respond to candidates who don’t meet specific criteria.
But they don’t.
The reasons are complex. Boring. You’ve heard it all before. And without competition from working managers who do their own recruiting, modern talent acquisition teams have the luxury to be slow and dull. Technology is an obvious foil, too. It’s easy to blame broken processes and systems without accepting accountability. And instead of using big data to show results, today’s human resources leaders and recruiters often use small data to cover their tracks. They are more inclined to show how hard they are allegedly working — with all kinds of first world problems and obstacles like “too many candidates” — instead of showing how their actions link with revenue and profitability.
So I have an idea. If you lead a human resources group or a talent acquisition team — or you are an executive or entrepreneur in the market for a corporate recruiter — I strongly urge you to hire someone who can get stuff done. Hire someone with solid project management skills. Hire someone with a different perspective on how people can accomplish great things even under the most difficult circumstances. Hire someone who knows the difference between truth and bullshit.
Hire a veteran to be your next recruiter.
Even if this veteran has no idea how to recruit, you should take a chance. It’s an easy skill to learn. Not only will you improve the unemployment rate for returning veterans, I suspect you will improve the hiring process — and the attitude of your HR department — within 60 days.
Give it a shot!