Higher Hiring--We need to look at new paradigms for finding employees.
Thursday, March 5, 1998
A recent CW article "Landing the Job" stated people lie throughout job searches. But observing how most job offers come about helps to explain why today''s inadequate hiring system tempts many to become dishonest.
Think about the process--you obsessively refine your resume and interviewing skills to convince employers to pick you. Employers then rely on another unrevealing source, references. Worse, employers are addicted to "experience," the mistaken belief that past performance guarantees future results. And, as you and your potential boss focus on your appearance, everyone forgets what matters most--the job!
This situation worsens nowadays when rapid change can wipe out anyone''s career. Last year, since customers prefer ATMs, Bank of America eliminated 3,700 tellers. A motivated teller then studies another field. She''s capable and willing to deliver in that new industry but has no experience. She knows a truthful resume will make an employer scream, "She worked 12 years in banking and now wants to manage hotels?" She can either schedule an appointment to show she''s suitable or embellish her resume. Which is easier, especially in the ''90s when nobody has time for anybody?
Lately, more employers cry how they''ve been burned by those who were beautiful during interviews but complete disasters on the job.
Employers continue awarding job offers like lottery jackpots--he who scratches winning words onto resumes and says them at interviews will GET the job. They reward the person who seems most qualified, not the one who is. What about looking instead for someone who can DO the job?
This is precisely what Nicholas Corcodilos recommends in his book Ask the Headhunter. Originally from Silicon Valley, Corcodilos now appears in publications like the Wall Street Journal explaining how candidates and employers benefit by "DOING the job" during interviews.
One vibrant Monterey industry does believe in "DOING the job" during interviews--the music industry! When a musician wants to perform at a night club, he contacts the manager. During their "interview," the manager wants proof that the musician can DO the job. How? The manager says, "Play a song!"
So this way of hiring is readily understood. But it requires dedication from everyone. The candidate must study the company and demonstrate how his DOING the job helps it grow. The employer must know how skills he requests relate to DOING the job. Also, the employer must adopt a new attitude--instead of saying "Send me your resume," invite an applicant to show in 20 minutes the beginnings of DOING the job.
After such a presentation, if both the employer and candidate are mature, they will respect the decision--if you can DO the job, it''s yours! As with music, industries must figure out what constitutes a valid audition. Bosses and workers who practice this say job satisfaction increases because selection is based on the work, not a hunch.
If you think "DOING the job" is radical and you can''t give up traditional methods, take this quiz. Resumes containing total honesty may make promising applicants look unfit. Guess who owned this one:
OBJECTIVE: Political position to use strong leadership skills
1858-1860: Ran for Senate, defeated
1856-1858: Ran for Vice President, defeated
1855-1856: Ran for Senate, defeated
1848-1855: Ran for Congress, defeated
Any idea? If updated, this line would be added: 1860-1865: Served as 16th President
The 12-year gap in this resume would make human resources go nuts. But if you think you must have a spotless history to be hired or can only hire those who do, you may overlook people with incredible potential. How would you feel rejecting Abraham Lincoln?
Glenn Mandelkern is a San Jose software developer whose quest is to have employers and candidates consider more fitting ways to fill today''s positions.