CXO

The 3 biggest flaws in the hiring process and how to fix them

The job hunt isn't only difficult for the candidate, but also for the company, especially with outdated hiring practices. Here's how to stay current.

Finding a job is a challenging process for many people, and faults within the hiring process don't make the search any easier. Companies have a slew of tactics for hiring; between interviews, tests, resume filtering, and more, organizations use the systems that work best for them.

However, many companies haven't updated their hiring procedures in years, going through the same routine they've done since the company started. While the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," most hiring processes are indeed damaged, said Ian McClarty, president and CEO of PhoenixNAP Global IT Solutions..

"The hiring process in general is broken," said McClarty. The outdated nature of hiring leads many highly-skilled applicants to search for work elsewhere, he added.

SEE: Telephone interview cheat sheet: Computer bench technician (Tech Pro Research)

In the past, people wanted to find a job for the sake of having a job and an income, but times have changed—and so have people. "In the world beforehand, everyone was happy just to have a job," said Nick Cromydas, co-Founder and CEO of Hunt Club recruiting service. "In tomorrow's world, people are going to want the job they love, and one that betters their career, betters their perspective on life, with people they admire and respect, doing something that they're passionate about."

Candidates are not only using interviews to be assessed, but to also do the assessing, figuring out of the company is right for them, said Cromydas. People have grown pickier, while the hiring process hasn't grown at all, and employers are to blame. Most employers aren't aware of the problem, blaming external factors for a poor hiring season. The fault is directed at the talent shortage or outside circumstances, never at the company's own ineffective assessments. For organizations to hire the right people, they must realize and change their stale hiring practices, said Cromydas.

Here are the three biggest problems in today's hiring processes, and how to fix them.

1. Ignoring digital transformation

Technology has completely shifted recruiting and hiring methods. Between social media platforms, personal branding, online reviews, and mobile searches, potential employees are hunting for jobs much differently than they were 10 years ago. But many companies are still not hiring any differently.

Consumer goods corporation Proctor and Gamble illustrates this disparity, Cromydas said.

"Proctor & Gamble primarily hired within a very set construct of, you come from college, you come from a certain school, you go straight into their brand management program. You get promoted within, or you come from an MBA, and you get directly into it." However, he added, "With the world being transformed by digital, and technology changing everything, the talent strategy that they once had doesn't really make sense."

By not keeping up with technological transformations, companies end up getting left behind; their hiring process becomes inefficient and ineffective. "Most hiring managers are yet to embrace automation that can help them cut down on manual efforts in screening and add agility to the entire hiring process," said Ketan Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of Mettl. "When the screening process is flawed, the effect translates to the subsequent stages to make the entire hiring process tedious, lengthy, and frustrating, all at once."

Long, complicated screening and hiring processes can also give candidates a window of opportunity to take a job with a company that is faster moving and less arduous, said Kapoor.

2. Prioritizing quantifications over qualifications

Some companies are still placing pedigree over aptitude, which is unconducive to today's hiring market, Cromydas. "If you look at today's workers, and the world of employment today, it's very much based on what you can do, versus where you went to school, and who you know," he said.

More people have a bachelor's degree today than in the past, making it a less important metric for judging candidates' talent, Cromydas said. The first step to changing this mindset is to consider what your company actually wants out of a candidate, he added. Instead of going through the motions of hiring someone to simply fill a position, think about the qualities necessary for that position.

SEE: Interview tips: How to land your next tech job (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Kapoor agreed: "One of the most crippling problems is that hiring managers have little clarity about the right skills to be assessed for the role. This leads to an incompetent assessment process that repeats and keeps even the most qualified applicants at bay. Most hiring managers ask generic questions to judge a skill that's either irrelevant for the concerned role or has little correlation."

3. Not checking references

One of the most useful tools in the hiring process is references; however, most companies overlook them, according to Cromydas. References and referrals can be extremely helpful when judging someone's character, because you are getting an outside opinion on that candidate, he said.

"Someone can be an unbelievable performer in an interview process" explained Cromydas. "But, if they can't break it down, and you can't figure out what they actually did in their former jobs, then it's really difficult to know if they can bring everything to the table in their next [job]." This is where references come into play. By checking with past employers or supervisors, companies can get a well-rounded view of how this candidate actually works and acts.

The same concept goes for companies that overlook referrals. "The best candidates, as many of us know, come through referrals—and they also convert to hires at the highest rate," said McClarty. "Instead of the old 'find the ad and apply model' social media, business networking opportunities and employee referrals source the top talent most frequently."

For businesses to stay agile and current in their hiring processes, they must remain aware of evolving job market, the needs of their candidates, and goals of their organizations.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Wand_Prapan

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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