Avoid Contributing to the “Global Epidemic” of Poor Job Fit

I read this article, “Poor Job Fit: A Growing Global Epidemic.” Julie Moreland, the author, says our hiring approaches

neglects to account for an individual’s suitability for a potential job.

… Research from Towers Watson shows that companies with high levels of employee engagement improved operating income by 19.2 percent, while those with low levels of engagement declined by 32.7 percent. Companies simply can’t afford to hire employees who are a poor job fit.

Gee, that sounds like we are not taking the time to assess our culture, or to hire for cultural fit. And, it sure sounds like it’s cost effective to do so.

I disagree with some of Julie’s decisions, unsurprisingly enough. I agree with her that we need to improve the candidate experience. But I don’t agree that we need to make the screening process more efficient, if efficient means even more use of those darn automated candidate tracking systems.

Yes, I’m a geek. Yes, I have programmed many systems. Yes, I understand databases. Yes, I understand the government has all these rules and regulations about how long we need to keep the resumes. And, NO, the ATS is not the way you filter resumes to see if a candidate is a good match for your geeks. It’s just not.

The ATS encourages people to streeettcchhhh–that would be lie–the truth on their resumes. I’ve seen an ATS mangle resumes, especially for geeks. The ATS doesn’t help you understand how valuable a catalyst kind of person is or could be on your team. And, since you need lots of diversity on your team to create great products, you need to see lots of different people. The ATS prevents that.

So what do you do instead? Use the ATS to log the resumes. That’s what an ATS is good for. Now, with two or three other people, read the resumes. That’s what people are good for–reading. And, once you are done reading, decide among you, which resumes you want to phone screen. Do you all agree? If not, discuss why not.

That discussion is where you will start understanding cultural fit. Now, you could do this by yourself. But if you make copies of the resumes–yes, I’m suggesting you make paper copies–you will have the opportunity to point to different parts of people’s resumes and talk about what each of you have seen. You will be discussing cultural fit. Now you can start articulating it. This is a Very Good Thing.

You do not want to be part of a global epidemic of anything, certainly not of poor job fit. You want to attract people who want your jobs, and you want those people to stay there for a very long time. Maybe not for life, but for a long time. You can avoid poor job fit, at least in your organization. And, yes, Hiring Geeks That Fit explains how to do this.

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