The Art of the Hire

As many of you know, I was searching for a job for quite awhile and only recently secured employment. However, during the search I saw signs everywhere “help wanted”. I ask the simple question is this overburdened job market true and if it is, should we be revamping our hiring criteria to fill those slots?

Hear me out. I have listened and conversed with many different age groups and education levels seeking work. Ranging from teenagers to college students or nearly retired and the same question is being asked “If they need help why are employers so inflexible?”

Let me elaborate with a couple of example cases.

Case #1 – Teenager seeking work. High School education, good work ethic, wants to succeed and wants to be appreciated by employer. Applies endlessly, no follow up, no interview and when finally hired it’s haphazardly often through a text such as “can you work tomorrow? show up with black pants” On the first day, given no welcome, no training, just thrown into it. If it’s your business shouldn’t you care about the training, the hiring process? After all, it reflects your company and in the end you, doesn’t it?

Case #2 – Non-traditional College student pursuing a degree, seeks position in field of study with potential learning and growth. Of the slim number of positions available in field, all require a college degree. This applicant is pursuing said degree, but employers remain rigid on requirements. This seems to be an oversight on the part of employers, you could secure an employee at a opportune moment, but instead you choose to allow positions to remain empty instead of considering other hiring plans. Your loss, when commencement rolls around another company is chosen, because you remain rigid and did not see the value in working towards a goal and being given an opportunity because of it.

Case #3 – Almost retired, but seeking work. Experienced worker seeking fulfillment in area outside of primary career path. Applicant provides resume, which seems overqualified for your particular position, so you don’t call. You should have called, applicant really does want to work at the bakery or the arena or the school.

Employers need to refresh their processes and the pattern they follow when reviewing resumes and candidates. Think outside the box.

In my humble opinion, do not discount youth or age. Both bring their own set of virtues to the table. youth can be eager and informed, age can bring life experience, diligence and patience. Both can learn from each other and both can be an amazing asset to your organization.

As for the college student, perhaps you should consider the value of a non-traditional student in the midst of an education path that you are seeking. Perhaps tailor a graduated increase (the government does this with some 7/9/11 roles) after hire until completion. Don’t make a commencement a make or break for these future team members, consider different hiring paths.

And make the wage attractive, don’t insult their efforts by lowballing the offer. There are some institutions that logically seem great candidates to implement this new direction of thinking. It is never more discouraging that looking at a job and seeing $11 an hour AND requiring a Associates degree. It’s simply a slap in the face of the student. It’s as if the hiring official is saying ” yes you are trying but we don’t value it enough to increase pay or reduce requirements, we would rather leave the position unfilled” Just seems to be bad business to me.

I know it’s a hard time for many employers, I know employees expectations are high and something must give. Maybe that something is stale, outdated ineffective hiring methods.

Just my thoughts,

M-Nelson

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