“The current hiring system is broken”


Harvard Business School has released a new report highlighting how “broken” the current recruiting system is.

Virtually everyone has had the experience of applying for a job, seemingly the perfect candidate, only to be left out of consideration without a good explanation. According to Harvard Business School, this scenario is more a reality than a suspicion.

Many companies rely on automated hiring systems to make the process easier, but those same systems create much of the problem.

These systems are vital; however, they are designed to maximize the efficiency of the process. This leads them to focus on candidates, using very precise parameters, in order to minimize the number of candidates actively considered. For example, most use proxies (such as a college degree or possession of precisely described skills) for attributes such as skills, work ethic, and self-efficacy. Most also rely on failure to meet certain criteria (such as a gap in full-time employment) to exclude a candidate from consideration, regardless of their other qualifications.

As a result, they exclude from consideration viable applicants whose resumes do not meet the criteria but who could perform at a high standard with training. A large majority (88%) of employers agree, telling us that highly qualified candidates are excluded from the process because they do not meet the exact criteria established by the job description. This number rose to 94% for medium-skilled workers.

Harvard Business School recommends a number of changes to the hiring process, including changing the rating filters from negative to affirmative criteria, customizing the hiring approach for hidden workers, establishing new evaluation measures, etc.

The full report worth reading for anyone involved in the hiring process.

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