The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of conferences. Though I’m beyond ready to put on some sweatpants and hang out on my own couch— I’m so thankful to get out there and hear from all of you… outside of a computer screen. I always want to bring you the latest of what I’m hearing and seeing when it comes to hiring so I thought today we’d talk about just that, aka what in the hell is going on with hiring right now. Back in July, I was asked to join in on a podcast that you may already know, Whiskey Web and Whatnot, to talk about just this. And some other stuff too because what’s a podcast without some rambling, am I right?
If you want to tune in and catch a snippet of Taylor whiskey lore, here’s a link to the full podcast:
If you want me to remain that mysterious man in your feed:
Starting things off with an obvious fact, the hiring process is broken. It’s antiquated, inefficient, ineffective and a bunch of other adjectives that mean bad things. So to attempt to talk about ways to fix it, we have to look at what's not working. If you or anyone you know have been through the hiring process in the past year, you probably have seen issues with the following:
Egos getting in the way. Why are we making candidates go through so many rounds of interviews? So that a higher-up can have a pass at a prospective employee they will never directly work with? Execs that insist on solo interviewing candidates— do you not trust the directors and managers you hired or appointed to their positions? Step back and let the people who are going to be working with this new hire on a day-to-day basis take the lead.
It’s impossible to replicate the job you’re being hired for in the interview process. To that, I say try out a six-month contract-to-hire position, but I know this isn’t something everyone can swing. Alternatively, start actually talking to the people interviewing you. And not in a, “I’m perfect, I’m the perfect candidate, pick me” kind of way either. Let your walls down a little and ask about their problems, how they measure success, or anything else off that long list of questions you brought with you. This leads me to…
Currently, interviews are more about candidates having to sell themselves and their skills to a company than the company selling the role to the candidate. You have value. And if you’re going to be investing 40+ hours a week into a company, shouldn’t you feel like they at least tried to win your favor? I mean a good salary offer usually works… but why do hiring managers always have to act like they have one foot out the door? Or like their mind is always on the next candidate. If you want to bring in quality employees, your culture starts right there in the interview.
There’s no standardization in the interview process. I’m not advocating for every interview to be the same, but what if everyone’s first round was at least similar? We’re all out here showing up somewhat blind to an American Ninja Warrior course and all we’ve got is what we know about ourselves and some general information about the company. But what if you already knew (generally) what the first round was going to look like and you could prepare? It might cut down on the sweaty palms a bit, right?
Companies are getting too narrow too soon. Hiring managers— if you’re repeatedly finding yourself coming up empty-handed after job postings maybe you’ve included something that’s turning candidates away. Necessary skills shouldn’t be an attempt to build your own perfect, utopian candidate because they’re probably not real.
Obviously, these aren't all the problems in hiring, but starting to talk about them publicly and as a group is the best way I've figured out to start down the road of fixing them.