The gap between what companies say they want – skilled, talented people, able to think out of the box and grasp the opportunity, bringing determination and creative flair – and the processes companies use to recruit these qualities is widening.
There are lots of reasons for this. It is partly because of cuts in the HR department, which means there is less time available to interview people in depth and find ways to get to know them, and less resource to use recruitment companies to do this task.
It is also because of the growth in automation which means many CVs are filtered out before they are even seen.
And ironically, the growing use of recommendations and social networks means companies are all looking at the same pool of people who’ve come from the same group of employers.
Imagine if the TV companies were to try and create a programme out of real life recruitment processes like the ones used by the majority of businesses today.
It would be nothing like the Apprentice or X Factor, where we get to see rounded personalities and real skills in action.
The whole focus would be on two sides of A4 and the dreaded covering letter, which is the age old recruitment argument that the best CV isn’t necessarily the best candidate.
You would get quite a restricted sense of the real abilities of the candidates and truthfully, you’d get to see very few candidates at all and they would all be quite similar. X Factor would produce their 12 finalists who looked, dressed and sounded the same and their ratings would drop significantly.
What we learn from programmes like X Factor is that if you want to find really talented people you have to be creative about how you let them reveal their skills to you.
You have to find different ways to test them, and give them a platform to shine, not necessarily in a suit, sat across a table in a meeting room.
So maybe it’s time to reinvent the recruitment process so that you get to see more of a person’s real capabilities and personality, so that you can be certain that you get the candidate fits into your team and adds value to your business, a recruit you can have confidence in and be excited about in these uncertain times.
The risk of not reinventing recruitment is the continuing uncertainty that everyone complains about.
It’s a word I hear everywhere – businesses are uncertain about the sorts of people they need and how they are going to find them.
When they do meet candidates, the uncertainty seems to continue.
Let’s be certain in our recruitment process, our recruit and our recruiters, saving time and money.
If we want candidates who think out of the box then we’re going to have to think out of the box to find them.
I would say, for 2011 let’s turn this around and give our candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their X Factor.