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Humanizing Hiring

Published by Huffington Post on Sun, 19 Jul 2015

What if computers did your hiring' Think of the cost savings!Ridiculous' Or is that where we're headed if we forget about humanizing hiring'The Pre-Employment TestStart with the pre-employment test. Catherine was into her second hour of the test before she got to the math section. Does answering high school math problems really help in hiring a Director of Customer Service' Catherine looked up from her screen for a moment and tried to remember. In all her years building and running successful Customer Service groups, jobs like the one she was applying for right now, had anyone ever asked her an algebra question''Would missing a problem on an algebra test be the reason she didn't get the offer'She'd never know. Because there was no actual human being in place to answer that question. Buying the test software meant the company cut a recruiter salary. Was there a relationship between the test and the job she was seeking' Maybe. Maybe not. The new, automated process did not include the person-to-person conversation that could clarify the relationship between the test and the job. In fact, at the time she was taking the test, the only conversation she'd had with anyone was a 12-minute phone screen to verify her salary and resume data.What prompted that conversation was another software program. This one looked for key words. If the resume had the key words, it went to the intern who did the 12 minute phone screen. If the software did not pick up the right percentage of key words, then the resume was destroyed.The Secret of Resume Key WordsPaul, a veteran financial executive from Denver, is the only person I've ever met, who broke through the impenetrable wall of resume key words and got his resume into the hands of a decision maker. He had been sending resumes to the company for a year. Then one day, he was at a neighborhood block party and discovered that a director of the company lived down the block. Paul had written to me shortly after reading Finding Work When There Are No Jobs, to share how the questions in the book about making community into an action verb, really got him thinking about the way he connected to his work. Paul was a "passive" applicant for this job. He just really liked the company and couldn't figure out why he never got a response. He had visited "resume experts" but that never helped. Nothing helped till, one summer afternoon at a neighborhood barbeque over gin and tonics, Paul's neighbor fixed the "secret words" problem.Here's how he did it: He told Paul what the words were. That was all it took. Paul sent in another resume with the new words, and he is now the CFO of the company.The H.R. Department With a Company Out BackThe operational realities of any struggling or expanding organization, doing more with less, don't ever go away. But will taking people out of the hiring process help or hurt those operational realities' Is there a middle ground where people manage the systems and not vice versa'Perhaps the central question is: Does the organization view the person as an investment and a cost--or merely as a cost' Because if the answer is cost, then our already twisted system of connecting people and jobs can venture into the truly bizarre. Like for example, a company we'll call Benny Supply. Located in the Chicagoland area, Benny Supply isn't the only company that operates like an H.R. Department with a company out back. You can spot these companies by their giant HR Recruiting staff. That staff is always busy. The ads for open jobs never stop, so the screening, testing, and interviewing don't stop either. The volume of activity is massive. No recruiter ever gets cut at Benny Supply.But there's one slight problem. There are no open jobs. When Finding Work When There Are No Jobs reader Leslie applied, they told her that they "hired for talent." Not a bad thought, assuming they know what it means and there is an open job. But the job she applied for, the ad that she answered, might exist or might not. Perhaps, they'd see her as having the "talent" for another job. Maybe keep her on the "bench" for a while. She never really found out.Whether the tactic is assessment tests with no relation to the job, key word software screenings that keep out talent, or non-stop recruiting for jobs that don't exist; the issue is the same: we have lost sight of the focus on humanizing hiring. Forgotten what happens when we see human beings as investments, not just costs. The result is a convoluted mess of hiring that goes beyond the examples noted here. Perhaps you have your own examples of where humanity has been driven out of hiring.So imagine what would happen if we started thinking differently about the ways we could humanize hiring. If we remembered that we are talking about people here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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