Driving Change

What is the worst buying experience you’ve ever had?  For many, it’s buying a car.

Whether it’s brand-new or a used one, the process often sucks. It kicks off with the salesperson, who accompanies you on a test drive, bombarding you with small talk because (duh) they can’t trust you to drive alone, when all you want is to assess the car in peace. Then comes the excruciating negotiation dance between you, the salesperson, and their “sales manager,” dragging on for what feels like an eternity. And either way you feel like you’re getting a raw deal. It’s all set up to benefit the dealerships, not the buyers.

Recruiting can feel the same way for companies and job seekers. It’s uncomfortable, with both sides holding back information, or not asking certain questions. In the end, one side usually feels like they’ve won, while the other feels like they’ve missed out.

So, how can we change this?

It’s a tough question. If there were an easy answer, the car industry would’ve figured it out already. The problem is a lack of trust. Companies assume buyers don’t understand their need to turn a profit, so they play games with pricing. Similarly, recruiting tends to focus too much on skills and not enough on cultural fit. This leaves both parties unsatisfied in the long run.

Recruiting should transition from a one-sided sales pitch to a matchmaking service. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not just seeking the best talent—I’m after the best talent that aligns with our culture and can seamlessly integrate into our existing team. These may not always be one and the same. Yet, traditional recruiting focuses predominantly on skill matches. The hiring manager needs a Java Developer, so recruiting delivers one—but if there’s no cultural fit, both parties end up unhappy. The issue lies in the time-consuming and subjective nature of this approach, which gives HR departments palpitations.

While I don’t have a solution, I can’t wonder how recruiting might evolve if it took notes from Match.com rather than traditional job boards. Imagine a world where compatibility and cultural fit are most valued, where recruiting isn’t just about filling a position but forging meaningful connections between individuals and organizations. Give me Tinder For Recruiting, I don’t ask for much!

2 thoughts on “Driving Change

  1. “I’m after the best talent that aligns with our culture and can seamlessly integrate into our existing team”… at what we’re willing to provide in total compensation.

    Beyond that, Tim is on the mark.

    The old saw that “employers hire for skill and fire for behavior” is often true. It doesn’t have to be “bad” behavior, but just behavior (actions, expectations, styles) that don’t align with the culture.

    And, more often than not, it is not the employer terminating the employee but the employee trying to “fit in” contrary to their natural way of being in the world–resulting in subpar performance at the contributor and team level–and then growing increasingly disengaged and ultimately leaving the organization of their own volition.

    That is a waste of the company’s resources and it lies primarily at the feet of those involved in the hiring decision–not the employee.

    Few hiring managers are really equipped to identify whether an individual has the technical competencies to perform a role, much less determine whether an employee’s values and behaviors align with the organization and team. And those who attempt that determination often use their own biases as a proxy for real understanding of what will make someone successful in a specific role in a specific environment.

  2. If I’m remembering correctly about 10 years ago, didn’t EHarmony try to get into the recruiting space? I remember a lot of ballyhoo about that, and then shortly after that, it went away. Was there ever a case study on why it failed?
    What you are proposing is logical in theory, but if they couldn’t figure it out, what’s changed in 10 years to make it more practical?

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