4 Reasons Why Hiring Is Failing

It’s hard, sometimes, not to feel like the world of work has been turned on its head.

1. Outside of their place in a few organisations, job titles are largely meaningless. Job descriptions are even more irrelevant, given that an increasing number of people are working for startups, or in hybrid roles, or are simply creating the roles for themselves. People value seeing where they’ll work, and who they’ll work with, over perks and a fancy title on their business card.

2. Leadership these days is less about being loud and confident, and more about being supportive and even introverted. People value working with other people they admire, more than working for a “big name” company. The talented leaders in your organisation are why more talented people will join you in the future.

3. Skills, certification and experience are valuable when applying for a job, but projects and things you can point at are much better. People value other people who have achieved something, no matter how niche. You used to run an Etsy shop but it didn’t work out? That’s inspiring to a lot of people, you probably learned more in a week than most people do in a month.

4. Advertising a job on the web should mean you get in front of more candidates than you could imagine, even more if you advertise on social media through your existing employees, and incentivise them with referral bonuses. But now you’re just one vacancy on one channel along with everyone else. When people can apply for jobs on LinkedIn with one-click, they’ll do just that. People who take the time to seek you outare the ones who really want to work with you. So take the time to let them find you.

The current hiring process that we’ve quietly accepted as the standard, the whole won’t-get-fired-for-advertising-on-LinkedIn approach, just doesn’t work anymore.

Every job is advertised in multiple places to hit the widest audience, to bring in the most CVs, which are scanned for the most relevant keywords, which are placed in an Applicant Tracking System, and so on. We’re devolving so much of this process to computers, big data and algorithms that we’re losing the human touch.

Hiring is failing. Once you start writing job descriptions, you’re locked into a process with an established failure path that you can’t avoid dealing with. Every step along the way, from writing job titles and descriptions, to advertising it where the people you want to find aren’t even looking, is setting yourself up for failure.

And yet, finding and managing people is a huge part of the success of your teams. So take a moment to consider them. What people do you need to bring in over the next six months? Who do you want to promote? Who would make a good mentor? Who are the leaders in your organisation?

Now start looking for them on Somewhere, engage with them and share your work style to get noticed for what you do. Write down the three questions you’d like to ask people. Imagine you could see the responses to those questions. Imagine building a talent pool of people who want to work with you, and imagine seeing how they think about work.

On Somewhere, these Provocations are at the heart of what we do. They feed our Cultural Graph and allow us to connect people with the others – the ones who think about work in the same way they do.

In short, don’t recruit people, connect with them.

Peter Sorgenfrei
About the author: 

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Peter Sorgenfrei is the Chief Executive Officer at Somewhere Collaborative Media.  Mr. Sorgenfrei has held assignments with DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Ipsos and UBS Investment Bank.  Follow Peter on Twitter.