Sunday, May 13, 2007

Matching the job description too well

Another very intriguing Linked In answer, this time on the question of the staffing and recruiting aspect of workplace mental health. This response comes from Vadim Gorelik:

There is an pretty disappointing trend to hire people with the right skillset for the job - meaning the person should know and demonstrate previous experience doing exactly what the company is looking for. What is the sense in that? From the HR perspective? If the person is coming from an identical role at another company, there are finite number of good reasons for switching jobs, and infinite number of bad reasons. Motivation starts with effort, and, once again IMHO, if the person knows everything there is to know about the job - what is there to strive for? Again, finite number of things. I would rather hire a person for whom the role might be a stretch, and have the person strive and achieve right skillset - and find motivation (and better mental health) in that.

Interesting. I don't know what it's like to be a recruiter but I'm thinking that a great deal of the work is finding people with sufficient skill sets to fill their positions. I don' t mean that facetiously or sarcastically; rather, how many listserv postings or even private emails from group affiliations do you get saying, "do you have anyone who can do x, y and has 3 to 5 years of z" sent not totally indiscriminately but certainly with the intent of reaching the widest audience possible? So, while I instinctively agree with Vadim about the need for employees to be in the right role (more on that definition in a minute) from day one, I wonder about the challenges that recruiters and staffers face and if that's often feasible. On the other hand, it's almost a "you get what you pay for" situation. If your intent is just to get someone in there, which I think it unfortunately often is, then whether it's necessarily the best fit is going to go by the wayside. If the process were more holistic, which is what I think Vadim is saying, then maybe the lateral switch could be avoided.

The lateral switch is an interesting point as well. There are many sensible reasons to switch companies to do similar work: higher pay being the obvious, better benefits (anything from healthcare to flex time and telecommuting to numerous others), or an organization that is somehow a better fit. But what about employees that are switching for the same type and/or level of position but not a clear reason? Isn't that dissatisfaction going to rear it's ugly head within short time? On the other hand, how do you convince recruiters, staffers, or even your own existing workplace's supervisory structure that not only are you ready for a challenge but that they can't afford not to challenge you?

1 comment:

Vadim said...

Hi Kelly,

As you've asked for my permission to quote me - I was definitaly intrigued to see what you'd quote :)

I agree with you that the process of determining the right fit is complex, but unnecessarily so.

The whole interviewing process is broken - could it be because people that are the hiring managers and recruiters are in wrong jobs (which is what started that whole rant? :)

Interviewers are focusing on knowledge and experience, rather then on capacity and potential. They focus on knowledge of the industry, rather then what other industries are doing that can help us. They focus on person's understanding of the job, rather then understanding of what value they can bring.

Looking forward to reading your blog in the future :)

Good luck.