Harvard Business School has released a new report highlighting just how “broken” the current hiring system is.
Virtually everyone has had the experience of applying for a job, seemingly the perfect candidate, only to be excluded from consideration with no good explanation. According to Harvard Business School, that scenario is more reality than suspicion.
Many companies rely on automated hiring systems to aid in the process, but those very systems are creating much of the problem.
These systems are vital; however, they are designed to maximize the efficiency of the process. That leads them to hone in on candidates, using very specific parameters, in order to minimize the number of applicants that are actively considered. For example, most use proxies (such as a college degree or possession of precisely described skills) for attributes such as skills, work ethic, and self-efficacy. Most also use a failure to meet certain criteria (such as a gap in full-time employment) as a basis for excluding a candidate from consideration irrespective of their other qualifications.
As a result, they exclude from consideration viable candidates whose resumes do not match the criteria but who could perform at a high level with training. A large majority (88%) of employers agree, telling us that qualified high-skills candidates are vetted out of the process because they do not match the exact criteria established by the job description. That number rose to 94% in the case of middle-skills workers.
Harvard Business School recommends a number of changes in the hiring process, including changing evaluation filters from negative criteria to affirmative, customizing the hiring approach for hidden workers, establishing new evaluation metrics and more.
The full report is well worth a read for anyone involved in the hiring process.