Hiring – wasting time asking and looking for wrong things

Hiring managers today complain about not able to find candidates with the right skills for the job, but are they looking for the right skills?

A candidate who has good visualizing and UX skills and has worked on CSS3 may be rejected just because they “know” but have not worked on JQuery is ridiculous! It is equally bad to reject a candidate who has good analytical skills, data crunching capabilities but has not worked extensively in Accounting in the IT industry.

One needs a good Salesman. But we look for ‘Salesman for Financial Products’ – Is ‘Salesmanship’ not the key skill, and the Financial Products domain not learnable? Why are we forgetting that the basics are important and rest can be taught (if the candidate can and has willingness to learn). How good are they in the fundamentals, like analytical thinking, coding, trouble-shooting, visualizing, systems thinking – these should be most important. Yes, then we also have to factor in whether the person has learnt new stuff, has applied new ways of doing things to solve problems.

Laying too much emphasis on the skill sets and not so much on the core skills or willingness to learn leads to two problems:

  • There won’t be too many candidates with these skills as they are new, and Hiring Managers will complain. Good people are being let go just because they don’t have experience in the needed skills.
  • Many of the Job Descriptions are loaded with jargon on technology, tools and such. There is little emphasis on the core.

The sad part is that everyone knows the important distinction between the two – the essential of “core” and the adaptability to the “transient”. But little is being done to change or make improvements.

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