Hiring is still an unsolved puzzle and has a multi-billion dollar market potential. I often wonder why there isn’t a Google or Facebook of hiring? No, Linkedin is not there yet either.
In 2017 around August, Google launched is hiring product called ‘Google Hire’ and everyone said that its biggest advantage may be that, we use its products to search for everything else so the job search and recommendations when done by Google will be spot on. A week before all of us heard the announcement of it being shut down soon. In the same year two Xooglers started Leap.ai which was aggregating job search results for instant matchmaking, they now joined the Facebook team to continue work on solving this problem
More interestingly, last year I had a full StackRaft demo call with a few executives at Google Developer program in the Mountain View office and I was asked to look at both Google Hire and Leap to evaluate StackRaft's product building strategy. I’ve been observing many such shifts in the HR tech space and here’s what I think broadly on why we don’t have a company as big as Google or Facebook in the Hiring space yet.
Talent hiring is not a search problem, it is pure sales
Our internet search behaviour knows a lot about us, from our interests, device to our location. And while that might seem invasive, it's the price we pay for being so digitally connected and reliant today. Because of this, marketing efforts can reach more applicable consumers rather than random ones to make sales happen
Now think if that being applied for recruiting, it is called sponsored job ads that job boards sell with little data and zero behavioural data. The whole problem is the recruiting equation, 1000 applications, 100 shortlists, 10 invited, 1 hired. We all are aware, how hard it is to get through the applicant tracking system, then the human eyes and then the phone call and so on. It is pure luck and gamble of applying to all jobs on a job board just to get ‘shortlisted’ on the basis of how your resume looks and how you speak.
It costs time and effort for everyone in the equation to apply for jobs, create and post jobs and do screening to somehow shortlist. This whole process complicated the recruitment space because everyone tried to get better at writing resumes (to get’em shortlisted); writing job descriptions and company’s culture biographies to get talent attention.
In the real world recruitment is nothing but just persuasive selling. “Hey, My previous Boss at ABC is hiring for this role, you’ll be a great fit”. Boom! Position closed on high trust, everyone saved time, effort and money.
I know some will argue that this is not scalable, etc! My whole point is it will only scale when we accept this is how it is done and stop doing it the job boards ‘search’ and ‘advertising’ led way.
What criteria to judge on?
As an entrepreneur, I’m obsessed to build a bias-free algorithm to solve hiring and there are no set rules on what works for everyone. Let me tell you with experience, even with the veritable explosion in high-quality educational content, learners and diverse talent without a traditional degree still face an uphill battle to land a good job.
Today’s education as a service offering with the likes of Lambda School and various such boot camps primarily focus on up-skilling. They try to teach you the in-demand skills of the moment so that you move from unemployed and inexperienced to knowledgeable and employable. The irony is that companies want to see a credential that they trust to signal that you are knowledgeable. It’s all about demonstrating the ability (preferably through an actual paid experience like contracting or an internship) to practically apply your knowledge towards solving business problems. This becomes especially important if your credential is not top tier. Do you see the problem? Everything is about earning credibility or validation and there are currently only two primary ways to earn it — universities or companies.
MOOCs, boot camps, winning hackathons and other alternative offerings, are unable to earn you the necessary credibility. They may teach you the necessary skills (in my experience, they do a pretty decent job at this). It is still a gamble from the employer’s perspective. And unfortunately not every employer is willing to do that — people, including hiring managers, are generally risk-averse and willing to pay a premium for the safe, “proven” candidate (hiring the wrong person is painful from both productivity and financial perspective).
The best weapon companies can possess in the war for talent is a solid interviewing strategy that wins over the best candidates. The interviewing process hasn’t changed much and involves several steps, but with new generations coming in, companies are experiencing an increase in rejections and unfinished interviews. They’re quickly realising the control they once held over how they interview is on the verge of extinction. Today, it’s a candidate-driven market and the new generation of workers aren’t shy to walk away from a reputable company because of their poor interviewing process. Candidate time is equally valuable and it can’t be wasted by getting them to apply to a job, recruiters phone call, writing a code test and so on.
Today, everyone has access to information and voice thanks to Google and Facebook, they have the choice of location as we are digitally connected to work from anywhere, and they want to save time whilst maximizing the potential to earn.
Recruitment is a collaborative job
Let me tell you resumes and interviews are hotbeds for lies. I know why they still exist is because the things that you find on a resume or skills assessment are somewhat quantifiable and, more importantly, easy to compare between candidates. It also feels better when you can justify a hiring decision based on solid data like skills and experience rather than a gut feeling.
Any deficiencies in your company’s candidate assessment process are only going to be amplified when the responsibility falls on one person’s shoulders and nobody wants to own that up nor the hiring manager, not the recruiter and not the CEO. Even the best hiring managers and recruiters with all of the candidate data in the world can’t overcome their individual biases.
Hiring needs to be done collaboratively between companies, universities, and people.
Vartika Manasvi is the founder and CEO of StackRaft Inc.
Published Date: Sep 03, 2019 06:09 AM | Updated Date: Sep 03, 2019 08:09 AM IST