Oe of the greatest opportunities to save recruiters time will be the day that candidate matching software is perfected in such a way to help recruiters with qualifying candidates by accomplishing four main things:
Match jobs to candidates within your current employee base.
Match jobs to candidates within your own database of applicants.
Match jobs to candidates from outside resume databases.
Stack rank incoming candidates against specific job requirements.
The vision is simple: extract the qualifications from the candidate (on the resume or application), match those qualifications against the job requirements or description and create a score for the candidate. Then present the candidates back to the recruiter with the top score first. Voila…here is your hire! It is the hope of many recruiters that matching software will help produce a perfect ‘10’ candidate.
Currently, matching software has the ability to capture these two data points: job description and the candidate’s past…failing to identify culture fit, how the candidate will grow in the role and how the company will evolve and change as a result. Integrated into an ATS, a great matching software will look at more, but not all, important data points.
These current capabilities of matching software have effectiveness in identifying candidates for high volume, hourly positions. It’s the perfect fit for roles where 1) candidates simply have the certification or they don’t, 2) what the candidate has done in the past is what s/he will do in the future, 3) the person is interchangeable, and you are rehiring for the same role often, and 4) the tenure is under a year. It is the harder-to-fill, time consuming, multi-faceted roles that will never be solved by matching software unless companies drastically change their approach to defining qualifications.
Think about the last ‘A’ hire you made…the one who had all the potential in the world to do the job and so much more…the last candidate you hired with the ‘IT’ factor. Did they end up being a perfect 10 for your job?
The Problem of the Perfect ’10’
A common dilemma with a ‘10’ is that they have been there, done that before. In the candidate’s opinion, there is not much opportunity for growth in the role, they have nothing to learn because they’ve already experienced it, and it’s most likely a repetitive life they have already lived.
In addition, if a real ‘10’ employee was possible, you would only need to match with one person. Would your hiring manager accept only one applicant?
On the contrary, your ‘7’ candidate isn’t qualified by definition of your perfect ‘match.’
When identifying the ‘7’s’ that apply, your job descriptions could be contributing to part of the problem if it paints a picture of unrealistic, ‘make believe’ expectations. Are you describing a real person or someone fictional? Are you asking for someone who is satisfied without career growth and learning new things? Using a basic understanding of human behavior is crucial in finding your ideal ‘match.’
Endeavor to understand the candidate accurately, honestly, and fairly. A resume is a view of the past. The present is an amalgamation of their current job, family situation, compensation, commute, other commitments, interests and work/life balance. Their future is how your job will fit into their ambition, plans, personal drive and career satisfaction.
The fit of the hiring manager and your company culture alongside the candidate also need to be addressed. How can you match for qualities like ‘work hard/play hard’ or highly competitive drive? Can software match for courteousness and empathy? Your company culture is a very real data point and the personalities of the hiring manager, the team and the candidate must be considered. Unfortunately, this is one of the most important data points that matching software does not account for. It’s the hope that in the future, this software will be able to identify these critical, qualitative benchmarks.
By using this wider lens, you can tackle aspects of the culture piece, and find those ‘7’s’ (or 8’s or 9’s or 5’s), who will grow into your 10. Leave the idealism of a perfect candidate for a perfect job behind, and instead, use software and data to determine job boards where you could find a talented pool of candidates, and let algorithms assist you in building an efficient pipelining process. While this operation won’t tell you who your 10 is, it will help you find all your future 10’s – which is the best place to start.
This post was originally published in 2016, and has since been updated.