A good hire is fundamentally important. It is important not only because it provides a solid foundation to the company in terms of the talent pool, but also because a good hire sticks around in turbulent times.
The current hiring practices, particularly in Asia, are kind of flawed. They are fueled by old rules and traditions. Managers refer to the world today as VUCA. VUCA is an acronym, introduced by the U.S. Army War College, used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. In this VUCA world, an over-emphasis in university degrees and previous job experiences creates this amazing disconnect between what the company is trying to achieve and what the student is trying to gain.
“Students are bad at describing what they are good at, and Enterprises are bad at describing what they want.” –
Michael Wright, Talent Acquisition Head at Grab.
The process of hiring has always involved the same steps. After the human resources department receives a CV, they either push the CV into a software that looks for some certain keywords or they look for the keywords manually. These keywords may include trained, achieved, experienced etc. The whole idea of hiring based on keywords printed on a resume is kind of peculiar. Firstly, resumes are a piece of document that, in most cases, is not original and standardized. They are influenced by expectations and suggestions from the internet and they are a very poor representation of the candidate. Secondly, it encourages hiring based on short term goals. The problem with hiring based on keywords are that the keywords are a narrow interpretation of a person’s skill set and potential. Thirdly it is very difficult to determine the nature of the person based on keywords. There is a potential that the employee will just leave the job after they get trained at the companies’ expenses.
Skills are not necessarily the most important factors for an organization, especially when it comes to fresh graduates. It is more important that employees blend into the organizational culture and its core values. One of the manner through which the companies can maintain its corporate culture is screen people based on their values. Values are interesting. Values define a person’s core belief system and gives the organization a broad idea regarding how that individual perceives the problems of the world. Values also matter because sustaining a company is difficult on its own. The problem is that as the company gets bigger and the solutions get more difficult to find, the only people who will give everything to solve the problem are the people who belief in the cause. These people are hard to find from a single resume.
A highly talented employee in a high-level position at a valuable, well-paying firm may still be dissatisfied if their own goals, values, and personality traits don’t integrate with the other staff members or the brand overall. Hiring based on values is, perhaps, the most important method through which a company can retain such workers. It is also very similar in the case of fresh graduates. It takes a lot of time and energy to train a fresh graduate. The company needs its employees to stick around in the long run. Working with people with similar values is a pretty good incentive to stick around.
It is about time organizations start thinking of organizational cultures and the values they represent. It is probably not a good idea to try and fill up every position based on how skillful an individual is.