I’m not an economist (nor do I play one on TV), but reading the economic data, it is hard not to conclude that hiring is at least slightly on the rise.  Given that we are still pulling out of a recession and high unemployment, the talent pool is as good as it’s been in in a long time.  This also means it is a buyer’s market for those employers who are hiring.  How are some employers responding to this?  According to this article (summarized and elaborated on by the New York Times here), by becoming jerks about the process.

Employers, of course, should screen candidates carefully and with so much talent available (and still some uncertainty about the economy) they shouldn’t rush.  But, having someone go through seven or eight interviews is a joke.  What does the company think they are going to learn from the additional one?  From an ROI perspective, is that interview really worth the manager’s time (besides letting him/her know s/he was “involved” in the process)?

When I read that companies have people jump through that many hoops and return for so many interviews, it tells me that they don’t have a strategy (or good tactics) for evaluating talent.  If it takes an HR department that long to identify talent when there’s so much of it, how are they going to find it when unemployment really goes down (which it will)?  For companies that are getting ready to increase headcount, this should be the time when HR is honing its talent acquisition process to be more nimble when it counts.

It’s also critical to remember that your selection process is part of your company’s brand.  You’re not going to hire everyone who applies for one of your positions.  Applicants are also your potential customers and referral sources for other applicants.  The least you can do is have them participate in a process they feel is fair and respectful.  Having someone come back for lots of interviews and then not filling the position is not going to make you any friends.

Right now is the time for those involved in recruiting and selection to demonstrate their worth.  There is a lot of talent in the applicant pool now.  Make and execute an efficient process to identify, evaluate, and hire what is out there.  This will show senior management how your role is valuable to the company.

For more information on pre-employment testing, skills assessment, and talent management, please contact Warren at 310 670-4175 or warren@allaboutperformance.biz.