Intelligence Failure Costly to Employees

Clarifying the hiring process

If the syntax used in the employment game could be improved, employers would save millions of hours—and dollars—from unnecessary interviews, anxious hiring decisions and dysfunctional employment relationships.

Here are three simple ways to clarify the language of requisitions and résumés:

1. Replace the concept of “job descriptions” with “business objectives.”
Too often, employers define a job as a collection of skills or keywords, rather than the desired outcome(s) that drives the work needing to be done. Since a job’s objective ultimately defines the skills necessary to do the job, the objective should have the greatest weight.

2. Prioritize the job objectives.
Companies often reach a state of hiring gridlock, in which conflicting goals disqualify many perfectly good candidates. If the job entails more than two or three hard-core objectives, minimize the number of objectives—or split the job in two.

3. Look for résumés that chronologically document accomplishments.
Hiring managers can’t make an informed decision without knowing what a job seeker has done in the past and when (and where) he or she did it. In most cases, “summary” résumés are counterproductive because they tend to be too vague and require too much effort to interpret. In contrast, an explicit chronological list of employment and educational credentials can simplify the evaluation process and help you fast-track a deserving candidate.

A recruiter must make sure the employer’s business objectives are clearly stated and that a candidate’s résumé accurately reflects past performance. Once these two conditions are met, he or she can spend less time translating—and more time searching for talent.