One cannot argue that landing your dream job can be difficult and take lot of time. There are great amount of highly educated people who have difficulties finding a job. What is the reason for that?
We have asked human resource consultant Filip Poutintsev. Filip is a true expert in recruitment field. He has dealt with a lot of recruiters and job seekers. Filip has been on the both sides, as a employer and employee, so he has a wide perspective and comprehensive knowledge about the whole industry.
So Filip, please tell us how long have you been in this industry?
Well I hired the first person to work for me in 2009 and it started from then. Till today I have interviewed over 500 people and I don’t even count how many CVs and job application I have read, there must have been thousands.
Could you tell us why finding a job is so difficult?
There are lot of problems in the recruiting industry and its process. There are a lot of unskilled people are in charge of hiring who are using wrong hiring principles.
The biggest problem it that unskilled people are taking care of recruiting process and making decisions. It’s easy to become a recruiter nowadays, and many of them are just clearly being employed at the wrong job. It’s quite often that recruiter does not understand the job description for which he is searching candidates. This creates very frustrating situations for job seeker when the recruiter due to lack of knowledge cannot make correct decisions. Some recruiters have bad people skills and literally cannot tell a difference between a skilled and unskilled candidate.
Very often recruiters ask general cliche questions which have no connection to actual job and blindly follow instructions which are corporate guidelines on what candidate must include in his CV and say at the interview else he or she might fail. Then the whole interview becomes ”ticking the box” game, which is the worse thing recruiter can do on the interviewee as then he treats the candidate as utility rather than a human being. It’s kind of paradox since companies usually want to hire creative people who will think outside of the box, but when applying they need to fit themselves in tight box of requirements.
Right Recognition of Skills
We are facing a huge problem. There is a shortage of skilled employees and at the same time there are skilled employees who cannot find a job. The reason for this dilemma is that most recruiters are unable to identify skilled candidates. If companies paid recruiters more, more qualified people would apply for those jobs. This is really the worst place of saving money.
There has been some progress in recruiting industry with the help of headhunter agencies, but they don’t really focus on the real problem. Headhunting agencies are able to find good candidates, but the actual problem is the decision making. Finding good people is relatively easy, especially if you are a reputable company but the difficulty is in the right decision making and that is what companies should consider to outsource.
Another troubling discovery is that for some reason average candidates are the most wanted ones. If you are too smart you will most likely not get the job. It truly looks like many recruiters and hiring managers are afraid to hire a person smarter than they are. Somehow recruiters feel inferior compared to them and threaten by them, like they could overstep them later or even steal their job.
What about finding and employee, is that also hard?
No, for me it has been always easy. Those who say that it’s hard really don’t know how to hire people. Of course there are situations when there are no applications at all, but then the problem is with advertising the position.
What are the most important skills a recruiter should have?
The most important skill is ability to read people. Sadly this is very rare among recruiter and hiring managers. This can be a born talent or you can also train it by studying psychology to understand how human mind works. For instance I could tell what kind of person someone is after having a short conversation with him or her, sometimes even without seeing the person. Many have not believed me, but were later surprised when the person turned out to be exactly as I described him.
You need this skill in order to understand what kind of person the candidate is. People are not sets of skills – they are individuals. They can learn new trades but their personalities will not change. The worst decision a company can make is to hire a wrong individual who will make constant mistakes and harm the company without even realizing it.
When searching for a job which type of people usually succeed and which don’t?
The ones who succeed are the sales people. They are good at performing, promoting themselves and convincing others. The sad thing is that these type of candidates often get the opportunity over better candidates who are just not that good at selling themselves. Virtually you can have no other skills than great sales skills and be able to land almost any job, unless it requires some technical knowledge. This really shows that recruiters have no tools of their own to reveal better people and only get the influence of their performance.
Strangely hiring managers think that it’s solely a candidate’s job to present himself in best possible way. If the candidate fails at the interview, hiring managers usually reject the candidate instantly, however it is important to realise that the company’s best interest is to hire the best candidates who are able to perform at their job even if that candidate has failed at the interview
What would you recommend to a person who looking for a job?
What I find funny is that most guides about employment are concentrating on fixing mistakes that candidates makes, while actually most mistakes are made by recruiters and hiring managers. Today many candidates that are smart, skilled and experienced still have difficulties in finding a job. You cannot really blame them as they are specialists in their own field. If you are a perfect candidate, but the recruiter does not see it even when it’s clearly mentioned in your professionally written CV, you cannot really blame yourself for that.
Sure you can advice them to learn the art of selling themselves, but for many it would be like asking a fish to learn how to run. Not all people are born as sales persons, and they don’t need to be. All people have strengths of their own and are great at something. It’s the recruiters and hiring managers who fail to see that and treat people like tools.
However, if you get rejected, I would recommend to contact directly any of the top managers of the company and tell them that you are the perfect candidate for this position but the recruiter did not notice that. If you are able to reach them it usually this helps to get another interview.
What would you recommend to a hiring manager?
Give people a chance. If you are not sure about the candidate, then give him an opportunity to convince you. Also try to hire extraordinary people and help them rise, take a little risk with them. That’s how you find great people who will take your company to the next level.