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June 23, 2022

Hiring Is Broken—Here’s How We Can Fix It

On the heels of 47.8 million Americans leaving their jobs in 2021 as part of the ongoing Great Resignation, we are now in a moment where companies are trying to hire at rates higher than ever and are encountering a very tight job market. Recruiters are spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks vetting candidates, and […]

On the heels of 47.8 million Americans leaving their jobs in 2021 as part of the ongoing Great Resignation, we are now in a moment where companies are trying to hire at rates higher than ever and are encountering a very tight job market. Recruiters are spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks vetting candidates, and job seekers are spending at least 11 hours a week on their search, applying to and interviewing for jobs.

The current method of hiring is both broken and outdated. We need to shift to a model that both helps people find their dream jobs and creates a more fair working world for all. From Web3 technology to skill assessments to the death of the CV, here is how I envision the future of hiring.

A Shift Of Power From Companies To People

The Great Resignation and current job market have shown that people are realizing how much control they have in the workforce and are feeling empowered to not immediately jump after every employer that comes their way. Companies have to demonstrate care about their people, their health, work-life balance, their career path, the purpose they offer them, etc., as salary isn’t the only driver people consider when taking jobs.

Additionally, with remote work still surging in popularity, talent is not necessarily recruited by location anymore, giving people the freedom to apply for jobs that are not based on where they live. This means you are competing with even more companies for the same talent. If you do not provide the flexibility associated with remote work, workers may be less interested in your company.

Furthermore, a job no longer lasts forever. The newest generation in the workforce is used to having multiple jobs at the same time as part of the gig economy and is also anticipated to change positions more times in their lifetimes than previous generations.

With all of this in mind, companies need to focus on improving the candidate’s experience in applying for jobs. The workforce’s younger generations have grown up using well-designed apps with intuitive user interfaces like Snapchat and TikTok. When a company has job candidates go through an outdated and poorly-designed website harkening back to the '90s, regardless of the specifics of the job, the company has already made a poor first impression.

On average, a candidate usually goes through two to three rounds of interviews before getting a job (although it depends on the industry). Though these interviews may be with different team members, they often contain repeating questions, some of which the candidate has likely already answered in their applications, making the process redundant. Not only is this frustrating for the candidate, who may view this inefficiency as an indication of what it may be like to work at the company, but because companies usually interview several candidates at a given time, it wastes the employer’s time as well. Going forward, it’s imperative to streamline this part of the interviewing process, both for the candidate's and the employer’s sake.

A Skills-Based Recruiting Approach

While the résumé and CV remain the most common tools when it comes to recruiting talent, they are also outdated. A growing number of companies have indicated that they are already willing to recruit without asking for a résumé, marking a shift from a qualification economy to a "competence economy." For too long, the hiring process has been based on whether someone has previous experiences at the right company or whether they went to the right school to get the right degree and not the most important question at hand: Does this person have the right skills to actually do the job?

In our current era of new jobs in fields like AI and automation, there is a level of specific technical prowess needed, meaning that people likely either need to reskill or are losing their old jobs and need to find new ones where their current skill set matches the tasks at hand.

Furthermore, by focusing on skills, recruiters open the door to applicants with atypical experiences (e.g., trade schools, military service, online courses, volunteering, etc), while also reducing their chances of allowing unconscious bias to let qualified candidates slip through the cracks. Hiring for skills can help companies build more diverse teams, as well as more qualified teams, which leads to better productivity across the entire organization. Focusing on skills reduces the friction of interviewing a candidate for a job and makes job sourcing smarter, improving efficiency for everyone involved.

An Embrace Of Web3 And The 'Skills Wallet'

When focusing on skills, is there an easy way for a candidate to both present and verify that they have the skills they say they do?

I believe that this could be where Web3 and the concept of the “skills wallet” come in. The idea of a Web3-powered skills wallet centers on blockchain-verified certifications of a candidate’s competencies in an efficient and easy-to-understand way, which could make the recruitment process more objective. Beyond simply providing verification for skills, this hyper-focus on skills could lead to an “internet of careers,” which would be a marketplace of sorts for job seekers and employers, where people could be matched in real-time with positions they may be best suited for based on their verified skills.

Having a Web3-backed skills wallet is also reflective of a world in which the job market is viewed on a more global scale. Across countries and across cultures, skills remain the primary common international language, and being able to assess and verify them will be more important than ever.

We are still at the beginning of this hiring paradigm shift, but I believe that with ambition and a willingness to embrace the future, we’ll be able to create a system that works for candidates and employers alike.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.
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