Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So, what are the real answers, Ben?

"So, what are the real answers, Ben?" an anonymous commenter posted here recently. Good question. I certainly don't claim to have "the" real answers, anyone who does claim that is selling you something. There certainly alot of good ideas out there, unfortunately good ideas in our business don't always equate to implemented solutions.

At any rate, it got me thinking, what are some 'answers' to the challenges we face in talent acquisition here in the DC area? What if:
  • the best interest of the future of this region, an Outer Beltway were built, that would include the yet-to-be-built ICC, a northern Potomac River crossing (connecting Potomac, MD and Sterling, VA), the Fairfax County Pkwy, and a southern Potomac River crossing (connecting Ft. Belvoir and Indian Head)? I know that nobody wants this 'in their backyard', but these roads are badly needed to better connect those who live and work outside the Beltway, especially with the BRAC looming ahead.
  • ...the government could once-and-for-all effectively streamline the security clearance process, thus drastically reducing the current backlog and allowing thousands of newly cleared workers to enter the industry?
  • ...more employers offered their employees alternative work options, such as compressed workweeks, telecommuting, remote office space, etc.?
  • ...developers built more mid-priced new homes close into the Beltway, instead of only building luxury $700K-$1M+ single family homes and townhouses?
  • ...the government made it easier for foreign-national students who want to stay and contribute to the workforce once they graduate?
  • ...organizations didn't make it so darn hard for candidates to navigate their employment process.
  • ...organziations were more strategic in buidling pipelines of talent, not just by hiring more college students, but by reaching out to children at a younger age to educate them about careers, as well as taking a more proactive role in supporting the educational missions of our public schools.
  • ...organizations presented their career opportunities more clearly, with more realistic requirements, and were able to more effectively withhold those biases that do not have a true bearing on performance?
  • ...the workforce at large had a better understanding of how to present themselves to potential employers, whether they are active job seekers, or those who just want to be 'tapped-on-the-shoulder' regarding great opportunities?
  • ...the recruiting profession had a higher profile in organizations across the board, leveraging it's expertise to drive process and help build organizations?

Most of these ideas reasonable, but a tall order, and often well out of the control of your everyday corporate recruiter. The issues we face in talent acquisition here are complex in nature and go well beyond just matching job seekers with new jobs. Variables such as traffic and housing prices have profound effects on talent acquisition efforts. Some of those issues that the recruiting profession can have impact on will only be addressed over time as our profession matures and takes on a greater role in building organizations.


At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's the way I'm seeing it. There are three rules to the job hunt these days:

1 - Don't send any information until you talk with someone inside the hiring company.
2 - Don't call the company more than three time to try and talk with someone.
3 - Never, NEVER, fill out an online job application.

RE 1: You must talk with someone inside the hiring company before you can be sure there is an actual job opening available.
RE 2: If you leave three messages and no one calls you or emails you, then forget that company. They are not needing people who count.
RE 3: You should never fill out online applications because you are never sure where that information is going.

I have sent resumes via email to company domain names only to have someone from another company in another state call me asking for more information. Isn't there any laws against falsifying where someone's information with go?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Wow! Sounds like you have had some rough job search experiences. I understand your frustration and your first and second ground rules are reasonable.

You need to be somewhat flexible however and try to follow the procedures that different employers have in place. Failure to do so could hurt your chances with certain employers. That doesn't mean that those aren't good companies to work for, that their process is completely legitimate. Filling out an online application is a reasonable request in most cases. If you have real concerns around that, make sure that there is a privacy statement. If you are still uncomfortable, discuss your concerns with the Recruiter rather than outright refuse to complete the online application.

You have clearly experienced the dark side of the recruiting world. Many of us however are here to help. If you have relevant talent, skills and properly-aligned motivations, we want to try to match you with our opportunities. Don't distrust all recruiting operations because of the unfortunate actions of some in our profession. A little caution however isn't a bad idea either.


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