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Five Things That Matter More Than Qualifications

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Reading job ads can destroy your self-esteem. When you read job ads you start to think that your incredible experience and talents count for nothing, because every employer seems to ask for the moon.

They don’t just ask for the moon — they want a few stars and planets, too! It’s ridiculous. Who’s responsible for the out-of-control state of recruiting these days? Job ads are full of requirements that no living person could ever meet.

I blame a broken recruiting process, for starters. Your product development and marketing people are held to very specific standards when they design products. They don’t get to say, “I want to design a product that is invisible, that flies and that sings opera.” They have to listen to the market. Their decisions must be rooted in reality.

Why shouldn’t hiring managers and HR people listen to their markets, too? Every hiring manager is responsible for knowing the talent market in his or her function. They have to know the market salary levels and the experience and education you can buy at each salary increment.

It’s irresponsible to your shareholders for managers to spec a job that is out of sync with the market, yet many of them do.

HR people should hold the line on delusional job specs, but too often they don’t.

If you want to bring your hiring managers down to earth, tell them that any job that goes unfilled for too long will be put on hold indefinitely.

If they can’t find a suitable candidate within 30 or 45 days, obviously they didn’t know what they were doing when they designed and priced the job. They’ll learn to be more aware of the world outside their office walls when their job opening disappears because they couldn’t find the purple unicorn they were looking for.

Your HR team’s time is valuable too and it’s wasteful to spend it chasing purple unicorns.

Luckily, most new hires don’t have the qualifications listed in the job ad. The job ad was written in a fit of magical thinking. Real people don’t come equipped with 14 or 15 certifications and professional designations, and why should they?

They come with real-world experience, with brains and heart. That’s what managers really need, but they convince themselves that another degree or year of experience with an obscure software tool will magically make someone a better employee.

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