Hiring is an imperfect science, so why are employers so afraid to take a calculated risk? It seems like recruiters are so focused on making safe hires that they’d probably pass on Jack Welch or Bill Gates, if they were sitting in the lobby.
Dr. Peter Cappelli calls the current talent shortage an illusion born of inflexibility and a lack of imagination and he supports his argument by pointing out that only 10 percent of the workforce in the Silicon Valley during the 1990s had IT-related degrees. He goes on to say that employers aren’t willing to pay for talent, and then blame their problems on a candidate shortage. And author George Anders says that we’re so afraid of making a hiring mistake, that we’ve lost the courage to do anything spectacularly right.
Of course, the answer is to stop looking for candidates with perfect resumes that mirror the job description and start looking for people with raw talent and desirable traits and competencies. In fact, just because someone is a great candidate who can ace an interview doesn’t mean they’ll be a great employee.
We need to be patient and let new hires go through a learning curve and incubate talent by bringing back the budgets for training and development. And for goodness sakes, look at the reasons why people don’t work out to refine your hiring profiles, because a lot of them were probably very safe hires.