The Case Against Having Prerequisites For Jobs

Just about every job description lists a series of prerequisites. Three-to-five years’ experience, a certain college degree, etc.

Why?

Look at it from a 10,000-foot perspective. Let’s say you have a lack of customers and you think it is time to hire another marketer for your company.

Does that mean you need five years’ experience and a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University?

No, what you need is someone who is going to get you more customers.

The point is the focus of the screening process shouldn’t be to search for a list of credentials.

Instead, the focus should be on finding what people have the skills, i.e. the skill in the example above of getting more customers, that are going to solve whatever business problem you face.

New Tech Means Better Solutions

The reason prerequisites exist in the first place is because they can be used as filters to quickly scan through dozens of resumes. A person doesn’t have an MBA? Throw out the resume. A person doesn’t have five years’ experience? On to the next one.

But, with new screening technologies like VoiceGlance, there is a better way to screen candidates that takes less time than looking through resumes. By asking them real-life situations through a platform like VoiceGlance, you can quickly gain an understanding of their skills and thought-process. Using the example above, you can ask the aspiring marketers how exactly they are going to get your company more customers, and then compare their answers to see who really is the best fit.

Make no mistake – it isn’t the point of these screening tools to discount a college degree or years of experience. Those should allow a person to answer the screening questions better. Instead, what new screening tools like VoiceGlance are intended to do is give you some real insight into what skills and ideas the person has, instead of assuming from their credentials.

Going Forward

Okay, so if you don’t have prerequisites, what should you have in your advertised job description? Just the job description. If the duties are clearly outlined, unqualified candidates will likely not apply, or if they do they’ll be weeded out quickly.

However, people who earned a skillset in an unconventional way now will, and perhaps they would be a better fit. And today that is more and more likely, as the Internet has unlocked many unconventional ways to learn new skills.

Views: 458

Tags: HR, Hiring, Human, Recruiting, Resources

Comment by Paul Petrone on April 25, 2014 at 11:24am

Just an interesting stat I saw on HR.com: 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information. 

Comment by Matt Charney on April 25, 2014 at 11:34am

@Paul So do 77.8% of online content dedicated to HR and recruiting thought leadership.

Comment by Jerry Albright on April 25, 2014 at 12:49pm

Comment by Matt Charney on April 25, 2014 at 12:54pm

Jerry - I hadn't even caught that so glad you did. Good looking out. And way more effective than my just deleting it. Thanks, sir.

Comment by Keith Halperin on April 25, 2014 at 12:55pm

@ Paul: How are recruiters supposed to decide on who to go forward if there aren't easy ways to screen out the unqualified? If the alternatives to a JD/resume combo require a great deal of time on either the recruiter or the applicant, I think it's not likely to succeed.

@ Matt: You may have heard this before:

Definition of a self-proclaimed "Recruiting Thought Leader"- someone who neither recruits, thinks, nor leads...

Comment by Jerry Albright on April 25, 2014 at 12:56pm

Really though - this is a nice ad.  Did a good job describing a "possible" dilemma (that being the scourge of having actual job requirements) - and then casually slipping in a link to his companies solution for that dilemma.

Imma give it an 8.5

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on April 25, 2014 at 12:58pm

Nice to see you Jerry! 

Comment by Keith Halperin on April 25, 2014 at 1:03pm

@ Jerry: Thank you for acting as the "INFOMERCIAL ALERT" cop, this time.

-kh

Comment by Ken Forrester on April 28, 2014 at 7:58am

Nice Ad, but a great question.  At the end of the day, what are you really buying? Is it the drill or the holes?

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2014 at 7:41pm
If the marketer were a recruiter he would not flood the site with this crap to try and peddle his product.

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