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.


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.

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Comment by Keith Halperin on May 1, 2014 at 12:57pm

@ Matt:

 "...trolling is much more fun".

It's true!Keith "Wishnik" Halperin

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 1, 2014 at 5:50pm

Consider this Matt.  Just my opinion.  I don't spend everyday on this site and i don't think most people do.  I may read a blog and think it may have some merit but don't comment on it at that moment.  I think about it, or not, but if it sparks a thought i come back to it and may comment.  If i come back to the site in a a few hours or that evening when the press of the day is over and i have to dig for the damn thing because there has been a shit storm of worthless marketing turds dumped on the site, it stinks and i;'m gone.  Nor am i going to attempt to write anything that might offer some real world recruiting info and dump it into a sewer of half baked, copied, ignorant junk written by some stupid kid who doesn't know squat about recruiting so tries to use a few buzz words like "the war on talent" to try and sell some ridiculous technology that will eliminate reading a resume, seek out lies (what a freaking joke) and make every hire permanent to the gold watch.

While i am empathetic as to anyone who has survived the big C.  Do i want to see a pic of your damn belly scars and hear about how many times you puke a day on a recruiting site.  I have a hell of a hysterectomy scar but somehow it doesn't seem related to recruiting nor do i find it appropriate to post a pic of it and talk about my innards.  Gawd!

If you want content that means anything don't expect readers to dig through the garbage to find a treasure to comment on.  Get rid of the garbage.  As in reach right up there and delete these four stupid blogs and clean it up.  If the good stuff sits there for a day or two it will have more exposure than being covered up or rolled down  the pipe.

We are not just trolling.  In a very strong way, most of us who have been around on this site for years would love to see it return to the value we felt it had in the past where marketing posts were deleted.  We coached many a young or newbie recruiter looking for help or support because they didn't come on here writing something to hear their head rattle.  There were marketers who came on and asked questions about what we liked and didn't like, what we do and how we do it instead of trying to tell us that they had a miracle app that would take care of every problem or challenge we ever had as well as make all candidates honest while wiping the mustard off our chins at the same time. 

It boils down to do you want to fill up bandwith or do you want a site that is actually recruiters talking about recruiting.  If you want a rolling billboard, you've got it.  If not reach up there and delete all four of these claptrap stupid posts and make room for real content.  We really shouldn't have to "troll" this stuff to death or send it to the popular list because it's outrageously ignorant and obvious advertising for junk.  THE END

In my opinon it would be a billion times better to have "real recruiting content" sit there for a day or two rather than have a rolling billboard of marketing junk that covers up or knocks decent content into the hinterlands.  If you reviewed any of these

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 1, 2014 at 6:02pm

And for you Paul.  there is no case for not having a job description or prerequisites needed for a job.  None period.  that is just flat stupid.  You don't even hire a lawn guy without looking for someone who might know how to operate a lawn mower.

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on May 1, 2014 at 8:45pm

A lot of validity to these comments. If it were up to me, I'd rather see zero new posts for 3 days in a row than have to dig through ad after ad each time I visit here. It does seem like the decent content gets buried quickly because so much of the craptastic stuff takes over. 

I was really pleased with feedback left on one of my recent posts, especially because I value the opinions of the regulars and long-time members who took time to read and comment. That post was circulated quite a bit on twitter too and the content seemed to resonate with many people. However, activity here on the site dried up after the first day or so.

It is rather discouraging to see that happen over and over. Not because I care about "popularity" of my own posts, but I do wish the legitimate and relevant topics posted by ANYONE would be able to remain featured or at least have a chance at being viewed without having to search and scroll past so much nonsense. 


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