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.

Views: 808

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2014 at 7:48pm
Quit featuring this crap Matt. A. It's goofy and B. All of his junk is sophomoric and c. It's nothing but a word salad for him to stir in his product.
Comment by Keith Halperin on April 28, 2014 at 9:32pm

@ Sandra: Why do you think this self-promoting  hype is any worse than other posters' self-promoting hype?

As far as I can tell, the only difference is more people have commented on it.


Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 30, 2014 at 3:44pm

does your product offer some sort of analytical algorithm sensor thing to determine if someone is lying when answer said questions?

No really. Because if someone is going to lie on a resume I would assume they might falsify the answers to your questions too. But I could just be super cynical.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 30, 2014 at 6:40pm
Keith, because there us so damn much of it.
Comment by Keith Halperin on May 1, 2014 at 10:20am

Three pointer, Sandra!


Comment by Jerry Albright on May 1, 2014 at 10:34am

I'm with you Sandra.  Why Matt "features" this crap is beyond me.  It really is.  

I'm about ready to start suggesting a name change for this place.  A few that come to mind: or seem to be more appropriate as of late.

But Matt - seriously.  Are you aware of the kind of content "formerly" found here?  The content that made this site great?  Why do you feature this BS? 

Comment by Matt Charney on May 1, 2014 at 10:57am

@Jerry - Feel free to help bring it back by leading by example and adding some content from a real recruiter. Until then, I need content, and the only people creating it seem to be content marketers, so if you'd like to help a brother out and turn the tide, I'd welcome your perspectives - or anyone else out there who, apparently, are too busy filling reqs to make the site quite what it was when Ning was en vogue, no one was hiring and recruiters had plenty of time on their hands.

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 1, 2014 at 11:45am

Here are some possible aids to the situation:

1) Make it clear (in writing) to all posters that they may only include the name or hyper-link to their product /service in their poster bio. If they don't they will receive a warning, and they get banned if they do it a second time. Also, posters would need to immediately accept all comments- no "pending approval" or "closed to comments". As an alternative/supplement: have a "Paid Infomercial" section- we might get the same crap, but at least you and RBC would be making money off it.

2) It's HARD to write a full article,but it's not hard to raise a point/question or two. Perhaps a separate section  where people could do  (question/point or two) that without submitting a full blog might increase traffic. It could be all "old school" BBS/WELL- retro and ****.

3) While I don't care for all the "Recruiting 101" stuff, it may be very valuable to other, more junior people. Perhaps there could be "harder"/more segregated sections so people can go to either everything if they choose, or just the sections they like. That way, nobody need complain about irrelevant content. 

Folks, what do YOU think?

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 1, 2014 at 12:03pm

That may be the problem Matt.  "I need content".  

Why does the need for content trump the need for quality?  If there were less BS marketing pieces, the "real stuff" would be easier to spot.  Each article would have multiple comments, which in turn would spark more commenting.

This is like letting the weeds take over because you need more vegetables in your garden.

Comment by Matt Charney on May 1, 2014 at 12:17pm

@Jerry - In my mind, it doesn't. And your metaphor is an apt one.  That said, the "real stuff" is here, for sure, and the best way to make sure that it doesn't get buried is to help share and comment on it.  The reason that this post is sitting at the top of the charts in terms of popular content this week, for example, is because so many people - present company included - only choose to focus on calling out the shit instead of encouraging the good stuff.  I've had so many contributors who have added awesome posts ask what they're doing wrong, and truth is, the traffic shows that they're kicking ass.  The bad news is no one lets them know it, so they wonder why this craptastic stuff gets people commenting and theirs doesn't.  I know better than anyone how hard it is to positively reinforce when trolling is much more fun, but what you're describing is a function of a community based site like this one...


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below



RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

Recruiting Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2018   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service