Optimal requirements exist only in theory

Take buying a car, for example. One buyer carefully thinks over all the details of the future purchase – how much cargo and how many passengers to transport, which roads to drive, where to store and service the iron horse, Then he studies the offer of different brands, models, reads tests and reviews, compares configurations, goes to test drives and in the end makes a difficult choice. Another buyer does not strain himself with introspection, but immediately formulates the requirements for the purchase – “big jeep”, “foreign car sedan up to 500 tr.” or a red Mercedes. And let it be cramped for passengers in a red Mercedes, and insurance is very expensive – subjective motives and the pleasure of buying outweigh any rational arguments.

It doesn’t matter that the number of car brands of models and trim levels is limited – the choice of the buyer, despite the active work of marketers, is unpredictable. The same is true for recruiting.

If the formation of selection criteria from a limited number of car models occurs almost randomly, then what can we say about a choice of tens, hundreds, or thousands of different people. But if buying a red Mercedes is a personal matter of a happy owner, hardly anyone would disagree with this, then the requirements for applicants in published vacancies often cause genuine bewilderment. Let’s try to figure out why the requirements for applicants are not always reasonable and logical.

Recruiting is based on requirements, not tasks

If you approach the task of recruiting an employee rationally, as did the first buyer from an automobile example, you need, firstly, to answer to yourself many questions related to the content of the work, and secondly, to study the labor market of the necessary specialists, in- third, based on this information, formulate the criteria for selecting applicants.

But if you are not a personnel officer or a recruiter, then you are unlikely to find out what applicants are in the labor market to understand what requirements should be presented to them.

Therefore, those who independently select personnel for themselves, as a rule, immediately formulate requirements, describe the content and conditions of work, and begin the search. It doesn’t matter if there is our “dream worker” on the labor market, and it doesn’t matter that we haven’t even studied this market – we define the requirements and want the candidate to meet them.

And since it is extremely difficult to formulate specific requirements without knowledge of the labor market, the requirements for applicants are often formal in nature and have a very distant relationship to the success of the future work of the “right candidate.

Examples of formal requirements – “experience in retail is required”, “woman” or “man”, “with specialized education”, “from 25 to 35 years”, “work experience of at least 5 years”, “the desired amount of earnings up to … “,” Experience in a foreign company “.

Why are the formal requirements like this?

As a rule, solely because of the internal conviction of the employer that these are the qualities that a successful employee who is to be hired for a vacant position should possess. And it doesn’t matter that there is no logical explanation as to why a 24-year-old or 36-year-old specialist is not as good as a 25-35-year-old – the employer’s subjective confidence in the correctness of the portrait of the “ideal job seeker” excludes any rational arguments.

Of course, any requirements serve to streamline the flow of resumes, but in practice, formal requirements become a priority by default, and the applicant’s ability to solve your problems becomes of secondary importance. So we can state the fact that the majority of employers are looking for their “red Mercedes” on the labor market, regardless of other brands and models.

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Recruiter and HR manager are not involved in determining the requirements for applicants

Nobody says to a recruiter – “I need to solve such and such problems, help me figure out which “human resource” will be most effective for them.”

Usually, the task is set something like this – “I need a marketing analyst – a girl with a higher profile education and experience in retail for at least three years.”

At the same time, it may be silent that the main responsibility of the analyst will be to conduct customer surveys in stores and enter their results into an Excel spreadsheet.

And there is no need to blame the manager who sets such a task of incompetence – he simply does not know that there are other resources on the labor market for such tasks and does not consider it necessary to set the task to the recruiter in a different way.

The recruiter is also not to blame – no one asked him for advice, and on his own initiative there is no time to study the labor market in search of an optimal solution to the employer’s problem. Therefore, it literally translates the requirements of the employer into the hiring announcement and processes the responses accordingly.

In fairness, it should be noted that even if the employer did not immediately voice the requirements, the recruiter, as a rule, will require him to formulate them himself, although he understands that the employer has not studied the labor market. This is because for a detailed study of the content of the work, the recruiter often has neither the time nor the desire – it is easier to shift the responsibility onto the customer and start the search faster.

As for those requirements that even seemed unreasonable to the recruiter, it is not a fact that he will challenge them – someone will not have enough authority, but someone will think that they will simply reduce the volume of incoming resumes, in other words, work will be smaller.

Recruiting personnel for a “task” is a thankless task

Most often, attempts to do “what’s best” and to select personnel capable of solving the problem of the employer do not end well. The manager who ordered the employee may stubbornly reject employees that do not meet his expectations.

Returning to the car example again, “I want a red Mercedes, so I don’t even consider blue, even if it surpasses red in all other characteristics.” As the owner of the recruiting agency told me, recruiting consultants are strictly prohibited from persuading a client to change the requirements for candidates. The client is always right, so if the order can be fulfilled, you need to give the client what he is willing to pay for.

Recruiters’ mistakes

It happens that the numerous requirements declared by the employer in the job advertisement clearly do not correspond to the content of the job. This, alas, occurs when a recruiter undertakes to “be creative” in terms of requirements for applicants, relying on his personal ideas about the “ideal” applicant, without bothering to assess the labor market and the content of the job.

As a rule, this is clarified at the very first interview with the employer, when it turns out that the real requirements for applicants are much lower than those stated, and the experience and qualifications of the candidate will simply not be in demand.

Lack of understanding of the content of the work

It happens that the employer has a very remote idea of ​​how the future employee will do his job. Requirements for jobseekers can be taken from the ceiling for one simple reason – in the practice of the employer there are no such employees, but there is no time to see what they are and what to demand from them.

So if a direct relationship with Mark Zuckerberg is stated in the requirements for an applicant, there is no need to be scared, perhaps the employer simply does not know what kind of experience to require from the applicant for the position of an Internet marketer.