Today, many recruiters are complaining about not finding qualified candidates. Yet candidates with the credentials and required experience never hear back after applying for opportunities. Or, if they are interviewed, they’re told they are overqualified, don’t have a particular skill set, or don’t have the right pedigree (e.g., industry experience, professional titles, salary history, etc.).
Age does matter. Although the EEO and other agencies frown upon age discrimination, we all know it happens all too often. Recruiters are simply following edicts from their bosses to find someone younger and cheaper. They don’t know how to “sell” a qualified candidate to these bosses. Bosses and recruiters don’t believe they have the time to strategically assess what is truly needed and are unwilling to think outside the box to find the gold. Statistically, younger employees are more job-mobile and will leave a position when more qualified ones will not. More-experienced employees have been through the instability every company experiences and have learned to roll up their sleeves and wait it out.
Here’s a newsflash: Amateurs don’t save companies money! A well-qualified professional who fits the job, regardless of age, can normally do it faster, more thoroughly, and with better quality than someone without experience. The failure by hiring managers to objectively assess for job fit by using qualified assessments can hinder your company’s ability to select the right employees. The truth is poor job fit will create short-term employees or employees who simply do enough to get by and keep their paychecks but no more. It’s a costly status quo with a limited return on investment, because it keeps your company focus in a reactive mode, not on proactive growth.
Filter and invest. Infuse objective data into the process upfront, before the interview, because quality information will make for better decisions. Interviews are inherently biased and can filter out well-qualified candidates because of bias factors (e.g., age, weight, tattoos, gray hair, bald, etc.). Example: If you’re looking for a trainer and have candidates who have done training, talk with them. Use a qualified assessment to determine if they have an interest in presenting the subject matter required. What training and skill development will they need over time? Will they be comfortable in small or large groups? Can they write training content or do they rely on off-the-shelf programs? What will be the best return on investment for the company in the long run? What other skills are currently missing in the company that they can provide?
Remember, using qualified assessments can make a huge difference in vetting the right people, regardless of experience. Hiring qualified people, regardless of age and other biases, and investing in them builds a stronger company faster.
(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013