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Forget the Pedigree

Forget the Pedigree
Right Experience, Right Education, Right Skills


There are various hiring challenges currently. If you are reading this, you may be hiring or trying to whilst reading and listening to all the headlines. But there have always been hiring dilemmas in some form or another. Hiring is basically a supply and demand economic chain but with humans involved, making matters unpredictable. Throw in a few curve balls like Covid, Mandates and social media and boom we are in very uncertain times.

So how can you keep ahead of the curve, break a downward cycle, without throwing money at it. Yes, playing the salary game eventually is throwing money at an issue that you need to analyze internally first and externally after.

Analyze where the hiring ‘gaps’ are? Where are you feeling the pain first? Are you not getting enough candidate flow, right candidate flow, are the demands not aligned with the roles, are you losing employees to perceived or valid poaching and are people just resigning as per all the new media metrics?

Engenium is a niche staffing and HR consultancy within the engineering and simulation industry. Our daily is people. This is what we are noticing as one of the biggest gaps for many of our clients. TIME. Every part of the recruiting cycle is taking longer.

TIME TO FILL – is taking forever
Is it taking too long between posting a position and filling the role – normally called Time to Fill [TTF]? This affects productivity, your cost to hire starts to mount up, stress builds up not only on the team that needs the hire’s support but your internal hiring teams. Unless you have an incredibly predictable schedule – and the pandemic has blown this for many companies, the thought of hiring usually occurs when pain is felt. And for many clients this is already too late. Add in a longer recruiting cycle and eventually you may not meet your client demands. And you get desperate – this is usually when companies call us. It would be much better if you did it sooner!

But what are some of the factors that have led to TTF being tortuously long. What are the layers that have led to where we are now? And how can this be addressed so your recruiting cycle can improve, and you will get ahead of the curve (eventually).

Candidates want more $$. Yes, this is very true. We will discuss in future articles how we can make this aspect fairer and more equitable. But $$ is not the only factor. And it is the easiest to resolve. Let’s move on.

The Pandemic. Yes, this was probably a trigger to what we will be discussing.

  • Lack of the ‘Right’ Experience.
  • Lack of the ‘Right’ Education. Where are all the Computer Science or STEM majors gone?
  • Lack of the ‘Right’ Skills.

Let’s unpack these some more.

Right Experience. Candidates just don’t have the right experience nowadays. Experience is too broad a term. What is it you are looking for? What does this term mean to you, the role, the results that are expected of the role? Too many times, we hear – Candidate does not come from ‘x’ experience. Meaning, industry or company. Stop knocking out your candidates because they do not have the ‘right’ company or industry experience. Why? Break down the ‘experience’ required and really ask yourselves this question. For many juniors to middle level roles, skills are still being learned, translated, and applied. Skills can be transferrable. NOT industry specific. Call Engenium, to learn more on how to break down experience into understandable chunks.

Right Education. Issues with recruiting Software Engineers reigns high here. Ask yourself WHY do we need formal education – and many clients still want top tier Alma Maters. A Computer Science Degree IS very necessary. BUT – not for every role, company or project. Many Software Engineers are self-taught and today’s tech world is changing so incredibly fast, why do you need such a heavy hitting degree. Micro credentials are steadily opening more opportunities for continuous and intentional learners, while providing companies the security that the candidates have current and stackable skills.

Where are all the Computer Science or STEM majors gone? Listen up smaller companies. I won’t mention any names, but we all use the same ‘browsers’, document processing, hardware, and telecommunications now. Just hazard a guess and you can see that there is a huge migration of job shifts. Here is where the Pandemic made its greatest impact. Work from Home. Yes, many of the local graduates no longer need to move away to get those 'big' company jobs. If you cannot at least offer a hybrid model, you will fall behind.

Right skills? Well, personally I worked for a company that made the phrase ‘hire for attitude and train for skills’ a motto for many HR folks. This is still true today. Yet, many clients fall victim to the ‘skills’ interview. Attitude hiring is about finding people with the right mind-set. But I agree a good attitude is not going to get the job done if skills are completely lacking. One work around is to provide compromise. Instead of what does this job role need to accomplish right now, lean out, ask, where does this job role need to be in 2 years? And will this candidate have the ‘potential’ to get there? In other words, if a candidate has x, y but lacks z. And z does not need to be done asap, and candidate shows the potential to learn z and z++, your answer is to hire them for this attitude. Engenium can help provide with many interviewing techniques that can assist your hiring teams in recruiting outside the ‘skills’ set.

Here are some quick stats on how tight the market is and will remain. The US Bureau of Labor expects Engineering (SWE) roles to grow 22% through 2029. Right now, in this moment, Software Engineers have outpaced the Retail market for turnover of over 13.2%! We have more jobs than engineers and the engineers themselves are leaving the marketplace. This places an even greater burden on your existing teams.

We call the above the Pedigree. Clients wanting ‘Right’ experience, ‘Right’ Degree, and ‘Right’ skills. Break out of this. if you break this cycle, you will open your recruiting funnels. The more candidates you have to interview – the more you can possibly hire. More importantly, you will open your pool of Diversity, more identifiable skills, all together just these 3 will speed up your time to fill. Read up on how to HACK the recruiting funnel in our next article here…

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