Friday, December 25, 2009

Thoughts on Recruitment

It seems to me that when companies are hiring, they are not looking for the most competent person for the job; rather, they are looking for the person that is mostly likely to be competent for the job.

I have heard of the battery of tests some companies subject applicants to. I have also heard of comments on the apparent uselessness, or rather, the low correlation to working ability, of these tests. These may indeed be true, but the tests ought to be understood in another framework. The tests are not meant to measure your competence, but rather, your incompetence. A high score on a reasoning test does not grant you improved standing in the employer's eyes, but a low score essentially disqualifies you from the running.

Similarly, a university degree can be thought to be a form of accreditation. Having a university degree, or a good honors, does not imply that you are competent. However, lacking a degree, your standing in the eyes of the employer is suspect. Indeed, there may be a million sound reasons why you were unable to attain a degree, but it is far easier, and far safer, for the employer to discard you from consideration, particularly if there are multitudes of qualified applicants. After all, if you only need a good hire and not the best hire, why take a risk?

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