Ingredients vs. Product


The industrial mindset has led us to hiring people like machine parts.

The lead document is the C.V. which seems a bit like trying to imagine what a cake tastes like by eating the recipe. Having seen probably thousands of C.V’s in my time, they all look pretty much the same and the only thing they really have in common is what a poor guide they are to who the person really is.

These days I work with people who want to make a difference. Sometimes they are leaders in companies, and just as often people who are looking for vehicles where they can make a difference. In all cases, the C.V is a poor filter. It’s a little like asking a car salesperson for a blue car with a steering wheel and brakes please.

In times of uncertainty and complexity such as we now face, what matters is how someone thinks, how they relate to others, and their character. What happens when their stated skills are put under pressure when no-one’s looking.

Words on a C.V. are pretty useless for this. They are engineered, often designed (often by consultants) to the advertisement, and safe.

Interviews are scarcely better. They are a guide, but contrived.

Efficient recruitment, for anything other than a very routine process “assembly line” job is something of an oxymoron, and as any of us will notice talking to someone in a call centre there is a huge difference between different agents, from the terminally depressing to the inspirational.

Effective recruitment is altogether different, It’s about the cake, not the recipe. Its about all the ingedients in the mix. It takes time, effort, patience and skill, but the difference becomes clear when the pressure is on.

Much as we love efficiency, great recruitment is a craft.

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