The Problem

Companies have become reliant on the Field of Dreams idea, “If you build it, they will come.”  What do I mean by that?  I’m saying the ideology of the candidate doing all the initial work is wrong.  That’s 20th Century thinking and unsustainable for modern business.

Using generic write ups for job descriptions that look like someone robbed Wikipedia at gun point isn’t winning your company any awards.  With generic job posting, then the hot mess of copy/paste onto job boards, you’re effectively turning off everyone who isn’t desperate for ‘anything’ and willing to be strung along. Thus, killing your real potential candidates. 

Don’t use a generic posting.  Whoever started this needs to be given a stern talking to.  If your company isn’t going for vanilla, don’t post job ads that read like the company is where careers go to die.  You are looking to a person, so write to that person.

What the Hiring Culture has Become

I like to say that the hiring culture in the United States has become a gauntlet run.  You don’t know what to expect, who the contenders are, or whether you’ll make it.  You just know that is starts with a Guillotine and ends with a Catherine Wheel, and inside is an unknown maze.  If you make it through the instant disqualifiers, your prize is there for the taking.

Harsh?  That’s the reality for Americans looking for work with employers across the Nation. 

Candidates consider rewriting their resume seven different ways a time waste.  Why would this even be a thing?  Think about what your presenting as your initial introduction to an employee that’s going to do amazing stuff for you.  You really want to start out on the ‘busy work’ with an application process more complicated than getting a job at NASA?  Don’t believe me?  LinkedIn is a hotbed of candidates with tales of whoa about your company and its sad hiring practice.  That’s just the start of the mess that’s coupled with applicant tracking systems (ATS) and HR managers as a double whammy stage gate, creates the gauntlet.

Are You the Gatekeeper?

The HR Manager isn’t Zuul, Gatekeeper of Gozer.  Why are you treating them as such?  Your HR manager is far more effective with your hiring manager and provide them information and being in on interviews as extra ears and eyes for the team.  Otherwise, a candidate has no successful means to navigate without an insider guiding them every step of the way.   Candidates will be working with a team, the people they need to be referred to is that team.

Now I’ve been on both sides of this coin.  I’ve been the hiring manager and the candidate.  I’ve worked with recruiters and I’ve bypassed them all together.  I can also tell you that I’ve been successfully building, managing, and leading crews all over the world and there’s not a lot of guess work on what’s worked and what hasn’t.  Nineteen years of managing people give you a little bit of perspective on those types of things.

While that’s all pretty common sense, this isn’t being done.  That leads us to discussing a much-needed paradigm shift in hiring practices.  While it’s true you can keep ‘doing things the way you’ve always done them’, the competition and 21st century are changing the game.

The Fix

The start of the shift is recognition of poor practices.  The next step is to move away from passive practices and stage gated systems that don’t immediately involve a team knowledgeable in the positions you are recruiting.  Creating a strategy for a modern marketing stylize recruiting methodology will help build a better system. 

Whoa, what does that mean?  That means actively searching for the right people using every tool available to you.  Beyond that, you need to embrace change of the hiring system like you did when you threw out the old fax machine… you did throw out the old fax machine, right? 

We’re here to guide companies into creating better strategy for their business.  It helps we’ve done it a few times.

Anna Pilette is a geophysicist and technologist turned digital consultant.  Anna is a Cofounder of Atomic Dumpling.  You can contact her at