The real estate of hiring: Outplaying the market by understanding demand dynamics (part 2)
Ask a recruiter or a hiring manager about their talent-search approach, and the answer will invariably touch upon platforms like LinkedIn. Probe deeper about resume assessment, and common themes emerge: prestigious school degrees, years of experience, specific tech stack proficiency, and other industry standards.
The Real Estate Analogy
Hiring mimics real estate in uncanny ways. Just as properties in sought-after locations, like a Manhattan penthouse or a French Riviera villa, command astronomical prices, certain candidate profiles in the talent market turn into 'prime real estate.' These are candidates everyone wants, making them highly competitive to onboard.
Humans have a propensity to gravitate towards the familiar. Market trends show us chasing the same attributes, creating demand surges. While the coveted 'real estate' in hiring shifts over time, some criteria like elite education, association with top-tier consultancy firms, or a master's degree seem perennially in vogue.
The ideal candidate
But do these hallmarks truly indicate a candidate's potential for future job performance? Is it always the best strategy to focus on finding candidates that show great performance in Ability A and Ability B? Relying solely on these markers restricts the talent pool, driving up demand and cost.
Imagine we're evaluating candidates based on school prestige (Y-axis) and Java competence (X-axis). Now, let's hypothesize that the best Java experts hail from elite institutions like MIT, KTH, or Stanford. This suggests a positive correlation between school prestige and Java skills, as depicted in our hypothetical graph. True or not, there are some appealing facts that school attendance in general shows a positive correlation with job performance (reference).
So in our hiring process, we've got a pile of resumes, and we need to sift through to pick our stars. Obviously, the top guns excel in both X and Y, and they're straight through to the next round. No-brainer. But here’s where it gets interesting – some are going to be hotshots in A, not so much in B, or the other way around. So, we might need a blend of criteria. Let’s not just look for rockstars; sometimes the best talent might be playing a different tune
A simplistic equation might represent this as:
X + Y = Ideal Candidate
However, the market isn't that straightforward. Competitive dynamics come into play, making it challenging to just pick and choose.
Replacing our Y-axis with salary expectations presents another reality - affordability. Top-tier candidates may be out of reach due to budget constraints. Moreover, the cream of the crop (our Group B) might have a plethora of offers, letting them choose their dream company and command top dollar. Group A, while possibly lacking in Java skills, can still demand high salaries because of their prestigious academic backgrounds, making them less appealing to us.
The allure of an Ivy-league tag is undeniable. But let’s say we value Java competence more than most, positing it might be more critical than many realize. Elite institutions have their merits, undoubtedly, but skill competence should remain our focal point.
Zeroing in on Java competence might be a challenge, but with a meticulous interview process, we can unearth the real gems. Let's prioritize skills over schools.
Outsmarting the Market: A Strategic Approach to Hiring
How does one bypass market conventions in talent acquisition, especially when the conventional wisdom seems counterintuitive?
Our prime focus is Java competence, and a keen observation suggests that many proficient candidates hail from lesser-known institutions (Group C). Yet, unearthing these gems requires a razor-sharp sourcing and assessment strategy, which we'll delve deeper into in Part 3 of this series.
From our chart analysis, we discern that among the talent pool we can realistically afford, only a few have attended elite schools. It's Group C - those we believe align best with our organizational needs - that holds the most promise.
In competitive hiring, a critical insight emerges: it's not always about chasing universally desirable traits. Sometimes, the market overvalues certain attributes at the cost of others. To truly discern what matters, a comprehensive job analysis is vital.
Unlocking the under appreciated: Bypassing Biases and Discovering Hidden Talent - Hiring's Arbitrage Opportunities
The patterns in hiring data present an arresting insight: biases create untapped potential, offering arbitrage opportunities for those who can read between the lines. If hiring managers could look beyond the market's narrow focus, the real talent often languishing in the shadows might finally come to the forefront.
Here are some strategies to challenge the market's status quo:
- Academic Background: Prestigious degrees are great, but self-taught wizards or those with unconventional journeys can bring unique insights.
- Company Legacy: A famous company logo is no sole indicator of ability. Brilliance is not confined to the corridors of top-tier firms.
- Interview Dynamics: Not every talented individual excels under the artificial pressure of interviews.
- Diversity in Profiles: Talent knows no stereotypes. Looking beyond conventional molds, be it in terms of gender, race, or age, can be a game-changer.
- Visa Considerations: Geography shouldn't gatekeep talent. Overlooking visa-requiring candidates shuts doors on a world of potential.
- Technical Acumen: Seeking an exact match for your tech stack? A solid foundational knowledge might be more versatile than you think.
- Life Choices: Penalizing those who prioritize family is short-sighted. They return to the workforce with added maturity and enriched experiences.
Seeing Beyond the Gloss
While the allure of sought-after profiles is undeniable, remember that not every sterling resume aligns with your organizational ethos. Just as not every lavish property suits every buyer, not every glowing CV is your ideal fit. It's about finding that perfect match, one that resonates with your company's unique culture and requirements, rather than being swayed by prevailing trends.
With this perspective, one might save countless hours, bypassing the allure of prestigious tags and focusing on genuine competence.
Bye for now,