Posts Tagged ‘recruiting for performance’

6 Seconds to Rejection – Can Hiring Managers Afford It?


Some time ahead I created a voice over Internet presentation for managers on the difference between recruiting for well established roles and recruiting for roles that will make change, perform at peak levels and introduce innovation. (See “How Do I Find the Talent I Need?”). I explore the two kinds of recruiting and ask managers to think about which one fits their hiring needs.

This morning I saw a short Internet video from Business Insider that presented the results of research that was done on how recruiter read resumes. The researchers found that recruiters spend less than 6 seconds on a resume. They look at the person’s name, the person’s current employment – title and dates, the person’s last place of employment – again title and dates, and then the person’s education. They do that in 6 seconds. If the resume does not fit the pattern that they are looking for, it is rejected and the recruiter moves onto the next resume.

What a powerful way to illustrate the difference between recruiting for well established roles and recruiting for innovation. 6 seconds to rejection only works when a recruiter is looking for an exact fit to a preconceived notion of what the job is all about.

If you are manager, and you need innovative or high performing people working for you, you cannot accept the results of the 6 seconds to rejection recruiting. You must find recruiters who do more.

Such recruiters take the time to understand your requirements. They want to know what defines effective future performance on the job. They will ask you how you will measure this – what will you see and hear that defines such a level of high performance. They will create candidate filtering processes that move beyond resumes. They know they are searching for talent, not conventional fit.

Such recruiters will not be working for most of the recruiting departments in organizations or for most of the recruiting and search firms that exist. These groups are full of 6 second to rejection recruiters.

6 seconds to rejection recruiters don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions. You, the hiring manager, do. You and the person who fills your job will be working together for months, perhaps years. A 6 second to rejection recruiters has no stake in your long term.

Of course, if you as a hiring manager are looking for a conventional candidate who will fit into a well established job and perform at a normal level, then by all means use 6 seconds to rejection recruiters. They are likely to be cheapest. Even if they are not, they are not likely to ask much of you. That will save you time.

But if you need anything more than conventional performance in the people who work for you, you run the serious risk that exactly the candidate you need will be in the pile of rejected resumes resulting from your recruiter’s 6 seconds to rejection process.

How can you tell the difference between 6 second to rejection recruiters and the one you need? In exactly the same way you separate an exceptional candidate from an average one – by watching how the recruiter behaves. A 6 second to rejection recruiter will be satisfied with a traditional job description. He or she will post the job on whatever Internet recruiting platform is normally used in your organization. Then the recruiter will read incoming resumes to find a number of conventional fit candidates. The recruiter will pass these onto you.

In contrast, a future performance oriented recruiter will ask you for time at the beginning of the recruiting process. She or he will want to know a lot about how you will define successful future performance on the job. This recruiter will use this information to create filtering mindsets and techniques that are designed to look for the candidate innovativeness and future high performance you need.

This recruiter will also read resumes. The future performance oriented recruiter will be looking for clear signs that this candidate has taken the time to signal innovativeness and demonstrate exceptional performance. That may take the recruiter 30 seconds to determine, but those 24 seconds are the key to spotting a potential high performer for you.

When future performance oriented recruiters find such a resume, they use the specific filtering techniques they created for your search to quickly determine – is this person real or is this just a well crafted resume? The recruiter will focus on what the person can do in the future, not just what the individual as done in the past.

Once the candidate has gotten beyond this first filter, the recruiter will dive into the future with the individual, finding out how the person will respond to your performance challenges. Only those candidates who show signs of understanding and rising to these performance challenges will be passed onto you as the hiring manager

So choose. As a hiring manager, your choice is really quite simple. Live with the results of 6 second to rejection conventional recruiting, or invest more. Find an atypical recruiter, one who does not practice 6 second to rejection recruiting.