Rethinking Recruitment: NoBueno Founder Christian Eid On Why He Launched His New UAE-Based Enterprise "We cannot accept that the very lifeline of economic development and human capital is left to a process that is so rooted in dysfunction that it undermines our ability to build better, faster, and more productive teams."
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I know nothing about recruitment.
Wait, let me rephrase. I know a lot about building teams, but nothing about traditional recruitment per se. But on the things I do know, I'll begin with the obvious reality that nobody, and I do mean nobody, is happy with their recruitment process or tools. Leaders, hiring managers, talent acquisition teams, headhunters, and recruiters -as a whole- don't hold back on their discontent with the status quo. (Ask them!) And if that weren't enough, try speaking to job seekers. How did it feel the last time you looked for a job? Total rubbish!
Now, it would be naive to launch a startup just because something doesn't work well. Very few things work well, and just because there's friction, it doesn't immediately warrant diving into and going down the road of ridiculous sacrifice. But, there's something else that really bugged me. The more I unraveled recruitment, the more the problem became critical. The process, even if digitized today, is broken, and it has remain unchanged for centuries. And the result of archaic processes means that today there is extreme bias in how opportunity finds people.
I'll explain. Let's start with job descriptions. What a load of garbage. The starting point of every job seems to always begin with a couple of pages of words that are meant to articulate the company, the role, and relevant responsibilities. And yes, at the onset, it sorta makes sense, but I'll break down why this is so flawed.
- Job descriptions, when done right, take time. Identifying precisely the skills and profile you're looking for needs real attention to detail. Today most, if not all, hiring managers group a bunch of skills and profile definitions together, making no distinctions between the must-haves or the nice to-haves. It's an almost copy-paste process with little differentiation. And since time is a commodity that has increasingly become scarce, we cannot assume that we'll invest enough time to write job descriptions that do us justice. So, this means our starting point is almost always off to a bad start.
Job descriptions do not give any view of the character and personality that would suit the role. Sure we can list a bunch of attributes that we'd be looking for, but how do we measure the weight and depth of those attributes by simply describing them? We can't. Neither a job seeker, nor a recruiter can understand and articulate a line manager's or collaborating teams' personality traits that would perfectly match any new joiner's.
Job descriptions are merely opportunity identifiers signaling for attention to those who seek. And yep, you guessed it, you're speaking to those whose attention is available. Not merely a fraction of the talent that would be relevant for the role. Most people are already employed, and they are often oblivious to a new opportunity. In short, job descriptions are paired with resumes, not people.
Job descriptions are loaded with bias. Beyond basic technical skills, our natural talent search process is lazy. We look for pillars of presumed truth to reduce the number of profiles we look at. Were they at Google? Did they go to a prestigious university? Do they have a certain degree? Bottom line, job descriptions often list requirements that have no proven bearing on the ability and relevance to the role we're hiring for. They are instead there to limit the number of candidates we consider. In the absence of better measurement, we resort to assumed bias to do most of our filtration and qualification.
Image courtesy NoBueno.
If you've managed to read this far, thank you, but I'm not done. Let's touch on a few other things that make recruitment a total nightmare.
Resumes. I'll keep this one short. In this growingly competitive world, where technology has digitized the process, making applying a one-click affair, do we really believe that job seekers are honest in their representation? Were they ever? Right out of college, we're taught to play the part and almost over-embellish our abilities and capabilities. And so today's fast-paced, time-sensitive, and hyper-competitive world has resulted in resumes full of bent truths desperate to stand out from the crowd. Let's put it this way, is anything real on Instagram and Tiktok? Why would LinkedIn be any different? Job descriptions and resumes need to go.
So much more can be elaborated on, but let's move on to another angle. Let's look at the value of human capital. How is it valued? Is it based on merit and true market value? Hell no. What you earn today is likely impacted by a variety of the following:
The hiring company's budget and perceived value of the role title vis-a-vis other roles
Competitiveness (supply) and demand of the role within your market (and maybe neighboring markets)
Your gender, race, character, and ability to sell yourself (I hated writing this line)
On the flip side, what you paid at the pump this week, or how much your coffee cost this morning was determined by the free market dynamics of demand and supply. For some reason, what we earn today seems to have been influenced by so many factors outside of our control that we end up being victims of our society's disillusioned measure of our value. What if we had a consistent, and more global, view of our market value based on an average of opportunities that match our abilities and suitability? Being in India, Ukraine, China, Canada or Germany shouldn't influence our average global market value, especially in a globalized remote workforce.
Finally, and what is obvious but never discussed, is search. Search, and your ability to search, determines pretty much everything. Most would refer to it as networking, but if we're going to be honest with ourselves, recruiters are only as successful as their ability to build vast networks that improve their ability to search. In other words, job descriptions meet candidates so long as either side's search somehow joins through a close enough degree of separation. Good for the extrovert, and bad for the introvert. Now, sure, a trusted network may provide a potentially more qualified channel, but it would also be fair to assume that searching merely within a closed network (large or small) greatly hinders the likelihood of landing the best match.
I decided to build NoBueno, because finding talent, or a job, cannot continue to be this broken if we're to build a future that adapts faster to the needs of our planet, economy, and moral progression. We cannot accept that the very lifeline of economic development and human capital is left to a process that is so rooted in dysfunction that it undermines our ability to build better, faster, and more productive teams.
We have to solve this. And I'm going for it.