The role of the persons responsible for the selection of staff has changed significantly. Previously it was almost always a matter of filtering out the good and getting rid of the bad quickly. The typical German sentence “Wir senden Ihnen Ihre Unterlagen zu unserer Entlastung zurück“ (in discharge of our obligation, we are sending you back your application documents) was often quickly included in the letters. A sentence that, even in the 21st century, in the age of electronic application, has not yet been completely eradicated …
The question is: Can we actually afford to refuse someone who is looking for work? Is it actually so that some applicants are not at all qualified? How often will it be that a bank employee applies for the position of a lathe operator? Or a baker for the position of an insurance agent? It’s probably more so that most applicants bring with them reasonably appropriate qualifications for the advertised position. However, that also has to be recognized. If you put too much emphasis on certain certificates, the selection process can quickly become too limited. Especially since there are today so many different types of vocational training that hardly anyone will really be able to determine whether a certain type of training fits to a specific position.
I also increasingly read that companies should place less emphasis on specialized training and more on personal qualifications. Most professional experiences can be made up for quickly. However, the essence of a personality exists since early childhood. Which also goes for the ability to think. So the person who is responsible for finding new employees has to fundamentally change what he is looking for. Instead of asking “Does the candidate have the right qualifications?”, one now has to ask “Where and how could the personality and the experience of this person fit to our organisation?”
What does your online application system look like? Is it easy and motivating to use or do candidates lose interest and their nerves after 30 minutes? This is where Swisscom has made radical changes. When they realized that they were losing very good candidates during the cumbersome process, they shortened it. Now it takes only 30 seconds (yes, half a minute!) to apply at Swisscom. Because here you simply send in your Xing or LinkedIn profile, indicating that you are interested in working for the company. The object of Swisscom is then to consider where the respective candidate could work. This is where a lot of creativity is developed in order to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance. And should a candidate not fit immediately, he will at least be treated in a way that will make him remember Swisscom in a good way and talk positively about the company.
Have you ever read on the review portal Kununu how potential candidates describe the experience with you? What do you look for when assessing potential? Is your HR department more of a selection department or does it actually try to ensure that all employees do their best and send positive signals to the outside? More and more companies are beginning to employ Chief Happiness Officers or Directors for Employee Engagement. You are competing with such companies. How you can impress your employees and applicants is something I’d be happy to show you.
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