The Fed’s most recent economic report shows the U.S. economy continuing to expand, and that extends to the Washington DC economy. Only about 11% of the Washington region is employed by the Federal government. The popular perception is that the Washington DC job market is a government town. But just this year, professional and business services employers replaced government as the largest employing industry in the region.
If you work in an association, it’s risky to think of recruiting as an HR function. It’s not.
By telling HR to “Post a job ad, get some resumes, and then I’ll starting interviewing,” you are making a career-limiting mistake, one that puts your personal reputation at risk.
Whether you are the hiring manager or the candidate being interviewed, hiring is personal, now more than ever. Candidate behavior has changed more in the past 5 years than at any time in the past 30 years, but few employers have updated their hiring practices. This creates some real challenges on both sides of the interview desk, and more than a few opportunities to gain a real competitive advantage.
Your organization's reputation in hiring not only affects who you can recruit, but also the level of compensation you must offer to land your top candidate. (Highly reputable organizations can typically offer lower salaries.) And for job seekers, the reputation of their current organization is a significant factor in how future employers perceive them.
Far too many employers get tangled up in defining their job descriptions. In particular, one common mistake is the belief that if one person had a particular set of skills, more people like them must exist. In other words, your star employee Karen had a particular set of skills, so there must be "another Karen" out there in the market---someone that could perfectly fit the Karen-shaped hole she left behind.
Hiring requires you to make decisions about people you don’t know particularly well. But people-evaluation is prone to pitfalls. Although most people trust their own assessments of candidates, extensive research shows that we’re just not that good at it. We give too much credit to the individual and not enough credit to the work environment. (Pro tip: If you want to get better at hiring, you need to learn from your mistakes and stop blaming the candidate. Most people don’t understand all the factors that led to their success. Every time you hire someone and they disappoint you later, you just might have missed something in the hiring process.)
Big data in hiring is all the rage, but don’t be fooled into thinking that big data is just for Silicon Valley technology companies or large organizations. The use of data and science to make management decisions benefits small organizations every bit as much as large firms. The only difference is the higher amount of press coverage large firms get for their innovative HR decisions.
Some executives mistakenly think of hiring as an HR function. But hiring cannot be thought of as solely an HR issue, as something separate from the "real work" of the department. Whenever a new hire fails to make a significant business impact, it is a business problem.