Bring Hiring into the 21st Century…

Posted Friday, March 18th, 2016. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

I am sharing an article from the Financial Post, written by Anwar Ali.

The article starts by saying that there has been little innovation in recruitment since companies adopted applicant-tracking systems in the late 1990s. That technology was useful as humans no longer had to sift through resume stacks.

Employers know labour markets are too competitive to rely on a hiring process that’s little more than a casting call, however often their hands are tied when it comes to implementing a system-wide overhaul.

Attrition is expensive and a time waster. On average, it costs between $33,308-$42,000 and takes 85-97 days to replace managers and executives according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada (2015).
Some HR consultants say the cost is even higher: the equivalent of a year’s worth of salary when loss of productivity is factored in.

A new start up in the industry, Clear Fit, and company’s founder Ben Baldwin says the problem with job-posting aggregators such as Monster is that they focus on volume. When employers post ads on all the popular sites, the same pool of job hunters is browsing on most of them, therefore little distinction in results they get back.

Richard Turk, chief executive of Vancouver-based Riipen, thinks the inherent flaw in recruitment starts with the resume. Recent graduates often embellish their skills on their resume to distinguish themselves from their counterparts which “gaminess” the hiring process.

You are left up to chance – deciphering what is true and what is not.

Riipen’s platform connects students to short-term projects in a professional setting so they’ll have something meaningful to show beyond their degree when school’s over. Tuck says this allows a graduate’s skills to keep pace with workplace innovation and gives employers a sneak peek at a future hire.

Toronto-based Kira Talent goes even further back on a career timeline, with a tool designed to give universities more control over enrolment. They achieve this by having prospective students respond to a questionnaire with a recorded video. Emilie Cushman, co-founder of Kira Talent, said the technology, which corporations can also use, lets a school scour the world to fine-tune the composition of its classrooms. She says this reflects positively on a university because, in theory, it will churn out more employable graduates. They might overspend on time and money to find the best possible cohorts coming into their school and know that when the students graduate they will find/get the best jobs.

Recoup’s strategy is that it posts banner ads online where prospective talent is likely to spend time. Their feeling is the best candidates are already employed.


I agree that the tools used for hiring are outdated. I love what Riipen is doing – creating hands-on opportunities for the youth to apply their technical and soft skill/life skills. This is crucial part of learning – taking risks even failing! That is where innovation comes from.

I would go further and make all post-secondary school programs co-op or have a paid internship component. This is where the person really gets to learn. I wrote a 14 page letter to Justin Trudeau outlining the need to create an earning and learning framework like they do in Switzerland.

It is my belief that hiring for fit begins from the inside out. It starts with a company defining their core values and behaviours, mission, vision, purpose and Y. Once you know who you are THEN AND ONLY THEN can you hire for fit. The biggest problem today is that we hire for the job description. By 2025 one-third of all simple jobs will be replaced by robots – algorithms. In my research 50% of all the jobs we know today will disappear. We need critical thinkers. People jobs will have a dimension of complexity to it otherwise you can write and algorithm. We need to plan for this.

There is also a leadership gap in Canada and many companies around the world. We need to consider that. We should not be looking to only hire for the job… rather the potential. I believe that hands-on experience is critical, both for the prospective worker and employer.

My work in this area continues. I am reaching out to forward thinking people and visionaries that understand this. I want to be part of the tribe that shifts paradigms in our education system and Corporate Canada.

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