Two weeks ago, I had one of the biggest facepalm moments I’ve ever had. For all the talk about my “Get There with You” philosophy and my resent quasi rants here and here indirectly affirming some of the reasons candidates or current employees may not want to work with or for us, I realized I missed the mark. It dawned on me I’ve been unintentionally hypocritical in my support of hiring managers when it comes to entry level roles.
One of the most positive takeaways I’ve seen in my organization in the last two years is hiring managers finally understanding accepting that entry level jobs mean candidates don’t need to have work experience in that specific role (perhaps *gasp* no experience at all) and therefore can be trained through on-the-job-training. After almost a decade, hiring managers agree and proactively consider candidates they would not have considered prior to 2020.
In addition, with the competitive candidate market we’re experiencing, we made some changes to our selection process in 2021. Although these positions are entry level, there are still some minimum steps we complete before making an offer. For us, this includes a completed application, a background check, and checking references. We began making more contingent offers pending the background and reference checks. Historically, we’ve had such few issues having to withdraw offers due to something coming up in a background check that would truly exclude** someone from working here, it made sense to expedite bringing folks on as quickly as possible or risk losing them to another job.
This is a win except…
Somewhere along the way, I became the hold up in getting these candidates onboarded! I was requiring we had at least one professional reference for the candidate. Now, that doesn’t sound completely bizarre but when I’m honest about it, I have to ask why.
Why do we need to have professional references for a role that requires no professional experience?
And even if we require a reference, why would I hold up the contingent offer for this and yet not for an actual background check? And that’s when I realized how stuck in my ways I can be.
We’ve now changed this. Not for every job of course, but for entry level roles which are the ones for which we are usually recruiting.
I got there with them in the end but it sure took more steps than it should have!
What are some ways you’ve recently become unstuck?
** For more information about background checks, visit the EEOC’s Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know