Are Traditional Hiring Systems Failing Employers?
1 in 10 people that I know are currently working in a field that relates to their degree. Of those 10, only 3 have ever held a job position that is related to their degree. A study in 2010 showed that only 27% of graduates had a job that was related to their degree.
Personally, I have never had a job in a field related to my degree. We are talking, over 5 years of doing things that have nothing/little to do with what I studied at university.
And so the elephant in the room is, why do employers continue to insist on traditional hiring systems like ‘must have x degree’? The irony is that, going by the numbers, there’s a high chance that the people in hiring positions wouldn’t be employed in their current positions if they had been hired through said traditional systems.
If you are using a hiring system that requires a candidate to have a degree, a degree in certain industry, x number of years in experience, the ‘right’ CV, et al, then that system is failing you, and your organization is missing out on people with a lot of potential.
We all agree that there needs to be a system that helps organizations hire the best candidate, but I think it is safe to say that the current system is not the solution. Any recruiter will tell you that they have hired many a candidate that ticked all the boxes, but ended up being the bane of their existence. The explanation is simple; it is possible to tick all the boxes and still not be the right candidate for the job. The reason being, job seekers have figured out all the i’s that employers need dotted, and are focusing on doing that and not actually equipping themselves with the required skills.
For an era that has made great strides in technology, it would be a damn shame if we did not use these developments to improve the employment situation in Uganda.
A number of solutions come to mind towards the improvement of the hiring system in Uganda, but I will focus on 3;
Hiring on Merit: Unfortunately, hiring through nepotism is a huge problem in Uganda. There was a time when it was impossible to get a job in an organization if you didn’t know anyone in said organization. This has improved over the years, but we still have a long way to go. While it is possible to get a job without nepotism, more people have been rejected for positions that they are qualified for because they didn’t know anyone in the organization. What is the purpose of studying for many years to get the necessary papers or working hard to gain experience if this doesn’t equal increased chances at employability?
Expand Search Parameters: For as long as employers continue to hire from the same circles and with the same tools, they will continue to get the same (limited) quality of candidates. Organizations need to explore new avenues through which they can interact with talent; whether it is through internship programs, mentorship programs, entry level job position strategies, AI recruitment channels like Fuzu, et al.
Hire for performance: Candidates should be asked to demonstrate their skills before they are hired. If you are hiring for a sales position, ask the candidate to make a sales pitch for your product, if you are hiring for a customer care position, ask the candidate to demonstrate how they would handle a customer complaint.
There’s a chance that I am wrong, so the real question is, as an employer, how many people do you know that work in a field that relates to their degree?