By Martin Wubbolt – Site Administrator PA CareerLink® – Lebanon County

Today when an employer comes to the PA CareerLink® of Lebanon County, they are usually searching for candidates with certain skills and experience to fit a specific job.  This employer will take a job seeker’s resume or application to see what experience they have that fits a specific position the employer is trying to fill.  If the prospective candidate seems to be a good fit for a position, the job seeker will then receive an interview and ask questions centered on knowledge needed to perform the work of this one specific position.  This has typically been the standard process for hiring for both the job seeker and employer.suit and tie

Now imagine everything you thought about looking for and obtaining employment is all wrong.  

This is exactly what Lindsay Gellman writes in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. Some large companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Inc, and Intuit are not following this paradigm.  Instead they are looking at the candidate as a whole and finding those who have skills they would like in every employee. These companies will then hire this individual without actually having a specific role in mind.  After hiring and assessing the new employee, the company then places them where they feel they can best contribute to the firm’s success.  

This may seem to be an unorthodox way of doing business, but the theory is that finding employees that fit their corporate culture more than simply filling a role within the corporation is ultimately more advantageous for overall profitability.  Employers are also using this particular hiring practice because the market for talent has become so intense. The employers using this new strategy want to lock up talent before their competitors do. The upside is that businesses are betting that these “mass hirings” will reduce their direct costs of recruiting, hiring and training a new employee while securing the right candidates before their competitors do. The risk is that job seekers will not thrive in their as-yet-undefined job and both parties will lose out if it is not a good fit.

As difficult as this may sound for the human resources department of these organizations, it can be just as challenging for the prospective employee.  This entails a job seeker accepting a position without knowing the specifics of their roles and responsibility.  Not only does the job seeker not know what job they are applying for, they may not know what salary to ask for.  For example, a newly credentialed  IT professional may know that the average starting salary for a computer programmer is $50,000 per year, but a database administrator may only start at $40,000 per year.  If the job seeker doesn’t know which position they are being hired for, they may find it hard to negotiate your salary.

Although for many job seekers, this has not been the normal hiring practice, it may be a growing trend for the millennial generation. As SCPa Works and the PA CareerLink® system engages with our employer partners, we will adjust and develop new strategies to meet the needs of regional companies.  In our rapidly changing job market, the only constant is change. These new hiring practices may give us a glimpse into the strategies that businesses are using to get an advantage in a fiercely competitive labor market.