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HR-organisations are usually pretty proud of their recruitment process; or processes, if they have individual ones for each position. But in many companies, gut feeling still rules. Or even worse: Prejudice. Defined and adhered-to recruitment processes do serve a purpose. Teams get an overview of the pipeline, they can run analytics, and in the end the perfect candidate gets hired.

But this article isn’t about that end of the process. It’s about the demise of the recruitment process as such because it will soon be obsolete:

  1. Hire for attitude, train for skill. More and more companies aren’t looking for the best employee at the current task at hand, but more for those who are fast, self-motivated learners who can quickly acquire the needed skills – as the market requires. And that’s not even a new idea.
  2. Direct sourcing. Poaching employees from the competition rather than recruiting with the post & pray strategy means you’re anyway talking to individuals and your job description isn’t worth the paper it gets faxed on.
  3. Meta skills are becoming more important than specific knowledge: Flexibility, eagerness to learn, self-management, lateral leadership, teamwork. Whoever brings those to the table, can also acquire the knowledge and experience that’s necessary to do an amazing job – with a little help probably.
  4. Jobs are changing. The new HR software, switching to agile methods, a new type of entity, an updated Design Software, or maybe even a startup pivoting to a new business model. Who’s job hasn’t changed in the past decade?
  5. Generation Y/Z/etc. Kids these days, amirite? They don’t know what they can and want to do. Job Matching is a big thing to help them apply for the right job – whatever that is.

Soon we won’t know anything about that beloved purple squirrel and the job it should perform.

So how can we still hope to decide in advance who should screen the candidates, who should do the skill- and who the attitude interview? Which case should the candidate solve? Who’ll be on the hiring committee? What does recruitment even mean in a network-organisation? I definitely won’t be a centralized recruitement team anymore.

As so often, the answer is: Kill it.

Radical decentralisation of HR tasks into the teams and making HR an internal consultant – that must be the goal.