Recruitment From TRUTH to TRUST


This article was originally written and published in november 2014.

This article is about “recruitment”, “truth”, “trust”, “talent shortage”, “surveys”, “paradox”, “toward a good recruitment process”.
In this article, through wider perspectives, I attempt to help to rethink recruitment aligned with the world we want to create.


Truth”, “trust” sounds like big words – that can be filled up with a lot of meaning.
Starting an article about recruitment with word like these may sound a bit like the speech of a beauty queen:

I want peace, harmony and beauty in the world… bla bla…”

So let’s leave the beauty queen where she is to dig deeper in those ideas.

Let’s look at the TRUTH

About “truth”, I won’t go the philosophic way.
I will simply refer to FACTS.
Let’s look at the talent shortage surveys.

1) Talent Shortage Survey

According to the ManpowerGroup’s ninth annual Talent Shortage Survey 36% of employers globally report talent shortages in 2014 – the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE IN SEVEN YEARS.
But an average is not so much meaningful, let’s have a look at some particular examples:
– Japan: 81%
– India: 64%
– Brazil: 63%
– New Zealand: 63%
– Hong Kong: 53%
– Israel: 49%
– Taiwan: 45%
– Germany: 40%
– USA: 40%
– Switzerland: 33%
– China: (strangely only) 24%


2) Does it have any impact?

According the same survey, 54% of employers experiencing a talent shortage say it has a MEDIUM to HIGH IMPACT on their ability to meet client needs.

Top 5 reasons Talent Shortage/skills gaps are most likely to impact employers:
reduced ability to serve clients: 45%
reduced competitiveness/productivity: 37%
increased employee turnover: 31%
– higher compensation costs: 27%

Top 5 reasons employers are having difficulty filling open positions:
lack of technical competencies (hard skills): 47%
lack of workplace competencies (soft skills): 39%
lack of available applicants/no applicants: 36%
– looking for more pay than is offered: 30%
– lack of experience: 25%


3) The financial cost?

I don’t remember the exact number, but you can count in billions of dollars every year.

4) A paradox

1) Quite strangely, in all the cited countries, the global level of education and the global % of higher educated people have never been so high – compared to decades or centuries ago.

2) In most of these countries, there’s a quite high level of unemployed people – meaning, they don’t receive a salary for given tasks and responsibilities.

3) Lot of companies face employee turnover, especially in emerging countries – we can suppose they can’t retain their employees.

4) Some recruiters experience receiving hundreds of applications for each position, as expressed one recruiter in the comment section of my previous article “when recruiters focus on irrelevant details”. Very clearly, when facing hundreds of applications, you really don’t have time to study the perfect match. It’s “humanly mathematic”!

So, what the hell is going on?


In the head of an entrepreneur, a CEO who need people

Let’s imagine a second you are an entrepreneur, a CEO and you need people to run your business.
On one side, you have a need for people (the “right” ones).
On the other side, you have hundreds of people knocking at your door.
It sounds like the game is in your favor.
But the finality is you can’t find 36% of the people you need!

There are only 3 possibilities
1) The people you are looking for don’t exist!
=> so neither you and anybody else can have (employ) them

2) They don’t apply to fill your opened positions!
=> you may gain something to enquire why they don’t

3) You are not able to find them!
=> start to think about WHO is in charge of finding them
HOW they do that!

In your situation, I would START TO DOUBT ABOUT HOW
my people in charge recruit outside talents.

I would start to DISTRUST the whole recruitment process EFFICIENCY.


Toward a good recruitment process?

What is a good recruitment process?

A good recruitment process is a process that has all the attributes, properties it needs to fulfill its purpose!

Ask yourself “what is the purpose of recruiting people?”
Then “what are the attributes, the properties?”

But probably you can start to ask yourself:
– Does the person I’m looking for even exist?
=> plenty of job ads are looking for a “5 legs sheep”
(French expression meaning
“looking for something or somebody that does not exist”
=> what happens?
– nobody answers or … anybody answers, because “after all…

– Do the right people apply?
=> from a marketing perspective, it means
“Do I speak the right way to the right people?
And do I even know who they are?”

– Am I able to identify them?
=> plenty of job ads describe WHAT people “should have”
not WHO they could be to succeed in the job


On the other side, the job seeker side

There is not so much doubt, that they don’t trust so much HR people to make accurate recruitment judgments and they fear to be disvalued.
Right or wrong is not so much the question.
Lack of trust is the matter!

Let’s take a wider perspective – what a 7 years old girl’s perspective on the world tells us

Different surveys in different countries of the world show that young people – from about 10 to 25 years old- significantly suffer from very high level of anxiety to depression – which wasn’t the case a few years or even a decade ago.
Last weekend on the radio I heard the testimony of a 7 years old Singaporean little girl suffering from depression.
She said:
“It’s just too much. Too much pressure… social pressure… Too much work.
I can’t stand it anymore…”

Where does come from the stress, the anxiety?
You can tell me “from the parents”.

So, where does come the stress, the anxiety of the parents?
You can tell me “they fear their kid can’t “make it”, succeed in the outside world”

So, they don’t trust the world being able to welcome, to feed and to sustain their children.
And by consequence to offer them a worthy life. So parents, who can afford, tend to “fill up” their kids with whatever they think is relevant, right?
“hum… pretty much…”

So, where does come the fear of not being able to “make it”, to succeed in the outside world?
“Because there are evidences it’s tough, there is not enough for everybody!”

So, what are the evidences it’s tough and there is not enough for everybody?
“Are you serious Xavier?
Don’t you see all the unemployed people? The lack of economic growth…”

So, why are so many unemployed people, with so many educated people out there and why lack of economic growth?
“Xavier, you get on my nerves!..”


Let’s have a quick look at the future!

Today, on Earth, we are about 7 billion people.
In a few years from now, perspectives say we’ll be 10 billion.
So, if there is not enough today and we don’t trust the world
– meaning human beings’ world communities- to welcome, to feed and to
sustain us, how is it going to be in the next following years?

If we live with the fear of scarcity today, tomorrow’s world won’t be so live-able!

Is it what we want?

Very simply and sincerely, is it what we want?

– Do we want to live in fear for us, for our kids, for the next generations?
– Do we want to live with the feeling we have to “fill up” us?
– Do we want to live like “it’s me, my family, my group against the others”?
– Do we want to feed us, our kids with fear?
– Do we want to believe we have no other choice than either belonging
to winners or to losers?

Very simply and sincerely,
do we want to be able to trust the world, the future or live in fear?

Do we want a H or FP Generation?


Most parents in the world expect something like
I want my kids to have “more” than what I have”.
The baby boomer generation – at least in a lot of developed countries-
expected their kids to have more than them and an easier life.

And by “more”, lot of them meant “more stuff”.
And “easier” often meant
I’ll do what I can for you to study, so you can have a good job and life will be easier and happier … and by the way you’ll have more stuff”.


However, we can all see that having more than they had is quite difficult, if not impossible.
Simply because, resources are limited. This is also why younger generations are more incline to follow the “ability to use things” way than following the “I want to own” way. When you want to own, you have to multiply the efforts and use more resources. When you want the “ability to use things”, you decrease your efforts and use fewer resources.

Also, we can all see that “more studies” doesn’t for sure mean “easier, happier life and more rewarding career life”.

When I think about all these very young and young people suffering high level of anxiety and depression, it really sounds like their life is worst than what X and maybe Y generation had.
It’s kind of obvious the way previous generations lead their life and the economy is not adapted any more.

Toward a better future?

If we still want the next generations to have a better life than us,
if we want them to become the H (Happiness) Generation or
the FP (Full Potential) Generation, we just can’t go, lead our
lives and the economy the way we led them until today.

We must create the conditions to TRUST the societies we live in, to TRUST the world we live in to provide the conditions to create what we want to live.

If not, simply, we don’t need to change anything.


Readjustments needed

Measuring business differently

Very serious economists believe the economic growth WON’T EVER COME BACK AGAIN!

This does not sound very optimistic if we base our faith of “our ability to welcome, to feed and to sustain ourselves and our kids” on the economic growth, MEASURED WITH THE GDP.

I personally believe that business growth will still exist.
But, I’m pretty sure that the indicators will be different.
We will measure the merchant and non-merchant business relationships
people have together in a very different way that we do today.

We fooled ourselves with the GDP.
GDP became used just after the 1929’s economic crisis to attempt to measure economic activity and its evolution. This indicator is just an attempt from the last century, when they believed that
Today, we know it’s not true!

In lot of countries, lot of governments has not yet upgraded their belief system, their eyes are still rivet on the GDP and they wonder how to make it grow.
They are more or less running in a wheel like rats, using the same kind of thinking again and again, and asking us to do the same… which of course is not very sexy.

They make the confusion between the indicator and the use of the machine.
We don’t need and can’t always drive faster and faster.
Logically, one day we reach the limits of the design of the machine.
We reach the limits of the thinking that produced the design.

What we need is to know WHY we use a car and WHERE we want to go!


Now replace “machine” and “car” by “economy” and you understand.
No need to be a PhD economist to understand that.
Everybody can!
It’s obvious that machines have to serve the interest of people.
Not the other way around.
The thinking that design a machine has to serve human’s purposes.
Not the other way around.

When a machine does not fulfill anymore people’s purpose,
we simply change machines
and use another thinking to design another machine.
It works the same way for economy!

As countries, as human societies,
we need to know what world we want to build, to live in.
And only then, we can make choices and take actions to create it.
Then, the merchant and non-merchant business relationships will follow.
As individuals, we need to know what world we want to contribute to.

Doing business differently

When you change the indicators, you change perspectives, then you do things differently!

Recruiting differently

As expressed previously:
A good recruitment process is a process that has all the attributes, the properties it needs to fulfill its purpose!”

When business owner, CEO’s, entrepreneurs are clear about what world they want to contribute to and how, then the purpose of the recruitment gets clearer.
Then it’s easier to define the attributes, the properties of a good recruitment process.

To be able to recruit better, there will be different practices to build.
To build different practices, thinking different will be necessary.
Ways of defining, attracting, assessing, measuring, retaining will be different.
Then we can trust the recruitment practices to be able to fulfill their purpose.


How about the beauty queen from the beginning?

If you believe that her “I want peace, harmony and beauty in the world…” is naive and a fairy tale, then it will remain naive and a fairy tale.

But if you believe it’s a worthy vision and appealing enough to engage you, then you’ll have to be courageous to make choices and take actions to create the conditions to make this vision real.
Where ever of the side of the fairy tale you are, 😉
I welcome your thoughts, your comments.

If you like this article, you can share it.
If you hate it, you can share it too and criticize me in my back. 😉

You may be interested as well by

Value means nothing
The nature of talent induces the nature of assessment


About the author: Xavier helps companies and entrepreneurs
– to strengthen their brand by helping them to reinforce their identity, by helping them to articulate clearly to what world they want to contribute to and what does it imply;
– to identify who they need.

1 Comment

  1. Francis on 20 July 2017 at 1 h 05 min

    Vеry good article. I wiⅼl be going through a few of these issues as well..

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