Your dating ad as a   –  recruitment ad?

By Beyondo, 25. Aug 2022


"High-ranking a-human is being sought for serious relationship"

For this opinion piece, Tove Möller from The Accessible Society and Karin Björkman from Beyondo are sharing their thoughts on recruitment ads, the way companies recruit and how they can think differently to be even more successful.

It is possible to read a lot about candidate shortages today and about how companies do not find employees, some companies even call it a candidate crisis. But 'candidate crisis' is nothing new. The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce already spoke in 2016 about candidate shortages, which in 2017 came to be called candidate crisis.

In the report "The housing market is putting a spanner in the works for companies' recruitments", the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, together with Novus, has conducted a study aimed at HR managers about the housing market and the supply of skills in the Stockholm region. The study shows that three out of four HR managers believe that the housing situation in Stockholm makes it difficult for companies to recruit the right skills and that candidates choose to apply to other cities.

Of course, the housing situation is a problem that affects, in addition to that, to make the recruitment situation even more impossible through lengthy processes and square settings are therefore stupid. And it's also not the case that all job seekers are looking for accommodation, they already live!

Of course, it is largely the candidates' market that prevails and "the table has turned" in favour of job seekers/candidates.

In the Netherlands, a report recently published by the Central Statistical Office (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) that there are currently 133 jobs per 100 applicants. The figures for 2021 were 106 per 100 applicants. It is in Sweden no different today.

It is probably the case that many companies need to review their routines when recruiting and also review their long-trodden paths, attitudes and biases that unfortunately still prevail in a kind of "we have always done this".

Too many remain in the, as they believe, safe world of routine – when in fact it is necessary to plunge into new thoughts and new approaches.

There are so many people who every day get sorted out precisely because we "do as we have always done".

All the ambitious and well-educated who are in the country, or those who come here are often well educated and with great ambition want to get a job.

There are simply many who get sorted out for various reasons where the reasons are often both irrational, based on their own unfounded perception of how someone "is".

Karin recently had a candidate in a process, a talented IT person who worked with the implementation of business systems in various, international companies. They had reached a certain ceiling in their interest in the IT field and wanted to go back to what they were educated in 'finance & accounting' and with experience and broad interest in 'business controlling'. He told us that he has applied for several roles in business controlling but that he is constantly rejected for 'no relevant experience. How can we get this knowledgeable person into the job market with what they are passionate about and will surely deliver at 120%, at least?

Dare to hire and see candidates, whose experience and skills are completely disregarded due to their age instead of seeing their solid work experience? Dare to recruit a young person instead of thinking that young people cannot yet "deliver". Dare to recruit candidates with norm-breaking functionality who find it difficult to get a job, despite the fact that there are so many with education, skills and unique skills that would contribute to each company. Dare to 'hire for attitude'! Dare!

Thus, there are great opportunities to take advantage of competence today. Prejudices and fears need to be put aside and companies need to see the skills, abilities and knowledge that the person possesses – not how we all come "packaged". And don't create an image of the person you think would be appropriate should look, or be, even before you get started.

The most important thing companies can do now is to step out of their own comfort zone. Start daring to think differently. Especially if all those companies that today have problems in their business are to be solved, we read about queues, we read about the restaurant and hospitality industry and difficulties in finding employees, to give a few examples.

An IT company reviewed the choice of words in its job advertisements in 2021. Through a few simple reformulations, the proportion of women applying for positions in Sweden, Norway and Finland increased by 32 per cent.

It is possible to read recruitment ads with long and many requirements often also with wishes that feel far from what should be performed in the role. Are all the criteria on the job specification really a must?

It is sometimes possible to read that the candidate should have, for example, at least 4 years of experience. But maybe it could be that someone with only 2 years of experience, has more experience than the one with 4 years? After all, how long it takes to capture an experience is individual, just as someone can run or swim faster than another on the same distance.

Karin: "Many times I think companies write 'around 5 years of experience, only to be able to say 'we think you are overqualified, you have 15 years of experience and we are only looking for 5 years. They probably hope to be able to catch those who are between 20-30, because if you are 40+ and even 'worse', 50+, then you don't even count.., but imagine how much (life) experience companies miss out on if you think like that! And who says a 40-50+ is less flexible, less interested in playing ping-pong on their lunch break, than those who are 25!? Say it!

It can also be said in the ad that "we think you have a degree from xx-school", it is of course very nice that we place great trust in many of the Swedish higher education institutions, BUT it is possible to think that there may be some other schools around our world that can offer both the same quality or even better sometimes?

Dare to think differently! Customize your interview questions and get the information you want in the interview vein! The candidate who has X education from Germany is perhaps more experienced and knowledgeable than the one who went to a Swedish school!?

The recruitment processes are often too long and the candidate you ultimately choose has often moved on with another company.

Dare to be clear, but not stuck in the old sponge cake recipe from which you usually bake, several sponge cakes can taste good!

We've enjoyed comparing the mindset of recruitment ads and translating it into how it would sound personal.

As a thought exercise only, when the regular recruitment ad is both long and tedious, it bears thinking about how lightheartedly we seek someone for life as a partner.

Where sometimes it may even be enough: "Tall, dark and handsome" and possibly that the sought should like forest walks and golf".

Imagine if your personal ad looked like your recruitment ad – how much success would you have?!


Your role:

In the role of partner, you are expected to maintain a high level of service, you should not be too old even if I myself have reached respectable age, nor too young. You are expected to be delivered on top at all times. You should be able to work all hours of the day, both on-call and night work can occur if there is a crisis. You should be able to deliver safely and reliably but at the same time also be so self-motivated that you understand that there may also be times when you should be able to deliver positive surprises when I least expect it. You are there when I need it, you are happy and responsive to what I need without me necessarily having to express it. In the relationship, there are clear guidelines that you are expected to follow, but I also look positively on the fact that you are initiative- and creative.

From the profile:

Relevant education, secondary education a requirement, and post-secondary education are desirable.

At least five years of documented experience in relationships. Very good Swedish and English in speech and writing, an additional language is of course meritorious.

Diplomas in disciplines such as cooking, psychology, interior architecture and gardening are desirable.

As a person, you are unpretentious but also ambitious, you should be serious but also full of humour, you should be of good physique and not be afraid to "take in" when needed. In case you become my date, I do a credit check, security checks, criminal record extract and drug test.

OK, if you are looking for an accounting officer, then you need to hire someone who has knowledge and experience in the profession. And then there are several professions in which one really needs a certain skill set. But a person can contribute a lot more than 'just' competence'. The bottom line: don't waste time being too picky in your recruitment process. What you can't, you can learn! You usually say 'you can't teach an old dog to sit.

Why is it difficult to teach old dogs to sit?

Just like humans, dogs can continue to learn new things even as they get older. It just needs a little more patience. And there's nothing wrong with memory either! It is known that the human brain can still learn new things at a high age.

Dare to learn new things – think outside the box – try changing the criteria for the recruitment process and dare to experiment! We promise that you will find good solutions to find exactly the skills you need in your company!

Tove Möller and Karin Björkman

About us:

Tove Möller

Tove Möller is a multi-award-winning senior expert in Diversity Equity & Inclusion with experience of more than 20 years. Tove is a co-founder of The Accessible Society and helps companies get started with inclusion work. The company works with all kinds of companies, as lecturers, consultants or as gig-are. Contact: info@access-society.se Read more on www.access-society.se

tove foto klein

Karin Björkman. Photo: @Eric Roxfelt

Karin Björkman has a broad background in international recruitment and recruitment of international talent, first within Undutchables in the Netherlands, later in Sweden and has now started Beyondo. A recruitment partner for companies that are internationally oriented and need candidates who bring a multicultural spectrum, increasing companies to succeed in their business.

Karin Beyondo klonad bakgrund



Read the original article at Eventeffect  in Swedish here.