There was an interview with Ford CEO Mark Fields on Vox.com in early April regarding the techno-driven existential threat to the auto industry. You'll know it has happened when your Uber ride arrives at your door without a driver.

I contend there's a similar existential threat about to occur in the recruiting industry. The LinkedIn and Microsoft mashup announced a few weeks ago could accelerate it. When it happens it will impact every recruiter, hiring manager, HR leader and technology vendor who continues to espouse 20th century ideas in the 21st century.

Job seekers will finally have a chance to rejoice rather than complain.  

First, here are my big reasons why a disruption is likely:

  • Current tools including job boards don't improve quality of hire; they just allow people to change jobs more easily.
  • Despite a recent minor pickup, employee dissatisfaction has been a dismal 70% for the past 20 years due in large part to the ease of changing jobs for short term reasons.
  • A surplus of talent model designed to weed out the weak will not work when a surplus of talent doesn't exist.
  • Depending on demand, 80-90% of all candidates are not looking to change jobs. Regardless, companies spend more time trying to hire the other 10-20% more efficiently.
  • New technologies are being developed to better match people on career growth and satisfaction rather than skills, experiences and compensation.

Given the need for disruption, here's my approach for accelerating this makeover.

Eight Disruptive Ideas for Shaking the Foundation of Traditional Hiring Practices

  1. Define jobs as a series of challenges, tasks and learning opportunities. By rethinking how work is defined as a series of tasks and performance-based building blocks it will be easier to overcome the current approach of pigeon-holing people into jobs based on their level of skills, compensation and need for another job.
  2. Individual job postings and traditional job boards are not needed. Since jobs will be grouped by function with a series of interchangeable challenges and tasks, there will be no need or ability for a candidate to search for jobs. A candidate interested in a new job will just indicate interest and be offered a prioritized list of best career moves.
  3. Jobs will be customized in real time. By mixing and matching different tasks it will be easier to modify the job to fit the person's needs rather than force fit a person into some poorly defined lateral transfer. 
  4. Target the entire talent market. It won't matter whether a person is active or passive. For those opting in, a person's career progress will be tracked and when job satisfaction declines, the person will be given the chance to explore other situations pushed to him or her based on career needs and risk orientation.
  5. The emergence of the hiring manager DIY model. All of this mixing and matching will take place directly between the hiring manager and the candidate without a middleman.
  6. The barriers to changing jobs for the right reasons will be reduced. Job seekers won't need to be networking all-stars to get better jobs. As part of pushing the best jobs to people at exactly the right time, a person's strong (direct) and weak connections (2nd degree) will be searched in order to introduce candidates to intermediaries with open opportunities. This will be a high-tech means to ensure a high-touch consultative experience.
  7. Hiring managers will be offered a short list of high potential candidates to fill open jobs coming up over the next year. Whether the people are active or passive won't matter. The matching will be based on the upcoming opportunities meeting the short- and long-term career needs of those identified. Using advanced workforce planning, a long-term evaluation can take place without the pressure to hire for today.
  8. Career planning will become the rule rather than the exception. Too much of today's job switching is based on meeting some short-term economic need rather than part of a formal long-term career plan. Better matching for the right reasons will eliminate job-hopping syndrome and increase on-the-job performance and satisfaction.

There is no technical reason preventing these disruptors from actually being implemented in the next few years. By optimizing individual growth, learning and job satisfaction, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Of course, those now managing these processes or tech vendors selling competing services will resist. Regardless, some revolutionaries are now implementing these ideas to gain a competitive advantage. Not surprisingly, when viewed from a historical perspective, that's how all revolutions begin.