[IPAC-List] Candidate Reduction Strategies

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Tue Mar 13 13:48:58 EDT 2012

I find myself seeing some merit in many of the suggestions made so far,
but will draw attention to the following qualifications:

1) There is a difference between making the pile manageable and
smaller, and leaving yourself with a manageably small pile that has good
people in it.

2) There is a difference between what you do or are trying to do, and
how it is perceived by candidates. Whatever one does in such
circumstances has two aspects: the culling strategy, and the
**communication** of the culling strategy and its rationale. If one
regularly does recruitment staffing, that strategy better damn well be
persuasive, sensible, and perceived as considerate, or you may end up
with a pile that is too small next time out.

3) The palatability of strategies will vary by the labour and job
market conditions where the recruitment is going on, and the type of
work. Recruit somewhere like Nevada (whose unemployment stats are
substantially higher than elsewhere in the US) and there will be a tacit
assumption by applicants that the lineup will be very long. As such,
culling strategies can be perceived as more of a service, rather than
just an impeded opportunity (i.e., "Okay, cross that one out and move on
down the list"). If the local labour market is not quite that hot,
culling strategies may require more explanation and reliance on the
applicant themselves (e.g., through RJPs, self evaluations, and such) or
multiple hurdles with quick turnaround times.

4) I always come back to Neil Schmitt's comments at SIOP 1998, where he
noted that all those folks in Michigan who get turned away from jobs at
the "Big 3" automakers probably own cars, leading him to ponder what the
impact of unpleasant or perceived-to-be-unfair hiring practices might be
on their subsequent consumer behaviour. If the hiring organization does
depend on the anticipated applicant pool as their consumer population,
then some consideration needs to be given for the potential impact of
culling strategies and how they will be perceived.

Mark Hammer


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