Season 6, Episode 3:

Point-based recruiting

This week on Recruiter Fuel, Izabela and Hanna sat down to discuss an interesting post we saw on Reddit about “point-based recruiting.” In short, someone posted a screenshot of a job description that assigned point values to a lengthy list of skills and qualifications. Candidates were asked to tally their points from the list and include it with their application.

Some of the items seemed a little ridiculous. For example, candidates got 3 points for owning Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency! Naturally, we had to see what our own team had to say. Given Izabela’s experience as a performance consultant and Hanna’s time in recruiting, we were eager to hear their thoughts.

What Do You Think of a Point-Based Recruiting System?

Hanna opened up the discussion talking about how she thought it was pretty foolish.

“My first glance at it, I think it’s a terrible idea…if you have experience with PHP, maybe you looked at it one time, or you’ve done it 15 years. I don’t understand how that can just be 3 points…honestly if I were to see this as a job posting I would completely disregard it…no one would apply to this. Owns Bitcoin? Seriously? This is a joke.”

It’s clever, but it does seem a little unnecessary and like it’s probably a turnoff to most candidates. If the comments on the post are any indication, most candidates will agree!

Izabela concurred.

“I’m looking more as a performance consultant, I’m looking at the whole person. Can they do the job? Probably they can. Will they do the job? Probably they will. The question is, how are they going to do the job?”

“I would like to apply kind of the Predictive Index and see are they really a true person that is designed for the job and will do the job?”

“How many points they have…I really don’t care.”

But isn’t Weighting Each Requirement Helpful in Some Way

We all know job descriptions aren’t everything. Someone can meet the job description and fail in the role, or someone could not meet the job description at all and excel in the role.

Hanna agreed that weighting the responsibilities in some way is beneficial. But this is just bullets and numbers attached to it. Hanna thinks a lot of this comes down to the recruiter – it’s their job to boil down the essential parts of the job to make a description that focuses on the essentials. Additionally, a recruiter will help a team clarify what they really need, or what’s most important.

“I think this approach could be improved if they took away the points and they had maybe five things, and this is why.”

Explaining why the skills are relevant to the job is critical.

Everyone Has a Driver’s License, But That Doesn’t Mean They’re a Good Driver

One commenter brought up how if they were a self-taught coder who owned Bitcoin, they might bring nothing to the table. However, the system might peg them as more valuable than someone with a degree in computer science.

Izabela brought up a good point about how our credentials don’t always speak to our skills.

“Anybody who is on the road, everyone has a driver’s license, but it doesn’t mean you’re a good driver…it depends on how you drive and what you do out there. Behind the wheel you need someone who’s patient and follows the rules…this really does not give me enough information.”

We Can’t Use Points to Assess Candidates

Ian, who was off-camera reading the comments, brought up how people lie!

Hanna mentioned that someone who went to a 3-hour course on coding and say they’re a self-taught coder. So why place so much stock in what someone says or the point value they give themselves?

A couple users did mention that employers should prioritize requirements, and that it is helpful to know what’s important to the role.

“That’s how I think Qualigence is different from a lot of the other agencies out there is because we don’t just rely on the job descriptions that they give us…we rewrite job descriptions, we take those 20-30 bullet points, we condense it into about ten, and we rank them. And every single job description I have, I say this is the top three things that are the skills required for this role, and this is why.”

Izabela also brought up how someone might be great at selling on the phone, but not so good at selling in person. Similarly, she speaks four languages, but only speaks two fluently. Her resume could easily say she speaks four. So putting an emphasis on these skills with points misses critical, relevant information on the candidate.

What’s a Better Way to Select Candidates?

But what about if we have five or six resumes and all of them were great matches the job description? How do we narrow them down and make decisions if we can only make one hire? Izabela prompted Hanna to describe her selection process here.

“It comes down to just having the conversations with these people. Yes we need everyone to have a certain skill set to fit a job, but there’s more to it outside of that, such as personality and culture fit. And this type of approach isn’t going to address those things. So having conversations with people on the phone to better understand them is how I would go about choosing the right candidate for that role.”

Izabela elaborated on that point:

“This is very important to figure out: what kind of behavior do we need for that particular role to be the right person?”

Hanna and Izabela both give this system a thumbs down…but we’re curious to see what you think! Drop us a line on social media with your thoughts on “point-based recruiting.”

About Recruiter Fuel

Recruiter Fuel is a weekly video series dedicated to all-things recruiting and talent acquisition. Learn More our mission and how you can submit a topic, be featured in an episode, or nominate an expert to guest star on an upcoming episode.

Visit the Recruiter Fuel series directory for more content.