What Teenagers Can Teach Us About Hiring

What Teenagers Can Teach Us About Hiring

If you thought you couldn’t learn anything from today’s teenagers, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.

It seems like everywhere you go today, there’s a teenager with their face glued to their phone. The main sources of communication for the younger generation these days are texting, Snapchatting, Instagramming or any other myriad of messenger apps. Picking up the phone to call someone just doesn’t happen anymore…. or does it? The other day I had the pleasure of conversing with a 14 year old about her boy troubles. She kept trying to call a boy she liked, but never got an answer. When I expressed my surprise that she was calling him instead of texting, she simply explained that she hated texting and would rather talk in person or on the phone. As I gave her a puzzled (but impressed) look, she said there’s no emotion in texting. She wanted to hear or see his unfiltered reactions during their conversations in order to have a genuine interaction.

When you’re hiring for a position and judge candidates based solely on their resume, that’s the equivalent to glancing at a teenage love interest’s text message. It’s an over-edited snapshot of someone’s career. We’ve worked with companies that will pass on a candidate solely based on insignificant details on their resume. This is where I work my magic.  Like a love-struck teenage girl, I want to have an in-depth phone conversation to move past the superficial text and really understand a candidate’s history, reactions, and motivations. Some of the best candidates I’ve placed have been people who I’ve fought to represent based on real conversations beyond their resume.

Just because there’s an abundance of technology around us, doesn’t mean that it trumps real-life conversations and intuition. Just as teenagers are more likely to have romantic success with a phone call, you are more likely to have hiring success having real conversations with candidates. (Or trusting someone does!)