New senior management has instituted new guidelines for hiring. GPA, top school list, velocity, etc.  And challenged us managers with openings to hire to the new guidelines. HR is unable to source many candidates with this profile.

I have looked for candidates in my network, but it's awkward (what was your GPA ?). This is not effective. I need to uplevel and work smarter. . 




BariTony's picture

Your post reminded me of a large tech company where one of my relatives works. He says they have a GPA maximum for applicants. Those with a 4.0 don't make it through the initial screening. The company's experience has been that those individuals:

A) Have seldom dealt with failure, and:

B) Tend not to socialize well with their colleagues.

I always thought that was interesting, given the apparent obsession most companies have with trying to find applicants with the highest GPA.






mattpalmer's picture

Do these new guidelines happen to mention anything like, "can do the job"?  Or is that just not important any more?

All things being equal (which they never are), a good GPA, good school, and good career velocity will make you a more attractive candidate.  But golly gee, they're hardly the be-all and end-all of productivity.  Some of the best people I've worked with have had degrees from West Podunk Community College, or dropped out of their undergrad degree.  Hell, the single most effective software developer I've ever worked with has never stepped foot in a post-secondary education facility (he may even have dropped out of high school... I don't recall now).

If this is an absolute mandate (as in, "you must not hire any candidates who do not fulfill these arbitrary and irrelevant criteria"), I'd recommend not hiring anyone until the dust settles on this one (I predict it won't last long -- whoever's behind this will get distracted by a new article next month).  If you're being told "you must hire N people who fulfill these arbitrary and irrelevant criteria by September 30", I'd recommend you seriously consider "taking the Napoleon option" (see below).  I try to avoid recommending that, because I think it's really easy for a forum commenter to tell someone else to quit their job, but in this case... golly gee.  This is a whopper of a dumb idea.

On the other hand, if this is just a "recommendation" or other sort of softball push -- ignore it.  I never recommend disobeying an order, but many things are promulgated that aren't actually orders, merely "suggestions".  There's every possibility that before anyone gets around to checking your hires, this new initiative will fizzle and die (see above re "distracted by a new article next month").

The one thing I wouldn't recommend doing is just knuckling under and hiring whatever warm bodies come along with a good enough GPA just to "make the numbers".  I believe everyone, but particularly managers, have a duty to the organization and its shareholders to do best by them.  While ordinarily the instructions of duly appointed superiors can be taken as being the will of the organization, something this dumb and potentially destructive to the organization does need a certain amount of courageous push back.  The wrong people in the wrong places in an organization can wreak an extraordinary amount of havoc, and I think that a hiring policy like this is likely to end up stuffing your office with a lot of wrong people.

Here's the original quote about "the Napoleon option":

“A commander-in-chief cannot take as an excuse for his mistakes in warfare an order given by his sovereign or his minister, when the person giving the order is absent from the field of operations and is imperfectly aware or wholly unaware of the latest state of affairs. It follows that any commander-in-chief who undertakes to carry out a plan which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forward his reasons, insist on the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather than be the instrument of his army's downfall.”

I'll leave it to you to draw the analogy with your own situation.

jskehan's picture

I would do what you can to meet the new challenge.

If there is wiggle room, you can take a targeted check minus on stellar candidates and highlight the key reason(s) you made a new hire that doesn't tick all of the boxes with some positive press. i.e. Recruit XYZ ticked 4 of 6 boxes and ran a 50 person student organization. Recruit ABC met 5 of 6 boxes and came in with demonstrated expert skills in <some key job  requirement>.