As I continue my job search here in the UK, I occasionally check the online job boards for positions that might appeal to me. The job openings listed on these sites are almost exclusively posted by head-hunters and recruiters. The dynamic between these agencies and the client company presents what I consider to be a most unfortunate hiring scenario.
Inevitably, the recruiters and agencies are inundated with a deluge of CVs for each position. They whittle the stack down to a few candidates who match the job description in every detail. That is, they have 3 - 5 candidates who have previously done this exact job, in this exact industry. These square pegs are offered to the client for a fit into a square hole.
What is wrong with this picture? Why would you hire someone who has done the exact job in the same industry? Employees perform best when they are challenged—when they are stretched to grow into new areas. Instead of square pegs in square holes, you should hire people for whom your position is the next step in their career development. Identifying this potential is much harder than checking of a list of requirements but it is absolutely essential to find the people who will grow your business while they grow themselves.
The dysfunction of the recruiter / client relationship is that the recruiter is forced to put forth vanilla candidates that precisely match some sterile list of requirements. There is no room to find the dynamic, ambitious, energetic candidate who can master a new environment quickly and thrive in the new role.
And yet, I remain optimistic . . .