Link: PHOTON COURIER.
The article doesn't mention it, but the same kind of excessive specificity in hiring is also happening in fields other than engineering. I'm quite sure that there are talented salesmen who won't be hired this week because of a lack of experience with some particular sales automation or customer resources management system...representing knowledge that they could have easily picked up during their first couple of weeks on the job. And for the employer, this kind of thing has real costs. It's a basic reality of life that you can't optimize everything at once. So, if you insist on a perfect fit for certain things, you are probably getting less of some other attributes--and these may be ones that matter more. I'd personally rather have a salesman who has demonstrated (for example) skill at managing the customer politics in a large and complex sale than one who has specific experience with the Snarkolator CRM system. It's a lot easier to train for the second than for the first.Why this increased focus on "checklist" items? The WSJ article blames it largely on Internet job boards, which encourage a flood of resumes and enable the use of keyword screening as a means of coping with that flood. That's certainly part of it. I also think that fear of litigation has led hiring managers to focus on more "objective" criteria and less on intuition, and that this tendency has now been internalized to the point that people do it without even understanding why they do it.
I've run into this problem. They will ignore you if you don't have the right software in your background. The funny thing is that a lot of it is very expensive and not something you would and sometimes could buy on your own.
Sure, some unethical people would say you can pirate the software, but a lot of it is copy protected in one form or another. I remember having one computer that had so many dongles on it I needed to put it on its own desk.
If you have used any kind of CAD software you know them all, except for a few special things each has. The great thing about a GUI is it forces the same type of software to look very much the same, very different from the old DOS days.
I think the worst effect of this is that it takes thinking out of the hiring process. Any computer can find word matches, but it takes a person to find out if the candidate will work well in your group.
Hiring by checklist is a very lazy thing to do. It is just like zero-tolerance policies, there is no thought just institutional reflex. You almost have to wonder why have a manager at all. All these things can be automated away.