Hiring evolution: Employers and job seekers must be prepared for change

Both employers and job applications should expect the hiring process to evolve, highlighting the importance of adaptability in today’s job market.
By: | February 20, 2023

If you have ever landed a job only to find out it is not what you expected, you are not alone. A new study on start-ups revealed that many of them often change the job description after hiring, leaving employees feeling disappointed and unsure of their role.

Conducted by Sara Mahabadi of the Alberta School of Business and Lisa Cohen of McGill University, the study examined 51 small start-ups in their first three years of operation and found that during hiring, some jobs had tasks added or removed, other jobs were abandoned, replaced, or moved, and in some cases, jobs were reposted.

According to the authors, job evolution is more prevalent in start-ups because processes are less routine and more susceptible to change. Nevertheless, Mahabadi emphasised that this evolution is not caused by managers who lack experience or use lax hiring practices; instead, it is due to unforeseen factors or changes that occur during the interviewing process, as managers learn more about what their organisations require.

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How then, can job seekers avoid potential disappointment? The authors advised candidates to apply for positions even if not all the requirements are met. In the end, it might transpire that the candidate’s skills and strengths are precisely what the employer requires but was unaware of until the hiring process began.

While the study’s findings mainly apply to start-ups, Mahabadi said larger organisations are now “talking about the same things”, especially in the wake of the pandemic. “These results are pretty much generalisable to a wider population of organisations,” she added.