This is good news for everybody.

I tried to find the perfect cycling shot. This is close, but we’re still climbing and in any case it’s a subjective topic. In the world of job applications and recruitment we shouldn’t even try to attain this goal for reasons such as these:

“Perfection is the enemy of progress”: Winston Churchill
“The perfect is the enemy of the good”: Voltaire
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”: Salvador Dali
“Imperfection is underrated. Perfection is overrated”: Helena Bonham Carter

Applicants take note: forget about waiting for the perfect role.

Recruiters take note: don’t give AI free rein to discriminate against those who represent great potential.

The message common to all pithy quotations that define the state of ‘perfection’ is that it is ok to settle for what can be achieved with the best of our ability. In the same way that job applicants should forget about landing the perfect role, recruiters should refrain from screening for the perfect employee because this is to turn a blind eye to whatever might represent potential. AI as a logical tool has a useful role to play in this process but also its flaws, to the extent that both applicants and recruiters are missing out. Here’s what might help:

1. If recruiters reduced the detail in the job description this would encourage more applicants to apply; increase compatibility scores; broaden the pool of potential. The result represents extra workload before forming that shortlist for interview but in the long run perhaps it’s worth it.

2. If applicants were to pay more attention to their personal branding and the professionalism of their LinkedIn profiles they stand a better chance of making it to recruiters’ shortlist for interview. This is where you can provide further evidence of what you’ve claimed on your CV.

3. If companies placed more faith in their vaunted L&D programmes they could perhaps reduce the number of stages in the exhaustive hiring process where applicants are tested for capabilities they’d normally learn on-the-job.

Nobody’s perfect but the value’s all in the potential.