Okay, now I have your attention, I will make an admission before I go too far. I am an HR Techie, always have been, always will be. Never a practitioner, but always providing service to my HR clients to make their lives easier, more relevant to the business, and introducing them to new tools to open up innovation.
Well, my observations over the last few years are that parts of HR are becoming a bit dated, even obsolete. And foremost on my list is the role of a recruiter. As the War for Talent wages on, I would say that both sides (Talent and Business) are losing. And recruiters are on the front line of the business side of this “war”, in the trenches, scouting for talent, interrogating and hopefully capturing them, using tried tools of the trade to win the daily skirmishes.
But like most “wars”, new weapons are being brought to bear that can turn the tide and win the war. In the War for Talent, it is the technology tools that, in my mind, can make the biggest difference. So bear with me as I outline the advance of technology in the recruiting ranks and where I believe they might lead us to, thereby causing the recruiters to potentially seek new jobs themselves.
My premise is that a hiring manager has a better idea of what is needed. What skills, experience, behaviors, cultural alignment, and potential to become optimal in the company are needed in their domains of control, are things I feel can be best articulated by the hiring manager. Being the first step, it sets the tone for the remainder of the process. And it is here where new technology can assist the manager in crafting a description of the work assignment that will outline experience, skills, behaviors, culture, learning styles, and potentials for the right person. The use of job descriptions puts HR in the role of fitting something in a box. In all honesty, we should be hiring for potential, not just can you do the current job. We need to make the job somewhat dynamic, just like the person we would want to occupy that assignment. A well described assignment might include the behaviors of other successful candidates, the experience they GAINED before leaving that job compared to what they had at the outset. Looking at the environments that led to success, matching that to a candidate to assess fit in that environment, and to analyze whether this person is a good long-term fit to the company and the objectives. Recruiting software in existence today can accomplish all that, sorting through several THOUSAND resumes to find a select few that warrant the time of an interview. The process now includes all the candidates being assessed at the top of the “funnel” instead at the end of the process and truly matching ALL the parameters of the assignment as now rewritten to include the parameters I have described. And further, the technology enables assessment of the manager’s fit to the candidate, the team/unit environment fit, not just company cultural fit. The vast amount of data gained from candidates in this process might yield some new thinking in recruiting, but more on that in a bit.
So, now that you have the potential candidates, can coordination for an interview be created technically? Absolutely, and ask any good administrative assistant what tools works well in coordinating calendars towards the objective of a meeting/interview. But again, the thinking around this is held back because we feel we must SEE the candidate in front of us. The techie in me says, use a meeting tool, one that supports visualization and audio, can accommodate document sharing, recordings for record keeping, the ability to share the interview with others if needed, and be able to be offered on a mobile platform. All that really is left is selecting a mutual date and time (for those globally, this is accommodated much more easily).
The last process needed is to develop an offer and have it accepted. We may need to insert processes of background checks, but the technology offered in this area is immense. Furthermore, technology allows for bench checking the compensation guidelines, previous compensation of predecessors, performances, objectives met/unmet, alignment with company policies, and providing a check/balance on who signs off on the offer before being presented. Once that offer is sent, again technology can efficiently and effectively guide the candidate to be on boarded in record time. This may resolve a problem plaguing recruiters, getting them “in the door” quickly and acclimated into the assignment.
Another area of technology gain is that, as mentioned with the “top of the funnel” assessments, another manager can leverage those who applied (i.e., know they would like to work for the company) and see if another part of the organization could use their skills. No candidate should be left behind because a recruiter missed them. And extending this thinking to the existing workforce, use the assessments to move (or churn) the workforce, giving new opportunities to employees and contractors. It helps to resolve one of the top problems or retention – giving further opportunities to a person for advancement or at least learning new skills.
So, where have I mentioned a recruiter in the process? Not at all, posing my lead in that recruiters should be looking.