Remember the time you were in University, College or Graduate School?

Remember how you got there?

Was it a selection process or an elimination process?

Chances are it was the latter. You probably did not realise it then but you made it because the system eliminated your peers based on certain filter criteria – Overall Position, GPA, community service etc. If we look at the science of immunology we can clearly see that our very existence depends on our body’s ability to distinguish self from non – self. Essentially we eliminate what’s not ours.

University or College admission and immunology may not readily have much to do with recruiting but they offer an insight about current recruitment technology and how experts are increasingly viewing it. Recruiting technology has come a long way from the job boards of the early internet. The story today is about marketing of jobs and sophisticated applicant tracking and recruitment marketing systems. It’s not uncommon to see inbox mails from websites trying to sound personal with jobs from companies. However, are current recruiting systems any more sophisticated than an elimination system instead of being a selection system? We certainly disagree. In our travels and customer interactions, we see increasing urges to automate (good) but an unnecessary dependence on technology to make elimination decisions (bad) instead of selection decisions i.e. number of years of experience, availability of certain degree etc. The kind of filtering that relies on the presence of certain buzzwords in a candidate’s resume or cover letter is definitely not the best way to make a talent judgment.  I wonder how the decision not to hire Brian Acton was made?

The aim should always be selection and not rejection. That can be done well with a mix of technology and human intervention. When an organization automates key recruiting tasks, then it frees up time to do the in-person tasks better… sure, but automation cannot replace human intervention early in the process.   Let’s face it communication should start well before the process starts, talent pooling, prospect engagement and talent community groups are all essential tools for best practice talent acquisition. 

A better selection process therefore can start with better targeting of jobs to candidates based on your current engagement and understanding of the ‘addressable market’.

Organisations should be looking at using intelligent, interactive and multichannel approaches to building relationships with the best candidates. The entry process for engagement should be personal and engaging instead of being frustrating and long winded or based on multiple barriers of testing and automated decisions. In fact more power to candidates’ yields surprisingly good results.

Research from SAP’s Performance Benchmarking studies suggests that there is 17% higher employee engagement for organizations in Asia Pacific where external and internal applicants are able to place themselves in a talent pipeline according to their own interests or goals.    

Recruiting technology can surely evolve to select better candidates but the onus lies in using a right mix of technology and human intervention, before, during and after hire.

Brent Kielly with Raghu Pant

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