The Good News and Bad News About Relying on Technology to Recruit

January 21, 2015

The good news about recruiting technologies: they allow recruiters to be more efficient hiring the people your company has always hired.

The bad news: you’ll never be able to hire stronger people than your current average, since technology eliminates the outliers.

The solution: to raise the talent level at your company, you need to short-circuit the technology and go high-touch.

Let me set the stage and make my case. Then you be the judge. Record your verdict here.

10 Reasons Why Technology Can Only Clone a Company’s Workforce, Not Improve It

1. Skills and experience matching eliminates high-potential and diversity candidates who by definition have achieved more with a different mix of everything.

2. It’s difficult for hiring managers to attract and hire people stronger than themselves unless the hiring manager’s boss intervenes. This is a high-touch process.

3. Assessment tests are designed to filter out people who don’t meet the company’s current standards for personality style, cultural fit, EQ and IQ. This eliminates the opportunity to improve the current standards.

4. The best people will only take assessments tests after they understand the career opportunity the job represents. This is a high-touch process.

5. Filtering people on compensation eliminates those who are making more but might be willing to compromise if the job offers more stretch and growth potential.

6. Title filtering eliminates those who might have done comparable work elsewhere with a different title and those who are ready for a promotion.

7. Industry filtering eliminates those from industries that do similar work better.

8. A transactional process will not work when the supply of active candidates is less than the demand. Weeding out the weak is high-tech. Attracting the best is high-touch.

9. A focus on efficiency, minimizing mistakes and cost reduction – hiring at scale – ensures those outside of the norm on the high side are eliminated from consideration since they require more time and information to evaluate their alternatives.

10. Generic employer branding and recruiting messages are designed to attract people who are just starting out or who see being part of a like-minded group as important. The best people need to be attracted via custom messaging that appeals to their more discriminating needs.

8 Reasons Why High-Touch is Essential for Raising the Talent Level

1. As a percent of the total workforce, the bulk of the best people for any job are passive. Finding and recruiting these people for high-demand and critical positions takes a personal approach and extra effort.

2. Passive candidate recruiting is, by definition, a high-touch, consultative selling process. It’s comparable to selling any complex product to a savvy and discriminating buyer who doesn’t need your product and has multiple options.

3. The best people, whether active or passive, want to understand the actual job requirements and the impact on the company before they’ll even engage in a conversation. Providing this is a high-touch process.

4. The best people, whether they’re active or passive, require more time to understand the long- and short-term potential of a career move. This is a high-touch process.

5. Persistence is the essence of passive candidate recruiting. Recruiters need to narrow the field of potential prospects and maximize the yield. This is a high-touch process on steroids.

6. The role of the hiring manager is expanded since the candidate’s decision hinges on the leadership and potential of this person as much as on the content of the job and the quality of the organization. This is a high-touch process.

7. Just like any complex selling process, recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to fully articulate real job needs in order to conduct needs analysis. This can’t be mass produced.

8. Raising the talent bar requires more in-depth interviews that involve more time, more training and more effort. The Performance-based Interview makes this almost painless, but it does take extra time to gather the evidence to make a valid assessment.

While efficiency and cost control are worthy objectives, when it comes to hiring extraordinary people, it is counterproductive. High-tech is a transactional process. High-touch is transformational. And any company that wants to hire stronger people needs to be transformational.

What’s your verdict?

* image by Jarleon-Fotografía

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