Thursday, November 12, 2015

1960's Recruiting in 2016!

Remember the 1960’s? Well, there are two generations – and currently a third generation (who are becoming teenagers as we speak), who don’t.

If you were a candidate, there were three primary ways for you to find a job.

1) Complete an application, drop it off with the Personnel Department, and hope the company called you.
2) Become known as a contributor in your current company and be recruited by a recruiter or someone within another company who knows your impacts.
3) Network with people who could help introduce you to another company – “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know!” became a mantra.

If you were the Personnel Department, you ran a newspaper ad and waited for responses, looked at them, decided if they were a potential fit and either interviewed them or filed their resume in a file drawer.  You reached out to a trusted third party recruiter or opened the job up for every 3rd party recruiter to submit resumes.  If you were lucky, a hiring manager would just call someone they knew and set up an interview.

In 2015, many companies have the same process, only today it is automated. The name “Personnel Department” has mostly become obsolete. Today, we have Human Resource Departments that have the responsibility for Talent Acquisition.  Instead of Recruiters, we have Talent Acquisition Specialists.  Instead of Human Resource Directors, we have Human Resource Business Partners.

How do many of those Human Resource Departments recruit today? They run an automated newspaper ad on one or more Job Boards. “Automated newspaper ad?” CareerBuilder was founded by two newspaper publishing companies.
Many companies post their positions on their websites.  That is very positive.  Unfortunately the positions are hidden under layers of marketing, almost as if to create the perception that talent acquisition is an afterthought.  If recruiting is a priority, it needs to reflect that priority on the company website.
In the mid-2000’s Social Media Recruiting became all the rage!  Unfortunately, using the premise of Behavioral Interviewing (that people revert to their original behavior when under stress), many companies jumped into Social Media Recruiting prior to understanding the time and monetary cost, not to mention how to disengage from unqualified candidates who wanted to remain engaged (read Embrace Social Media…? ).  Then they jumped back out.

When candidates reply, what are they required to do in many companies? Complete a six to seven (or more) page application prior to any conversation or mutual interest; and hope they receive a reply from the Talent Acquisition team. That process is called “Posting and Praying.”  Therefore in the model of 1960’s recruiting, instead of wandering to Personnel for an application, they wander to the website where they are forced to complete an application.
It is far better to attract or engage candidates prior to requiring them to complete an application.  It is a small tweak in process that may result in very positive results because the company is now engaging with the candidate and gaining their confirmed interest prior to asking for an application – the social part of social media.

Today instead of filing the resume/application in a file drawer, it is filed in an applicant tracking system (Thank Goodness! At least that way you may be able to find the resume in the future!).

The applicant tracking systems that promote that process are partially correct. Clerks should be able to run that process. Unfortunately recruitment is not a clerk process. It is a sales process and successful companies treat it as such.

Successful corporate recruiting professionals understand the psychology behind recruitment. They understand that candidates do not like to make big, life changing decisions. They help them make little decisions that lead to the obvious conclusion – offer acceptance and starting the new job.

As our economy slowly improves, companies will begin to open new positions for growth and to replace retiring Baby Boomers. The clerk based recruiting teams will suffer in that environment as their applications dwindle; and they won’t understand why.  Instead they will ask “Where can we spend more money to post our positions?”

Meanwhile the successful corporate recruiting professionals will have the opportunity to choose and recruit the most promising candidates - who will no longer follow the 1960’s processes.

It is time to move recruitment to 2016. Utilize the tools available in the way that attract candidates. Beware of processes that repel candidates. It is important to tweak a recruiting process first, verify positive results.  Then tweak it more.  Companies that try to change recruiting processes (while possibly needed) will meet resistance.  Tweaking is easier and changing is harder.

Bill Humbert is available for speaking and training contracts.   435-714-4425

©1999-2016 B. Humbert – Provocative Thinking Consulting, Inc. – USA 01-435-714-4425 The right to reprint is hereby granted, as long as the copyright notice and contact information remain with the article.