Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should – Do Your Research

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It seems like hardly a day goes by that I don’t get a call or email from an HR or recruiting technology vendor who has something to sell me.

They have seen what I’m working on and it needs to be optimized.

They have a solution that will make our hiring a snap.

They think I loooove all things social media so surely I must want another solution that integrates social.

They have got something to sell… and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Or so they think.

It’s hard to stay on top of the latest and greatest. I cannot read as many blogs as I’d like. I cannot possibly consume all the white papers I download. I do not read all of the email newsletters that I subscribe to. I know where to turn to for great information on new technology and trends, but I can’t keep on top of it. Which makes me nervous because how do I know if what they are selling is any good?

So I’ve been thinking about this lately. And especially so because technology has allowed us to do make huge leaps – but is it really necessary for what we do? Or are we over-complicating things… just because we can?

I have been M.I.A. lately getting some huge launches out the door. New career site with amazing, simple, intuitive search functionality. (Thanks,

Avature.) Our first ever mobile career site which will see ongoing enhancements throughout 2013. (Thanks, Punchkick Interactive.) New employer brand campaign which is being pulled through everywhere. (Thanks, Evviva Brands.) And the commonality with everything we launched? It’s all backed up by research among job seekers and our associates. And loads of it. I’m pretty confident that the approaches we’ve taken make sense for what job seekers have told us they want and need right now. But whenever vendors come a-knocking – I can’t help but wonder… is it what our customers actually want?

It’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of new technology. It’s easy to get distracted by a shiny new object. And you might think it will make your life easier. You might think it will make you look like a hero. But is it right? And does the job seeker or your employee base even want it?

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Do your research. Make sure vendors have done their research. Ask them for it. Make sure they have something solid to back up their strategy and technology. And even if they have, ask yourself… is this what the people really want?

Think twice my friends.

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FOT Background Check

Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee is director of digital talent strategy for Marriott International. In this newly minted role, she leads their talent related digital and social media efforts for the Marriott International family of brands... which means she blogs, tweets and plays on Facebook all day. Kind of. In what she'll quickly tell you is her dream job, JLee is working to differentiate and position Marriott to most effectively optimize innovative technologies to address the brand's business needs in the talent space.  Check out the baseline of what Marriott has done on Facebook, or in this profile via Fortune Magazine in which they are called out as a social media star. Pretty freaking cool what they've done already... and she'll work to take it even further to the next level. Don't be fooled by that fancy pants digital stuff though, she's still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade or so into trench HR life... she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat. Talk to Jessica via EmailLinkedInTwitter or Facebook... See Jessica's riffs and rants on Fistful of Talent here...

One Comment

  1. Jared says:

    I feel this to be a very strong point, and see parallels from this in the gamification movement that has begun to rapidly invade selection processes. I am in no way against technology in selection (quite the opposite, actually), but am seeing disturbing trends popping up in terms of client requests for selection systems. More and more companies are asking about game-based selection systems involving avatars, and other cutting edge technological applications, without really having a rationale behind their desires or understanding of the science behind the processes. This issue is that people start hearing buzz words or seeing flashy presentations at conferences etc. and feel they need to jump onto the technology train without giving any thought to whether or not it is appropriate for their organizational needs. Some selection companies are salivating at this opportunity, as the bells and whistles can hide flaws in the systems themselves, making it even more critical that this issue is brought to light before hoards of organizations begin making irresponsible decisions based on what they think they should want. Ultimately, the system has to be sound, and the technologically innovative aspects need to serve a specific purpose, other than just “looking cool”.

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