I saw a post on FB the other week for the venerable Gerry Crispin that gave me the shivers because it hit way too close to home. He shared the experience a friend of his in a Fortune 50 company went through when an external candidate contacted them and requested to be “unsubscribed.” So what happened next? They…
- Manually deleted him from their ATS.
- Manually deleted him from their mobile front-end provider.
- Manually deleted him from their TRM.
- Manually deleted him from their campus database.
- Manually deleted him from their OnBoarding tool.
- Manually deleted him from their electronic offer letter tool.
- Manually deleted him from their background check provider.
- Manually deleted him from their reference checking tool.
None of their systems were integrated into their ATS and they weren’t using their ATS or their ATS’ certified partners for all of these functions even though some of it was likely possible. (With some compromises—which no one wants to make if they don’t have to.)
Sounds like a nightmare. But it’s not. It’s real. Call this the fate of those who want “best in breed” solutions. And this mess is keeping a lot of TA leaders up at night, exacerbated because there are vendors galore out there right now. And it seems like there’s no single solution to help solve all your needs (or so you think). So you’re then bolting solutions onto your enterprise technology, and now you’ve got a whole other issue from a maintenance perspective. Plus all of the added costs. And then you get a phone call about yet another new solution. Your boss forwards you an email they received about a different shiny object. Oh, and here’s another whiz bang thing to solve all of your woes. It. is. endless. And it’s beginning to get ugly.
So what’s a TA leader to do?
– Get your basics right. First and foremost, get the basics right before you start layering in all this other stuff. Technology can’t and won’t save your soul if you’ve got fundamental issues with your recruiting team, or you lack any kind of decent process (yes, you need that too), and don’t get me started on your nonexistent or unarticulated employer brand.
– Then, decide who you want to be. Before you get too overwhelmed or crazed by all of the tech out there to support your TA efforts, first, make a decision about how you want to lead on behalf of your organization. Are you an innovator? Or are you an early adopter? Often with technology adoption there’s early and late majority status as well as laggards. You could also be what I like to call a fast follower. Decide who you want to be and stick with it so that you can focus on different kinds of technologies and know how to respond. If you do want to be “best in breed” then there may be a price you’ve got to pay with being that… but also keep in mind that best in breed is going to be defined differently by different people. And, best in breed to a candidate might be something else altogether. (Ahem, the basics, folks!)
But if you’re going to be an innovator, know that you’re going to be working with vendors to develop. If you’re an early adopter, you’ll be testing lots of new technologies so by all means, chase those shiny objects. But maybe you’d rather be a fast follower—and that’s OK. Let others test, get the kinks out, figure out what’s gonna flop or flourish… then make decisions from there. But to save your sanity, first, decide who you are, then chase and evaluate technology from there.
– Don’t forget to talk to your friends in other organizations. You aren’t alone… just scroll back up and read what that F50 company had to do to unsubscribe a candidate from their systems. Sound familiar? Chances are, there’s a good bit we can learn from one another about how to use technology to tackle our latest and greatest issue in TA. Or they’ve already demo’d something and can save you time in deciding whether to return that call or not.
– And lastly, maybe most importantly, fight for what you want and need with vendors. Have a read of this nice piece from HR technology analyst George LaRoque.
“We’re entering an age of workforce and HR technology where you get to have your cake and eat it, too. Get the platform to drive the core processes and seamlessly integrate the right apps at the right time.”
But how? Go on, read his post. The real winner in the HR tech space is the informed customer… you don’t have to live life with all of these different pieces of tech laced together to then manage messes like that simple task of unsubscribing a candidate.
You’re in control here—if you demand it.
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.