Even as kids we all realized something… when you ask “what’s for dinner?” and the answer is “leftovers,” Mom was out of time, patience, or energy. No matter the reason, dinner was going to be, as they say, “sub-par.”
Edible? Sure, it’s edible, but so is tree bark. Leftovers just aren’t the same.
But guess what? [metaphor alert] You just described most corporate recruiting “menus.” Your recruiters are overwhelmed, out of time, out of patience, and out of energy. There’s no opportunity to make a home-cooked meal, only to utilize whatever short-cut is available. Give it a shot some time; take 70 requisitions, add 120 applicants to each one, plus a hiring manager yelling “What’s for DINNER!?”—it’s chaos. Options are limited, so into the fridge you reach and out comes Tuesday’s meatloaf.
How does this happen? It’s not hard to explain really: We post a job, blast it to the masses, pray for applicants, then begin the process of weeding through the chaff as quickly as possible. A recruiter finds 5 or 6 resumés that fit the profile, then moves on to the next requisition. A recruiter with only 10 open requisitions might even review the rest of the candidates in the queue to make sure no stone has gone unturned. Some might even contact them as a courtesy. But, like unicorns and Bigfoot, that particular recruiter remains elusive. More likely, your corporate recruiters are carrying 30, 40, 50+ requisitions tied to an ATS designed to capture as many candidates as possible. The result is an unmanageable flow of candidates, a frustrated recruiter, and a hiring manager left with cold pizza. That’s not even considering the candidate, who feels the impact of this issue manifested in silence. 80% of online applicants hear nothing in response, and half of those never had their information looked at, much less considered thoughtfully. The buzz term is “candidate experience,” but it might more accurately be called “customer experience.” Candidate, customer, either way—the result is bad for the company.
Imagine if you managed a Luby’s and decided to serve nothing but leftovers; you’d be shutting the doors within a week, right? Yet we perpetuate an obviously flawed recruiting process for our internal function, while paying a premium to external recruiters to cook from scratch. What’s a girl to do?
John Briggs thinks he knows the fix. Briggs, Chief Xperience Officer for HoopsHR, understands the dynamic better than most:
“It’s not a fair fight for the [corporate] recruiter. You have a system set up to accumulate resumés, but no real way to engage with the candidate. ” He speaks truth. When you measure for “Time to Fill” it only exacerbates the situation. But let’s be honest, these are problems of the recruiter, not the hiring manager. The expectation is still the same—the best talent in the least amount of time.
For the recruiter who discovers a solution to this problem, the world is your oyster.
And not the leftover variety.
John Whitaker (“Whit”) is Vice President of Talent Acquisition for DentalOne Partners and the founder of HRHardball.com (2008). He specializes in building and developing strong recruiting teams who are unafraid of “kicking the ant pile.” Like most Texans, he loves to tell a story (especially those that include an armadillo or a poker game) and cutting through the chaff…don’t take it personal.