The 996 Recruiting Schedule!

Tim Sackett ATS, candidate experience, Communication, Digital Interviewing, Driving Productivity, Hiring Managers, Innovation, Mobile, Mobile Recruiting, Policies, Pop Culture, Talent Acquisition, Web/Tech, Work Life Balance

If you didn’t see it, Jack Ma, the co-founder, and billionaire behind Alibaba, was out promoting his own work schedule that’s been dubbed “996”! Basically, Jack works 9 am to 9 pm, six days per week, and sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. 

The internet lost its mind.

And by ‘internet’ I mean mostly soft, not so hard working folks who will never be billionaires, or millionaires, who are probably sitting at home on the internet tweeting about how bad Jack is while he makes his next billion.

Okay, I know, it’s not all about the money. So, let’s skip the money and just talk work schedules and expectations around recruiting. 

Right now, your hiring managers and your candidates do not believe you are only recruiting Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Both sides think you are recruiting all the time–24/7/365!

That makes 996 look like a vacation! 

That’s really your reality. A candidate thinks if they apply to your job at 9 pm on a Friday night, that you are looking at their resume/application at the latest by the next morning. Your hiring managers on Friday afternoon believe when they arrive Monday morning, you will have ‘fresh’ candidates for them. 

By the way, we perpetuate this myth. We never go to our hiring managers and say, “Hey! Guess what, I’m going home for the weekend and I’m doing absolutely nothing to fill your opening! Have a great weekend!” 

We don’t have a flashing sign on our careers site that says “Closed from 5 pm Friday to 8 am Monday–come back and apply then!” But, the reality is exactly that for the vast majority of us hiring talent. 

The question is, can we become ‘that’ recruiter? That 996 recruiter? That 24/7/365 recruiter?

When I take a look at the current capabilities of recruiting technology, I believe that every organization can and should be recruiting, actively, 24/7/365. We have the ability to respond to candidates right now, 24/7/365 with intelligent automation and AI. We can screen candidates right now, 24/7/365. We can set up interviews with candidates, 24/7/365. 

The only thing holding us back is our own willingness to build this machine. To put the pieces together, build the process, and turn it on. 

Automated recruiting scares us.

We don’t trust that it will give us the talent we need and we don’t want to be embarrassed by it. We believe, and we have to believe, that we are better than it. 

Regardless, the expectations are that at a minimum, we are recruiting 996. So, you can either dispel those expectations, meet those expectations by working yourself to death, or exceed them by building a recruiting platform that will deliver. The tools are already available to make it happen. 

FOT Note:  We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask Canvas to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to using new and innovative ideas in recruiting, like using text messaging to interview candidates. If you find yourself thinking, “Hey, I should really look into Canvas!” then go do it, I think you’ll love the technology! 

Tim Sackett

If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.