All Of Your Rules Make You Suck At Recruiting!

Tim Sackett Communication, Driving Productivity, job postings, Recruiting, Smashfly, Tim Sackett

I would never call myself a ‘road warrior’ but I fly frequently. Many people have a fear of flying but I never have, even after 9/11, but I can definitely see why people have this fear. Before the 1990’s, planes had a small habit of randomly just falling out of the sky! The FAA would do an investigation and find some seemingly small part culprit made by some small parts supplier to the major airline builder. It might be a cable or some other small component.

Massive quality improvements were made by the industry putting millions of rules and checks and balances in place. Now, almost no planes randomly fall out of the sky. Then 9/11. So, we make more rules, new, different checks. Locked cockpit doors. Soon pilots begin flying loaded planes into the sides of mountains, so more rules are put into place. No longer can one pilot be alone in a cockpit.

Rules, upon rules, upon rules. Eventually, there is a diminishing return on your rules.

We do this in recruiting and HR, constantly!

At first, the process and rules we put in place are to help us be compliant, then it’s to help us be efficient, then it’s to help us be strategic. All along, the processes and rules keep piling on top of each other.

We have too many applicants. Okay, let’s add some things into the job description, like requiring a bachelor’s degree, to help pare down the number of applicants we get.  Now we can’t get enough bachelor degreed candidates with the experience we need. Let’s make an internship program so we can build our own candidate pool.

Still, don’t have enough applicants. Probably better call the agencies and see if they can help for a 25% fee per hire. Might help if we just had a better brand, we need to build a better brand and have put a bunch of money toward that. I bet we can get candidates because our candidate experience sucks, we should throw money at that as well, and fix that problem.

All of this, over one rule, an education requirement initially put in place to limit applications. Now, this isn’t a post about companies eliminating the requirement of formal education in their job descriptions, although probably 75% of positions could and it would have little impact to the quality of hire you make!

This is a post about understanding each rule, each process step, that you institute comes with a price. The more complex you make your recruiting process, the more information you require, you’ll begin to see diminishing returns for greater cost.

Simplicity in recruiting is the hardest thing you’ll ever accomplish. A one-click apply process. Limited process steps from candidate to hire. Frictionless recruiting. Rules add friction. The goal of every TA leader should be to eliminate as many rules as possible.

In the world of recruiting, Agency recruiters have very few rules. Go find talent, at any means necessary. Almost no rules. You put that same high-functioning Agency recruiter into a corporate recruiting role and instantly they turn into your average corporate recruiter. Why? Rules. We don’t recruit from this company. We don’t use that site. We don’t call after this time. We’re not allowed to do this. OFCCP makes us do this. Etc.

Your rules are making you suck at recruiting. If you were to blow up your TA function tomorrow and start over, what rules would you eliminate?