According to this blog from the Wall Street Journal, recruitment tools found in HR software have actually posed a difficulty in the hiring process and has even gone as far to becoming a factor in the rise of unemployment. The blog cites an essay written last fall by Professor Peter Capelli of management and human resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“Not surprisingly, his essay drew a lot of response. What did surprise Mr. Cappelli—as he describes in a book, “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs,” to be published in June—was the frequency of complaints about the hiring process itself, particularly the now-ubiquitous use of software to screen applicants.”
Further down the article, it goes on to state that increasing automation of the hiring process is actually responsible for turning away people who would otherwise carry the potential to do the job well. It has also been accused of actually mismatching applicants with positions requiring a different skill set.
It’s a classic case of people being too quick to replace themselves with technology. Now this doesn’t mean that HR systems don’t have their place or shouldn’t be developed anymore. It simply means that you should be very careful about assuming what the clients want.
That is one of the most common mistakes in any lead generation campaign. Whether you reach out to prospects via telephone, direct mail, or email, you should be very careful that you’re not making any unfounded assumptions on what they want. Furthermore, what they want may not even be what’s best for them if you consider how the cited article shows how quickly companies have become dependent on automated hiring. Capelli himself says, “In many companies, software has replaced recruiters… applicants rarely talk to anyone, even by email, during the hiring process.”
That should already give you a reason to rethink the purpose of your HR system. Does it enable this problem or does it actually avoid it?
The best person to give you that answer is the one who’d be most involved in the process. Unfortunately, this is where assumptions come and you start making the mistake that you’ll know what they’re going to ask before they do. In fact, if an attitude like that permeates your software lead generation campaign, it’s a miracle that your representatives would get past the gatekeeper. There’s a reason why you have two ears and a mouth. You need to listen more often than you talk.
What should you listen for? Look back on what Capelli has been saying. The hiring process has been compromised because computers and software systems have replaced actual recruiters. A balance of man and machine must be struck here.
“As anyone who has applied for a job lately knows, the trick is parroting all the words in the job description but not just copying and pasting the text, which leads the software to discard the application. It’s a whole new skill: Clearing the software hurdle is as important as being able to do the job.”
No doubt you want your software to help screen out the less than qualified but do you really want it to the point that it’s made hiring extremely difficult? Of course not. Make sure your lead generation services are capable of going straight to the decision maker and to find out what they really want (or more importantly, what they need).