Career Development

Talent Acquisition is Busted

overwhelmed by HR

I have spent a good deal of time over the last several months researching and learning how companies source, select, and onboard employees, and manage their performance and career development. What prompted me to begin this research was a call I received from a job seeker in 2014. I listened patiently to this persons 15 minute rant of how HR had convoluted the application process and how did anyone ever find a new company?  I explained from my experience how the hiring and selection process had changed over the years and how it worked. I later sat down and documented the application and hiring flow as it was in 2014 and realized that yes, he was right. The process is busted.

So this is how the process works in many companies. An Applicant Tracking System was purchased so that the application process is automated and potential employees  can apply online. I have heard that in some cases hundreds of resumes are received for a single job. Most companies do not have the manpower to review and screen that kind of volume of applicants.  Some ATS  systems look for key skills and experiences, for a match to rate the applicant against that criteria. The application is scored and posted in the system for review by the recruiter, or designated person responsible for reviewing applications and resumes against the preset criteria. In many cases the recruiting function is an entry level position, with only 1-3 years of experience in recruiting. This person then decides if the person is worthy of an interview.

The recruiter or designated person then calls the individual for a phone interview. In most cases this is to review the person’s education, past duties and responsibilities and to discuss why they are making a change. A decision is made as to whether or not this person should be brought in for an interview.

The candidate is then interviewed by a human resource professional or the hiring manager. There may be prepared questions, or the hiring manager may create their own questions. Some companies have a third interview process/policy or move right to the offer. The position is filled.

So what happened to the other 237 applicants who submitted resumes and applications? Sometimes a computer generated rejection letter is sent, or there is no further contact with that applicant.

I actually went online and went through the process myself with several companies. I applied to see what would happen. I went to Linked In and discovered a number of recruiters and hiring managers went to my Linked In profile. Not one of them personally reached out to call, email or make any kind of contact, positive or otherwise. If I have a need for the products and services of this company, what kind of impression do you think these companies left with me? If I, and the other applicant’s value respect for the individual, these companies were not a match for me or anyone else that holds that value.

I am sure that there were many qualified applicants and the companies found the perfect fit. Or did they? What about the other 237 applicants and the potential they could bring to that company? Did the applicant tracking system maximize the ability to screen for past success and future potential? Or did the company hire an individual that was a referral from a current employee? Or was the position filled from within?

I then went looking for the employer’s point of view.

PWC 19th Annual Global CEO Survey states that 72% of CEO’s are concerned about having the right skills to compete in the global marketplace. Of those CEO’s 48% said they plan on adding headcount in 2016.

PWC also discovered that top talent prefers to work for organizations with social values which are aligned to their own. Did the applicant tracking system screen for values, sense of purpose, quality of character, ethical behavior, or leadership potential?

Getting and keeping top talent will be topic we will examine and report winning strategies over the next few months. What is your people process? Is your process busted or cutting edge?