Death Knell of Hiring As we Know It

Take yourself back ten years to the last throws of the Dot.Com Era and compare the difference between the amount of people available for job openings then to what we have today - way too many. When the economy is cooking and there are fewer people seeking work than available jobs, it’s all about finding people to do the work. When you have too many people for the jobs at hand, the real effort lies in making sure you get the right person for the job.

Pity the poor hiring manager that makes a bad hire with so many choices...but it is happening every day.

With hundreds of resumes to paw over for each opening, you’d think making a hire would be easier….think again. Resumes are woefully inadequate for times like these and better assessment methods are needed to uncover the 50 people you get for each job whose resumes all indicate a qualified match. Then consider trying to pick the five or so people out of those to interview for the role. How do you choose? Phone screens? Psychometric tests? Coin flip? Whatever the method, you then need to interview people that are given one chance to make their mark – and one chance for the interviewer, typically within 30 minutes, to make their choice. After 5-6 weeks of time invested (sometimes less), you settle for the best person of the group – I mean how many hiring managers will say all that time was wasted. So, somebody gets the job. That folks is the hiring process for 95% of all jobs…there has to be a better way, right?

There is, well, er…sort of…at least it is somewhat evolving!

I think it is inevitable that the Internet will continue to shape employment initiatives for the better, the way it has since the early 1990’s (OCC, Monster, ATS, Google, etc.), how it evolves will depend on the thought leaders of the employment universe.

For several years now employment focused people have marveled at the opportunity that the Social Web could provide, claiming it as the next frontier of job recruitment. I certainly believe this will happen, but not until human resources and recruitment gives up on the resume as the vehicle for job consideration. A resume does not work at all for Social Networks and goes against the basic doctrine of the Social Web - helping others and genuinely sharing interests, motivations and passions. A resume can never divulge the truest sense of a person. They diminish our skills and demean the complexity of our experiences. Resumes in their simplest context are for screening people out, plain and simple – not much helping or sharing there…

While the employment world comes kicking and screaming to a non resume world (it could take a while…), the Social Web can provide an excellent, world class benefit that hiring authorities can put to great use today. In fact, it has been my prediction that this will help bring the demise of the resume (I’m betting my career on it actually…), and that is providing a career development, training and job hiring process where people actually get into careers that they love, possessing the skills to do the work and getting hired for the right jobs at the companies where they fit in the best.

The last part of the equation is the one that the Social Web offers right now. There is absolutely no reason that a person should get into a job situation where they knew very little about what they were getting themselves into, nor for a hiring manager not to know whether a person they offer a job to has the right interests, motivation, attitude and functional capability to do the job they offer them. The tools at our disposal to evaluate both sides of the hiring equation are available and both parties make a big mistake by not using them. Through the use of Talent Communities, Online Assessments, available Internet data and other Social Media activities – we’ve never had more opportunities available to make the best hiring choice.

I agree that not all companies have availed the public of their employment “brand” and it is a bit more work for a person interested in a company to get a sense of this, but there are plenty of ways to do it (using Linked In to contact a current employee for example, checking Clean Journey’s Career Investment Score, etc.). More importantly, a career minded person has tons of ways to create a Professional Brand and make a Career Investment that will get them noticed and position them to be considered for the work they crave.

For employers with way more resources, there are no excuses. The Social Web provides all the ammunition that is needed to uncover most of what should separate one candidate from another (Twitter, Facebook, Clean Journey, Linked In, Google, etc.). Finding people that have the skill is of course important, but finding people that have the interests and passions to do amazing things with those skills is the key separator to finding the "best" person for the job. The Social Web has and will continue to greatly improve the Quality of Hire for both company and new hire alike, and the benefits that this will provide the overall American Economy should be immense.

A wise person taught me a long time ago that a passionate worker is a hugely productive worker who won’t dream all week about Friday Happy Hour…uncover the passion!

Views: 365

Comment by Heidi on August 14, 2010 at 10:42am

I am curious are these communities built into the company’s internal technology infrastructure? In addition, are the conversations targeted toward topics of interest for the "candidate group?" I would assume the answer to be yes given that a recruiter can only talk up so much about the company. Does the recruiter monitor the conversations and simply let the potential candidates talk shop?

One of the concerns I would have is how do you address the privacy issue. That's a legitimate concern given peoples information can be so easily accessible. Furthermore how do you address non-compete? What happens if the employees current employer finds out they are in the community of let’s say the competitor?

Pam - I agree executive recruitment is another ball game- it is harder in my opinion vs. corporate because it requires a different skill set- with respect to the "headhunting ". You are a sales person, the trusted expert/advisor and the go to person. Furthermore there’s more confidentiality as you are dealing with a hidden market –so to speak.

Building talent communities are not uncommon- they are in essence talent pools but with an online twist and a platform that enables engagement– as recruiters, we create talent pools all the time. In fact, I am assuming the true value of an executive recruiter is their reservoir of resources available or built-in channels to reach the right folks to fill positions.

KC if I am correct you are simply building the talent pools online and providing resources that keep folks engaged. I get it-

Ultimately, I do believe there’s an illusion that with the integration of technology that there are massive amounts of people to fill positions at the drop of a dime. Anyone who had done recruitment knows that’s not true (in economics we call this scare and limited resources); it still takes work to source and attract people to the organization-

KC if I am correct you are suggesting companies can gain a competitive advantage in gaining access to those scare and valuable human resources by creating online channels that enable them to manage applicant flow through a targeted effort. At the end of the day it still takes work in finding and pulling those folks in and engaging them- As my colleague Courtney Hunt over at SMinorgs – says… social media is a new tool for doing the old things.
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 14, 2010 at 11:13am
I'd like to add one particular thought that's been bugging me this whole time. What is this "content" recruiters are supposed to be adding? I found myself stuck in 'the conversation" on Twitter - and month after month the "content" ended up being an endless stream of job hunting tips, resume critiques, interview questions, etc.

Just what Content is a recruiter supposed to add here? I can tell you from my own experience - I bring no content whatsoever when it comes to the disciplines I recruit. I'm a pretty boring contributor to the BLDC vs Induction Motor Design conversation. I wouldn't know the first thing on the difference between choosing Java over MicroSoft as a development so on.....

So who delivers this content? The group managers? That's a laugh. The HR Department? Even more so.

So end the end - just what is this Talent Community - all rallied around your glorious Employment Brand - supposed to be discussing?

Interview tips?
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 14, 2010 at 1:31pm
It looks to me like KC is going to market with a hype to employers that he and his group are going to build a talent community for their company that will eliminate a lot of the need to screen resumes, actually resumes entirely, do individual phone screens and improve the quality of the people they hire by getting to know folks in an online chat room called talent community. Using their well developed skills at determining mental acuity based on what folks say in the er, uh , talent community , they will select the most acuitious and invite them to drop by for a networking event which hiring managers and internal recruiters will attend with no prep to mix and mingle with people who want to work for their company. Since many of the talent community will not be in the zip code or can't get a babysitter there will be online networking events at set times that those assessed by KC and his group will be invited to attend along with all those hiring managers and internal recruiters during evening hours when no one is working, going to school, taking care of family or doing any of the other things that people do other than log on to social network talent communities.

So Here are my questions about this revolunary answer to the problem of getting 50 qualified resumes for every position.

How much is KC and his group charging the client to set up and run their talent community, screen the members of the community to decide who gets invited to the networking events, set up the onsite events or manage the online events.?

Is the talent community open to everyone who clicks on the talent community link on the employers web site? If so it is an open community. Or when someone clicks on the link do they get a form that says, "JOIN", give us your name and your email address so we can sent you emails about positions and networking events?

Now what? Does someone who doesn't want to or can't write a resume or isn't really looking just thinks this company is cool, enter their name or a screen name and their email address or are they required to enter more information as to what they do , how long they have done it, who they work for or don't, what kind of job they are looking for or their number of years experience. Set up a profile , sort of a brief bio, kinda short resume if you will. If that is the case i would suspect that will eliminate 20% of folks who are not looking and the 20% to 75% who do not want their current employer to know they might be kicking around the net looking for a job. Unless they use a screen name, an email address that can't be tracked (where does one get those) and don't put any information on the profile that would be an identifier ,confidentiality would seem to be out the window. If they don't want to enter information they are now not able to join the talent community so there goes the curious, not really looking person who is casting about the net on his company laptop or from the office where everything online is tracked.

But for the sake of marketing hype let's assume that the talent community fills up with the creme de la creme of candidates who are going to engage in meaningful dialog with whoever is getting paid to run this community or is assigned by the company or their legal department to monitor what is being said about the company and by whom.

Now we reach Jerry's question, Content?
If KC and his group are getting paid to manage the content, engage with the community and set up the Q & A as well as evaluating the mental acuity of the members to send out invitations to their events, what happens when a member of the community posts, "What was the total dollar volume of your sales last year?", "What is the reason for most of the turnover you have had in the accounting department this year?". "I see from my research that you have had several discrimination lawsuits in the past few months, what is the deal with those?" "I have applied four times with your company and never even hear back, what's the deal?"

I would guess those would not be answered with any clarity or if they were somebody would have their ass in a sling fast. Or just for grins, let say someone posts, "I have an interview next week with your SVP of Business Development and your Sr. HR executive, what are they like and how should i handle the interview." Hot Damn, now every body in the talent community knows that there is a position in business development so they reach out to the SVP, personally by phone or email with their resume, don't get a response so they are hot. So hot in fact that they decide they didn't get an answer because they are over 50, disabled since they mentioned that in a post or on their profile, female, gay, minority , wanted to get into that company but never sold widgets before or whatever so they fire off a letter to the EEOC or the internal legal department or the CEO. Or do you just take those questions down quick and respond to that person privately. Since folks DO notice MOST of the time when things are taken down if they are engaged in a community, many of the group saw it and or noticed that it had been taken down.

But let's assume for marketing hype that they were answered and everybody was quivering with anticipation about the transparency of the wonderful employment "baaaraannnd". (Gag) The marketing department or the internal recruiter that doesn't have anything else to do is pounding out all kinds of wonderful bullshit that generates exciting response from brilliant people thus getting them invited to the onsite networking event. All 10 of them out of a community of say 50, no wait everybody who looks at the website or applies for a job can click on the talent community link and join...or maybe not, maybe they have to be "invited" (who does that bit of discrimination) but if they can and do and we are getting 100 or so resumes for every position of which 50 fit 100% of the qualifcations and we have say 20 jobs open that's a lot of folks in the community. But whoever is charged with, or is charging for ,screening to improve the quality of hire is picking 10 to invite in for an open house that the company is going to host, pay for, provide security for and require their HR and hiring managers to attend to get to know these people before they interview them or just hire them at the open house. Or does the whole community get invited?

Let's suppose that only 10 are invited to the networking event held at the company offices or is it held at another site in a meeting room sort of like the insurance companies do when they gather up 30 candidates to talk to them about selling insurance? Let's go with 10 who have been selected by somebody. They show up or at least 5 do, 50% turnout is good in any venue. It goes well, KC and the internal recruiter and the hiring managers all really like one of the 5 and decide to move forward with him/her to the next step....which is...Send us your resume please and come in next week to meet the rest of the team for a formal interview. or are we to presuppose that after chatting with someone for a few weeks or months that this person will be hired on the spot at the event without ever presenting a resume or having an interview or filling out an application. Maybe so and hiring is revolunized for eternity, resumes and interviews are replaced by the interaction in the talent community. Assuming of course that the top quality candidate will show up in the flesh at a networking event without knowing if his boss may also be there or someone from HR with his current company. "Certainly was nice not to have seen you here John."

Leaving just one more little question. What happens when the folks who went to the networking event and were identified as riff raff because they showed up looking like a reject from Jersey Shore or it was discovered that although their posting in the community demonstrated passion and interest they were simply a bullshit artist online with no substance in the flesh or just blew smoke about their background in the community. Not getting any traction from the networking event they go back to the community and start posting about how much they enjoyed meeting everyone and want some feedback as to what the company folks thought about them and what is the next step. Or they picked up that they were not well received so they post about it in the community.

What about the other hundreds who didn't get invited and wonder why and post about it. Start writing letters and emails to anybody at the company they can identify as to the crap that goes on in the talent community.

Since the presumption here is that talent communities are going to eliminate resumes, improve the quality of hires and revolunize the way recruiting and hiring is done,how would one handle all the little twists and turns in terms of confidentiality, functionality, legality, transparency and general discontent within any community online or off.

Not to mention keeping Jerry, Pam, myself and thousands of other recruiters as well as the competition from sliding in the online door to see who and what was going on in the talent community and maybe pick up some of those top 20% that were engaging thus hiring or placing them before the next networking event. And don't tell me you can keep recruiters and the competition out. Recruiters are crafty at best with those we don't like but know exsit being slicker than greased owl poopie. If lawyers are already rubbing their hands together about lawsuits against companies who recruit solely online i can only imagine how rich they will get when hiring is done through a limited talent community.

Inquiring minds what to know.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on August 14, 2010 at 1:40pm
You missed something. What about the person who in 'chat' said they were 23 and in fact when they show up for free sandwiches and a 'network' turn out to be a 56 year old man?
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 14, 2010 at 2:01pm
That would be one of those recruiters who wanted to get to the networking event to meet the hiring managers. :)
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 14, 2010 at 2:05pm
Wow Sandra! You sure put some thought into this. Have you considered being a community manager? Lots of that stuff coming up - and you'd be a great fit!

Oh. Wait a minute. Sorry to get your hopes up. There is NO SUCH THING as a talent community. Are there groups of people subscribed to the same social media sites? Sure are. But are they a community? No way. A database is not a community. A list of email addresses is not either.

None of this stuff is real.

But in a larger context Sandra - wouldn't it be far simpler for these companies to just find a recruiter who knows their job and can make these hires happen?
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 14, 2010 at 3:34pm
LOL, it would soon be a very small community based on my lack of patience with lunatics, whack jobs, promoters and loons. Aside from the fact that as social media evolves it is my observation that it is sinking under the weight of free advertising or some grifter trying to make a buck. And producing a generation of twitter, text addicted folks with no sense of when or what to flop out there as they scream for privacy as they text or twitter while driving. Idiots.

But like a lot of things you and i and many other recruiters have seen over decades of watching our industry pals start looking for ways to make money besides doing what they know how to do by trying to build a better mouse trap. I predict that the farce of the "talent community" will be another of those ill fated new hypes that we get to go in and clean up the mess after the new wears off.

Yeppers, Jer. I agree with you totally. Simpler, quicker, more effective, less costly in terms of money, reputation and legal fees. If anybody really believes that a company or any of it's employees or representatives is going to spill their guts online about how it really is or that any candidate or semi interested party is going to either..I have this bridge in Arizona that you need to put at the moat leading up to your "talent community".
Comment by K.C. on August 16, 2010 at 4:38pm
Sorry Sandra - but your extremely long post is based on a handful of incorrect assumptions in your opening was amusing reading though to weave through your hypotheticals- seemed like something a defense attorney would do to sway a jury from an obvious guilty verdict....(unfortunately your guys in jail because your assumptions were wrong...).

Obviously, this is a topic that brings up a lot of energy and I am grateful to all of those that offered opinions in the you would expect, your corporate recruiter colleagues obviously look at this topic a bit differently...

Good Luck and I hope you all find the needle in the haystack!
Comment by K.C. on August 16, 2010 at 4:41pm
Oh yeah - I forgot, Heidi you see things very clearly!
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 16, 2010 at 5:46pm
Well, all i can say buddy is if you are not selling the build and maintain of talent communities you need a new website.


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