Recruitment and the BP crises: Why technology can get in the way of top talent

This is less of a blog of thought, and more a blog of questions proposed to all of you.

Recently the BP spill occupied front pages around the globe. Yet with all of our intellectual capacity on earth no one fixed the problem. Why?

I know of several engineers and folks with products that could have aided. They tried to get through. They wrote, they sent emails, they made calls to no avail. Then one day a man drove down to Louisiana and did a face to face with reps. That man now has products or inventions helping in the clean up. A man from Massachusetts knew his "spongy fingers" would work in the salt water and didn't give up. He pushed through the obstacle. The obstacles in this case was technology and response to it. Phone banks, Emails, and Letters went to a centrallized holding tank. The system was created and supported by complex technologies but in the end were only as good as the distribution plan and systems set up to capture them. People and Ideas couldn't get through the gates. Sound familiar? How many resumes get an auto response and never are seen? How many phone calls sit on voicemail or are deleted from recruiter's desks?

Similarly, we plan, we plot, we research and we set into motion all kinds of processes, systems and technologies to aid recruitment and allocation of talent. However, do the good ideas, people and products get through? Do our systems and technologies gather information without dispersing it? Are the decision makers getting the best perspectives or ideas at the table, or have they been bumped into a junkmail pile with a touch of a button?

I would argue very few companies do get the best ideas, resumes and people through technology. Most likely some companies do it well, most do it fairly well, and some are poorly equipped.

It takes the person behind the information, and the information gatherer to confirm the great get through. Now, don't get me wrong--- I love technology and embrace automation. Especially as a compliance and database gathering tool. I just think we need to make sure our systems, process and practices do a little more to confirm that ideas, opportunities, and people get through. We need to focus on the end result of getting top talent in front of our decision makes and that our technology, process and people aren't eliminating potential greats because of poor criteria or work flow.

There are great ideas out there and we will miss them if we don't recognize the ultimate goal and answers reside in People.

What do you think? I would love to hear of your stories, frustrations or wins.


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