Automation is wonderful if it helps you become more efficient and productive with your time. There are a plenty of tools and technology that do just that. So far, however, there aren’t any such advancements completely capable of hiding overt laziness. A few examples:
Bullhorn Reach job postings – Being a prominent fixture in the recruiting world, Bullhorn is widely used as a job ad distributor across multiple interactive sites. The problem is many users seem to mistake the ease of use of that feature as an excuse for poor communication. While I’ve never personally used their products, I would imagine there are ways to customize and deliver job opportunity details in an informative and interesting manner. Yet, most, if not all ads I see lead with “know anyone for this job” or “I’m hiring” or “are you a fit for this job” rather than something original and attractive to the target audience. Even worse, based on what I see on my timeline, it seems that plenty of recruiters have these blasting out on autopilot mode. When I keep seeing the same ad over and over, it makes me wonder if they simply suck at recruiting or if maybe they are too oblivious to notice that they’ve been pushing out the same stale ad for weeks or months even after the position has been filled. Either way, none of the above practices leaves a positive impression.
LinkedIn connection requests – Despite countless “how to” lists and other user tips and recommendations for leveraging LinkedIn, the vast majority of users simply rely on the generic and unappealing default text along the lines of “I’d like to add you to my network” or “please connect with me in LinkedIn” or “I’d like to network with you on LinkedIn” all of which lack any personal touch whatsoever. It makes no sense that you are interested enough to want to network with someone, yet can’t be bothered to actually extend a professional greeting. (While your're at it, don't forget to change the gibberish LI URL to something that matches your identity).
LinkedIn InMail – For those fortunate enough to have a budget for any of the upgraded LinkedIn functionality, using InMail can be a useful way to get in contact with people that might fit current search criteria. That said, it is such a shame that so many recruiters fail to engage with prospects in a meaningful way. While bad form on InMail is not complained about nearly as much as some other behaviors, it can certainly frustrate recipients. I regularly hear from people that get contacted for entirely unrelated roles, positions way outside their geographic location and plain old poorly written, cheesy, spammy communication that get instantly deleted. There’s really no excuse for not being more attentive to obvious mis-matches and candidate turn-offs.
Automatic distribution of articles – I subscribe to multiple industry publications and read an inordinate amount of online content from a variety sources each day. Many peers and others in the field do the same. One thing I notice is that several people have their “newsfeed” or RSS set to push out articles to their contacts and followers. It’s hard to tell if they’ve even been read, but I constantly see simultaneous tweeting of the same article by several separate individuals. There’s nothing wrong with sharing articles that you enjoyed and think others might also care to see, but when it is done in a robotic fashion it just adds clutter.
Multi-channel messages – Most of us use at least a few major social media sites on a regular basis. Perhaps the general population does so as well. One of the most annoying (thankfully eventually eliminated) practices people previously used was combining their LinkedIn status with their Twitter feed. While that is no longer automatic, there are still people that connect multiple social sites and send out identical content to each. In some cases this means a person could end up viewing every posting repeatedly if they happen to also use and be connected to the messenger on multiple sites.
Whether posting jobs, adding new contacts to your network, interacting with prospects or sharing information with others, automation can create short-cuts or cut short the amount of attention people pay.