The Cost of Dated Recruiting Processes

April 5th, 2017

Jon-Mark Sabel

Recruiting Teams

skull and crossbones

When innovation is driving technological change faster than ever before, waiting for the market to settle might seem like the safest option. And in many cases, it is: tech solutions that automate mundane tasks often aren't a business necessity; the work they perform could just as easily be done by a human employee.

Talent Acquisition does not have the luxury of taking this "wait-and-see" approach. As we'll explore in this article, falling behind the TA process curve comes with its own unique costs. Toward the end we'll look at some places to evaluate and set a foundation for implementing solutions that provide real results.

The Cost of Staying Stagnant

You don’t need to look far to observe the cost of stagnancy. Think of the thousands of online “entrepreneurs” with big dreams, meager research, and nonexistent action. Chances are there’s a billion-dollar idea floating around somewhere among the eternally procrastinating - but we’ll never know. That’s the cost of stagnancy.

The same idea applies (albeit to a lesser extent) when it comes to implementing business change.

Why It Matters To Talent Acquisition

The Talent Acquisition function quite literally holds the future of the organization in its hands. The consequences of decisions made (or not made) in the present will snowball into the distant future - for better or for worse.

The most fitting example of this comes from an organization’s ability to hire top talent.

Look at what happens when a top performer is acquired:

top performer  

Now compare that to an average performer:

average performer  

See how the competitor gained because they acquired the top performer?

poor performer  

Needless to say, hiring a poor performer creates the least desirable outcome.

Of course, this is a huge oversimplification. “Top performers” might be characterized by any number of metrics, and organizations might define them differently. Chances are, there isn’t a single “top performer” for each role - and there certainly exists more than one competitor.

The attraction of talent is not so much a zero-sum game as the above example makes it out to be, but I hope it is clear that every decision comes with a cost distinct from its immediate effects.

The Burgeoning Tech Sphere

The number of start-ups and single-solution tech vendors is growing at such a rapid rate that it is difficult for the average professional to keep pace.

With so many options to choose from, it might be tempting to try and wait out the storm, letting the market decide which are the best.

Consider HR automation software. Automating mundane administrative duties, like replying to frequently asked questions and tracking vacation time, frees up a huge amount of time for the HR professional.

That time could be reassigned to any number of “higher level” tasks, like handling disputes and providing data-driven business advice. But while such a thing would certainly be nice to have, most functions could get by with putting it off for a few years (or hiring an additional HR professional to do the administrative work).

The same cannot be said for Talent Acquisition.  

Why Talent Acquisition Cannot Afford to Stay Stagnant

We established earlier that the decisions Talent Acquisition make have snowballing effects. As the function charged with (quite literally) creating and refining the organization, the TA function holds a huge responsibility. They cannot afford to take the wait-and-see approach.

Why? Because the people you hire now are the future of the organization.

Or, in a more roundabout way: the people you don’t hire now (but could) represent a huge opportunity cost.

"Doing Something" vs. "Buying Everything"

Every hiring situation is unique. To say that there is a single solution with applications for any and all business would be a lie. In the same way, most organizations do not need every type of TA solution on the market.

Just like some professionals are too hesitant to invest, many buyers are far too trigger happy. It is important to strike a happy medium: investing in too many solutions at once is sure to drive down adoption among front-line recruiters and talent sourcing professionals. And it doesn't matter how great a solution is if nobody uses it.

First Steps

As mentioned above, every hiring situation is unique. To best leverage tech in order to hire top performers, consider investigating these three aspects of the hiring process:

  1. Time to Hire. A long time to hire makes it easy for competitors to snipe your top candidates. On the other hand, a short time to hire gives you a key advantage.
  2. Quality of Hire. There's little point in making a speedy hire if it turns out to be a poor one. Look into ways of quickly assessing talent before it jumps ship.
  3. Candidate Experience. The best performers can afford to be picky in choosing where to apply. If your application is a bloated mess, you'll drive the best candidates to drop off. Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate and go through your standard hiring process. Identify troublesome points and investigate what can be done to improve them.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of Talent Acquisition tech can be tough. Before looking for solutions that provide a competitive advantage in hiring top performers, it is critical to get a feel for where you own process can improve.

Maybe you find that your candidate experience is like Virgin Media's - so terrible it is negatively impacting the organization's bottom line. In which case, addressing problems in your application process is a good place to start.

Or perhaps you do a great job identifying the best talent, but end up losing them to a lethargic hiring process. In this case, removing steps from the process and boosting efficiency might be a good starting point.

No matter what the potential pitfall, it is critical to have a grasp on the issues you have before running headfirst into the world of Talent Acquisition technology.

Want to learn what bleeding edge Talent Acquisition functions are doing to stay on top of the talent shortage?

Learn about the "New Rules" these innovative departments are following to stay competitive with this SlideShare.