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Something Technology Can Never Do: A Fully-Automated Recruiting Strategy Actually Hurts Productivity in the Long-Run

For the last 18 years, I’ve spent a great deal of time talking with clients about their recruiting strategies and consulting with them to help improve the fruit of their labors.

More and more, I encounter a recruiting strategy that resembles the following scenario:

Typical Recruiting Scenario:

Step 1: IT manager with a staffing need develops a detailed job description outlining technical skills and rate requirements.

Step 2: IT manager emails the job description to recruiting resource(s).

Step 3: Recruiting resource(s) cut / paste job description into a job board posting (internal or external).

Step 4: IT professionals in need of work search job boards and respond to those postings they think they are interested in (based on job descriptions and rates). Meanwhile, recruiting resources conduct buzzword searches and find resumes that seem to match with the job description.

Step 5: Recruiting resources email resumes that seem like they could be a good match to IT managers. They’ve called some of these candidates, some they haven’t; either way, most are not screened beyond a single phone call.

Step 6: IT manager sifts through resumes and tries to identify those candidates worthy of an interview.

Sound familiar? I hope not! There is one key theme woven through this course of action: absolutely zero human contact.

I realize I am talking to IT gurus, but hear me out. Technology is, no doubt, very attractive. And job boards should, indeed, be one component of an overarching recruiting strategy. The issue starts when technology is the main channel relied upon to find great people. Technology, in all its glory, just cannot do that.

insITe: Why? Because, no matter the technical nature of a position, recruiting for that position is a human contact sport. The best recruiters take the time to understand the environment in which the desired employee (a human) will work and the characteristics / skills that enable someone (a human) to be effective in that environment. They then leverage their network of (human) contacts to source potential candidates (humans) and take the time once again to understand those candidates – including their knowledge, skills, abilities, goals, interests, work history – to ensure they have what it takes to succeed in this position or the next.

This being the case, person-to-person networking is the absolute most effective method used to attract the best talent; bar none. By speaking directly with people you know, you can obtain referrals for individuals that are personally vouched for. Those are the guys and gals you want in your company.

The flip side of the recruiting equation — the candidate — is also better off from a networking-based recruiting strategy. Would you, superior IT talent that you are, ever consider taking a position emailed to you by a stranger? How much more willing would you be to consider the position if you received a call from a recruiter your best friend trusts and who is able to discuss the company, the position, and all the gritty details in depth?

No one can deny the value of technology to our modern lives. There’s just one thing I know it cannot accomplish: fill your open positions with the best talent the market has to offer.

Author: Mike McSally, Vice President of Enterprise Operations at Allegis Group

About TEKsystems®

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