QUESTION: Dear Bert, Technology and the increased use of social networking appear to make recruiting, screening and referencing easier and more automated. Do you use these tools and do you think they simplify the hiring process? Thank you. (From JT, Chief Operations Officer)
ANSWER: Dear JT, Thank you for your note. I frequently hear questions on this topic. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn among others have become parts of everyday discussions. Social networking has gained full acceptance in our business lives. It only makes sense for it to be applied to recruiting and hiring.
First, let’s define: The goal of good recruiting. The answer: Hire a long term, valuable asset to your organization. Good recruiting should be measured beyond the candidate simply accepting your offer. The measurement should be the employee’s tenure and contributions made following the hire.
Before we view it as the “Holy Grail”, let’s think about what we did prior to social networking and technology. In earlier years, good recruiting involved determining the requirements, identifying candidates, screening, interviewing, reference checking and finally hiring. These are the same steps and processes that are used today and likely will continue into the future.
So, where is the use of current technology and social networking most useful? I find these tools to be best in identifying potential candidates. Technology has made it easier and faster to access information. Social networking has made it easy for people to promote their qualifications, offer their opinions, highlight their accomplishments and raise their visibility.
Candidates can be identified through numerous means that include networking, postings and tools including LinkedIn. However, identifying a potential candidate through technology tools and social networking tools does not necessarily mean they are ready to be hired. Candidate identification should not be confused with candidate development and recruiting.
Once a candidate is identified, the recruitment process remains in the early stage. Quality time needs to be invested by the hiring manager in getting to know the candidate. A critical part of good recruiting includes cultural fit and chemistry. Technology makes it appealing to accelerate hiring. Screening, interviewing and referencing still need to be completed prior to making an offer. Technology does not replace live discussions and in-person meetings.
While there is a temptation to take short cuts, be reminded that the goal of good recruiting is a long-term hire. Recruitment should not be measured by the number of candidate resumes or influenced by a hiring quota timeline.
Without following the recruitment process, there is a risk that you have not developed chemistry with the candidate and don’t know them. At the same time, the candidate has not had time to get to know the new employer. Short-cutting recruitment steps can lead to a failed hire where either the new employee leaves within a few months of being hired or is dismissed during the first 6 months because they were not a good fit. The total cost of a failed hire is significant which can mostly be avoided by remaining committed to good recruitment practices.
The tools of technology will continue to evolve. The tools offer us automation and simplify our business lives. They are still tools for us to choose or not choose.
Hope you found this to be helpful. Best of luck.