October 21, 2019

Talent Acquisition is Busted

I have spent a good deal of time over the last several months researching and learning how companies source, select, and onboard employees. What prompted me to begin this research, was a call I received from a job seeker. I listened patiently to this persons 15 minute rant of how HR had convoluted the application process and how did anyone ever find a new company or a company find talented employees?   I explained from my experience how the hiring and selection process had changed over the years and how it worked. I later sat down and documented the application and hiring flow as it was and realized that yes, he was right. The process is busted.

So this is how the process works in many companies. An Applicant Tracking System was purchased so that the application process is automated and potential employees can apply online. I have heard that in some cases hundreds of resumes are received for a single job. Most companies do not have the manpower to review and screen that kind of volume of applicants.  Some systems look for key skills and experiences for a match to rate the applicant against the criteria. The application is scored and posted in the system for review by the recruiter, or designated person responsible for reviewing applications and resumes against the preset criteria. In many cases the recruiting function is an entry level position, with only 1-3 years of experience in recruiting. The recruiter then determines if the person is worthy of moving further through the process.

The recruiter or designated person then calls the individual for a phone interview. In most cases this is to review the person’s education, past duties and responsibilities and to discuss why they are making a change. A decision is made as to whether or not this person should be brought in for an interview.

The candidate is then interviewed by a human resource professional or the hiring manager. There may be prepared questions, or the hiring manager may create their own questions. Some companies have a third interview process/policy or move right to the offer. The position is filled.
What could possible go wrong in this process?

So what happened to the other 237 applicants who submitted resumes and applications? Sometimes a computer generated rejection letter is sent, or there is no further contact with that applicant.

I am sure that there were many qualified applicants and the companies found the perfect fit. Or did they? What about the other 237 applicants and the potential they could bring to that company for innovation and execution? Did the applicant tracking system maximize the ability to screen for past success and future potential? Or did the company hire an individual that was a referral from a current employee? Or was the position filled from within?  All great options, but was the person with the most potential selected?

How do potential employees describe your pre-employment employee experience?

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