The drive to hire, under the guise of ‘talent acquisition’ – which sounds more about commodities than people – continues to move closer to its ultimate demise.
Companies have been building hiring infrastructure based solely on data. There’s an old expression, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It seems to have been taken so far out of the realm of context that it has almost become a foregone conclusion. It’s a big mistake, and it is a philosophy of the past.
While the ‘bottom line’ is a pressure inducing carrot at the end of the proverbial stick, it’s not the only factor to define success. The success of any company is sought after – and ultimately determined by – the people working within it.
Too many human resource professionals are afraid to speak about interview and hiring processes – with full transparency – because they fear that such discussion may open the company up to litigation. HR pros are company protectors. Their job is hard. They have bosses making demands and pushing deadlines. They have vendors over promising and under delivering. Money is spent and systems are implemented, and all the while HR pros are tasked with justifying costs and decisions.
Too often, the systems are cloaks. Too often, companies buy into the magical sales pitch, and invest so much time and money to acknowledge that the systems do not do what they wanted in the first place.
FACT: Companies need people to operate with a focus on generating income.
If income is flowing, then the company can grow and hire more people. If the people are not functioning at the highest levels, or if jobs are not filled, the outcome can be a log jam.
There must be a balance of technology and people. Systems, consistency of process, and reporting is necessary. The information learned leads to better decision making in the future.
Data cannot define a person completely, nor can it measure the full impact a team – working in unison – on the larger organization.
Have conversations, not just a standard list of interview questions when you hire. Don’t rely solely on assessment results. Instead, follow up in areas of concern with further discussion. Delve deeper. Interview better. Be courteous. Take an interest in the individual.
Make the candidate comfortable. Interviews don’t have to be conducted in offices or conference rooms. Walk and talk instead. Introduce a topic, and let the candidate go. Follow the thought process. Pay attention to how the candidate delivers the message. It’s in your company’s best interest to do so.
The result of a turbulent employment market is a new kind of candidate. Today’s candidate is skeptical, and very savvy. She views herself as an entrepreneur – someone making things happen – instead of letting things happen. She does her research. She hones her skills. She invests in herself, and expects the company she works for to do the same. She will not sit idly by. She will seek out new options to keep herself engaged – first with her current company – and then, soon thereafter, with the competition.
People make things happen, not technology alone. It’s time to make it about people again.