This sentiment was shared with me during a recent conversation related to one of the many sourcing technologies flooding the market. It was the opinion of this person, that the idea of data driven recruiting and the reality of data driven recruiting simply don’t match up. Ultimately, his point was that only a very small percentage of corporate recruiting departments have the resources to analyze the data being captured coupled with the knowledge to leverage the data and information to add value to the recruiting process.
The solution? Well that’s easy- purchase a technology that will capture and analyze recruiting data for you and will intelligently generate recruitment marketing content and shift delivery channels based on this information. Problem solved.
Or is it. This simplified view of integrating technological solutions to abate real, human problems puts blinders on to some very relevant issues. There are two areas that you want to make sure that you have your eyes wide open to when reviewing sourcing and recruiting technologies.
Technology’s Blind Spots
First, all of the data that is captured through these platforms is historical, and does not provide users with effective and reliable forecasting. For example, a few years ago, I sat in on a presentation of what was hailed as “game-changing technology to the recruitment marketing industry”. This was a tech that intelligently placed banner/display job ads in various ad networks and websites, while also changing the look and feel of the ads. The engine would then allocate more money to push ads to where there were more clicks, and would also create more ads with the look and feel that was garnering the most attention.
The idea was that this platform would “learn” what type of ads were most attractive to people interested in the specific job opening, and which advertising media would provide exposure to the greatest number of those people. This was actually a great application of consumer web marketing of the time, and has, to this day, a lot of value. Unfortunately, it’s not the end all and be all of recruitment marketing. While it does show you where people are seeing your ads, and telling you how they want their ads to look, it cannot predict where your next qualified candidates will come from. This, and other technologies, are making quantity based decisions on your marketing efforts only, and therefore will be more likely to push ads to high traffic websites whether or not the people there are more likely to get hired by your company.
The second factor that you should be aware of when reviewing sourcing technologies and strategies is the reality of personal preference. What tech cannot directly affect is your employer brand and reputation. While new technologies can scan users’ social profiles and activities to identify potential candidates and deliver job ads or campaigns to them, the tech simply cannot make that person want to work for you. Too much of the focus is placed on finding people through these intelligent recruitment engines who could be a good match for your job openings; and not enough focus is placed on positioning your company as a highly desirable employer.
Google Receives 60,000 Unsolicited Resumes Per Month
Finding the right people and serving up the right ads in the right place is still only half the battle. We all know the best candidates are already working, or, are receiving numerous offers for their services. In order to effectively manage both high volume and hard to fill hiring, employers need to continually promote and reinforce the unique characteristics that attract the best candidates. That doesn’t mean that job ads are a thing of the past. It does however, mean that the amount of time and money spent on advertising job openings should diminish over time, as you invest in your employer brand, and incorporate technologies that are more efficient at targeting and reaching potential candidates.
Despite the potential blind spots, I do firmly believe that there are new and innovative technologies in the market that can be incorporated into your recruitment strategy effectively and add value to your processes. In assessing these new solutions, it’s important that we are honest about the limitations and opportunities of our current recruiting staff and resources, and that we are pragmatic in selecting tools that align with and optimize our strategies, rather than creating strategies that fit the solutions.