Damn it feels grrrrrrrr to be a recruiter

Damn it feels grrrrrrrr to be a recruiter

Mike Roberts

“PC Load Letter?? PC Load Letter??!!” – Michael Bolton, Initech

Ok, so it’s not the most original pop culture reference, but the daily tech frustrations portrayed by Peter, Michael and Samir in the movie Office Space do seem to mirror those faced by today’s recruiting professionals.

Every day, I see commentary around the notion that the HR and recruiting industry is in some kind of “golden age of technology” right now. Surely, the current wave of innovations sweeping the recruiting landscape is exciting and seemingly unprecedented in terms of it’s scope, but is it really accurate to refer to it as a “golden age”? The results from our recently released Talent Acquisition Survey seem to suggest otherwise.

Let’s first check the definition of “golden age”…

golden age
n. A period of great peace, prosperity, and happiness.

Hmmmm, ok. Now, let’s check a few stats from our survey…

  • 30% of recruiters surveyed say their current technology actually “gets in the way” of their ability to do their jobs
  • More than 60% say their current technology is not easy to learn; even less, 68%, say their tools are difficult to teach to others within their organization
  • 75% of recruiters say their systems are not integrated, causing frustration, resource drain and an inability to get a good picture of the complete talent lifecycle
  • Only 15% say their technology and tools are easy to customize
  • Nearly half (46%) of recruiters surveyed say they are “dissatisfied” with their current technology

Peace? Prosperity? Happiness? Not quite.

And the kicker? The majority of survey respondents revealed that the largest chunk of their recruiting budget is spent on technology. That begs the question, “If we’re investing so much in technology, why are we so unhappy?”

So no, we can’t accurately describe where we’re at now as the “golden age” of HR Technology. It’s more exciting than perhaps any other time in the industry’s history, but we’ve got a long way to go before we find the aforementioned peace, prosperity and happiness. Maybe we can call this the “kaleidoscope age”, a time when the abundance of shiny and colorful new technologies pepper the landscape, but also make it difficult to bring things into focus.

better-tools-infographicsThat may not sound too encouraging, but it is. With an abundance of innovation and new tools being introduced almost daily, we’re certainly on the road to golden. And that’s a pretty good start.

Laurie Ruettiman touched on this in a post over at her blog, The Cynical Girl (re-published on TLNT here), the other day. She rightly points out that despite all the noise around new technologies and the re-imagining of HR and talent management, the humanistic element is not (and should not be) going away any time soon. Technology should make HR departments more efficient, freeing up time and resources currently sucked up by tech and data management to allow professionals to focus on what really matters, their jobs.

Our survey also revealed that when asked, what recruiters want more of than anything else — staff, tools, data and even money — is time. The role of technology is to do just that, free up time so practitioners can plan and execute in a strategic manner. To do so, the mélange of technology solutions currently employed needs to be integrated. The wealth of data from these disparate systems needs to be consolidated and made easily useable. And the technology needs to be customizable and adaptable to each organization’s distinct needs.

So, while we may have a few more “PC Load Letter” headaches to stare down and outmoded technology to smash, we’re well on our way to that aforementioned golden age. So everyone grab a bat and let’s get to work.

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