Disclaimer: I am not an astrophysicist, scientist, mathematician, or an expert in any scientific field. My dream of becoming an astronomer was crushed in 7th grade when I barely passed algebra. Stephen Hawking will never ask me to carry his laptop. Dear readers, please indulge me. Despite my lack of formal scientific training I have found proof in the recruiting world that all of time is occurring at once.
In my limited understanding the space/time continuum goes something like this:
- Once there was a black hole of emptiness
- Something sparked a big bang and the universe was created
- As we travel through the universe on this spaceship called Earth, we’re really hurtling back towards a black hole
- Your perspective differs depending on how close you are to that black hole, but all of time is happening at once
Source: Historical Pics (@historicalpics)
In the recruiting space, a variety of application technologies (paper, texting, online applications) exist simultaneously.
Sales guru Anthony Iannarino recently observed “What's interesting about your smart phone is that everything that was necessary to make it has been on planet Earth since before we were. There isn't a single element that wasn't here since forever ago. All that was missing was vision and knowledge.”
Let’s explore how companies use different recruiting technologies. Remember, all of these technologies are being used at this very moment which proves that all of time is happening right now. As Iannarino pointed out, the raw materials you need to recruit successfully already exist. How will you use your vision and knowledge to capitalize on them?
Many small and medium sized businesses in the US still rely on paper employment applications. This is especially true in high volume hourly environments such as restaurants, hotels, transportation and logistics. The best thing about paper is that it’s low tech and you don’t have to worry about those irksome data breaches. Besides the environmental impact, the bad thing about paper is the time it takes to complete this manual process. Not everyone has great penmanship, so you might also need to invest in reading glasses.
Email or Fax
Walk through your local mall and you’ll see employment advertisements that require candidates to fax a resume to a hiring manager. Some of my younger readers may be asking, “What’s a fax?” Back in the Stone Age (1980 – 1990’s) we used to put paper through something called a fax machine that magically printed out on the other end of a phone line (“facsimile”). Some hiring managers will now permit you to email a resume. Reading through those emails, resumes and faxes is not an efficient way to hire because it’s a very manual process.
Applicant Tracking Systems became ubiquitous at large companies in the 1990’s. An Applicant Tracking System is a company’s employment application and resume database. When you apply for a job on a computer, your application is usually stored in an Applicant Tracking System.
Finding a recruiter or a candidate who likes these systems is almost as impossible as identifying a new planet in our solar system. It’s a lot like poor Pluto. One day you’re a proper planet and the next day you’re just a hunk of ice in outer orbit. The same thing is happening to some Applicant Tracking Systems. Many Applicant Tracking Systems are still based on 1990’s technology and essentially replicate a paper application process with a resume upload.
It’s not unusual for it to take candidates an hour or more to apply for jobs on these systems – if they can locate the requisition, and providing the system doesn’t time out on them. The candidate dropout rate on these systems can be very high.
Many Applicant Tracking Systems are still not mobile-enabled, which means you need a computer to apply for a job. Love them or hate them, Applicant Tracking Systems aren’t going anywhere. They’re a valuable compliance tool and can generate reams of useful data for metric-driven recruiting teams.
Newer Applicant Tracking Systems have quick-apply capabilities through smart phones. Some systems do this fairly well, while others simply replicate the old Applicant Tracking System. Systems that replicate a paper process usually don’t work well. If it takes more than 5 minutes or 3 screens to complete an application on a mobile device you’ve probably lost the candidate.
Some platforms have the technology to allow candidates to receive text links to job posting. At HR Virtuoso we take this a few steps further. We enable companies to provide candidates with texts that take them directly to mobile-enabled, short form employment applications. We can also structure the hiring process so candidates can interactively text with a Virtual Recruiter that can build an application and even screen the candidate.
Technology is never a cure for a bad process. If you’re hiring a lot of hourly workers, you might want to consider why you’re even requiring resumes, when a few qualifying questions on an application will help with the vetting process. On the other hand, if you’re only hiring occasionally, a paper system might be the simplest and most cost effective choice.
What’s your recruiting technology? Is it working for you? If not, please consider letting us help you by conducting a free assessment of your recruiting process. We won’t be able to help you find candidates from other galaxies, but we will help you find some superstars right here on Earth.
Liz D'Aloia is the Founder of HR Virtuoso. She is an HR practitioner, employment attorney and speaker. HR Virtuoso helps companies of all sizes implement mobile recruiting solutions. Connect with Liz D'Aloia on LinkedIn!