Innovation and Humanity in Recruiting

Innovation and Humanity in Recruiting

Posted on August 3, 2020, by Heather Thomas


I’ve been in staffing and recruitment for 20 years. As many have heard me share, I love this profession.  Without it, I probably would have jumped from job to job looking for purpose, but I fit here.

What surprises me the most is that over the last 10 years the explosion of new technology tells us WHAT will innovate our whole industry.  With all of this progress, we as an industry, have continued to dig in our heels and are actively fighting innovation. Why?

Why We Do What We Do

I don’t know about you, but in my years as a Recruiter and Sourcer, I spent so many weekend hours reviewing resume applications, sourcing manually, and wading through massive amounts of data. Why did I work that way?

To defend reality and overcome misperceptions

When you’re battling comments like, “I see 1,000 Product Managers on LinkedIn, why can’t you find me one tomorrow at ½ the market pay rate?”, you need to be ready to share the truth.

To be equitable to every human that applied to the job

I have an obligation to review every applicant! The platinum rule here: Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Because HR systems were not built for the mass amounts of data that internet applications made possible

Cloud interfaces, click, wait, click wait, next screen…reviewing one applicant can take 3-5 minutes based on the legacy of your system.

Failed HR Tech systems have left us jaded and disenchanted.  Can I get an amen? There are over 100 HR Tech add-ons on the market today (as of writing this), and we don’t know who to trust!   

Innovation in Recruiting

I read an interesting story recently about an innovation that never happened back in 1936. Did you know that we could have increased typing speeds by 40%?

The original keyboard, QWERTY (named for the top row of keys from left to right) was developed in 1873. It was designed to slow down the human typist because if they typed too fast the typewriter would jam. That’s right! The typewriter would jam! 

Why, oh, why then did the Dvorak keyboard, designed and proved to be more efficient in the 1960s, not become a commercial adoption? 

Image comparing the Dvorak keyboard and Qwerty keyboard

Innovation, even if it is great, takes time to learn and adapt.  It takes conscious effort, time, and patience to learn and adapt to a new way of working.

I have NOT heard a recruiter (except our customers, of course – shameless plug) say in the last 10 years, “I feel amazing about my process, systems, and technology” or “I feel so effective when I use my recruiting software.”

Innovation is a new idea or the application of better solutions to meet new requirements and existing needs. If 80%+ of the industry indicates frustration, obstacles, and challenges around the processes and systems required to do our daily jobs, then innovation is needed

However, as we have learned from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Thomas Friedman, “humans ease of adaptability has been surpassed by the speed of the innovative technology.” Friedman and other innovators in the book suggested that in order to solve this problem we must: focus on lifelong learning, acknowledge the anxiety around adapting (yet, again!), and see adoption as a way to enable the one thing we are now missing more than ever: human-to-human connection and empathetic interaction.

What Recruiting Could Be

A computer will never be able to have a real inspirational conversation with a high-quality talent that you want to attract to consider your company.  Nor will a computer be able to empathize with a person evaluating the risk and stress associated with a job change. But machines give us humans the ability to do those things while they read resumes and unify, sort, and catalog big data. Adding the right technology to your human-based recruiting processes will lead to you being the recruiter that everyone trusts.

I know it’s scary and time-consuming to learn something new and change your processes. 

What if the technology fails your expectations, or it requires you to change something else? Is the change never-ending? 

But what if one innovation frees up 10 or 15 hours per week?  That’s over 40 hours a month! That difference could help you stop working during off-hours just to review that last group of applicants.

That’s the time you need to sit with your family at the dinner table.

That’s the time you need to watch a movie with your kids without a computer on your lap.

That’s energy not wasted reading resumes, but redeployed into human-to-human interactions that will serve your recruitment services long-term.

I don’t want to be tied to my QWERTY keyboard spending hours reviewing applications. No one wants to live their life behind a computer. I want to live a life filled with more human adventures.

I want my evenings to be family time and my weekends to be filled with adventures like these.

Heather Thomas skydiving while wearing a HiringSolved tshirt

What about you?

It’s time! Take the jump and innovate!

Don't stop now. Keep reading!

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