In a prior blog post (“Noah’s Job Search” Blog.reliableinsights.com, 8/9/13) I introduced the fine work of Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, founders of CareerXroads, a consulting company specializing in human resources, staffing, and recruiting.  For the past three weeks, I have been devoting additional blog posts to their excellent and enlightening report (“This Year’s Mystery Job Seeker: Noah Z. Ark, A Man For The Modern World” www.careerxroads.com).  Today is my final blog post dedicated to this year’s CareerXroads’ mystery job seeker report.

Noah has definitely given us some rich material for analysis.  No doubt, we have only scratched the surface.  I have deeply appreciated all Noah has taught us about the strengths and the challenges of our current online recruiting and hiring systems.

In the conclusion of Crispin’s and Mehler’s report, they make some specific recommendations companies can implement if they are serious about improving their online recruiting and hiring systems:

Treat each candidate as unique rather than pigeonholing them based on a quick screening.

Respond to all applications within a short timeframe and provide updates on their status.

Reveal more about themselves as employers and cultivate deeper conversations with job seekers.

Continue to cut the time and effort it takes to apply for a position.

Provide more resources to educate job seekers about their cultures.

Treat the types of information that they request for screening more selectively.

I love the first one about treating each candidate as unique instead of pigeonholing them based on a quick screening.  This seems to be at the very heart of true talent management.  It is only when we fully understand all that makes the job candidate unique and special that we can accurately assess a job match.  The quick-screening software tools may exclude many viable candidates.  This relates to the findings of Dr. Mitch Gold (“The Human Age Requires Changes” Blog.reliableinsights.com, September 24, 2012) concerning the “teachable fit” model and the looming talent deficits.  The “teachable fit” model states although a person may not be the perfect fit for the job right now, we must look beyond his or her current skills and qualifications to the aptitude, attitude, and raw material of who that person is.  Upon doing that, it may be we can train this person into the job over time.  By so doing, everyone wins, and we mitigate talent deficits.

Providing more information to educate job seekers about the prospective company’s culture is very good.  If a job seeker is not compatible with the corporate culture, then a positive hiring decision is ultimately a mistake for which everyone suffers.

Cultivating deeper conversations with job seekers is another great recommendation.  Professional relationships are strengthened and enhanced when communication flows generously.  By getting to know a job candidate on a more in-depth level, smarter hiring decisions can be made.

Continuing to reduce the time spent online and the follow-up processing is a given.  Great strides have been made in this area, and a continued positive trend is essential.  Time is everyone’s most precious yet nonrenewable resource.

Speaking of time . . . that brings us to the unavoidable challenge of implementing all these marvelous recommendations.  In principle, I agree with all the recommendations.  In practice, I recognize the realities of resource limitations.  I fully understand how incredibly busy most HR departments are, more today than ever.  Therefore, some of these ideals for which we aim, may be only partially attainable for the time being.

On the other hand, I believe the recommendations are based in solid truths.  That being the case, and with some bigger-picture thinking, and maybe even some attitude adjustments, perhaps there is another route.  Because I believe Noah’s findings reveal powerful truths and lessons learned, perhaps this is the beginning of a sea change.  Perhaps increasing numbers of companies will read the CareerXroads’ report and light bulbs will pop.  Perhaps the true leaders of the pack will invent some new best practices that take the entire online recruiting and hiring system to a completely new level.  I am enough of a passionately driven optimist to believe we can find a way to take the very best of what we already have and combine it with the key CareerXroads’ findings and recommendations to create a new normal of online recruiting and hiring systems.

As important as it is continually to perfect our core competencies, products, and services, the pipeline that feeds all that is even more important.  That pipeline is our online recruiting and hiring systems.  That pipeline happens first and it is the true face of our business, both today and tomorrow.

An entire company can be changed for the better by just one employee.  However, that one employee must first travel from the outside of the company to the inside.  That will never happen if the door is not opened.  My challenge is for companies to open the door.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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