At the recent ConnectingHR event, one of the organisers behind the community space we used gave us a brief insight into their plans and philosophy. While he spoke for only a few minutes, he left a lasting thought with me for our industry. He used the analogy of a mis-named light bulb: most of the energy going in gets distributed as heat, not light – so why do we not refer to it as a heater?
From a recruitment perspective, he claimed, we are similarly misnamed. The vast majority of applications result in rejection, with actual recruitment occurring in only a minority of circumstances (how many CV’s do you review before you make a placement or a hire?).
Due to a current technology curse, I was subjected to a history lesson yesterday as I attempted to send a text – with Nokia predictive text, the key-presses for Selection actually show initially as Rejection. I figure this blog is meant to be written!
I don’t believe either the light bulb or recruitment are mis-named; both are named to reflect the intended outcome, not the unintended side effect. However, this by-product is not inconsequential. In the case of the light bulb, advances are being made. A change in the chemical composition and materials used result in an improved environmental footprint.
In recruitment though, I’ve seen very little change in the last twenty years. If anything, the processes I’ve witnessed first-hand have actually deteriorated as technology such as job-boards and mobile apps have made it easy to apply to multiple roles – increased volume of applications has meant a reduction of individual feedback, or even the absence of a response / acknowledgement all together.
We live in a socially connected world. Whilst recruitment might not yet be ready (in the main) to adopt social media, as an industry it must surely accept that we’re all brand consumers and we all share our experiences. A bad experience individually leads to a retweet, a Facebook update, a blog post. I heard the perfect sound-bite for this a few weeks back: If you have a great experience, you tell your friends. If you have a bad experience, you tell Google.
By ensuring all applicants come into a community environment, where they gain an insight into clients, can see a community develop and can learn about other opportunities with the organisation, maybe a better rejection process is a damn decent side effect for Social Recruiting to aim for?