Originally posted on Recruiter.com February 10, 2014.
This Might Make You Reconsider Your Application Process
It all stems from this little quote from Forbes contributor Liz Ryan, “Before you automated a process, every business analyst and programmer told us, it had to be a sensible process on its own.” It makes complete sense doesn’t it? Ryan wrote a pretty eye-opening piece on the root of a lot of recruiters’ issues with everything-automation, called “How Technology Killed Recruiting.”
Here’s the breakdown of that piece and why I couldn’t agree with Ryan more:
First things first, recruiters need to knock it off with the redundant, irrelevant fields and questions. The example that Ryan used was from a friend who was applying for a school principal position. After establishing the desired position on the form as principal, she got down to standard field of “Tasks and Responsibilities.”
This candidate is definitely not alone in her feelings that this field is just plain stupid. Anyone recruiting for a principal position probably ought to know the tasks and responsibilities of a principal. Great, now that we have established that we both know the definition of a principal, we can get on with the rest of the application.
Ryan contends that instead of asking obvious questions, recruiters should start soliciting information that is actually informative. What a novel idea! Recruiters should instead ask specific questions that could reveal what the candidate accomplished in their time in that position.
ATSs are doing a swell job at the weeding out part…the key problem here is that an applicant tracking system does a great job at picking out key words, tools, and numbers, but they’re actually pretty crumby at deciphering what an employee has accomplished, the legacy that they may have left, or the knowledge they have gained on their professional journey. How about we add just one field to the existing 74 that asks a question about one of those things? Ryan said,
Our selection mechanism is stuck in 1940, interested only in the tasks and duties and tools you used, as though those things out of context could have any significance to your next boss at all.
The emphasis needs to move away from weeding out the bad, to attracting the good. Read more…