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Has HR technology failed recruiters??

Has HR technology failed recruiters??

Talent acquisition is one of the major areas where there has been a slew of startups or, as I like to put it, the “herd syndrome”. These technologies target the same issues with different approaches – they have become the “herd”.

The Talent Acquisition landscape is mind boggling – from fancy Applicant Tracking Systems, that follow the candidate’s journey, to candidate searches (passive and active); from behavior profiling to skill assessments; with technologies like Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, RPA and the entire kitchen sink thrown at the hiring manager and the recruitment staff. 

No doubt, there is a need and market for all these solutions, however all these technological innovations have fallen short of one thing and that is streamlining the most tedious and most important job – evaluating and comparing resumes to pick the best candidate from the pool of applicants they have recently received from all the channels or from their existing gold mine that’s stored in some file server or archived data.

To this day, hiring an ideal candidate means pouring over resumes manually to get the necessary insight into incoming applicants. Last I checked, automation of processes has been the modus operandi and a driving business need, so how is it that most HR tech companies have failed  to address this crucial need? Statistically 93% of all applicants get hired via company job portals, job boards and the ATS, while only 7% of the current job seekers are hired through referrals.

Why? Because HR tech companies have spent time and effort to

  1. Keep the pipeline of candidates full
  2. Focus on the fit and quality of the candidate
  3. Help the recruiters manage the applicant journey
  4. Improve candidate experience

I’m an optimist and like to think there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m happy to report that there are a few companies who have taken the baton and are leading the way to solve this time consuming, and error prone, not to mention mundane yet important aspect of Talent Acquisition, evaluating the resume.

Did you know recruiters today spend over 50% of their time on resumes\ review? With all the matching algorithms in ATS, the recruiters still have to review the matched resumes and drive their own insights.

With the volume of requisitions and corresponding applicants expected after the pandemic, there is no technology out there to help recruiters quickly sift through the volume and identify the right candidates to pursue.   

Recently, one client reported that they ingested over 700 resumes in a span of 36 hours, so they made the decision to stop taking on more applicants. It took 4 recruiters 2 weeks to process the 700 resumes (that’s 230 resumes per recruiter). Do you see the problem with this scenario?

If you’re in the business of Talent acquisition and recruitment, then I’m certain that you see how this process is set up for failure. The sheer number of resumes to evaluate is enough to send a recruiter dreaming of the holiday they had to cancel this year due to Covid 19. There is a fatigue element that quickly sets in, introducing biases, errors, subjectiveness.

  1. The right candidate may have been rejected or overlooked due to the above
  2. Recruiters, in order to meet their productivity targets, impending cut-off time for resume submission and to prevent candidate poaching by competitors, tend to submit as many resumes as possible in the time available to them. The volume does not allow the recruiter to drive any useful insights from the resume 
  3. What if the optimal candidate was someone who came in after the cutoff? 
  4. It becomes extremely hard, if not impossible, to compare the resumes to figure out which one is the best fit.  So, the recruiters pick the first suitable candidate they find and the remaining resumes are left on the table.  

Additionally, recruiters generally have data that they do not mine to their advantage. Some try to, but the technologies are very disparate and not fit for purpose.

The CRM system may be able to store limited details but does not store all the insightful information that can be gleaned from the resume. The recruiters may have a perfect candidate within their own portfolio, but search limitations prevent them from mining that data.

So with all the technologies out there, the recruiter, who does the heavy lifting in Talent Acquisition, is left hanging with the same traditional process. The technology is there but very few innovative stalwarts have taken the plunge to solve this problem.  

Some aspects of resume processing have become automated – for example – parsing.  These services, though important, are becoming commoditized. The next level of insights will drive a lot of value to the recruiters:

  • Saving time
  • Improving productivity and in turn increasing morale
  • Improving candidate management 
  • Standardization of the evaluation process  

The list of benefits is endless.

Prediction – A few companies, like ResumeSieve, have started to solve this problem and are working to create a market to introduce a new era in HR Tech. I predict that these platforms will become the pre-eminent recruiter platforms which will bolt on to your classic ATS technology. 

So, with all the rush to find the gold, there will be a few standouts that will become disruptors in the recruitment space and come up with the golden technologies to make the recruiters’ lives easier.

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