Finding the Real Value In Talent Acquisition: It’s Quality, Not Quantity

Oct 2, 2013

For hiring managers combating a real talent shortage, is the quicker, faster delivery of resumes really the best answer?

In my career the focus has always been on working towards finding the best hire, not on the delivering resumes within a 24-hour period.

The sad reality is that there are HR organizations that seem to drive the same concept of value whether they are recruiting for themselves or outsourcing the work to recruiting organizations. The selection process is essentially driven by a commoditized procurement model rather than a value/success driven talent acquisition model.

Flooded with resumes

I am convinced that the commoditized procurement model falls short in helping to support hiring managers. Forcing a usually overworked hiring manager or executive to review numerous resumes (we refer to this as a resume blizzard) in the hopes of finding that one aligned and ideal candidate is a recipe for failure.

I discussed this theory with a manager at a major airline a few years back. He had already gone through a hiring process three months earlier to hire two senior people on his team. Of the initial two hires, one eventually didn’t show up and he was getting ready to release the second due to performance issues.

The manager reached out for support from the existing HR partner, and wouldn’t you know it, he received 60 resumes within two days. I asked him about his plan for the 60 resumes and he said, “I’ll probably take them home and read them over the weekend.”

This gentleman had a wife, a new-born, three other children and was already working 10 to 12 hours a day. He eventually admitted he would probably only get to look at 10 to 15 of the resumes.

When did the quantity of resumes delivered in 15 minutes or less represent success and value to hiring managers over delivering quality and finding the “right” candidate? Managers forced to staff under these circumstances sometimes never get to see the best available candidate. Ultimately, the organization ends up accepting the best of the mediocre submitted candidates.

The value is in evaluation

On the other hand, high performing organization’s focus on their talent acquisition process. They insist that their recruiting or HR professionals streamline the acquisition process for the hiring manager.

The lesson is this: a monkey can pull scores of resumes off of Monster or CareerBuilder.

The real value of a recruiting partner is their ability to evaluate hundreds of resume submitted and find the two or three most ideal candidates. In addition, they also help managers review resumes and guide candidates through the recruiting and hiring processes. This leads to a better representation of the organization as well as a more informed manager and ultimately congruence when offers are eventually made.

I believe it’s time to put the human element back into the recruiting processes as a matter of practice as opposed to the exception.

I look forward to hearing what other professionals think. Let’s start a dialogue.

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