Yes – this is a blog about technology from a guy who has been in Talent Acquisition for some time now. Don’t worry – I am not going to be one of those guys who harkens back to the days of when we used to have file cabinets stacked with resumes, advertised in the newspaper and burgers cost a nickel at the local malt shop. I actually LOVE technology but with a disclaimer. That disclaimer is that it should not ever replace the “human” element of what we do. No software can or should replace the needed and critical human interactions that occur in the recruitment process. People don’t want to go work for and with a bunch of T-1000s – they want to work with people and interact with people when making such a critical and emotional decision in their lives. (Although, my inner dork immediately thinks that it could be cool to work with T-1000s if I could control them like John Connor did in Terminator 2- but I digress)
The world of Talent Acquisition has seen some enormous changes from a technology perspective over the past several years. I tend to be someone who loves to try these new technologies as they come available, as I sincerely believe that the right tech can make our profession more proficient, scalable and effective. Indeed, the market has certainly seen a lot of specialization (referral software tools, social media recruiting, sourcing tools, ATS, etc.) and several “mini-industries” within the Talent Acquisition tech space have been sprouting up it seems every few months or so. I believe if you were to poll recruiters, they would say that on the whole that these new developments for our recruiting utility belts have certainly made it easier for them do their jobs and with far greater effectiveness than they were able to 10 years ago.
This blog is really about one such technology that is well intentioned, but in turn being so badly misused that it is giving our profession a bad name and perpetuating the “used car salesman” stereotype, whether you are an internal recruiter, consultant or agency recruiter. I am talking about these automated social postings that most ATS systems have as a feature set. When a job is created in the ATS (applicant tracking system for those non-recruiters out there), the recruiters are then given an option to post the role to several social media outlets (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in one easy step, with settings to then re-post this on a timed cadence over the lifetime of the opening. This is the well intentioned part – as it in theory makes the recruiters job “easier” with a one click “set it and forget it”. What often happens though, is that the recruiter chooses the standard message template provided by the software, and thus it appears when posting to these social media channels that Optimus Prime (or insert other robot pop culture reference here) is the recruiter, not a real human being. I see these constantly out there – some glorious examples:
“Now hiring for Senior Sales Operations in New York, NY”
“Job Opportunity! Executive Assistant level IV in Florida, USA”
“Now hiring for Geo Technical Engineer III in New Jersey”
Now – to some this is perfectly acceptable and probably doesn’t look too bad. To me – this makes our profession look like those people who get in the costumes and hand out fliers in front of stores running promotions. Posting jobs is a marketing effort, and forgive me if I think it can be done better than this. I am sure these are all probably really great opportunities with some interesting organizations, but these impersonal, robotic and frankly – spam like marketing messages that repeat over and over aren’t portraying these companies or positions in the best possible light and certainly feel as impersonal as dealing with one of those automated voice systems you get when calling a customer support line. We can do better. The technology is the not the problem. Take the time to craft a compelling message that is from an actual human. I am willing to bet your response rate would be better.