The Black Hole of Recruiting, part II

I previously wrote about the black hole of submitting job applications electronically.

The Wall Street Journal explains how that phenomenon occurs.

To cut through the clutter, many large and midsize companies have turned to [automatic] applicant-tracking systems to search résumés for the right skills and experience. The systems, which can cost from $5,000 to millions of dollars, are efficient, but not foolproof.

Efficient, but not foolproof? Is that a way of saying “Fast, but wrong”?
If a system very efficiently does the wrong thing, well it seems like not a very good system.

WSJ goes on to say,

At many large companies the tracking systems screen out about half of all résumés, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University.

All well and good. I understand that it’s expensive to even evaluate people for a job, and if a company gets thousands of resumes they need some way of managing their way through the noise.

On the other hand it sure seems like a bunch of good candidates are being completely ignored. There are a lot of false negatives.

It sure seems to me that the system isn’t working, the way it is now. Companies can rely on recruiters, but that can be very expensive. They can rely on online job boards, but that’s a frustrating recipe for lots of noise.

Thankfully though, not all companies rely solely on online job submission forms, in order to source candidates.

Job Postings are so 1990s

So says regarding online job postings and online job applications.
I agree. Especially with this part:

Candidates often feel that there is a “black hole” in the application process.

I’ve electronically submitted applications to several larger companies; the experience has been pretty uniformly non-transparent.  Unsatisfying to say the least.  I understand why: it’s expensive wading through the stacks of online resume submissions. But if it’s so expensive, why solicit online applications at all?

As for e-hiring, jobs are not a commodity, and it’s inappropriate to advertise them in a catalog as if they were a book or a replacement part for my lawnmower.

I’m no longer comfortable  joining “a company”. I need to meet and evaluate the hiring manager, I want to know the team strategy, and how it synchronizes with the corporate strategy. I want a 360° view of the team, and I need to be confident that the team leaders understand the strategy and how they contribute to success. If key players on the team are not comfortable with strategic thinking or are reluctant to discuss the strategy options, it’s a red flag to me. All that is hard to do online. You can start online, but you need to progress quickly to richer conversations.

The internet is fascinating and wonderful but, in case you needed it, this is yet another illustration that it cannot replace all human interaction.