Here’s a fun task for a day when you don’t have much to do. Go online, find a terrific-sounding position at a great company and start applying for it using their nifty online recruiting system. The website promises it uses state-of-the-art algorithms to mine your data and find you that perfect role. If you could just take a few minutes to attach your resume…
Lovely. Could we trouble you to fill in your work history, beginning with the most recent role and not skipping any fields at all? Go ahead, cut and paste it from your resume. Don’t worry, it looks like crap at this end too. But don’t let that stop you from fiddling with it for ages.
Well, that’s two hours you’re not getting back. But we’re almost done. Select your top ten skills from this list of 50,000 known skills and drag them into this adjacent list where you need to rank them. Only a few more steps…
Now select your college from this drop down list. And your major. And your minor. And your roommate’s GPA. That’s swell…
Now sign and date this declaration, and this one here, and this other one here. Did you attach your resume? That’s it, just click submit….
Oh, dear. You’ve missed a required field on screen 46. We’ll just reset the form to blank and send you back to try again.
Have you met ART? That would be the automated recruiting technology that guards the Western Gate to the corporate city-state where you want to work. Last week we met Bethany, who guards the Eastern Gate and keeps out the riff raff. Just in case you had it in your head to find a job inside without gong past Bethany, you can always s try your luck with ART.
ART must have seemed like a great idea at the time. Imagine, automating the tedious, time-consuming task of sifting through the dross to find those hidden gems who would be your next star employees? Who wouldn’t want that? What job-seeker wouldn’t want to spend hours updating your database for free with their information using clunky, slow software? This is the part where you stop wondering why all the employed superstars aren’t falling all over themselves to apply to your open positions. The only people with the time to put up with this crap are the ones you don’t want to hear from because it’s bad to be so unemployed you have time to apply for jobs.
And what hiring manager wouldn’t want a machine-vetted list of people who have the time and the patience to fill in a multi-page form? That’s a pretty hot skillset all on its own these days. But wait, there’s more. This fabulous system will rank all of the applicants using the aforementioned algorithm. Did we mention the algorithm was written by someone with the recruiting acumen of a tulip? See, that explains why you have 300 resumes from people who have worked in markets, as opposed to people who have worked in marketing.
And those highly skilled marketing people who are watching their salary continuance drain away while they fill in forms instead of having conversations, are swirling about at the bottom of the list, where you will never look, all because someone thought it was a great idea to automate the single most important decision any company can make (if I’ve lost you, that’s the one where they decide who to hire). Why not automate the purchase of motivational posters with pictures of rowers and geese? It won’t save as much money, but it will save a few souls.
Marketers: if you are staring at another stack of useless resumes, that came from an email address that doesn’t accept replies, then the problem is not a lack of candidates; the problem is a lack of imagination on your part. Shut down that stupid application and get off your arse and get on LinkedIn and find someone. I promise they are out there. Or better yet, send a note to your network and ask for recommendations from and about real people.
And when I’m in charge (which should be any day now), the first thing I am going to do is make all HR people everywhere reapply for their jobs using a fancy automated system.
Hmmmm I’d better draft the thank you screen. How does this sound?
Thank you for your interest in a human resources career with our company. Unfortunately, your qualifications do not match our current requirements. We will keep your resume on file for six months and will contact you should a suitable opportunity arise. Have a great day and please don’t smoke within 9 meters of the door.