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The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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    Spec Status

    (June 12, 2002) - What a pile. Earlier in the spring, we solicited your help. "Send us RFPs from Applicant Tracking or Recruiting System Procurements," we asked. With 75 in hand, we've been winnowing and wallowing as we try to consolidate them into a single sample spec. The product will be a part of our 2003 Electronic Recruiting Index and distributed to anyone, who was kind enough to send their sample.

    One of the first things we've seen in the analysis is that the development of specifications for HR Systems appears to be in the most primitive of stages. As long as 25 years ago, software and systems specifications evolved to include (in sophisticated purchases) a detailed description of the operational requirements for the end product. Rather than an articulation of software and system functions, specs in other quarters always tell the vendor "we are trying to accomplish the following things in the following environment."

    As you might well imagine, a detailed description of a product that doesn't mention the buyer's goals, aspirations or operating environment is not very useful. Imagine, for example, a spec for a three-bedroom house. Whether it is going to house a couple or a family of 10 is critical to space allocation. Whether it is New Mexico, California, Georgia, or Minnesota, is critical for understanding the heating and cooling requirements. By itself, the requirement for a three-bedroom house is pretty meaningless. Context helps vendors solve your problems.

    If you are building a spec for use in the coming months, we'd suggest that you plan to include a section about the company (or the division) that addresses some of the following issues:

    • Define Recruitment Forecasts by Type and Volume
    • Is the workplace focused on continuous improvement processes?
    • What Measurements are deemed critical?
    • What changes do you expect from the current operating scenarios?
    • How is the Recruiting/Staffing Function Currently Organized?
    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current Recruiting/Staffing workforce?
    • How do Recruiting and Retention integrate?
    • What are the detailed goals of the department (cost effectiveness, improvements, etc.)

    Without a detailed description of the real context for the system, you could end up with a small, California-style house with no insulation and a tiny heating plant on your lot for the Winters of Minnesota.

    Once operating goals and objectives are defined in specs, it's fairly easy to move to performance-based acquisitions.

     -John Sumser

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    Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
    Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
    Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.