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It is better
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John Sumser

is more
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John Gall


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(April 18, 2003) -
- No matter what you call it, it's still Enterprise IT Consulting. Desperate for sales traction, the ATS companies default to the proven sales approach. What you buy when you buy an Applicant Tracking System (or any other HR automation) is an Enterprise IT project.

The embedded irony is that each of these contracts contributes to the marginalization of HR as a whole.

We have yet to produce a significant number of HR leaders who really understand that the discipline has become a quantifiable integration of old-school HR, nitty-gritty marketing, project management and requirements development. The entire rest of the organization (except, perhaps the legal department) realized, long ago, that the underlying reality involved learning to manage IT.

They did, in most cases, have the benefit of working in disciplines that were quantified a long time ago.

Dealing effectively with IT requires that you believe a several things:

  1. That your process is repeatable
  2. That it can be written and articulated
  3. That it can and should be measured
  4. That reducing the numbers makes things better
  5. That innovation is more likely in a quantified environment

These principles are hard to swallow in many HR organizations. As a result, the ATS product really ends up being sold to IT. They come to understand that the vendor, with all of the flaws, 'gets it' better than the local HR management. This produces one more candidate for outsourcing.

You have to wonder where the professional associations are. From sheer self interest, you'd think that they'd see that outsourcing equals reduced membership which equals more outsourcing. You think they'd be training scads of professionals in "How To Manage the Relationship Between a Vendor and IT".

You'd expect that they'd stop pretending that Human Capital Measurement was an esoteric problem and just start measuring.

John Sumser

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