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What's Going On I: Recruiting
(March 13, 2007) If you're following this series (see links at the bottom of the page), you'll notice that we are taking a major detour. In order to really grapple with the direction of the industry, we need a solid look at the underlying trends that are currently shaping things. There are some surprises. We'll finish off the "Where It's Going" material once we've addressed a range of current trends.
While no one was looking, Recruiting got very specialized. It's not just the massive explosion of job boards, it's the policies, practices and techniques of each individual niche. Recruiting is very different based on the type of position you are trying to fill, the number of those positions, the geography, the industry and the strategic importance of the slot. It is so different from place to place that it's hard to talk about what's common.
Recruiting varies so widely that the source of value is different from case to case. For some, Recruiting is all about effective screening. For others, it's all about effective selling. For others, it's all about effective sourcing.
We had a chance to learn about call center recruiting the other day. In high volume call centers, the attrition rates are usually very, very high. Making hundreds of calls a day with a very specific script is a tough job. Call center managers engage in a kind of science, always trying to optimize the mix of people, objectives and economics. In order to keep things fresh (and to continue to move the needle on productivity) things change frequently.
There is no one "right" kind of person for the a call center operation. Managers routinely experiment with differing views of candidates. Some emphasize experience, some knowledge, some skills, some a fuzzy set of nearly measurable attributes. Competitive advantage and sustained success depend on continually trying to find a better approach
Making an automated tool that effectively screens for the current variable is virtually impossible. Doing so would eliminate the competitive advantage call centers gain when they figure out a new screening variable. So, even though the job is straightforward, the solutions are challenging to automate when screening is the primary source of value in the Recruiting process.
Recruiting nurses is an entirely different thing. The specific nature of nursing skills and licenses coupled with steep competition and changing healthcare norms drive professional recruiting differences. What makes call center staffing work would make nurse recruitment fail. The only similarities are purely administrative.
A deeper look at nursing staffing issues finds variations and sub-specialties (like traveling nurses) that challenge the idea of a common denominator within a recruiting niche. When you add the disparate impact of global nursing shortages and shifting hospital staffing methodologies, it gets harder and harder to say that Recruiting is at all the same within nursing.
We think recruiting varies in the following dimensions:
This explains, in large part, the value of each individual job board in the massive explosion of job boards.
Tomorrow, Is it hard to find people?
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