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Where It's Going III: Recruiting Is a Conversation

(March 22, 2007)
  The future looks more and more like a barrage of inbound information. Soon, everyone will be able to apply everywhere all at once. (If that isn't sourcing through resume databases and the internet, what would you call it?)

Here's the problem.

There is an inverse correlation between the likelihood that someone will apply for a job at your company and your desire to employ them. The volume of stuff coming in over the transom is escalating and the requirements to track and manage it grow daily. Sadly, like cyberspace, there is no there there. You will not find the strategic contributors in that pile.

So, what do you do?

Many forecasts suggest that the future of Recruiting involves increasingly frantic attempts to manage an information flow that is out of control. More and more automation will somehow result in better and better information containment. Systems will somehow evolve to make things simpler while they continue to expand and escalate.

Just like they already have.

There is no escaping the fact that personal communications options are in a very early phase of transformative growth. We will know more and more about more and more people. The volume of data will be crushing for old-timers and Twitteracy for our crop of Abe Lincolns reading by the current firelight (a notebook PC). Organizations wishing to establish employment relationships will be competing for attention with massive volumes of network information.

So, what's the answer.

The current model for Recruiting envisions a funnel through which data flows. The role of the Recruiter is to reduce this data to actionable, bite sized pieces while ensuring that various forms of legal compliance are satisfied. Like Lucy with the chocolates on the conveyor belt, we're all rooting for faster recruiters.

More likely, smart operations will abandon the funnel and search for an alternative. We think it will look like a farm team system with the first level supervisor at its heart. It's a small network (manageable on Twitter) of people who are interested in the success of the small department run by one first level supervisor.

Think about it for a moment. From the perspective of the immediate supervisor (the person who makes the hiring decision), it's a small, manageable universe.

Lean Staffing routinely demonstrates that good hiring decisions are the result of good specifications. With good specifications, no more than four candidates need be interviewed.

Here's the picture.

First Level Supervisors manage between 8 and 15 worketrs. Normal growth is 10%. Normal attrition may be as high as 30%. So, a generic supervisor needs to hire 40% of the group each year. That's 3 to 6 new hires.

If you have one internal candidate and four external candidates for each slot, that's between 15 and 30 candidates. Having a routine and interesting conversation with a group that size is something that virtually any supervisor can execute.

Tomorrow: Recruiting Is A Conversation II

New from John Sumser:
A new presentation hot off the presses from John Sumser, Recruiting Is A Conversation available for download.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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  • A Conversation
  • Massive Convergence
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