It's amazing how simplistically things can be described when they are devoid of operational experience and limited to the perspective of recruiting. We've come across a view of the Human Capital Marketplace that describes the "Talent Lifecycle" as Attract-Recruit-Hire-Retain. It's as if candidates didn't exist in advance of requirements and didn't have a variety of roles and relationships after hiring occurs. It's as if downsizing, layoffs and the end of a business weren't perfectly predictable parts of an employment relationship. It's as if the only thing that matters was the tiny details of the Recruiting process.
Much of the real value extracted from Human Capital comes from the internal machinations involved in assignment, reassignment, utilization, assessment and development. While Recruiting is an extraordinary gateway function, its utility as a key component of strategy is variable: stronger in up times, weaker in down times. When cost savings is the issue, Recruiting is not the answer.
Any fully featured, business cycle responsive Human Capital Management system must have cost savings and personnel optimization strategies embedded in the product.
Ask most Recruiting professionals what the complement of Recruiting is and they'll mumble something about outplacement. Internal and external alike, Recruiters sort of wash their hands the moment a new hire has begun to be absorbed by the organization. (There's some interesting research on the impact of newcomers on culture which might shed light on expanded downstream roles for Recruiters.)
We've asked a variety of industry leaders what they think the result of Recruitment Automation will be. We ask in a variety of ways, but the gist of the question is "If new systems reduce the drudge work of the recruiter, how will that newfound time be filled?" The most common answer is that Recruiters will do more recruiting.
We're beginning to realize that recruiting is in deep need of expanded variability. Rather than simply being a gateway between the outside world and the company, Recruiting skills can be usefully applied to the internal processes that actually make a company great. Shouldn't every recruiter be held accountable for the transition of a new hire to successful integration? Why aren't recruiters held accountable for the performance of the entire network of people that they hire? Why isn't recruiting accountable for its impact on productivity?
These are the tough questions that follow the implementation of a real Recruiting system. The answers won't be simple and formulaic. Rather, they'll be culturally biased and context sensitive.
Some interesting organizations we stumbled on while working on this article:
- John Sumser