win in a knowledge economy you have to acquire the best knowledge!
As the knowledge economy evolves, the world of talent acquisition
is undergoing drastic change. In this article, I will uncover the
technologies to help large companies leverage the latest strategies
to lead in this new economy and show the likely economical implications
of those new applications.
acquire knowledge by different means: some by training existing
staff or redistributing it internally; or by externally acquiring
new skills. Here I will not cover internal retraining, but rather
focus on optimizing skills within companies and the external acquisition
of these skills. To help explain, let’s take the analogy of what
actions and technologies you would use to find a restaurant.
Finding a Restaurant
you are driving around looking for a good restaurant, knowledge
can help you reach your destination faster. A long time ago, people
had only one way to know the location. That was to have been there
before or to have been given an explanation of how to get there
by someone who went there before. Then signs came along as a way
to help people find their way around. Next maps gave us the ability
to locate where we were and give us directions on how to get there.
recently, the world has expanded the possibilities. Now, global
positioning systems (GPS) can help you locate where you are, and
tell you. Automatically, they show or even tell where you want to
go at any time. Some even more advanced systems will actually recommend
restaurants according to your taste. Those who have tried GPS in
their car, however, know it is still sometimes better to have somebody
in the car who knows the city well.
technology is not yet perfect but we are close to a technology solution
that will not only learn our taste, recommend a good restaurant
and tell us if it is reasonable, but also share third party reviews
of the eatery. So, what are the similarities between technologies
to find a restaurant and those to find a job?
A Short History
of Acquiring Human Capital (Recruiting Talent)
the past, we had a referral system. “I know somebody who is looking
to hire somebody like you.” That still operates today. Next came
the “signage” stage, advertising that we were looking for somebody.
This signage went from the physical world, such as the store window,
to the paper world of the classifieds. Today it is further extended
to the online world in the form of online job posting. But, as you
can imagine, there is a revolution—the equivalent of the GPS technology—in
the technologies to find a job, or to find talent to fill a job.
How Are Corporations
Optimizing Their Search for Talent?
companies use a combination of techniques to find, or source, talent.
Advertising was the first way to find talent and a retained resume
was the tool par excellence. Today the Internet changes many interactions
and makes it easy for corporations to maintain relationships with
prospective candidates. At iLogos, we follow the
evolution of career web sites by tracking the latest usage and best
practices of large corporations. In our research, we identified
20 factors of success to begin efficient recruiting with technology.
covering these 20 best practice factors, though, I want to make
clear that using a corporate web site only as an online front-end
to recruiting data or to simply attract viewers is not very useful.
You need to integrate the user interface with a back-end process
to improve recruiting efficiency.
our research, we found that best career sites contain the following
link to Careers Section from the Homepage
the Company: Benefits
the Company: Culture
College Recruiting Section
Search by Job Category/Department
Job Search by Location
Job Search by Keyword
Need Jobs Highlighted
Click to Apply
Tools Customized for Each Job Position
of Cut-and-Paste Form or Resume Builder
of Formatted Resume
Application Automatically Connected to a Job Position
of Candidate Information for Multiple Applications
details on all the Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career Web Site
Recruiting are available at www.recruitsoft.com/ilogosreports.
Now, we’ll look at two important practices: Profiling and the Job
of candidates compile information about their career preferences
in a predefined way.
is a matter of matching, not filtering, candidates to job positions.
The traditional resume has sections covering education and work
experience. Profiling, instead, standardizes the gathering of a
candidate’s job preferences and overall conditions of employability.
of employability refers to such issues as:
Skills level and development
Willingness to relocate
Attitudes toward business travel
Expected salary range
Availability or start date
Preferred working conditions: shifts, full-time/part-time,
recruiter also has the opportunity to gather information such as
“Languages Spoken” that, while appearing on some candidates’ resumes,
may not appear on all. Profiling ensures that this information is
gathered from each candidate in a standardized way.
resembles a resume builder: an online form presents the jobseeker
with a number of predetermined questions. They then choose from
a set of predetermined options; there are no free-text fields, which
would require interpretation.
a resume builder, which is presented to the applicant at the very
end of the job search and application process, profiling can occur
at a very early stage. A first-time visitor to a Careers section
is prompted to register with the site, which provides profiling
information. This information can become part of a record the candidate
can save on the site, with a password, for future use and updating.
Also, visitors who proceed directly to a job search can be prompted
to complete a profile when they apply for a particular job position.
a visit to a company’s Careers section, a jobseeker may register
with a “Job Agent” to be informed if a position matching his or
her job skills and interest arises in the future.
Job Agent asks the jobseeker to provide his or her email address,
and to answer a few simple questions. The email address enables
the jobseeker to be contacted at a future date. The questions form
a picture of the jobseeker’s interests. At a minimum, the jobseeker
is asked to indicate his or her desired location and job category.
do this, the jobseeker typically selects from lists built into the
Job Agent, reflecting the company’s locations and business areas.
A jobseeker, for example, can select the job category “Marketing”
from the supplied list of job categories. Questions on such topics
as the jobseeker’s salary requirements or willingness to travel
help to build a more detailed profile and can be used for the person
registering with the Job Agent.
a position matching the profile supplied by the jobseeker arises,
that jobseeker receives a notifying email. The email can give a
short description of the job so the potential candidate can make
a quick, on-the-spot assessment of his or her interest. The email
invites the jobseeker to return to the company’s Careers section
and apply immediately to the job position. Typically, the email
provides a link that leads the jobseeker directly back to that job’s
The Job Agent
shown on the chart below, a Job Agent is used by only six percent
of Fortune 500 companies. That level of adoption shows that we are
at a very early stage for this practice.
Job Agent is the equivalent of having an intelligent friend to remind
you what is available out there according to the criteria that you
selected. But most Job Agents have been based on simple tools that
work with keyword matching technology and have no learning or evolution
described earlier, profiling is the complement to make this technology
useful for both the jobseeker and the corporations. It allows a
true match between the two and provides true value.
The Gap Between
the Supply and Demand of Talent
or a lack of direct and clear communication characterizes inefficient
markets. Today, the human capital world is full of friction. We
often hire a candidate because we can find no one better or, because
there is nothing open, we cannot allow another candidate to grow.
that will improve. Large corporations will be allowed to maintain
their own database of candidates where automated skills matching
will be performed between the supply of talent and the demand for
talent. Historically friction has been very high when acquiring
human capital because of the many imperfections in the medium of
communication. The lack of a standard communication platform has
caused a supply and demand disconnect. We tried to fix this communication
problem by imposing a standard of communication to describe skills:
the resume. But today, the databases and the Internet technologies
allow companies to define a new standard. Today a new dynamic platform
has been created: a corporate-wide skill database that allows candidates
and corporations to produce a better match and reduce the friction.
Finding a Job Tomorrow
your dynamic profile of skills will be available and will streamline
the process of matching talent to requisition. Like the intelligent
guide to your restaurant of choice, the route to filling and mining
your talent pool will be vibrant and efficient. Dynamic, updated
databases and automated interactive communications will enable a
good fit for both jobseeker and corporation. Companies will also
be able to utilize personal and corporate-wide skill databases to
link demand of skills or talent internally or externally and even
help build people’s skills through training and elearning.
What Will Technology
Change for the Economy?
and automation in human capital are here to stay. If you are competing
for talent, technology is key to speed. If you are in a slow down,
technology is key for maximum efficiency. Technology will also most
likely influence the speed of the economic recovery. Time to fire
can be very short; that process is easy. But time to hire has produced
an intrinsic friction because of the inefficiency of the communication
process between jobseekers and corporations. With Internet technology
bringing better efficiency to recruiting, that friction is diminishing.
Hiring can accelerate and corporations can gear back up with less
lag time once economic conditions change.
Internet and its related technologies are changing the backbone
of the intrinsic structure of our information exchange. Those who
are not rewiring their processes today could be swept away by the
Lermusiaux is President and founder of the Internet recruiting intelligence
Research. He is a widely sought after public speaker, consultant,
and industry analyst on the topic of online recruiting, and has
been quoted in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial
Times, The Standard and Time magazine.
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