Daily Archives: July 29, 2016

Organizational Sustentation 60: Human Resources

In our damnation series, we noted how an overly process driven human resources department free of logic and common sense, can ruin the best and worst of plans and inspire your best talent to run to the hills and run for their lives.

Why do human resources (HR) often bring damnation to Procurement? Simply put,

  • They exacerbate talent tightness. (Societal Damnation 51)
  • They drive talent away. (Societal Damnation 50)
  • They think they know what Sourcing is.

HR will insist on owning the talent recruitment process. Now, it’s true that, in most organizations, HR should own the process because most departments wouldn’t know how to go to market for talent if the market came to them and bit them on the thigh like a boghog of NowWhat, but a good Procurement organization knows how to go to market for talent. In fact, a good Procurement organization knows how to go to market for everything the organization needs, and, more importantly a good Procurement organization knows what defines talent to the organization. So a HR department that keeps a Procurement organization at bay that can help is not a good thing.

Especially since the way that many non-best in class HR organizations go about the talent hunt. They blast a poorly written advertisement with a list of requirements no living or dead human can meet across multiple channels, collect hundreds, if not thousands of resumes, and then go through a last-man standing vetting process. They create a ridiculous checklist, a set of arbitrary rules for checking the boxes (because they don’t understand what the boxes are), and then eliminate every resume that doesn’t check every box. They then interview the last men, or women, standing, eliminate those that they feel won’t be a good organizational fit (based on gut instinct), and pass you the candidates that remain. A process guaranteed to eliminate a large number of good candidates, if not all of them.

So what can you do?

1. Define what you really need, as general as possible.

Example. In IT, you need five years doing object oriented software development, with good knowledge of Java, not five years of pure Java. In logistics, it’s big rig training and two years of heavy machinery experience, not two years of commercial sector. Military is just fine. Etc. Don’t make it impossible for the best candidates to even qualify.

2. Help in the selection of resume evaluation technology.

You don’t want dumb “check the box” forms and dumber exact phrase matching technology. If resumes have to be automatically evaluated, you want modern semantic technology that understands coder, developer, and programmer are the same thing and driver and big rig operator are the same thing. You want advanced profile match calculations and not dumb guesstimations.

3. Look at the big picture

Look at references and connections. Yes, references from employees are good, but some are going to recommend everyone who will give them a name just for a chance to get that referral bonus. Connections are even better. If someone is applying for a developer job, how many developer connections are in their business networks, and how many recommend them — even if they work for a competitor. It’s what they know, who can confirm it, and what they want. Do they just want a job, or do they want to make a difference. And if you want someone who will make a difference, that is the person you want. HR probably doesn’t care about any of this, but you do, so stand your ground.