We Need Less Talk and More Real Change In HR

We Need Less Talk and More Real Change In HR

Be warned: I will piss of a lot of my colleagues on this one. However, when it’s so hard to see what the HR and recruitment industry has done to make it progressive, someone has to say it.

Every day I see colleagues posting on Facebook or Instagram about amazing conferences happening all around the world! We see talk about new tech, innovations in “digital” recruitment, and the grandiose time they’re having in Vegas, England, Washington, and other places that these conferences take place.

For all the hashtags and trending discussions, fabulous selfies and amazing perks, these conferences lack one thing — IMPLEMENTATION.

I’ve read the blogs about how “digital” recruitment should run. The main discussions are center on how companies should be enticing potential hires and maintaining an air of “employment branding” to keeping their team alive and well. But while these discussions are nice, where’s the homework? I see these conferences but I rarely see these HR experts go home and make it work — just countless articles and blogs about what “should” be happening.

You want to know why the HR industry hasn’t changed much? Because HR puts on a party.

Serious changes need to be made. We’re heading into a dark time where there are millions, if not billions of intelligent and amazing talent out there. All of them are avidly looking for work. However, the greatest discouragement comes from the hiring process. Faceless applications still loom above our heads, and the best job boards out there haven’t changed since their inception close to ten years ago. Job seekers are pleading for better hiring practices — and the best out there are not coming from the massive conferences, but from start ups innovating new ways to capture that talent by connecting with people.

The industry of HR has had, and maintains, this stagnancy at an unfortunate cost. These conferences and conventions cost upwards of maybe thousands of dollars, if not more, and the HR tech industry is pouring budgetary funds into exciting HR “experts” to talk and boast about these great new ways to hire. But on the job seekers end, on the employee’s end, we see none of it. The very fact there’s the label of “digital” in front of recruitment shows the industry’s lack of interest into actual integration of online platforms. Networked and optimized for today’s job seeker, there could be a plethora of ways to keep people interested and thinking about landing that dream job. But instead the best we have are clandestine platforms which makes you feel like you’re back during the time of America Online, and executives who seem to love the new tech, but disregard the use of it unless it helps them personally.

Recently I spoke with a friend who works in a middle-management HR role. She’s hardly ever heard about these “great new ways” to hire. Her company is a larger non-profit in Toronto and they still have her digging into LinkedIn and boards like Indeed or Monster for find potential hires. Her biggest grievance? The lack of applicants.

Her discussion with me pretty much summed up the current state of HR and recruitment: it sucks if you’re not at the top. You have no control over where you can find applicants, and if as an HR manager you go out of your way to start connecting over Facebook or social media, the company can deny even the best applicant on the basis of a picture taken over 5 years ago of that kegger he or she attended back in college. Most companies still only know of the job board tactic for hiring. In-office interviews or open houses don’t even exist for many of the companies job seekers are finding. Looking for a social media role? Good luck – if it’s not an internship or a minimum wage position at a massive company, that label and role changes with every company.

There’s no innovation — and the company’s processes haven’t changed since the early 2000s.

The average graduate, if they don’t venture into the downtown core, ends up having a spray and pray tactic on job boards. If they don’t find a brand they wish to work for and apply directly on their site, they start sifting through the countless roles posted for their industry and hope someone contacts them. The application may or may not get to them and if you are looking to personally follow up, you’re more than likely going to be black listed because you didn’t read that disclaimer that “no applicant should contact the businesses directly.”

What the flying fuck?!? In an age where we can find almost any contact online, HR and recruitment agencies don’t want to be contacted directly. The “we’ll call you approach” is not at all fair. Much like how those great new innovations in recruitment and analytics never have seen the light of day with the end user.

It’s great there are forums to talk about progressive new wants to find and maintain a talent pool. But not putting them into practice across the board is disappointing. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on hiring a celebrity for a conference, why not put that money into educating the levels of HR that actually deal with hiring and maintaining those hires and help them delve deeper into the minds of job seekers? Instead of using pathetic buzzwords like “rockstar” or “guru” to entice the new generation, how about actually getting on the platforms they are on? Or maybe connecting them with a marketing tactic via social media or mobile apps? These ideas are floating around out there, why not use them!

It saddens me the most, because in my past I’ve worked organizing and co-ordinating these conferences. The topics I spoke about and presented back in 2011, should logically have been somewhat been implemented now. But they haven’t. Video interviews? No one uses them. Foursquare based recruitment pop-ups? No one’s ever heard of it. I have an sneaking suspicion that even bigger and better ideas and tech have popped up since then – yet it’s no where to be found.

Let’s start putting the money where the HR industry mouth is. Start actually utilizing those great innovations on a wide scale basis and start encouraging education right back to the colleges and certification programs. Get those big companies, and middle-sized companies knowledgeable on what’s out there, outside of the conferences. Start putting into practice what is being preached, instead of enjoying company-paid conferences with exorbitant perks, actually become an advocate to get the budding and burgeoning workforce WORKING.

Let’s think less about the job you have, and start thinking about the jobs PEOPLE WANT and where to find them.

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Alexandra Kubrak

I thrive on social media and I believe industry should too. I engage businesses on a professional and personal level to help them gain the advantage that social media and the correct branding strategies can give even the smallest of ventures. It was my opportunity in starting my own company that gave me the freedom to experiment and succeed in several campaigns for clients. I am looking for the next challenge in my journey with to really push the limits of contemporary marketing strategies and advertising designs, to help their brand stand out and stand up in the market place.


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