mobile recruiting - what's taking so long article John Sumser HR Examiner May 5, 2014

Mobile Recruiting: what’s taking so long, whose fault is it, and how can an earnest visionary speed things up.

Matt Alder, the British Recruiting Futurologist, recently published an eloquent screed lamenting our collective failure to embrace mobile recruiting. In Matt’s view, it’s the fear of the new that prevents the widespread and rapid adoption of novel techniques made possible by mobile technology. Only Luddites would be so hard stuck on 15 year old traditions in recruiting.

He says,

"…..the mobile internet isn’t just another channel it is a real quantum shift to a different way of doing things. Unfortunately that message doesn’t seem to be getting through when it comes to recruitment and I think that many employers and recruiters are still thinking about mobile in the wrong way. The one thing I hate about our industry is that for many the default position seems to be an insistence that the old ways of doing things are best and any shift in technology needs to be adapted to fit tried and tested methods rather than looking at the potential to evolve the industry itself and makes things work better.."

I doubt that there is a recruiter with a pulse living anywhere on Planet Earth who isn’t aware of the transformative power of the cell phone and its continuously evolving chain of descendents. Both of the recruiters who don’t own multiple ‘pinch to zoom’ devices work in obscurity. Mobile technology is not news.

Matt makes a great point about exactly how transformative this next generation of technology is going to be. It will precisely cleave slow work from fast everywhere it finds a place to root itself. Mobile is precisely the way that old paradigms will be overturned.

If that’s so, you might ask, what’s taking so long, whose fault is it and how can an earnest visionary speed things up.

First of all, recruiting is already mobile and that mobile capability is ubiquitous. We are not headed to the promised land, we already live there. No contemporary recruiter eschews mobile technology. Not one.

What is moving slowly is an emerging view of the way that recruiters, hiring managers and candidates could and should experience the process. Our contemporary recruiting processes have been cobbled together while we were doing recruiting. Remember that image of repairing the car while it’s going down the highway at 120 mph?

That’s what we’ve been doing.

Since no single provider was able to deliver all of the possible pieces of recruiting, we spent our energies making disparate solutions work together. That any contemporary recruiting system works, even some of the time, is the real miracle. For every increment of speed added to the pace of technical change, recruiting is at the forefront hunting down microscopic bits of competitive juju.

There is a window opening.

Somewhere shortly, one of several end to end recruiting providers will start actually delivering a predictable and seamless interface that gives the three stakeholders in recruiting a comprehensive single experience. That experience will be able to handle varying workflows. It will deliver hyper-relevant analytics based on the actual business requirements of those stakeholders.

Worrying about whether or not that process is hosted well on some specific platform is singularly besides the point. We are not in search of a breakthrough technology. We are hunting for a kind of process integration we used to only dream about.


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