The Speed Of The Sound of Technology

On July 1, 2011, in HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

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I listened in to a recent Recruiting Animal Radio Show featuring Bill Boorman as the guest. I track Michael Kelemen (the Animal) pretty closely. He has a knack for being on the edge of the competitive recruiting game without drinking absolutely all of the bathwater.

Boorman, if you don’t know, is an amazing guy. He is helping to shape the the face of Recruiting Innovation. Boorman’s international unconferences and cutting edge social recruiting projects set real benchmarks. He’s on our Top 100 influencers list. He was the point man on technology

The conversation was rounded out with input from Jerry Albright who always jumps on stuff that works while maintaining a suspicious eye on shiny new toys. Lots of people think Albright is the smartest guy in Recruiting.

The longer I listened, the more I realized that there is a real disconnect in the marketplace.

Boorman captured the essence of this problem when he said, "People who still publish books about job hunting are stealing money from their readers. The technology changes so fast that a book is out of date the moment it is published. Responsible career coaches should publish eBooks and update them very regularly."

Hmmm.

That’s the sort of hyperbole you hear from technology evangelists.

So, the problem is that job hunting advice is bad because the software companies are moving quickly and changing their functionality? That seems like blaming the victims to me.

I suppose that means that Recruiters are out of date and irresponsible because they’re busy recruiting and can’t keep up with the flurry of features and functionality. That seems like another round of blaming the victims.

Maybe, there’s something really wrong with the pace of technology. You could be forgiven for simply giving up and waiting for things to settle down. Perhaps, the rate at which features are being added makes it impossible to effectively utilize the tools that are emerging. Perhaps a piece of software that needs to add new features so routinely that users can’t keep up with it was broken before it was launched.

This is an increasingly common complaint from users about technology.

Agile software development and continuous streams of competitive features (without regard to the actual needs of users) is driving people away from Firefox 5 and the latest editions of Microsoft Office. While subscription based software is all the rage, little is known about the users’ ability to keep up with the flow of changes. That doesn’t seem to stop the uninterrupted (and impossible to understand) flow of features and functions

Recruiting is a particularly interesting case.

At the hyper-competitive edges of the battle for great talent, it’s important to be aware of and using the latest in technology. That’s where those candidates are. It’s not so important for other kinds of Recruitment.

There’s no real reward for being at the bleeding edge unless you absolutely have to be. The problem isn’t a failure of career-coaches or so called laggard recruiters. Rather, our amazing scouts at the far edges of the profession are frustrated with the pace of technology adoption by the infrastructure.



 
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