The HR organization is often one of the last to enthusiastically embrace new technology in any enterprise. The adoption of many technologies is often predicated on improved efficiency (normally read as “doing more with less”), and is often perceived as corporate code for downsizing. With a bit of planning and strategic thinking, however, the enthusiastic adoption of technology could mean that HR in general, and recruiting specifically, can play much more valuable and strategic role in the organization.
While some HR technologies, such as those that improve record-keeping and benefits administration – long considered millstones around the collective necks of HR professionals – are earnestly adopted; others are viewed a bit more suspiciously. Many technologies that are sold to increase efficiency of the HR organization are viewed as a means for technology to take the place of valuable – and wage-earning – humans. By understanding what technology can, and equally important can’t do, users can position themselves as being indispensable in the face of such change.
By way of illustration, a large, well-known telecommunications company recently decided to try a virtual interviewing technology as a way to increase the number of the candidates in the hiring funnel and to decrease the time-to-fill. When the recruiting staff was first introduced to the application, there was some natural resistance. Their thinking was “any technology that helps improve efficiency means that one or more of us will be deemed surplus and will be let go.” But, instead of digging in their heels, the recruiting staff decided to find out as much as they could about this technology and how it could help them increase their importance and value to the organization.
They soon found that the new virtual interview application recorded each applicant’s interview, allowed the recruiters to assign scores to each recording and add their own notes directly in-line with the interview itself. They also discovered that they could send these to hiring managers and other stakeholders for their review and feedback. Pretty soon, the recruiters discovered that this technology could be used to enhance their jobs and make them more valuable to the organization. After all, the virtual interviewing technology couldn’t make decisions about candidates – it could only capture interviews more quickly and present them in an organized, consistent fashion so the recruiters could add their value more efficiently.
The introduction of this new technology merely acted as a catalyst that enabled the recruiters to become more trusted strategic partners to their stakeholders – the hiring managers in the company. Recruiters were able to collaborate on a level that was not possible with their previous methods. They now proactively share candidate interviews, and the recruiters’ evaluation of them, with hiring managers to help ensure they are on the same page. As a result, hiring managers, spend less time on marginal candidates, thereby improving their effectiveness. The bond between recruiters and their stakeholders has grown stronger as well.
The recruiters have even taken it upon themselves to review a small subset of interviews together to ensure each of them evaluate candidates in a consistent, predictable manner. The hiring managers who count on the recruiters to send them high-quality, well-qualified candidates have enthusiastically endorsed these “calibration” sessions.
While many view the adoption of new technology with fear, uncertainty and dread, others enthusiastically embrace it as a means to increase their personal and professional value to the organizations they serve. Those who do often find themselves to be indispensible and well-positioned for increased responsibility and recognition.
Be sure to visit HireIQ Solutions in the Resource Partner Showcase at SHRM-Atlanta’s Annual Conference March 13 &14 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA!
Kevin Hegebarth is Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for HireIQ Solutions, Inc. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications and has spoken at numerous industry events on the topics of workforce acquisition and optimization, the role of social media in customer service, and innovative human capital management strategies. He is an AIPMM certified product manager and is a co-inventor on two U.S. patents.