IN THEORY, TECHNOLOGY IS A good thing; it has drastically improved our lives both in the personal and professional arenas. In fact, hiring technologies have made many aspects of the employee selection process far more efficient. Digital candidate information, for example, is paperless and searchable, providing faster, more efficient and eco-friendly access to applicant records. But hiring expert Scott Wintrip cautions that hiring technologies can also create their share of undesirable outcomes in the workplace, making it important that companies think twice before jumping on board the tech train.
“Unfortunately, hiring technologies aren’t perfect solutions for all businesses,” says Mr. Wintrip, the author of “High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant.”
Job boards can flood HR with hundreds of unusable candidates, and skills-testing software can fail to accurately predict how someone will perform in a job, he explains.
“Is technology the problem? Sometimes. But often it’s because an organization chose the wrong technology for its needs or has failed to use automation correctly.”
Mr. Wintrip adds that automation is expensive and, therefore, mistakes with technology can cost a company quite a bit. Consider the tens of thousands of dollars in wasted hiring expense alone, not to mention lost productivity thanks to technology-based missteps.
“Clearly, companies need to think carefully about choosing the best hiring technology for their needs,” he says. “You really can’t afford to take this decision lightly.”
In order to avoid expensive mistakes, Mr. Wintrip suggests owners/managers answer these five questions every time they consider adding to or changing their company’s hiring technology:
Why do we need this automation? Before you choose to adopt any new and flashy automation, figure out your motives. Do you really need that new applicant tracking system, automated reference checking process or video interviewing service? And if so, why? Is it truly able to improve how you hire? Or are you considering it for another reason — like perhaps one of your competitors just started using that same technology and you feel the need to keep up?
“Always check your motives to ensure you’re pursuing technology for the right reasons,” he says. “You’ll really regret it if you impulsively take on automation that fails to innovate your hiring.”
How will we use it? What is your intention for fitting this new technology into your existing hiring process? Does it truly fit your organization’s process, or will it require you to totally overhaul your systems in an unproductive manner?
“Before you adopt any new technology, take a look to make sure it will enhance your current process,” he says. “Otherwise, you will end up serving your technology instead of it serving you.”
How will it reduce effort? Which aspects of your hiring process will the new technology make more efficient? And by how much? “If new automation will only marginally improve the efficiency of your hiring, then you need to take pause,” he says. “Before you make any decisions, you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth the investment.” Does it appear easy to implement, learn and use? Ask the vendor of the product you’re considering for a test drive. Better yet, request to use it alongside your current method for a short time. Then compare the results. Does the technology help streamline your hiring? Is it easy to learn and use? If so, keep moving ahead. If not, do not adopt that technology.
“Any vendor with a high-quality product should stand behind their merchandise,” says Wintrip. “If you get a sense that the vendor is hesitant to let you ‘try before you buy,’ consider that a red flag.”
What results must it achieve to be worth the time and money? What expectations do you have about the impact of the automation? What protocols must it improve, and by how much? Ask the vendor to demonstrate how the technology will achieve those results.
“This question is the final test,” says Mr. Wintrip. “Technology requires a substantial investment of money and time. The ROI must be worth it.”
Not all hiring technology is created equal, he concludes.
“Don’t assume that a program is right for your business just because it’s new and popular. Taking the time to ask yourself these crucial questions will help you decide whether that new tech is worth it or not — saving you money and time in the long run.”
— About the author: A resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., and the founder of Wintrip Consulting Group, Scott Wintrip has changed how thousands of companies across the globe find and select employees, helping design and implement a process to hire top talent in less than an hour. For five consecutive years, Staffing Industry Analysts, a Crain Communications company, has named him among the world’s 100 most influential staffing leaders. He’s also a member of the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Staffing 100 Hall of Fame.
Leave a Reply