Technology's Impact on Attracting Recruiting and Hiring a Competent Workforce
Leading printing executives into the future
Technology’s Impact on Attracting, Recruiting and Hiring a
By Jerry Scher
Published: February 5, 2013
For the past few months I have been discussing the considerable impact that talented employees
can have on the execution of your business strategies. I’ve encouraged you to consider the
performance differential between your top performers, in any job, and your average performers.
If you’ve gone through this exercise you realize that if you’re able to attract and hire the right
“A” players, their performance differential can be major. I’ve also attempted to get you thinking
about the suitability characteristics of “A” players along with the eligibility requirements that
should be taken into consideration with your screening process
In my future columns I plan to discuss a wide range of behavioral competencies (each
competency is made up of numerous traits) that will impact performance whether we are
recruiting / hiring for sales, marketing, middle management, production, logistics, data
management, administrative, creative services, accounting and/or leaders/executives.
However for today’s column I want to focus on the impact that technology is having on
attracting, screening, assessing, interviewing and hiring the employees that will enable you to
execute your business plans and achieve your business goals and objectives. As we are all
experiencing, technology is dramatically changing the way we conduct business, how we engage
our prospects and clients, how we brand and market our businesses, how we produce our
products and yes, how we hire the talented employees we require.
Technologies including the internet, email, text messaging, mobile communications, data
management and digital production applications are changing the way we communicate
internally and externally. On the one hand, the need to recruit technology savvy employees that
can assist in leveraging these technologies has become a priority while the challenges we face in
working with and managing a multi-generational workforce requires that we focus on differences
in what these distinctive generations look for in their jobs. As baby boomers retire and are
replaced by Gen X’s and Gen Y’s (see article in PIA’s Forecast Part 1 – Trends and Tactics
2013) we face even greater challenges. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65
every single day and as they retire we continue to experience a huge knowledge gap. And for the
record, 26% of the US population falls into the baby boomers category. We are undoubtedly
faced with having fewer qualified, skilled workers, with more critical jobs left vacant.
The definition of a "perfect storm" is “an event where a rare combination of circumstances will
aggravate a situation drastically.” And what we have here in regards to building a qualified,
competent workforce for 2013 and beyond is a “perfect storm.” Some of the more obvious
Technology is driving the need for a new and more skilled workforce.
The quality of a hire is more critical than ever – we cannot afford bad hires.
The retention of quality employees must be a top priority.
Screening and assessing candidates must become more efficient and effective.
76% of organizations surveyed are either using or planning to use social networking for
recruiting (Aberdeen Research study).
Companies are having difficulty executing new strategies due to a lack of human capital.
The need to recruit and hire innovators has become a significant challenge.
In a recent study conducted by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) it
was reported that 74% of respondents acknowledged that hundreds of thousands of jobs go
unfilled because employers cannot identify candidates that have the required knowledge and
skills (eligibility) for a position. The study also indicated that it has become more challenging to
find sales professionals and managers that can address and apply all of the new technologies
within their positions and that creative problem solving (suitability competence) has become
Before I describe how technology can play a role in addressing these challenges, let me first
request that you consider how you have attracted, screened, assessed, recruited, hired and onboarded employees in the past. In my experience most small to midsize businesses do not have a
systematic approach to this process. They recruit only when they have a job to fill and their
ability to find the best candidates is limited; their review of applications and resumes is
subjective at best. They do not follow a systematic approach to assessing the eligibility and
suitability that would enable them to select the very best candidates and overall, their
interviewing skill is not impressive. What I’ve described here only adds to the perfect storm; not
enough skilled, qualified workers; poorly designed recruiting processes; and a need for a
workforce with a new range of skills and behavioral competencies. So how can technology help?
To begin, we need to acknowledge that we must re-evaluate strategies for searching for talent.
We must build a talent pipeline – enabling us to find the right people that fit the job and our
organizational culture. We must expand and widen our candidate searches to reach a more
diverse group of applicants while at the same time minimizing “resume overload.” Have you
ever had to review hundreds of resumes to fill just one job? That’s not much fun; and certainly
not efficient or effective.
With the growth in social media, data management, applicant tracking systems, recruiting
software, on-line assessment tools and integrated marketing/branding applications, your ability to
apply a wide range of technologies to dramatically improve your ability to build your team of
highly qualified and behaviorally competent workers. Some of these technology applications
Cross media marketing that can help build a powerful and attractive brand. Strong brands drive
quality talent to an organization.
Social media that attracts and engages a wider range of quality candidates.
Referrals (still the most effective source of hiring) can be leveraged by employees using social
media as a referral tool.
On-line eligibility and suitability assessments can screen and rank candidates efficiently and
effectively resulting in the screening and short listing prior to interviewing.
Cross-referencing software provides assessment validity, customized interview questions and
personalized new hire development plans.
Video interviewing, whether live or recorded, can reduce costs and travel time as well as
improve overall interview effectiveness.
Greater automation and a more systematic approach to talent acquisition can provide greater
standardization, efficiency and effectiveness.
Combining technology and talent acquisition is rapidly changing the recruiting landscape. You
can begin this journey by reading The Peak Focus – Optimized Talent Acquisition and
Development – Eight Critical Steps To Building Your Team
If you would like more information about designing your talent acquisition system, contact Jerry
Scher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-931-9291.
For information about the Harrison Assessment http://peakfocus.harrisonassessments.com/index.html
Stay tuned to this continual series – as we continue to focus the challenges of building an
Jerry Scher has been engaged in the graphic communication industry for over 35 years, Jerry's
primary goal - make those around him more successful.