Recruiting stupidity

Sometimes we get an unexpected lens on the profession. Too often we look from our own position of knowledge and insight and not often enough do we put ourselves in the shoes of a user, whether as an employee or candidate. We talk about “candidate experience” and the role of technology in providing this and  we applaud ourselves on the implementation of systems that improve our speed to hire.

And then we have the chance to look at it from the position of the candidate.

I had this opportunity to do this recently as my daughter applied for Christmas temporary roles with some of the biggest brands on the high street. And I’m here to tell you that your approach well and truly sucks.

Hold in your mind that we are talking about temporary roles here. Maybe four or five weeks. We are talking part time, low paid, customer service roles. We are generally talking about roles that get little training or direction and that are insecure and  disposable.

Which of course is why you need to have an application process that takes on average an hour per role, that includes psychometric testing and situational judgment tests and that results in a standard email telling you that someone will contact you. Which they never do.

Could it be that she just has bad luck? Maybe. But when I talk to her friends they all have experienced the same treatment. And two years ago I had the same experience with my son, resulting in this brilliant message exchange (it was January).


So of course, your brand just looks a bit stupid and a bit out of touch. When you’re 16, 17, 18 you don’t understand why companies use such laborious and clunky approaches and particularly not as part of an exchange that doesn’t feel fair. You want me to complete all these hoops and hurdles for a minimum wage job with a life expectancy of weeks? No thank you very much.

So yes, it might make life easier for your resourcing teams, but frankly it makes you look stupid. Many years ago I was responsible for recruiting 20,000 Christmas temps for a UK wide high street brand. We put posters up in store asking candidates to speak to the manager inside – ridiculously old school, but funnily, that always seemed to work. And the candidate ALWAYS got to speak to a human being.

Now that’s candidate experience.





The questions for 2016

No, don’t worry…’s not a predictions post. I’ll leave that to Laurie and others who’ll do it better.

It’s nearly Christmas and I’m done. I could crack out another couple of posts for you on a Monday morning, but frankly I’m tired and you’re tired of me.

I don’t blame you.

I’m off to reflect for a few weeks, recharge the batteries and come back with more inane babbling and half baked ideas in 2016.

In the meantime, here’s the stuff that’s going to be going round in my head,

  • Is technology the driver of our low productivity?
  • Will wellbeing be the end of engagement?
  • Should you only allow people to recruit who have a growth mindset?
  • Will the Living Wage result in an increasing geographical divide?
  • How do we get a grand coalition of disciplines to tackle the future of work?
  • Are we living in increasingly changing times, or do we just have more information?
  • If Big Data is the future, when is it going to dish up some answers?

And of course, in these festive times… an atheist, does my insurance cover an act of God?

More on this anon. Have a wonderful festive period, enjoy the break and allow others to enjoy it too.

Peace out.

Give me a break

It’s that time of year again when we’re all starting, or thinking about starting, our Christmas break. The jumpers have been worn, the sherry drunk and the Christmas misdemeanours almost, ALMOST forgotten. It’s time for a break. A well earned rest.

And yet, whilst we all yearn for a break, I’m not so sure we give each other the same respect.

Meetings scheduled for the first couple of days back, reports sent on the last day before the holidays, actions completed and requirements passed on.

Because we need to get this off our list, off our backs and settle down for a Christmas break.

The thing is, have you thought about the person that you’re sending that email on to? The one that receives that report the day they are due to go on holiday, or has an important meeting land in the diary for their first day back?  Is this about getting things off your list, or do things really need to happen?

Are you making sure that those around you have a decent break too?

And it isn’t just about our work. What about those people working in the shops, for the courier firms, keeping our transport system going, our lights on and our internet working? Answering our calls and dealing with our queries, helping us to…..well switch off.

As you go away for your well deserved break, ask yourselves what you could do to give other people a break. At work, at home, when you’re out shopping, or dealing with that last minute issue. How do you want them to feel over the holidays, how do you want them to wake up on Christmas day?

Respect isn’t a once a year phenomenon, but once a year we can focus on how we can do more.

Enjoy your break and let other people around you enjoy it too. They may be working, but it doesn’t mean you have to make their lives harder. They may be off, but it doesn’t mean you need to make sure they’re thinking about the return.

Take a break and give others a break too.

It’s what we all deserve.

I’ll be back in the New Year with more ramblings and general grumpiness. Until then.

Peace out.

Why Christmas sucks for #HR

1) Pay Review – You know it is coming up. You know that you’re not prepared. You know that every single manager will be telling you why they are an exception. And you know that they’re right. It’s the ultimate annual clusterf**k of a personnel process. And it’s all yours baby. Happy Christmas.

2) Holidays – Where the hell is everyone? Christmas shopping days? School plays? Cheeky drinks with a supplier? Don’t you know we’re against a deadline people? Organising any sort of meeting suddenly becomes a Herculean feat yet everyone is rushing to get things off their desk before the holidays. I mean, seriously….

3) Recruitment – We need that vacancy filled now! But we won’t be able to interview until January. And we have no budget to spend. That’s ok. Right?

4) The Christmas Party – You’re in HR, you can’t enjoy it. You won’t enjoy it. But if you’re not there, then you’re a corporate disgrace. It’s the perfect example of inclusion/exclusion working in harmony. With fancy dress, optional. And….

5) Alcohol – Yeah. You know. You and me both. We’ve all dealt with far too many sad cases. It’s Christmas, it’s time to relax. But that never means forgetting where the line is. Be responsible people, the last thing you want is a grumpy HR Director on your case.