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Making Cake in a Coffee Pot: Evaluating Your Team’s Role in the Selection Process

Most companies use at least one recruiting technology – and sometimes several – throughout the talent acquisition process. To select and deploy these solutions, companies go through an extensive RFP process and choose vendors based on a defined list of requirements before completing the process design and, ultimately, implementation. However, taking this approach overlooks one very important thing: the resource structure.

To understand the relevance of this factor, let’s think about baking. Making a cake requires the following: gathering ingredients, measuring and mixing things together and then baking. Simple enough, right? Wrong. This overly simplistic approach can easily go astray and here’s why:

Gather Ingredients:
Tell someone to gather ingredients and you’ll quickly find out that there’s more than one way to accomplish this task. The person could go to the grocery store and walk the aisles looking for each item, while others may go in search of high end cocoa powder and organic, farm fresh eggs.

These methods represent what each talent acquisition team member may expect of a technology. For some, it’s about just getting the job done, for others, it’s about doing things to the best of their ability. As you draft out that list of requirements, consider how each one will impact the desired outcome. Are there shortcuts you can take or do you need a high performing option to handle the volume of your recruiting efforts?

Measure and mix:
Of course, once you have those ingredients in hand, there’s more than one way to measure and mix everything together. Resources may do so methodically using a hand-powered mixer or perhaps choose a more efficient electric or stand option. They can follow the recipe and sift the dry ingredients together before folding in with the wet ones, or they can dump it all together and see what happens. Here you have to determine how each resource works through the labor-intensive part of the process.

It’s critical that you evaluate your team and identify how resources source candidates – do they go to the fastest, easiest and possibly more expensive firms or websites, or do they leverage other avenues to search out and find the candidates? Knowing your team’s behavior will help determine the technology and/or process design that fits their work style.

And now, with that batter prepared, how do you bake the cake? Going back to the ingredients and recipe, there are always lots of choices – the oven, microwave or even the coffee pot. Each of these options has the capability to heat the ingredients enough to create the cake; however, the time and effort needed for each one will vary dramatically.

Thinking on that list of requirements, some companies aren’t always specific enough to evaluate whether or not a solution will meet expectations. For example, if the requirement is for the technology to heat up, a coffee pot would be a suitable way to bake the cake – even though it might not be the most efficient or effective. However, if your expectation is that you can control the desired temperature and cooking time, than the requirement needs to clearly state so ahead of time.

Understanding how your talent acquisition team operates is imperative when considering updates or implementations. Without a clearly defined roadmap, the technology and process design you choose will not fix any existing resource or skills misalignment. So before trying to bake that cake in the office coffee pot, take the time to see your team in action and get to know how they function. Only then can you bring your cooks to the kitchen.