Season 1: Episode 7: 4 Days before my joining date
I started investing more time in reading about recruitment challenges startups in the market are dealing with.
As I was swiftly browsing through some random LinkedIn posts, a post about an upcoming recruitment meetup nearby jumped right at me. The meetup was scheduled for the very next day and I still had time to register. Lately I haven’t been much into social gatherings but the expected recruitment challenges that were ahead of me made me feel restless. I had to grab and make use of every learning opportunity.
The meetup was scheduled only for half a day. It was organized in a classroom like environment where the participants were talking vigorously, introducing each other. I heard that a few of the participants were working as Recruiters for Microsoft & Amazon. “I’m curious to know, what they have to share, they must know a lot” I thought.
The topic of the meetup was ‘Recruitment 2.0’ and New Technologies in Place.
The meetup organizer kicked off by explaining that Recruitment 2.0 is related to the era of social media, where platforms like LinkedIn & Facebook were the main mode for connecting with talent.
“If we are already discussing Recruitment 2.0, then what is Recruitment 1.0”? I asked.
The meetup organizer explained that Recruitment 1.0 was referred to as the era of the 1990's - 2000’s where recruiters used mediums like newspaper ads or job portals like Monster, Indeed and Naukri to re-actively attract talent.
She continued by asking: “Now that you heard all I had to say about Recruitment 2.0, do you think that in terms of Recruitment we are moving in the right direction?”
“What is the next big thing in Recruitment?”
Someone from the participants spoke about using Twitter as a hiring platform. Another participant mentioned the terms AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). To me this all sounded new.
Post listening to the vigorous discussions among the participants, the meetup organizer smiled and asked another question:
“With the rise of hands, how many of you are still mainly using excel sheets to track candidates and your hiring pipeline?”
Almost all hands went up.
She nodded in approval and went on to say: “How many of you send candidate emails directly from your Outlook or Gmail mailbox, without using any tracking software?”
Again most of the hands went up.
“According to you, is this Recruitment 2.0”?
Participants were shaking their heads in disagreement.
"We live in a world where we talk about AI/ML solving our recruitment problems. Do we have our day to day processes optimized well enough so we don’t waste time on futile daily tasks? 80% of our day to day work is done manually. Also we keep searching for new sourcing platforms in the hope to find passive candidates that none has yet tapped. Yet we don’t pay attention to how we store candidate information for long term use so we are not dependent on any external channels.”
She went on to say: ‘Multinationals like Microsoft and Amazon have hundreds of recruiters sourcing and calling candidates each day. What do you think are the chances that all of you in this room (if you are working on job openings requiring similar skill sets) calling the same candidates? The answer is, the chance of you all calling or reaching to the same candidates is as high as 90%. So where is AI/ML here to solve this?”
“Before we leave today, let’s ask ourselves, what the focus of ‘Recruitment 2.0’ should be”. With this, the meetup organizer ended her session and introduced other speakers to the podium.
I was awestruck with her speech. Unlike others in the market, she didn’t use the buzz words AI/ML as the saviors for Recruiters. With her questions she made us all realize that if our fundamentals are not right, then there is no other futuristic solution out there to help us in our recruitment process.
“Fundamentals” I thought. “ I need to figure out the fundamentals of the startup’s recruitment process before I can go ahead with my recruitment strategy.”
Still feeling under the awe with the knowledge of the meetup organizing lady my mind was wandering. “ Did I just find a mentor? Can she be the one to guide me through my startup challenges?" That thought made me smile.