In the business world there have often been process redesign teams and automated implementation teams. Each with a common goal of improving efficiency and streamlining to improve results and lower cost. Sometimes improved efficiency and lower cost do not equal improved results.
There are multiple applications available that will scan and read resumes for organizations. There are automated systems that can run background checks and credit reports on applicants. For some occupations there are data bases available for data retrieval related to performance on prospective applicants.
All of these individually or collectively can assist many organizational human resource departments.
There is also the perceived thought process that by removing human flawed interpretation of data – one would receive unbiased interpretation of data. When there are no human hands screening a resume then there is little chance vital data about a prospective associate will be missed. By automating the process then there will be less time delay in retrieving answers.
Theoretically this automated process would decrease the time and cost of selecting and hiring of new associates. In turn this would also increase the quality of the associates being hired by any organization. The cost savings would be immediately recognized and these savings would be seen on the bottom line of the financial reports.
Since all applicants had been screened and selected through an automated process – the quality of these associates should be higher than those selected with human intervention. There was no chance of any favoritism playing a part in the hiring process.
Due to automation the applicant was thoroughly screened – matched to an open position in the organization – made a job offer – accepted and was hired without any possible human error. There was one step missed in the automation – a critical step in building an effective team within any organization. The one step missed was the human perception step.
Without the human involvement in the hiring process – be default – that process is flawed. Numbers and data will never tell the whole story. Data retrieved off of some data base will not reveal how well the applicant works under pressure. Data retrieved from the pages of a resume will never reveal the ability for the applicant to integrate as part of a team. A credit report will not reveal how willing the applicant would be to working floating shift work or unplanned overtime.
The interview process is the one part of the hiring process that would be the most difficult to eliminate. Any automated system used for sole determination of hiring associates for any organization will fall short. No matter the skill level or job description of the applicants. A custodian associate will still need to be screened for possible work ethic issues. The hiring determination is made not only on experience – but on ethical reasons. How well did the associate perform the tasks? How well did the associate work within the team? How flexible was the associate in regards to work hour adjustments and overtime? Some of these questions can be answered through reference checks – but most will need to be answered through an interview process. This interview process will be conducted by a trained human resources associate who can ask the right questions to gain accurate answers from the applicant.
There are many cases where the numbers will not tell the whole story. It is only through a structured interview can the best candidate be identified. There are disadvantages to the human based hiring process also. The process takes man hours for screening and reference checks. The process is open for favoritism to come into play when choosing the right candidate.
The best process is possible a hybrid of the two. Utilization of an automated process to identify the top 5 – 10% of candidates. Then use the human resources interaction and interview process to make the final decision. Mark Lange, with Brass Ring Solutions – an automated applicant screening company states, “we do not define quality, but we do proved tools for the company to use…” (Lange).
Do not depend on an automated system only – it is simply a tool to be used by organizations to augment a hiring process. Automation gives us the best of both worlds – it does not replace a world.
Lange, M. (2001). Brass Ring Systems Automated Hiring Systems: How to Impress a Robot. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from http://www.itworld.com/ITW0302blacharski
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