Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recruiting Embraces Computer Dating Concepts

By Paul Binder
Associate Director, Graduate Career Services
I was fascinated by the BBC News China report:  “Can technology identify China’s top graduates?”

It covers what I consider another technological step eclipsing the traditional recruiting process. Key recruiting drivers have been to predict career success and Return on Investment (ROI) at a hiring firm.

Traditionally, as corporations were burdened by an increasing number of applications, resumes, and cover letters, steps were taken to make that process more efficient, even though optimal results could suffer.

An example was to limit the number of schools considered, regardless of potential better talent at other schools, for reasons like company executives attended those schools.

Then the applications, resumes, and cover letters were ranked and rationalized by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) essentially based on key words.

Common screens align position descriptions with skills and accomplishments, even though significant qualifications may be overlooked.

Now the actual interview is being potentially diminished in importance. “Big data” technology has been ratcheted up to analyze questions submitted online to determine behavioral and cultural fits with a firm. Advocates of this next stage in recruiting cite benefits including better candidates who would not have historically surfaced.

This probably means that candidates need to be more thoughtful and thorough in communicating their skills, interests, and values. It probably also means that in-person networking has never been more important.

Should candidates be exclusively screened by a computer? Should recruiting be a definite two-way process? Should I consider myself fortunate that I am retired?      

Paul Binder is the Associate Director of Graduate Career Services at the Kelley School of Business. Paul and his team meet and coach hundreds of students, alumni, and corporate partners on tried and true recruiting methods, interviewing tactics, and career management strategies, while staying in tune to how these areas are changing and evolving. Email Paul at

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