What Do HR People Really Want?

by Ryan Kohler

Obviously, as someone who owns a hiring software company specifically designed to help small to mid-sized employers streamline their hiring process, I’ve been on a never-ending quest to figure out how to reach HR folks on a personal level. What I mean by that is: I have spent years trying to determine what motivates these professionals, and quite frankly, seven years later, I’m a total loss.

I think there are a few contributors to this disconnect, but I imagine the most predominant difference between myself and HR is that we have two completely opposing approaches to problem-solving. In fact, this dichotomy is so distinct that it wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of you don’t think to question a procedure that seems tedious because it doesn’t even cross your mind that there could be a more productive way to accomplish the same thing with better results.

I Love Data

I am, by default, a very analytical and data driven thinker. I use numbers and percentages to determine what changes (if any) I need to adopt in order to fine tune my methods for the most favorable outcome possible. Additionally, whenever I confront something I don’t know, I immediately consult “Dr. Google” since it’s basically the same as having an encyclopedic genie at your beck and call whenever you need it.

Does HR Know that There’s a Smarter Way to Hire

When I encounter a problem, I immediately try to fix it, especially since there’s a software platform out there for pretty much everything now. Just yesterday I was in search of finding some kind of real-time surveying system for a panel presentation I’m moderating; well, a quick Google search later and I found exactly what I was looking for.

This makes me wonder why so many companies with 100-1000 employees rely on paper applications, emailed resumes, help wanted signs, and newspaper ads to spearhead their hiring process versus employing an automated and affordable system that is guaranteed to free up time and create better hiring results. I just don’t get it.

What’s more is that only 2% of companies that are in desperate need of an applicant tracking system (based on the sheer amount of hiring they do on a monthly basis) search for one online. Why? Does HR not know to look for one? Are they afraid to speak up and suggest change? Does their company really not have the budget to buy one, but has more than 1% of revenue or $3000 per hire to spend on recruiting? Or, is it simply because majority of you are happy with the amount of time and stress you associate with hiring people even when the quality of your applicants is mediocre at best? I’ll admit that I have a hard time accepting the last excuse because it just doesn’t make sense to me.

What Drives HR

I’d really like to know what it is that scares HR Professionals away from an easy-to-use system like ApplicantPro in favor of a hiring headache. What really matters to small and mid-sized employers? I personally don’t think that even SHRM understands the motivation for this group. I’ve spoken at SHRM events around the country and based on what I’ve seen, I would say that their learning material and themes cater more towards trends that affect enterprise corporations. What do you think? All of these opinions are based purely on speculation because I don’t know what drives you, but I’d really like to know. If I’m way off base, please enlighten me. I know that you could benefit from my system, but first I need to know how to reach you.

Something tells me I’m not the only one who finds HR elusive; chances are, your Executive team feels the same way. In order to establish your position as one of value within your organization, you first have to open yourself up to your company so your voice can be heard.


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