our blog gets recruiters thinking

This is part 1 of a series of blogs devoted to the glib abbreviation: PIBKAC (often used to describe “user error” – problem is between the keyboard and the chair).  The other parts of this series can be found here.

Let's look at how expectations of a recruitment technology project can vary wildly across the business.

In my previous blog about PIBKAC (problem is between the keyboard and chair) I mentioned that I would be reviewing 8 elements which can affect recruitment technology projects.

Today I’m going to focus on the often wildly varying expectations of different parts of the business when it comes to recruitment technology projects.

I’ve worked on many rectec projects over the years and often find that the business’ expectations, or rather mis-expectations, are an issue which, if not checked, will lead the project to over-spend, under-deliver or just plain fail.

Technology is supposed to be an enabler.  Its purpose is to speed things up, make life and business easier and overall make the process of business generation and growth more automated.

In reality, the expectations of the people involved in either the roll-out or the usage of the end result can vary massively and this can cause massive stress on minds, relationships and budgets.

Let’s look at a few example staff groups and what I often see as their expectations:

IT assumes that

  • Users will use it
  • Users won’t use it (they didn’t use the old systems, what’s going to change with the new?)
  • IT will manage it, the business will own it
  • IT will simply create new users and retire old ones, along with making sure that the system is backed up and logging calls with the supplier if things go wrong

Recruiters assume that

  • The systems will find me more candidates
  • The system will help me get out of tricky situations (find old docs that prove intros / terms etc…)
  • The system is something that admin uses to confirm my sendouts
  • The system is something that finance uses to send out invoices
  • The system will doing everything I need it to do as part of my recruitment process
  • I use the system when I have time
  • The system won’t reflect my process and I bill loads so I’m exempt from having to use it

Marketing assumes that

  • I will be able to run campaigns from it
  • The data is in tip-top condition so I’ll be able to run MI (management information) from it to help me spec out new sectors / trends
  • The data is awful in the current system and this won’t change with the new one, so I need independent systems to do my job

Management assumes that

  • Management information (MI) will be easy to generate
  • The data will be clean and tidy and relevant
  • I’ll be able to finally (and easily) track conversions’ ratios for the business and individual consultants
  • Speed and cost of placement will be obvious to me
  • Users will use the system
  • The new system will join my business up
  • IT owns the system
  • The system reflects the business process
  • The system will drive the business process

Finance assumes that

  • I’ll still need my own finance systems
  • I can scale down on the other systems I use as the new system can take some of the strain
  • The data on the system will enable me to generate invoices and finance-related reports

What do you think?  Would you add anything to these assumptions?  I could go on all day about this.  The above is simply there to demonstrate that I often see a disconnect between what the staff think they’ll get and perhaps what the systems are scoped to do for the business.  How can you roll out change when the end users have such differing opinions on what success looks like?

Ask the Question

If you’re running a recruitment technology project, ask yourself if you’ve actually met with “the business” and asked them a few questions:

  • What do you want?
  • What do you need?
  • What systems / processes do you currently have?
  • What systems / processes would you rather have?
  • What does success look like?
  • What problems do you have that you think the new system will solve for you?

Tech is easy – it’s humans who are complicated

I bet you’ve reviewed what tech you need.  You’ve spec’d up hardware, bandwidth, cloud vs. server etc… The challenge with all technology projects is the PIBKAC challenge – the problem is between the keyboard and chair.  It has a mind of its own and its own way of doing things.

Humans vary in so many ways.  They can be positive and negative about tech.  Make sure that you know what they want (in detail) when it comes to tech projects.  Gather their expectations and measure your success on managing these expectations and delivering on them.  That’s a sign of a good project delivery. What do you think?

Thanks to The REC and the RecTecHub for publishing this.

Read the other parts of the PIBKAC series here.

(Thanks www.spreadshirt.co.uk for the perfect image!)

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