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This is part 2 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 the myth of “set it and forget it”...

An assumption that recruitment software is a ’set it and forget it “thing”’ and that the project ends the on the day it goes live

I sometimes come across projects where the project team is very focused on ‘go live’, but there needs to be more planning for ‘post-live’.  Consider that, to your end users, the day that the software is switched on is the first day of the project for them. (Perhaps akin to planning the wedding but not the marriage – a whole different blog!)  And let’s not forget that your end users are the most important element of your business.

Moving tech is like moving house

Let’s take office moves. I’ve been involved in a few in my time. Months of planning (hopefully) resulted in the move going so smoothly that the staff turned up for work at the new office and could begin working from day one.  Office moves can be massive business disruptors – if you’ve been involved in one, you’ll know why I say this.  You move someone, even just to the opposite side of the office and everything changes – vista, environment, mood, productivity…

Changing software?  Exactly the same, if not worse!  The new digital recruitment world we now trade in means that desks and offices are just geography – the real communication and activity happens online / on the phone.  It’s no coincidence that PCs are now called “desktops”.

So, your pc/laptop/device is now at the centre of your working (and perhaps home) day.  Any changes to it are going to disrupt you and, ultimately, your business.

Hence, if a recruitment technology project is designed to “end” on ‘go live’ date, then you’re in for an interesting ride!  Imagine assuming that, as the removal van is backing out of the car park, your staff are ready to get back to work – this would never happen.  People have to get used to their environment.  They have to get comfy.  They need people to talk to to get their heads around the change.  They need to be able to log issues with someone who is devoted to getting them up and running asap.

It’s going to disrupt, so plan for it

It’s inevitable that recruitment technology change will disrupt, so plan for it.  Here are a few areas to consider:

  • Don’t get your next massive business change racked up to start on go live date – wait a while and see how this one pans out.  If you give yourself a little time to manage issues, they will be easier to manage and tick off.
  • Data cleaning – don’t assume that a new system means new squeaky-clean data – what plans do you have for dealing with this before and after go-live?
  • Training – yes, I assume that you have this planned to get everyone up and running, but best practice use is something that needs continuous input.  A hurried and brusque approach to recruitment technology training will result in chinese whispers and years of bad habits, leading to expensive “unnecessary” systems.
  • What are the reports on the system telling you?  They should at least give a hint as to best practice usage, conversion ratios, best clients etc…  Don’t assume that because you’ve spent lots of money on training that the users will press the buttons you want them to press.
  • How is this new environment linking to your other systems and processes now that it’s live?
  • Who is looking after the system?  How do you decide what changes are needed?
  • Was it correctly scoped?  See PIBKAC 1: Expectations Vary Wildly

New recruitment systems are a great opportunity to bring the business together.  Also, if run well these projects can help get IT / Marketing / Finance etc… much needed kudos.

However, if they’re run though, to set and forget, then you’re likely to be working on them a lot longer than you’d anticipated, with unhappy users and systems which are expensive and just don’t “cut it”.

What do you think?  Have you been an end user in a project which seemed to finish the day you started to use it?  What was your experience?

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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