This is part 3 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.
When CIOs first appeared in the mid 1980s they were the saviour of the new digital age for businesses. Recruitment Technology, too, has evolved over the past 30 years, and, with it, an amazing array of different solutions to meet requirements for many things, such as:
- Recruitment CRM
- Job board posting
- CV parsing
- Social Media
- Timesheet and contract management
- Data analytics
- Data warehouses (and not to mention the original stalwarts of hardware!)
The list goes on and the number of solutions still grows.
Most importantly is the integration between all these systems, as recruitment directors want a seamless flow of data between systems that reduces duplication, cuts costs and provides a competitive advantage.
For the small- and mid-sized recruitment businesses without a CIO (ie. most recruitment companies in the UK), how do owners and boards ensure they are taking advantage of the technology they need, or making the right choices about their Technology? How can they avoid PIBKAC without a CIO?
Those without a CIO should consider the following points:
- Ensure you have a Technology Strategy. If you haven’t got one, then get one! It will help the business understand what is expected of the “techie lair” in the basement. It will also help you monitor and assess how well your business goals are being supported. Your strategy should at least set out a clear vision of the projects that should be worked on over the next 12 months along with budgets, timeframes, resources and, most importantly, justification as to why you should be investing and implementing. Your strategy is not simply what to do with any IT spend you may allow for.
- Do the basics really well. It might sound obvious, but concentrate on the pieces of the jigsaw that are critical to the business and the ones that will have the biggest positive impact. Spending huge amounts of time on developing a new website or fancy app when your consultants are telling you that the CRM needs developing, is a missed opportunity to improve communications between your candidates, clients and consultants whilst improving control of your business.
- Rein in your (directors’) impulsive purchases. Recruitment directors love to buy the latest and greatest gadgets and then tell the IT team to implement them. This can lead to IT departments being disconnected from the sales force and business as a whole. Ask yourself if your business has capacity to add another project into your IT strategy, or whether the business already has enough on. If it’s really worthwhile, add it to your list of “Should Haves” and review it again in 4 weeks’ time with your IT department.
- Only automate what really needs to be automated. The drive to make everything interconnected by passing packets of data from one system to another is a worthy project, but is it really needed? Speaking with a Timesheet company recently, I discovered that only 20% of their clients have integration between their system and the Finance system. Why? Because a .csv export and import is more than sufficient. Don’t complicate systems or integrations when they don’t need to be.
- Plan. A strategy remains just a strategy until it has been planned, implemented and reviewed. Ensure that each project has a business case document that outlines exactly what the project requirements are setting out to achieve. Have a sponsor for the project sign this off and have the assigned manager of the project produce a clear project plan outlining the milestones, stages of work, resources required and deadlines. Finally, set up review meetings to support the project team through to successful completion.
Recruitment businesses that have a CIO clearly understand the importance of technology within business, and the CIO understands how to get the best out of how to source and implement the technology to help support the business objectives.
If you don’t have a CIO, how do you ensure your technology strategy and the projects you are running are supporting the business aims and objectives, and that they’re not just spending your cash and over-complicating an already complicated process? Let’s face it – it really was so simple back then…
Read the other parts of the PIBKAC series here.
(Thanks www.spreadshirt.co.uk for the perfect image!)