Thought Leaders

Project Managers Need Better Recruitment Tools

recruitment jobs

The world of work is evolving rapidly. Investment in new technology, automation and AI are fundamentally changing roles, workplaces and the employee experience.

The same, however, cannot be said for the way organisations source and recruit talent which, for most, still relies on slow and outdated processes which cost hirers a significant amount of time and money.

Here’s a typical example of how the recruitment process might play out. You’re at the start of a large-scale transformation or technology initiative for which you’ll need to source a number of highly-skilled individuals to achieve the best outcome.

The process of writing job specs, engaging recruitment agencies or posting to job boards is both costly and time consuming.

Candidates send their applications, either directly or through an agency, and so begins the laborious process of pouring over usually formulaic CVs which may give an indication of an individual’s experience, qualifications and skills, but rarely offer any insight into a candidate’s personality, soft skills, work preferences and availability.

After many hours, perhaps days or even weeks, selecting your candidate shortlist, and having invested a huge amount of budget in head hunter or recruitment agency services, you are ready to start the interview process.

Because of the limitations of the average CV, this is also likely to be extremely hit and miss. Judging potential team members by experience alone with no understanding about the person behind the CV will probably mean more wasted hours interviewing unsuitable candidates.

Does this sound familiar?

In a world that is being transformed by technology, where individuals expect consumer-grade experiences whether at work or in their personal lives, and where organisations increasingly need to recruit the best tech stars on the market for project teams, why are we putting up with these traditional recruitment processes?

For major product developments, difficult project deliveries and transformational change programmes, the challenge of quickly finding top talent and tech stars is even more acute.

We now need data driven insights into candidates and intuitive technology to overcome recruitment challenges and lower attrition rates for Heads of Project Management, Heads of Innovation and Digital Transformation and CTOs.

Skills are changing

The pressure on project leaders and CTOs to build effective teams increases the need for innovation in the recruitment process. Why, when technology is transforming the world around us, have recruitment processes remained largely unchanged?

It’s clear that hirers need better tools when it comes to finding quality candidates that will really make the difference and ensure organisational and business objectives are met. Similarly, it is highly likely that the skills needed within all organisations and on projects is going to shift, even in the next few years.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report in January this year, new job roles are estimated to account for 6.1 million job opportunities globally between 2020 and 2022.

The report also finds that while demand for digital and technical capabilities will, of course, continue to grow, there will also be greater demand for human skills in organisations over the next few years.

Securing top tech stars with the skills needed for the future can no longer be about CVs or relying on recruitment agents, many of whom don’t understand the roles or organisations they’re recruiting for. Data should be driving your search and decisions as to who would bring the most value to your teams.

Finding the best project managers and tech stars

Having established that you’re unlikely to find the skills and personality type you’re looking for using traditional CVs and job boards, the question turns to how project managers should go about recruiting and building teams.

As with most things in today’s fast-paced, digital world, technology lies at the heart of building high-performing project teams in 2020 and beyond.

Here are some of the features any recruitment technology platform or solution should deliver to Project Managers to ensure they’re finding the top people for the roles they have.

  • Time saving: this is an absolute must for busy Project Managers, technology must be intuitive and easy to use as well as removing some of the pain points that traditionally recruitment processes create.

    Tools such as online job builders, interview schedulers, and job offer managers should all enable the hirer to get opportunities out there fast and reduce the time taken writing job descriptions

  • Quality candidates: you need to be able to draw from a pool of quality candidates. Traditional recruitment websites and job boards often market themselves on either the volume of jobs or candidates using their site, but this is not useful to anyone if candidates are irrelevant or unavailable (especially if project managers have to spend more valuable time wading through that volume to get to the candidates they need).

    Put it this way, would you rather have 20 CVs which tick half of the boxes or three which are 100 percent relevant?

  • Intuitive search and matching: the process of matching unstructured CV information to jobs by broad keyword searches is never going to generate targeted and relevant results. Similarly, project managers looking for talent shouldn’t have to manually filter through a deluge of irrelevant candidates.

    Sophisticated algorithms that are built across targeted data models and clever weighting mechanisms, and that generate short but highly relevant candidates matching a long list of criteria, should be on offer to recruiting project managers

  • Reduced cost: unlike traditional approaches to recruitment, technology has the potential to reduce the usual costs of paying recruitment fees.

    Not only this, but recruiters should look for a recruitment technology provider who delays any fee or payment until the selected candidate has completed a probationary period and they are completely happy with their choice

With the right technology in place, project managers will be able to make better use of valuable resources. We’re so used to dedicating vast amounts of time and budget to recruitment that we never stop to think – how we could utilise additional resources if they were made available?

Recruitment technology frees up both time and money so recruiting managers can attract the best candidates with better packages and spend more time on training, onboarding and candidate experience once your new stars have joined the team.

John Bentley is CEO at elbo.

John Bentley
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