Bad Idea

Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: In many ways, the proliferation of new technologies in the recruiting and hiring world has been an absolute blessing – but progress always comes with a few bumps in the road. We asked our expert network about the worst ideas to ever gain currency in recruiting tech.

Do you think ATSs are a scam? Feel like social recruiting is all hype? Do you regret ever investing in your personality assessment platform? Let us know how recruiting tech has failed you.


Adrian1. BeKnown by Monster

BeKnown is a LinkedIn wannabe. Monster decided to ride on the Facebook platform instead of using its own. The whole thing just doesn’t work well enough. I reckon it is because Facebook isn’t a work-centric network. People just don’t want to mesh their work and personal lives together.

The clunky interface also doesn’t help. And given that it runs on Facebook, you need to have a Facebook account to use it. Not a great idea.

BeKnown only made LinkedIn much more attractive – and perhaps helped to further LinkedIn’s cause.

Adrian Tan, CareerLadder

Pablo2. & 3. ‘LinkedIn for X’ and ‘Tinder for Jobs’

The reality is that “LinkedIn for X” will sooner or later end up being … LinkedIn. LinkedIn gained early traction because it got venture capitalists on board, and people wanted to be connected to them. That organic desire to connect with other people for reasons other than getting a job is not strong in a lot of the industries where people have tried to make the LinkedIn model work.

Once the LinkedIn reached a tipping point, network effects (and continued growth efforts by the company’s team) were able to carry it to where it is today. The devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world he didn’t exist. LinkedIn’s greatest trick was convincing the world it was not a job board.

As for “Tinder for Jobs” – This one keeps popping up in some form or another. There is too much noise and too much power imbalance in the average employer/job seeker relationship for this idea to work. While the idea sounds good on paper, it quickly becomes cumbersome for employers to deal with the volume of applications, and job seekers eventually tire of never hearing back from employers after they send their profiles into the proverbial black hole.

Also, on Tinder, people make snap judgments mostly based on one another’s looks (and maybe catchy taglines). Promoting that kind of behavior in an HR environment can be very sensitive at best and illegal at worst.

Pablo Fuentes, Proven

Joe4. Peeple

I have yet to meet anyone who thinks Peeple is a great idea. It is an interesting concept, and perhaps it will take off with a wider user base, but we should approach it with extreme caution. It’s hard enough to hire someone – or get hired – without worrying about an app that influences our opinions of one another up front.

It’s good practice to check out candidates’ social media profiles, and Peeple can certainly be part of this process, but you must also form your own opinion by talking to the candidate personally before you turn to social media. Peeple can’t replace the human connection needed in the hiring process. In fact, no technology can do that.

Joe Weinlick, Beyond

Thomas5. The Overall Focus on Quantity Over Quality

As a consultant, I have heard many times that recruiters are overworked. Make no mistake – they are. HR personnel at any level are swamped.

Still, to cast a net internationally while thinking that recruiters will draw the best is bogus. It means massive paperwork that cannot conceivably be met. More precise job descriptions with extremely specific requirements will net fewer applicants but produce higher quality applicants. The idea that a recruiter may have to look at 1300-1500 resumes a month is not an exaggeration – and it is unnecessary.

From the candidate’s end, a blow-off is blow-off. No-reply emails, while justified in the HR department because of workload stress, are insulting. For a candidate to spend 3-5 hours working through an online application process only to hear nothing in return – not even a rejection – is tantamount to total disrespect. So quality people quit applying. Your working recruiting staff gets to work harder for less.

Thomas Eaton, Ouachita Baptist University


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