When it comes to creating a pool of potential job candidates, some employers think bigger is better. Large companies will often make use of their electronic application systems to gather any and all resumes that come their way on a continual basis. The logic for doing so is sound, as personnel departments can then analyze the resultant data for insight into their hiring programs while building a seemingly endless bank of potential employees. In practice, though, such automation is only useful to a point and can actually hinder the very personal process of building a successful team.
To start with, resume-reading algorithms are not perfect, even when it comes to basic sorting. I once read of a job candidate who found he’d been marked as unqualified by a computer program despite a relevant degree from Stanford. The full name of that school is Leland Stanford Junior University, but the computer didn’t understand that Mr. Stanford shared a name with his father, assuming instead that the applicant had only been to junior college. It might be impossible to review hundreds of applications in a timely fashion without some form of automation. But a better solution is to create a smaller applicant pool by tailoring job solicitations to a specific group of the most qualified people. This approach is also more fair to those searching for jobs. Many have grown wary of online applications after submitting them by the dozens and hearing nothing in return, potentially because employers solicited applications on popular job boards as a way to gauge potential response, rather than to actually fill a position. In an environment where candidates feel they are casting their resumes into a lottery drawing, they are less likely to apply for the most appropriate positions or become motivated to pursue a particular employer. Be upfront about the position, its requirements and your hiring time frame. Serious candidates will see you are reaching out to them in good faith and will take extra steps to show that they have the most to offer.
For example, my executive recruitment firm approaches only candidates with demonstrated leadership in real estate, narrowing our target audience further by geographic area. Our digital network has nearly 200,000 members, but it’s our seasoned recruiting expertise that makes that network effective. While we make use of technology to help reach the best candidates, we then review responses individually, interacting with applicants and conducting the one-on-one work needed to find the right personalities and knowledge to fit our clients’ needs. It’s the second part of that process that computers cannot replace. Don’t make big mistakes when it comes to your big data while hiring. Digital technology provides today’s managers with an array of powerful tools, but using them well requires discretion and the ability to evaluate candidates as people whose potential value is not always obvious on a spreadsheet.
Over more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has helped some of the biggest names in real estate hire the people key to their success. To learn more about how we leverage our digital network with our extensive recruitment experience, contact Chris Hingle at firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-EXU-FIRM. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate executives.