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RECEPTIONIST: XYZ Corporation, can I help direct your call?

CALLER: Yes, I'd like to speak to someone in staffing/recruitment please.

RECEPTIONIST: Certainly. I'll connect you to our IT department.

CALLER: No, no, I didn't say I wanted to work in IT. I said I wanted to speak to someone in recruiting!

RECEPTIONIST: There is no one specifically in recruiting anymore. IT is now responsible for most of the recruiting functions.

CALLER: IT does your recruiting? What, aren't you guys hiring?"

RECEPTIONIST: Of course we are; we have several critical needs. But between the online resume banks, automated search engines, search agents, automated prescreening, online testing, automated routing, online requisitions and position descriptions, interactive scheduling software, and email management tools, it seemed the people in staffing and recruiting were so busy managing the tools they never got around to being hands-on recruiters involved in the actual recruiting process itself.

CALLER: Recruiters not recruiting? How could that happen?

RECEPTIONIST: Well, they thought they were recruiting. It's just that somehow they assumed that the people-end of recruiting was secondary. As a matter of fact, many of our recruiters were our worst people-persons. They were hired almost exclusively for their perceived skills as e-recruiters, not recruiters. The managers took on more and more of the person-to-person aspect of staffing, and soon the system appeared to be pumping resumes into the bin without any direct involvement of the staffing group. Then one day, after a staff meeting, the CEO said that based on the levels and topics of discussions, he could no longer tell the difference between his VP of staffing and his chief information officer. He figured he didn't need to pay for two IT departments, so we combined them. As a matter of fact, one of the people who used to be a senior technical recruiter just upgraded my PC and fixed my printer. He seemed happy in IT. Got himself a little tool belt and everything.

CALLER: Really? Well, didn't staffing and recruiting say anything at the time about their professional contribution to the process beyond the technology?

RECEPTIONIST: I think they were so busy looking into an online tool that would eliminate the need for human-to-human interaction in the interview process that they didn't notice what was going on 'til the lights went out.

CALLER: So now all your recruiting is handled by IT?

RECEPTIONIST: Most of it, except for recruiting communications, which is done by our webmaster. He already was doing marketing/communications anyway, but he always seems to be selling product, not opportunity. Negotiations are done by our finance group — if you call mailing an offer without discussions negotiations. They developed a price list like the one they did for purchasing. The concept sounded good.

CALLER: What about HR?

RECEPTIONIST: Gone. We outsourced so much of their work before all this happened that the only job they had left was managing staffing, and when that went to IT..."

CALLER: I see what you are saying. So how is it working out?

RECEPTIONIST: Well, just between you and me, it isn't. We have so many third parties involved in staffing now that our cost per hire is through the roof. The quality isn't there either, and time to fill is measured in decades.

CALLER: Well, isn't that cause for alarm!

RECEPTIONIST: Nah! Everybody has reports, charts, graphs, and spreadsheets that prove they are actually processing six times the number of resumes that used to be process by the old pre-Internet recruiting team. Somewhere along the line I guess processing resumes and recruiting got confused with each other. You know the old saying, "If it doesn't make sense, just do a PowerPoint presentation and use lots of colors, graphs and pie charts salted with and new age words, and everybody will forget the purpose in favor of the outcome."

CALLER: So despite all the automation, you still are not hiring as many people by your own efforts as you used to?

RECEPTIONIST: Well, in my opinion we have all sorts of people doing staffing, but nobody who is staffing, do you know what I mean? Ironically, in the end, neither was staffing. They were trying so hard to be e-recruiters that they became too much "e" and not enough "recruiter." The profession attracted people who wanted to manage an online processes and load upgrades. A generation of staffing that resisted the part of the process that required working with the people, internal and external. The people who needed to project themselves the most became as introverted as firmware engineers. If it wasn't software driven, they had no time for it. I guess that's why so many of them are doing so well in IT! Turns out a lot of them were closet Star Trek fans anyway.

CALLER: You certainly are knowledgeable about staffing and corporate history for a receptionist.

RECEPTIONIST: Oh, I was the director of staffing here, but there weren't enough openings in IT for everyone. But, how can I help you?

From India, Bangalore
:lol: All through the time I was reading this post I was wondering "My! That's one smart receptionist"
And yes it is becoming just as described in the post these days. Most of the technical recruiting is done by team leaders and project managers these days and for resume screening and the initial contact companies are either out sourcing or they have bunch of freshers or people with some experience in recruiting doing the job description posting and initial contact and interview scheduling.
Thanks Jyoti... it was great fun reading that post.

From India, Gurgaon
Thats really a nice scenerio, but there are some confusions. How can IT department handle the recuriting and staffing on the base fast processing only..... Thanks
From Pakistan, Islamabad
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