By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Recruiting is really pretty simple. Or it should be at least. When you think about it, it’s just the process of finding, selecting and hiring employees to fill open positions at our organizations. We need good people to work at our companies. It’s that simple! And yet, we manage to make recruiting and hiring so complicated and convoluted that it takes nearly two months to fill a single open position at our company. Sure, there are other factors that get thrown into the mix, but at the end of the day, why do we make recruiting more complex than it needs to be?
I’ve found that the simplest processes are often the ones we tend to take for granted and even overlook. There’s no place this is truer than in recruiting. In an attempt to make things easier and more efficient, we end up bogging the processes down. Recruiting is all about finding talent to accomplish a set of tasks or goals for a given job, plain and simple. We’ve got to quit making the search for talent harder than it should be.
Why simple sometimes isn’t so simple
I know that saying it should be simple doesn’t make it simple. One of the best analogies I can draw here is that trying to simplify recruiting is kind of like attempting to lose weight. It’s simple in theory, but not so much in practice. All you need to do is burn more calories than you eat, but it doesn’t feel that way. Simple isn’t synonymous with easy.
Yes, recruiting is simple. But no, it’s not that easy. One of the most significant reasons recruiting turns into a complicated, convoluted process is because others so heavily influence it. Sure, you know your goal and what you need, but add in dozens, if not hundreds, of candidates, a hiring manager and leadership at your organization, and you’re now juggling the needs and desires of several parties. There are also external factors, like scheduling conflicts, paperwork, organizational constraints and candidate uncertainty that complicate things even further. Last but not least, even the technology we use deserves a finger pointed at it every now and then because unless we’re using the perfect tools for us and in exactly the right way, they too can become a hindrance. 
Back to basics
Recruiting can be simple. The concept isn’t complex, but we tend to get swept up in the specifics and details and lose focus on our end goal. Somewhere among the 17 clicks in our ATS and the 150thresume we reviewed, we forget that we are simply matching a candidate to a hiring manager with the expectation that they can and will do a job. I propose that we get back to that. That we focus on the one thing recruiting has always been about: the people. I say we cut the clutter, use only the technologies we need, ask the right questions, and simplify our processes.

There will always be distractions, always be people who want to complicate things and always be external factors that influence what we do, but we do have the choice to rise above it all and play good old fashioned job matchmaker. In some ways, simplicity is a state of mind. The path with the least resistance to accomplish that simple goal is the best way. Let’s keep recruiting simple, shall we?


Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.

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