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Internet = Hiring Transparency

This article from the Economist a few weeks ago stuck with me.  It’s an interesting piece on how the rise of forensic science shows like CSI has changed the practice of forensic science in the real world.  Jurors now believe (not always correctly) that they know enough to challenge forensic evidence use in the courtroom.

As a recruiter, I had an unexpected empathy for forensic scientists.  A big side effect of the Internet on recruiting has been to give anyone that can do a web search for “job search tips” a huge number of opinions (even the staid BLS is in on the act).

As with anything online, the available resources are a mixed bag.  I can’t tweet my resume, and I have no interest in practicing.  But even though CareerBuilder is trying to sell job seekers services (which, by the way, feel sketchy. Where’s the pricing?), they still offer reasonable advice.

So recruiters, like forensic scientists, are working with people that have a flood of information about how hiring works, and how we do our jobs.  I started recruiting in 2000, towards the beginning of the Internet recruiting era.  And I got used to being able to position what I do as a black box: I’ll find you talent, don’t worry too much about how I do it.  It’s a little uncomfortable, that vague feeling that every candidate and hiring manager is looking over my shoulder.

The denouement to this story is, not surprisingly, similar to that of forensic scientists.  The way that I see it, we as recruiters have to embrace greater transparency (and the second guessing that comes with it), and be less nervous about telling both candidates and hiring managers exactly what we’re doing, when, and why.