Post and Pray: Gone and Hopefully Forgotten

In the world of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), the “post and pray” method for recruiting and hiring qualified talent is, to put it bluntly, antique, ancient, archaic… just plain old. Placing a job advertisement in a newspaper or other general location and hoping qualified candidates respond is no longer sufficient. Rather, it’s tremendously inefficient. To put this in proper context, consider Everett Rogers’ world-renowned Diffusions of Innovations theory. The scholar, sociologist, writer and teacher originated this argument to explore the increased prominence of the internet and how it has transformed the way people and businesses not only communicate but adopt new ideas. Rogers’ model features five groups of consumers, including: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.

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Businesses still recruiting prospective candidates through the post and pray approach fall in the laggard category. Laggards are suspicious of change, set in their ways and “late to the party” in almost every respect. Conversely, innovators and early adopters are launching new ideas and highly respected as future-forward thinkers and role models. Today’s form of post and pray includes online job boards and career websites. Leaders may believe posting openings on job boards, social media engines like Facebook and LinkedIn, and company career pages are innovative and effective strategies—but in reality, it’s not nearly enough to fulfill the precise, challenging needs of companies already shaken by tightening bottom lines and competitors siphoning off quality talent.
Assuming applicants will not only stumble upon your job advertisements but meet your salary requirements, live in the perfect location, be experienced, and have zero non-compete issues is a pipe dream. Further, many businesses no longer have the internal resources to pinpoint and hire best-fit candidates; they no longer have the luxury of posting a job opening and waiting for the applicant to come walking through their door. As we move further into an era driven by budgetary restrictions and the need for efficiency, those who refuse to catch up risk being left behind by the competition.
In light of these industry challenges, many leaders are turning to RPO to reduce expenses while attracting and retaining a motivated and engaged workforce. In fact, according to a study by Aberdeen Group, Inc. in late 2012, more than half of surveyed businesses are currently investing in or planning to invest in RPO within the next several months. Effective RPO involves attracting the right talent, aligned with an organization’s culture and objectives to create a competitive advantage. It involves creating talent communities to personalize communications and provide potential candidates with the depth of information they desire about the organization and position.
However, many RPO providers operate under the principle, “Give ‘em exactly what they ask for.” If businesses request or have only ever known post and pray, rather than helping them transform, lazy RPO firms will continue to offer exactly that. Failing to truly capitalize on an RPO partnership can stick businesses in the mud of the laggard category. Innovative RPO is transformative, customized outsourcing performed by a strategic partner—one that recognizes the need to respond to new changes and dynamics and ensures organizations stay ahead of the curve.
To learn more about how Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation model relates to talent acquisition and how HR leaders can pave the way toward meeting the risks facing all industries by staying ahead of the innovation curve, check out Pinstripe, Inc.’s recent webinar, Is Early Adoption Against HR’s Nature? Examining Innovation Adoption Models—featuring the insights of China Gorman, HR thought leader and CEO of the CMG Group.

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