Case #2 – HRMC’s Acclaim
Continuing with the previous post, I ran into another vendor at the Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition (I hope Bill Kutik appreciates that I put in the full title to the show this time!) that reaffirmed why older HR processes need to be reengineered. The vendor, HRMC, markets a solution called Acclaim.
Briefly, HRMC sees problems with several HR processes that include (among other things): - the poor quality questions interviewers use when evaluating candidates - the expense and lost productive time spent interviewing - the need to have a complete resume before an initial screening interview has occurred
The approach HRMC uses is too start with the definition of the ideal (not average) job qualifications and create explicit proof points that must be verified by applicants. Applicants can respond to job listings by taking a telephone-based interactive interview over the telephone. An IVR (interactive voice response system) system asks the candidate very relevant questions. Responses are captured for future playback with a recruiter.
What distinguishes this approach are the following characteristics: - The software asks a qualifying question (e.g., “Have you ever had to fire a poor performer?”) - If the candidate responds ‘yes’, the artificial intelligence behind the software follows up with one or more behavioral and insightful questions (e.g., “How did you handle this and what would you do differently today?”) - If the candidate responds ‘no’, the software skips to another line of questioning. If the experience this question relates to is critical to the execution of the job, the interview could be materially shortened and the applicant moved down the scoring list for applicants. - The very best candidates move to the top of the follow-up list for a face-to-face interview.
This solution is definitely an improvement over prior methods. Recruiters are substantially more efficient as they can play back dozens of candidate responses in the time they would normally spend interviewing just one candidate. Second, the lost time and expense that companies would incur to conduct face-to-face interviews is substantially reduced. This is a good thing in a tough economy. And, the quality of insight that a company gains about the candidates is materially improved.
On the last point, I sat in on some interviews that the President and CEO of mid-market firm conducted with a candidate. The questions these two asked were amateurish and reflected either a lack of experience in interviewing or a lack of preparation. Some of their questions confirmed what the applicant had their resume although these points weren’t necessarily relevant to the job at hand. Their other questions were of the following nature: - Do you have any questions about our benefits program? - How much do you know about our other plants?
They needed a better interviewing process and better questions (e.g., “You’ve ran an accounts payable group at another firm. When they had quality issues with suppliers, what kinds of tough conversations did you have with these suppliers and what have you learned that would make you a better accounts payable supervisor today?”) and they should have used something like Acclaim.
There’s a lot more to this solution than space permits in a blog but the key point of these recent blog posts is to stimulate new thinking in the HR space and not act as a plug for a specific vendor.
Next: Another interesting HR vendor