The recruitment end, and talent forgetting

As a Knowledge Management professional, one of the facets of KM that interests me is the recruitment end of an organisation’s KM activities.

Attracting and keeping intellectual assets is a critical component of organisations that have knowledge-work at the core of their value-chain, and any hurdles or distractors in the recruiting phase (for example) can be a significant impediment to organisational survival. Starting with good ingredients is of course not a guarantee of superior culinary results, but trying to achieve a really exceptional omelette using bad eggs, or the wrong kind of eggs is going to be an uphill battle.

Attracting, identifying, and recruiting people who will be intellectual assets is not just a bit of garnish to be sprinkled on top for aesthetic reasons, it is at the very core of building Intellectual Capital and having effective operations.

So it is with some degree of consternation and alarm that I read things by professional recruiters such as:

After 90 days or so, if you haven’t actively updated your resume, you’ll slowly slip into oblivion from the search results

… and

in this economy employer’s don’t need to search the database as much, they have people beating down the door to work at their company”(Sauter 2009)

This would make sense from a KM perspective if humans were mainly random actors whose history was wiped clean and started afresh each passing day – if for example today you are an expert in statistics and have a Master’s focused on non-parametric testing and have ten years of experience as a statistician, but in a month from now that all vanishes and is replaced with randomly attributed skills, training, and experience.

This is of course not how humans actually are, and the skills, training, and experience tend to be stable and grow with only a small proportion decaying with time – So why would we care if somebody’s resume hadn’t been refreshed in 90 days, and why would we not take advantage of having tons of people eager to tell us all about themselves while the economy was low?

If we throw away all this information every 90 days, then what will we do when the economy heats up again if we haven’t stockpiled a trove of good talent?
Ignoring old resumes and the people they represent looks a lot like forgetting to me, and good knowledge management involves remembering potential assets, not deliberately forgetting them!

For most commercial organisations, competition is global, and having the best intellectual assets one can afford is a significant survival factor – We cannot afford to be lazy about finding and remembering talent.

… and that is my story and I am sticking to it


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One Response to “The recruitment end, and talent forgetting”

  1. Panoszp Says:

    Excellent post.

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