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About a month ago I argued in one of my blog entries that current HR practices’ bias towards reliability is killing innovation. This is a short update to provide further supporting evidence.

My attending a recent resume writing session with a transparent recruitment professional reinforced my assertions. He basically proposed that structure is more important than content, because recruiters spend on average only a few seconds reviewing a resume. If the resume review process is optimized for speed, it’s easy to see how structure is essential. In essence, the resume review process follows a categorization paradigm, which reinforces reliability at the expense of validity (for a distinction between categorization and sense-making, see my recent entry on post-causality). “Weak signals” in the form of maverick professionals that could bring game changing dynamics to the hiring organization go undetected by categorization approaches optimized for speed. Now interestingly, categorization processes is where computer algorithms excel. Since computer algorithms are way faster than even the few seconds it takes a human to scan for keywords in a resume, this begs the question as to why recruitment professionals are still around in 2013. Apparently, even at very high scanning speeds, an experienced human recruiter is able to apply a heuristic and sense the signature trace of a valuable candidate. Then there is also the human interaction piece where the recruiter actually contacts the candidate that cannot yet be automated. Mavericks however appear to still be at a loss as far as being picked up by the recruitment industry at the expense of innovation.

Photo source here.