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Geography and other limits in HR recruiting

Geography and other limits in HR recruiting

By on Oct 2, 2015 in Blog

It is well known to HR professionals, and to all those who have been looking for a job through specialized websites as well, that personnel research and selection processes are carried out following a series of criteria, which often do not limit to a plain list of skills the candidate is required to have. Job adverts, in facts, typically include a number of parameters according to which applications will be evaluated. In order to fit a position, not only a candidate may prove to have specific abilities and competences, but other features could be needed

In this regard, it could be surprising how one of the most limiting requirements of job ads is the candidate’s area of residence: an article posted in January on the Limestone College website declared that “geography is the number one factor that limits applications when it comes to recruiting” in the United States, as 95% of qualified candidates live far from the seeking company, and only some of them are willing to relocate. Big IT companies’ response has been substantial: Google reacted to this trend with a quite radical strategy, started about eight years ago, i.e. opening new locations around “talent production markets”. In other words, rather than trying to attract new assets towards the Mountain View headquarters, the company decided to move first, creating outposts in the nearby of top-level universities, both inside (New York City; Boston; San Francisco) and outside the States (Waterloo, Canada; London; Tokyo). More recently, Facebook and Microsoft began adopting a similar policy. It goes without saying, though, that such a strategy is a prerogative of few big-name companies, able to afford exceptional investments to hold a predominance in collecting the best resources, in order to keep a leading position in their sector.hr recruitingConsidering a more common scenario, if we looked through a dozen of job adverts, we could reasonably expect the main part of recruiters to ask for candidates living in the company’s nearby, or willing to relocate (exception made, obviously, for high profile positions where hard-to-find competences are required, or in case of remote working situations).

Therefore, the ability to screen resumes by the candidates’ residence can still be relevant for a recruiting agency or a company’s HR department. Moreover, apart from the selection phase, sorting CVs geographically can also prove useful in other situations: for example, in the case of a company having to define a commercial strategy by city or region, allocating agents and retailers by area.  

This means, though, that HR recruiters who have to evaluate a large number of applications may need to take a long time in sorting a lot of resumes, since an address is just a piece of information in the CV (and often it is inserted partially, or even absent). Downloading and reading out all the applications received for an open position can become a time-wasting necessity in an HR department.

Semantic-based research software can be an efficient solution, allowing a swift and intuitive management of CVs. Using natural language processing, they enable recruiters to extract the most relevant information, with no need to open and examine every file. Moreover, when this analysis is integrated with geolocation, it is possible to show the position of any candidate living in a specific area or within a certain radius from the company’s headquarters.

The same principle of data search and extraction can also be applied to different kinds of information: thus, a recruiter using an appropriate software can set a screening on a number of CVs, and have an immediate retrieval of candidates who meet specific requirements (e.g, having a master’s degree, being fluent in French and living within 20 km from the company).

The integration of semantic with software, that has already shown its capability in research and data management and archiving, can therefore be an innovative and useful tool in the HR sector too. The capacity to archive, select and manage resumes in a faster, more efficient way clearly results in a remarkable saving of time and energy for HR professionals.hr recruiting


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