Fast Track Recruitment

Bullshit 101 - “People are our greatest asset”

Posted by Mitch on 5th February 2014


The “people are our greatest asset” line has to be one of the great modern-day corporate lies.

I suspect most companies spend more money, and invest more time, in installing office printers than they do in hiring someone with specialist skills.

So why the big disconnect with what companies say and what they actually do?

I think what sits at its root is that most people hate the process of finding, attracting, assessing and rejecting people for jobs.

Doing it properly just isn’t a lot of fun, for the most part. The most fun part is getting paid when it’s finished – and that’s a payoff only those in the 3rd party agency sector get to enjoy.

So people cut corners – which is quite a normal reaction when faced with doing something you don’t like.

Technology has made it easier for HR and hiring managers hide behind automation (whilst perversely using the same automation to attract larger number of job applications) and for agencies to sell the lie that the best talent are people doing exactly the same job for a similar company.

So, whilst they’re generating more candidates from channels that are cheap to use, they’re also trying to reduce the amount of human interaction during the process and limit the types of candidates that are qualified to apply.

If a company really did believe the mantra that “people are our greatest asset”, the department with the biggest operating budget would be HR and/or Recruitment.

But it isn’t.

For many it’s probably the smallest.

In many ways, as a supplier, recruitment should be one of the easiest services to sell because it causes so many companies so much discomfort.

So maybe part of the problem is that too many HR people and hiring managers are looking for an easy button and agencies, flat-fee recruiters and software companies are too prepared to sell them one.

Filling jobs is stressful and often thankless work. Maybe if we all admitted this, then maybe we could all start concentrating on tackling the work with a little more integrity?

God only knows where Big Data is going to take this jamboree of bullshit next.


By John Grabowski on Monday, 19 December 2016

I don’t necessarily agree that bigger budgets equal better results, or that if you value a department you give them the most money. However, there’s no doubt HR depts are hiding behind technology. They also don’t want to make a decision, or try to leave as little fingerprints on a process as possible. No one will get fired or see their career flounder if they hide behind technology or do what everyone else is doing, even if it is ineffective. On the other hand, someone who sticks their neck out and fails in some way is in lots of trouble. I’m told in Japan (and perhaps elsewhere) they have a popular saying, “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” That’s behind the thinking of people in today’s business world, whether they consciously realize it or not. Better to hide behind your voicemail and email than actually do something you might find yourself accountable for.

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