There has been much talk about Cloud computing or SAAS recruitment software and the massive benefits for a recruitment agency to move to the Cloud. I find this quite amazing for two reasons, firstly most people I speak to aren’t really sure what this means and secondly the whole argument seems to have absolutely nothing to do with finding candidates, making placements or anything else to do with recruitment.
For the life of me I can not see what all the fuss is about. I have, on several occasions, seen intelligence people talk about the Cloud, and while they talk they look up to the sky as if, somehow, the computer they are talking about resides in the heavens in some mystical place deserving of its own religion.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Cloud computing is the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients.’ For most people I suspect that this definition does not help. My definition is that you are using the cloud any time you happen to be using a computer that is not in the same building as you are. What that means in practise, is any time you use the internet, Skype or any other service that connects to some other computer. So if Cloud computing is simply using the internet, why then are people getting excited about the Cloud now when it simply appears to be a new name for something that has been with us for a while?
I write software for recruitment agencies. Writing recruitment software is not easy and I spend a great deal of my time considering how the recruitment process can be improved and then seeing if technology can in some way be used to achieve this. Notice how my starting point is always the recruitment process and not the technology. Strangely, I believe that recruitment agencies also put the recruitment process first. Or at least they put it first when they are recruiting but not necessarily first when they are looking to buy recruitment software. When looking to buy software there are so many other things to consider that often the recruitment process gets pushed to one side.
Using recruitment software and buying recruitment software seem to be two disconnected activities. As a Recruitment Software sales person I know the features customers talk about in the sales presentation are never the features they talk about in the first training session. The flashy cool tools disappear and the more mundane and more important become the top priority. As the developer of both the cool and mundane I hope that on both occasions we exceed expectations however I often feel that even then the main prize is being missed. My objective is nothing to do with software at all. I achieve my true goal when the software fades into the background and becomes the backbone of a better more effective recruitment process that is fundamentally different to what went before. Ultimately the technology is only ever there to facilitate the process and it’s that process that brings success to the recruiter.
When recruiters talk about Cloud computing I just get the sense that they’ve missed the point. Let the techies talk about the Cloud, the recruiters need to focus on the more complex task of inventing better ways to recruit.
Former Recruiter and MD of Intelligence Recruitment Software
ps. For the record, Intelligence Software can be operated as either Cloud or non Cloud but I’m hopeful you wont care about that.