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…So I recently had the opportunity to speak with some HR peers about the subject of HR data analytics. And one of the cool things that came out of these conversations was that we focused on significant process challenges we’ve faced throughout our careers around capturing accurate data.

During one such conversation, I recalled an issue I once faced around the subject of candidate disposition codes.

What are candidate disposition codes, you ask? In (brief) summary, only one person can fill any given posted job, and disposition codes are used by many organizations to track the reason(s) why those applicants not selected aren’t hired. Tracking this data is important because – in order to prove compliance with various federal laws around diversity hiring – organizations must be able to defend their candidate selection process.

Disposition codes are an easy way to demonstrate as an employer that each candidate across the enterprise was considered (and ultimately hired and/or disqualified) on his or her merits. In the absence of such data there is a risk of incurring significant legal expenses to defend against such a suit.

Unfortunately,  tracking such data is easier said than done. In many organizations recruiters are just gloried resume screeners, with the final hire decision being made by managers. And many of these managers neither know what a disposition code is nor have the inclination to handle the administrative hassle often associated with individually entering them (as should be done for any resume that is reviewed). And so disposition code data ends up being inaccurate in many applicant tracking systems (or worse not recorded at all).

To address this issue, some organizations take most of the screening process out of the hands of hiring managers (employing dedicated resume screeners to cull the lion’s share of the applicant pool), while others push the full screening and culling process (including code entry) onto managers, headache be darned. Others still employ full-cycle recruiters that are qualified to make such assessments. But the matter of exactly what to do seems to be a relatively common challenge across organizations.

…I don’t have the answer on the best way to maintain data integrity here, but it was an interesting process challenge that stumped both myself and a lot of smart people in discussions. Ergo, I thought I’d share here.

How does your organization manage its candidate disposition codes? What are the pros and cons of your approach?

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Best,

Rory

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