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Amazon Go

A Lesson in Disruptive Recruiting from Amazon Go

In case you’ve been living under a rock these past few days or can’t come unglued from your post election Facebook feed, you may have missed that Amazon just announced the opening of a grocery store without a checkout line. Let me repeat that: the opening of a grocery store without a checkout line! The simplicity and power of that statement is magical.

Here’s the thinking and strategy: the biggest waste of time in shopping is the checkout process. Remove that part of the experience and you’ve completely disrupted the grocery store market. It’s easier said than done of course. There’s some serious tech underneath the hood. Amazon calls it “Just Walk Out Technology”, a mash up of computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion. You can watch their demo video here.

But how does this relate to recruiting? A little disruption can give you and your team big returns in finding and hiring the best talent.

The biggest disruptions ultimately solve very basic but widespread problems. Uber is another example. It ultimately doesn’t really matter if Uber or your local taxi company drives you to the airport. But Uber made the user experience better by providing an app, a map, and eliminating the frustration of payment at the end. By making the process much more efficient and engaging, they’ve enjoyed explosive customer adoption and growth. I suspect Amazon Go will experience the same as they open more stores.

In the context of recruiting, your “customer” is the candidate and the hiring teams you support. Just like the checkout line and paying for a taxi, disruption can happen at very basic but prolific pain points in the hiring process. When you solve those problems you too can experience explosive levels of “customer” adoption, engagement, and satisfaction.

Interview scheduling is a perfect example of an opportunity to disrupt. It’s an extremely painful, inefficient process for recruiters, coordinators, interviewers, and candidates alike. If you make that process more efficient and enjoyable, your customers will be far more engaged and happier, which ultimately makes your life as a recruiter much easier and more productive. There are a host of inefficient points in the recruiting process that are ripe for this – getting interview feedback from hiring teams, ordering background checks, putting together offer letters and getting them signed, etc.

Too often when we’re looking for a new ATS, we prioritize what we perceive to be the shiny new tools. Take a lesson from how Amazon, Uber, and others disrupt markets and solve, at disruptive levels of usability, the basics that affect the most important people – your customers. When building your requirements start by identifying all those points of inefficiency in your process and make those a priority over everything else. You’ll end up having built a solid foundation with the building blocks from which to grow, innovate, and prosper for many years to come.

Remember, at the end of the day, Amazon Go is still a store and Uber is still a ride to the airport. They just do it so much better than everyone else and their customers love them for it.

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson is the Chief Sales Officer for SmartRecruiters.