I told you so: A tale of Systems, Process and Analytics

I have always been of the mind that if you have a business procedure then it should be measurable. If any parts of a process are not able to be reported upon, then you need to assess if this is information that your organisation cares about.

Every erroneous key-press or mouse-click that your staff or customers perform makes each process that little bit longer, that little bit more complex and that little bit more open to errors. On the flip of this however, every bit of information not captured is a gap in knowledge. (Much like every word added to this paragraph makes it more and more difficult to understand…)

My general rule is:

If I need to report on it, it should be part of the process, else I don’t want to put it in.

This relates to all steps – from tasks to complete; through to specific fields that may or may not need to be captured.

If you do not care about it, ask yourself why are you capturing it?

Your (information technology) systems and processes should work well together and compliment each other. If you find a disconnect, both need to be reassessed to find that best possible synergy.

Too often does business process change without considering the impact on how this affects the technology and those that use it. In the perfect world both systems and process are considered together.

I had the misfortune some time ago in running into a recruitment manager that did not share these ideas. the story is recounted in the following emails:

The Story in Email

From: Nameless Head of Recruitment
Sent: Thursday, 01 April 3:27 p.m.
To: Graeme White
Subject: Re: Bypass

The Recruiters and administrators have too many clicks when moving candidates through the various steps in the ATS.

They need to be able to bypass. What do you need to do to get this done?



From: Graeme White
Sent: Thursday, 01 April 3:33 p.m.
To: Nameless Head of Recruitment
Subject: Re: Bypass

Lets look at the process and look at the system workflow so we can see what changes may need to be made.


Graeme White

From: Nameless Head of Recruitment
Sent: Thursday, 01 April 3:40 p.m.
To: Graeme White
Subject: Re: Bypass

Can you do it?


From: Graeme White
Sent: Thursday, 01 April 3:33 p.m.
To: Nameless HR Manager
Subject: Re: Bypass

Yes, we can do it, but what I am getting is that the current process is not working for you.

Allowing recruiters to just bypass the process on the system will not make the process any better and you will not be able to get meaningful data about the recruitment process.


Graeme White

After a few more emails, face to face chats and because this person was responsible for paying my contract my protestations were not being heard.This included my getting dramatic and doing my best chicken little impersonation – sure that the sky would fall.

Tell me what you think about your sit-u-a-tion Complication - aggravation Is getting to you If chicken little tells you that the sky is fallin' Even if it wasn't would you still come crawlin' Back again I bet you would my friend Again & again & again & again & again

If chicken little tells you that the sky is fallin’ Even if it wasn’t would you still come crawlin’ Back again

Some months later, What we all knew would happen…happened.

From: Nameless General Manager
Sent: Thursday, 02 March 12:40 p.m.
To: Graeme White
Subject: Recruitment Figures

Hi Graeme,

We are looking at the whole recruitment and onboarding process in our area and want to see what hold-ups there are in the process.

Are you able to run me numbers on all the people hired in the last year, how long they spent in each part of the process so that we can look at these. We need time to hire, to interview etc. Who is involved in each task and anything else to show where there are hold-ups if any.

I hope this makes sense, let me know:


From: Graeme White
Sent: Thursday, 02 April 2:33 p.m.
To: Nameless General Manager
CC: Nameless Head of Recruitment
Subject: Re: Recruitment Figures


The Attached report shows that your area hired circa 500 in the last year. However, due to information captured in the system, I am only able to show the candidate journey for 26 of them as all others had steps omitted.

The raw and cleaned data is included.

Graeme White

I don’t know what the GM’s reponse to the Recruitment Manager was but oddly enough, there shortly was a project under way to assess what information needs to be captured and what steps are required within all recruitment processes.

The morals of this tale:

  • If users don’t have to do something, they won’t.
  • Just because it seems easier now to avoid the inevitable project it isn’t.
  • Without clear data, you do not know where you are, where you have been or how you tracking into the future.
  • Knowing what you want to report, allows your business to set up systems and process to specifically capture that info.
  • You should always listen to your HRIS consultant.

** This is based on a true story – figures and information has been left intentionally vague as to avoid identification.

*** Thanks to joecaughan.com for the caption image http://joevaughan.com/emergent-enterprise/noone-ever-fixed-a-process-by-adding-more-process/attachment/complex-process/



  1. Reblogged this on hrtechgirl.

    1. Thanks for the reblog

      1. No worries Graeme, thanks for allowing me to showcase your work for hrtechgirl readers

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