If you ask any corporate president or small business owner what the most critical characteristic of their management structure is, you will most frequently hear the word “accountability” in there somewhere. Passing the buck or claiming the need for new software or other tools is a common excuse for poor management. Does applicant tracking software make a job recruiter’s job easier? Absolutely, but the best applicant tracking on the market isn’t going to mask poor management.

Ultimately, the success or failure of your company will come down to people, not software, hardware, or manufacturing equipment. Inefficiency or faults in those areas can bury you, but the right people making good decisions will ensure that you never get to that point. Before you start investing in expensive upgrades to your systems, ask a few key questions about your personnel. Are they doing their jobs now? If you give your human resource manager the best applicant tracking software to do his or her job, will you get better results, or will they still be inefficient?

The computer is only as smart as the person who is operating it. The machines are only as good as the people who operate them. Your personnel management and human resources departments are only as good as your recruiters and managers are. You can help them to be better if they’re already good at what they do, but investing in expensive upgrades in any area of your company won’t make bad employees into good ones. As the owner or president of your company, you need to look at each of the people who work for you and make changes before you do modifications of any kind.

Of course, accountability doesn’t stop at the human resource department. In many companies, the job is getting done at the recruiting and hiring stage, but the ball is being dropped at training or day-to-day operations. Hiring a superstar new employee and putting him in with a manager who has a history of failure or inefficiency is not going to make the manager better. It’s going to cause the employee to want to go elsewhere. Another company will definitely hire someone with that kind of promise and put them together with management that can cultivate them, not hamper them.

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