Creative Age Recruiting Rule #6: A requisition is a non-critical financial document designed to manage risk
Good corporate recruiting organizations and bad. Innovators and laggards. They all have one thing in common: requisitions. We can't stand them. They are a boat anchor around our necks. And yet they continue to survive to this day.
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Requisitions
Requisitions are created for one purpose: risk management.
A requisition is supposed to be an authorization (once approved) to the recruiter that they can now officially start their engines. It is the green flag of recruiting. But good recruiters stuff their pipeline way before the approved req ever comes down from on high. At best it is a green flag to involve internal resource in the further exploration of the opportunity. At worst it is a distraction.
But if you accept that recruiting is a sales function (and if it isn't, then it should be) then you can ask the question: where's the requisition in software sales? Or any other complex sale? Does the CFO take a look at next year's projected P&L and then issue a "sales requisition" to the sales associate once the company needs the sale? Of course they don't. But why not? Any complex sale involves lots of internal company resources. Even in companies that interview a candidate 20 times, the relative cost of the interview process still pales in comparison to the cost of most other complex sales opportunities.
No, the reason that there is no "sales requisition" is because there is a fundamental (though often unstated) belief that when you are closing deals, the customer is in the driver's seat, but when you are closing candidates, the company is in the driver's seat. In other words, candidates need jobs more than prospects need software (or services, or whatever you are selling).
And one would have to agree with that statement if there were only one employer in the universe for any particular sort of opening, and if there were vendors as numerous as the stars available for any prospective sales situation. But of course it is usually exactly the opposite.
In fact, the more talented the candidate, the more opportunity they have to take their services to the highest bidder, whereas software companies will cut their prices all day long to win a deal. Software is increasingly commodity, while talent is increasingly expensive. If this is true, then perhaps sales management should start issuing requisitions with the exact deal properties listed. In that way sales people will stop wasting their times chasing deals that don't help the company achieve the margins and market penetration needed to milk every last cent out of an increasingly commoditized market.
The requisition is an antiquated vehicle that should only be used in organizations where people are the number one liability. These are companies where capital is more expensive than talent (industrial age companies and some information infrastructure companies). But if talent is more expensive than capital than of course a requisition is a waste of time.
This is not to say that there should not be financial controls on decisions which affect the allocation of capital. In sales you have ongoing executive review of deal pipeline to make sure that sales people are not signing the company up for something that won't yield expected returns. The same should hold true for recruiting: executives should view their number one responsibility as the ongoing management of talent resources (not capital resources) and therefore would constantly be reviewing recruiting pipelines for fit to specification (assuming there is such a thing).
In addition, sales associates must have someone higher up the chain than themselves approve contracts before they are delivered to customers. In the recruiting world the contract is the offer letter. And all offer letters (and, by extension, the verbal extension of offer letters) should be reviewed by the finance department to make sure that the original budget assumptions are validated, challenged or changed.
So if you have those controls in place to make sure that you don't spend money you don't have, and if talent is more expensive than capital, then a requisition is just a waste of time.