Using Technology to Help with Recruiting

It would be difficult to overestimate the role technology has played in recruiting practices in recent years. A hiring process void of online components is now nearly unheard of, while trends and techniques considered “best practice” for hiring from job boards and ATSs are growing and changing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up.

The aggressive mining of big data has produced new formulas and software for every aspect of the recruiting process. From sourcing to closing, it’s now easier than ever to take care of business via a PC or mobile device.

The rapid development of technology makes it difficult to pause and analyze all of its implications, but one piece of recruiting advice does seem to resound again and again among top business leaders – technology cannot replace people.

The key is not finding programs to automate the hiring process from one end to the other, but instead, discerning how to make the best use of time-saving technology in order to invest the most personal time and effort into hiring’s key stages. Precise applications of this will vary from industry to industry and business to business, but there are several overarching principles we believe will prove helpful to all companies seeking to use the latest technology to help with their recruiting process.

Get on Board

Maybe you’re a technology holdout, still fighting off indigestion when paper resumes are passed over for online applications; maybe you have tried to learn a new system, only to have it displaced by the “new-and-improved” version months later; maybe you’ve finally put technology to use in a way that is comfortable to you, and you’re cringing at the thought of having to change everything again. We get it.

If technology’s innovations are more obnoxious than exciting to you, if you aren’t eagerly scanning tech blogs every morning, anxious to see what new gizmo Google or Apple put out now, consider getting some help in the IT arena. It’s far easier to adjust to regular, small-level changes than to try to learn a completely new system every few years.

Find a tech blog that speaks your language, seek out a conference that is accessible to the non-tech-guru, hire an IT person or team who can help with the unceasing onslaught of changes, and then embrace the good technology has to offer.

Make it work for you. Again, technology updates shouldn’t be ends in themselves, they should render profits; they should make your hiring process more efficient, making your life easier. So get on board and stay on board.

Mobility (And all that entails…)

Getting more specific, recent developments in technology are moving consistently toward a mobile-friendly design. This is much more than creating smartphone-accessible websites. It’s about ensuring that you have a hiring process that is easily accessible to potential candidates and the ability to include as many formats of communication – video, chat, social media links, etc. – as are helpful to you in your sourcing and hiring practices.

Depending on your business and your focus, you may or may not use every social media site or popular app that comes along to contribute to your hiring process, but you should be willing to consider the potential value of any new technology. If a candidate’s resume includes the option of a link to a social media profile or video interview, these additions to the traditional resume format can provide more information on the candidate, giving recruiters and businesses a fuller picture of who that candidate really is.

Ask yourself if your hiring process is candidate-friendly. It’s difficult enough to find a good match in a new hire, don’t let superficial issues – like non-user-friendly interfaces and confusing formatting – keep the right candidates from applying for your open position.

Social media, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, can be powerful advertising and hiring tools. LinkedIn is the obvious social media option for business-related contact building and advertising, but Facebook is hard to ignore, with a reported 1.79 billion active monthly users in December 2016.  30% of all Google searches are employment related (about 300 million per month), so if you aren’t putting regular effort into establishing and keeping up with your business’s online presence, you’re missing out.

Keep it Personal

We’ve already advised against letting algorithms take the place of people. Data, formulas, apps, and systems should help people, not replace them. No computer can make a personal connection with new, potential, or existing employees the way a person can. And connection is what keeps an employee at a job. So while it’s amazing that a single online ad can generate interest from applicants all around the world, it’s also not enough to ensure long-term hiring success.

Technology needs constant babysitting – regular updates, troubleshooting, evaluating and reevaluating.  This requires a wise and personal touch. Resources are widely available for businesses seeking industry-specific advice for effectively utilizing current technology, but they, again, require the careful consideration and implementation of a knowledgeable person or team of people.

Alongside the trend towards mobility is an emphasis on making the hiring process as personal as possible.  Businesses who are embracing apps like Snapchat as a method of connecting with candidates are, at least in part, seeking to provide candidates a more realistic portrayal of the culture of their company.  This is, reportedly, a huge priority among millennials. And, as Jeff Fromm explains in Forbes, millennials are “the generation that will represent nearly 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.”

Quality, time-tested business practices are as important as ever. Efforts to improve a company’s technology should work hand-in-hand with more traditional keys to business success.  Technology should reflect and not distract from the heart of the company it represents.  Keeping your technology personal betters your chances of hiring employees that are a good match for your company’s distinct culture. Better matches mean less turnover, and less turnover saves you money.

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