Among the many demands that managers face when running a business is the important job of recruiting and retaining talent. Company owners are aware that a successful business relies heavily on the caliber of staff that they employ and will ensure that hiring only the best employees tops their list of priorities. The speed at which technology continues to evolve, is having an influence on the methods used by hiring managers in their talent search and candidate acquisition processes. So what lies ahead for this critical department of business activity?
In the days when online applications and LinkedIn were just starting to gain in popularity, they were regarded as being secondary to the usual paper CV and face-to-face interview. But that has all changed as the recruiting world is now almost completely digital. According to Bob Myhal, director of digital marketing at CBC Advertising, “Resumes will be displaced by constantly evolving representations of individual experiences, skills and aptitudes that exist purely in the digital realm. The primary screening method will be via innovative tools that use social media, big data and other technologies to give tremendous insight into individual job seekers”. It was noted by CEO of Entelo, Jon Bischke, that many recruiters have discovered that a digital profile can provide a great deal more insight into a candidate than what the paper resume is able to achieve. For a candidate’s first interview or for those that do not live close by, a video interview is replacing the telephone. To streamline the whole recruitment process, more and more employers are supporting webcam and video interviews, said Myhal. There has been a sharp increase in one-way videos where candidates can record their interviews for later viewing and it is expected that live two-way webcam interviews will grow in popularity during the next three to five years.
In a competitive job market, those seeking employment know what they are worth. With so many opportunities out there, applicants are not going to wait too long for their applications to be acknowledged. If an employer takes their time to respond or makes the application process difficult, they will give it a miss and move on. Candidates expect the process to be fast and easy, but this is clearly not the case in many instances. One way to deal with the situation is by using recruitment marketing technologies. Amber Hyatt, SPHR and director of product marketing at HR software company SilkRoad, said that these can comprise candidate job portals, employee onboarding and offboarding portals and speciality tools that promote sourcing via job boards and employee referral networks. He added further that these integrated platforms are more cost-effective and enable the collaborative hiring of top talent employees. Although sophisticated technology can be out of reach for small businesses because of the cost involved, they can still facilitate the process by having a user-friendly website that is simple and engages the visitor.
A key selling point in the recruitment process is your employment brand. As much as individuals will assess different consumer brands when shopping, astute candidates will apply the same when it comes to selecting company brands, before considering or accepting a position. Job seekers will research companies just as vigorously as companies research them. It is therefore important that a business website acts as a strong tool for engaging talent. According to Hyatt, company websites are a leading source of jobs for candidates and act as a one-stop shop for their initial job search. So it is crucial for a company to own a career site that is well designed, in order to deliver a cohesive brand image that reflects the company’s mission, vision and values. Combined with detailed job descriptions and online application facilities, the company brand experience engages job seekers and helps them to decide whether they are the right cultural fit for an organization and if they should apply.
What about passive candidates? While the number of workers of Generation Y continues to grow, when it comes to the hiring process, recruiters have come to realize that the expectations of these workers differ from those of the older generation. CEO of Haystack Job Search, Inc., Marley Dominguez said that “To be effective, recruiters are going to need to engage Generation Y candidates in new ways”. This relates in particular to those who are not actually hunting for work, but will consider new opportunities that come their way. Although some employers have a good supply of applicants who make contact quickly once a vacancy becomes available, for most companies this is not necessarily the case. These days, it is essential for a recruiter to be proactive when looking for candidates. This can be done by searching for potential prospects via their social media profiles or wherever else they have a web presence, such as personal websites and blogs.
Candidate search tools such as social networks have allowed recruiters to select from a much bigger talent pool. But the research required is time-consuming and can prevent hiring managers from executing their main task, which is actual hiring. “Manually sorting through profiles and social network data is not very efficient”, said Dominguez. “It is expected that the next trend will not just be sourcing social and mobile recruiting data, but actually applying intelligence to summarize the important information”. Data analytics are becoming more sophisticated. To assist businesses in making improved strategic decisions, analytic programs of a high quality are already being applied to customer data. Recruiters may also find that data analytics can help them find out which passive candidates are worth approaching. While digital tools will never completely overtake or act as a substitute for the human element involved with selecting the right candidates, having the ability to keep up to date with the very latest technology, can prove to be a huge advantage for a recruiter’s future progression.