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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: What are some tech tools that recruiters may be surprised to learn they could really benefit from?


Derik1. Microsoft Excel — But Not the Way You Think

Recruiters may be surprised to learn about an underutilized tool right under their noses that can be their best friend: Microsoft Excel.

While it’s true that many who join the ranks of HR and recruiting do so in part because they prefer working with people more than with data, distinctiveness in talent management comes from knowing what makes an all-star and where to find these all-stars.

A recruiter should begin with a spreadsheet of all the all-stars currently employed at their company. Next, they should add a column for each primary piece of demographic data about each all-star. Sorting by school, hometown, work experience, and other dimensions will begin to reveal patterns, traits, and markers that the all-stars have in common.

How can you use this analysis? First, you want to reach out to the all-stars and solicit their ideas for how they might recruit within their spheres of influence (e.g., business schools, prior workplacess, etc.). Second, take the all stars’ recommendations for potential hires and conduct a social network analysis using LinkedIn or Facebook to find creative ways to make connections with the potential candidates. Finally, cultivate relationships with high-potential candidates through group events and email outreach to historically fertile sources of past and current all-stars.

Derik Timmerman, Spreadsheet Sherpa

Jana2. AI (Synaptic Intelligence)

Synaptic intelligence is a branch of AI that finds connections across your data in order to identify recommendations for good matches. For example, in the recruiting space, you can find candidate matches for your jobs from across many different data sources and identify the reasons why these are good matches for the jobs.

The key in recruiting is the right match. Synaptic intelligence makes better matches by taking into account more data. Think of it this way: Most hiring managers don’t have time to cull through all the available information on a candidate. Instead, they skim a resume, maybe do a Google or LinkedIn search, and then make a call. What if you had a system that told you who was a good match and why they were a good match? It would highlight information from past performance in LinkedIn, tell you the candidate is active in the field of big data from Twitter, show you how many people in your company know this person, and tell you how this person is like other employees at your company. We can dig much deeper into information than humans and computers do today but summarize that data effectively so that humans can make the right decisions.

Jana Eggers, Nara Logics

Michael3. Relocation Technology

A company’s best talent isn’t always in its backyard, but recruiters know that a check and a handshake won’t be enough to convince top talent to relocate. If recruiters have strong relocation technology at their disposal, they can be more confident about searching outside of their companies’ local boundaries for the talent they need to fill open positions.

Strong relocation technology is a win-win for both recruiters and employees. Companies are able to acquire the best talent, and employees receive the support they need to execute a painless move. Relocation packages can make or break a deal, so it’s important for companies to have all of the tools they need to make relocation easy for everyone.

Michael Krasman, UrbanBound

Karen4. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Generally, VPNs are associated with online privacy and content access for expats, but this technology also offers some key benefits that could particularly assist recruiters:

1. Switching Geo-Locations Online: By connecting to an international server and browsing the Web as if you were in a different country, you can more easily see a variety of international job listings and relevant candidates for job openings. You can also market your services to a variety of audiences and more easily monitor both how your ads appear in other countries and how you competition markets internationally.

2. Secure Connections Over Public WiFi Networks: If you work independently, travel frequently, or are often on-the-go for meetings with new clients, this aspect of a VPN is particularly beneficial. WiFi networks, although convenient, are unsecured, meaning you confidential exchanges and the private and sensitive data of your clients are at risk of being hacked and exposed. Connecting to a VPN mitigates this risk by allowing you to browse the Web through a secure, encrypted connection. That way, you can work remotely with peace of mind, knowing all your data and clients’ confidential details are safe and sound.

Karen Mesoznik, SaferVPN

Kathleen5. eLearning Platforms, Like Udacity

Udacity Talent Source is a great place for recruiters to look for technical talent. With more than 11,000 “Nanodegree” program students – the majority of whom are working professionals with college educations – we’re trying to create a new pipeline of top technical talent.

The tool is a database of all Udacity students who have completed at least two projects in their Nanodegrees. Recruiters can connect with candidates directly and view profiles that include information on courses taken, skills acquired, location, position, etc.

Kathleen Mullaney, Udacity

Erika6. Interactive Video

Recruiters have to use creative measures to gain candidate attention and generate excitement, especially when it comes to the younger generation of talent just starting their careers. Interactive video takes engagement to the next level for recruiters, enabling the elements of both storytelling and gamification to drive engagement. Companies are taking advantage of interactive video to create more personalized connections that bring a company to life for candidates. By inviting employees to navigate their own onboarding experiences, recruiters are able to collect data based on those engagements to understand what is resonating in the content. Deeper access to audience insights also helps to optimize the content experience and continuously improve recruiting efforts.

Erika Trautman, Rapt Media


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