The Marriage of Recruiting & Technology: For Better or For Worse?
I am a big fan of recruitment technology. As marketing director for a video interviewing company, technology is front and center in my every day life. Like most of my colleagues, I love new apps, new functionality and new gadgets. However, when not done right, technology may not equal advantage. Technology has been part of recruiting for many years now, and it continues to change and shape the business function. The net impact has been faster and cheaper, but is it really better recruiting? Has the overall quality of hire increased? Has the candidate experience and perception of potential employers improved? Ask a roomful of recruiters, hiring managers and candidates these questions, and responses will run the gamut from an enthusiastic “Yes” to a firm “Not at all.”
A Relationship Worth the Work
What can we do to create a better partnership between technology and recruiting? I propose that we focus more on using technology to engage candidates. Here’s how:
- Use it to get personal, faster. For example, recent research on candidates’ experience with video interviewing indicates that use of this technology has a positive effect – not just on their perception of the potential employer, but also on the quality of their experience. Let’s look for opportunities to use technology to increase and improve two-way dialogue.
- Use it to meet candidates on their terms. Consider mobile technology. Statistics show that a vast majority of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone, and a majority of job seekers prefer to connect to job opportunities using mobile devices. Yet 90% of Fortune 500 companies lack mobile-optimized career sites. Let’s make mobile versions of career websites a priority, and use mobile video interviewing apps to connect with candidates when and where they prefer.
- Use it behind the scenes. Leverage the efficiency and cost benefits of recruiting technology in behind-the-scenes administrative tasks so we can focus where it counts the most: on personal interaction with the “A” candidates.
Avoid the Dark Side
I have experienced the lure of new technology, especially in the workplace where the pressure’s on to improve both performance and productivity. The speed and automation of these new tools can be seductive. And with the SaaS model quickly becoming the norm, low cost of ownership puts technology within reach for companies of all sizes. As you try new technologies, watch out for these warning signs that indicate when technology is getting the better of you:
- Damage to your employer brand. Hiring speed and efficiency don’t always create a positive experience for job candidates. In my industry, we frequently point to Skype as a huge risk factor when used for hiring purposes. While it can help accelerate the hiring process, it can create negative impressions that can damage your reputation as an employer, especially when candidates share their feelings through social media and sites like Glassdoor.com.
- Growth of the “black hole.” One of job candidates’ main complaints about the recruiting process is the lack of communication about their status. Automated messaging can contribute to candidates’ feeling as if they’ve entered a “black hole,” particularly when it is the primary means of communication.
- Missing your “A” candidates. Efficiency necessitates a need to narrow the pool. Automating this process too heavily endangers the tolerance levels of the “A” players, who may opt out if the process is too onerous or impersonal.
Get a Fresh Start
Montage conducted research earlier this year that revealed 95% of job candidates felt great about their ability to represent themselves through video interviewing. Imagine your talent acquisition results if candidates could feel that kind of positive sentiment in every step of the recruitment process!
If you’d like to test the relationship between technology and recruitment in your organization, do a “fresh eyes” review. Review your own hiring process from a candidate’s perspective. Then, look for opportunities to increase personal interaction at every stage, from recruitment marketing to onboarding, and consider how technology could help you improve. Let’s use technology to enhance the getting-to-know-each-other process rather than driving good candidates into a frustrating black hole.