6 Ways to Digitize Recruiting and Hiring Processes was written for Playlouder by a contributing author. Please note that contributing opinions are that of the author. They are not always in strict alignment with my own opinions. –Joe.
It seems that just about every day we see fresh headlines about how different companies are employing technology in new and creative ways to become more efficient.
Indeed, we have seen companies digitize their business in different ways –– from using mobile apps to provide customer support, to automating marketing campaigns, to putting cloud storage to use. Despite all of the changes we’ve already seen over the years however, there are always new ways to improve efficiency through tech. And one area that has emerged as a prime candidate for tech-driven adaptation is recruitment.
Companies are in constant need of new employees, particularly in light of the high turnover rates and general disruption across industries we’ve seen in the last two years. And many are turning to digitized solutions to address the need. Recent statistics on hiring trends indicate that 42% of companies list “investing in tools to speed up hiring” as their top recruiting priority. And 88% of companies globally are already employing artificial intelligence in HR practices. These numbers speak to clear shifts toward more use of digital-based recruiting efforts.
Given all of this, let’s look at some of the specific ways in which recruitment and hiring processes can be digitized, and as a result be made more efficient and more effective.
1. Analyzing Social Media Profiles
Job seekers today frequently turn to social media when looking for opportunities. Younger candidates in particular now use a variety of social platforms to look for jobs. Beyond career-oriented social media tasks (like maintaining a resume on LinkedIn), this means posting regularly on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, to curate content and a digital presence that recruiters can recognize as unique and interesting. They also position themselves well to interact directly when opportunities arise, with 35% of respondents in a 2019 survey indicating that they found out about jobs on social media.
Accordingly, it has been estimated that some 80% of companies are using social media as a recruitment tool. In other words: First impressions and resume assessments have “gone digital,” with some businesses even going so far as to use analytical tools to search for and sort candidates by attributes visible on social.
2. Company Reviews
For a little while now, job listing sites have allowed people who leave their companies to post reviews of their experiences –– both as simple ratings and as small written blurbs. For some companies, this can become an obstacle in the recruitment process, with 1 in 3 people claiming to have turned down job offers due to bad reviews online.
Unfortunately, this has even happened in instances when content within poor reviews was inaccurate. But you can combat these problems by specifically requesting reviews when relationships end on amicable terms.
Reach out to former employees and ask if they wouldn’t mind posting on the job listing and review sites of your choosing. It may not work out perfectly every time, but ultimately this is an effective means of establishing some positive feedback that will stand out in today's ever-more-online job-searching processes. Even a small batch of sincere, positive reviews can make a difference.
3. Online Tests & Surveys
Once a pool of candidates have shown interest in a position, it is time to start the long and often tedious process of choosing the right one. However, companies shouldn’t expect that candidates who are interested are willing to be present for the entire process; while interest suggests some level of positive attitude toward the company, that interest can still be soured if said company makes the applicant jump through hoops. This is where digital tests and surveys can come into play.
In particular, pre-employment questionnaires are being used by companies in order to “identify candidates who most closely fit what they're looking for” in an employee. These questionnaires have numerous benefits to employers, in that they can help narrow down a crowded field and identify key qualifications (like whether candidates have a given degree) before resumes are even considered. They are also used to predict certain employee behaviors. For instance, a questionnaire can pose a hypothetical question about dealing with a difficult customer in order to assess how the candidate would react.
Alongside these benefits for employers though, these types of pre-screening questionnaires also provide convenience for applicants. Because the questionnaires are digital, and posted online, job seekers can fit them in on their own time and in their own homes.
4. People Analytics
As big data becomes part of the new normal for businesses, it has begun to factor into recruitment and hiring as well. This was an inevitability in some respects, but it is also a solution to the problem that of candidates generated by inbound recruiting, 80% to 90% tend to be less than qualified for the job at hand.
Data-driven talent identification is meant to address this inefficiency. Specifically, the use of people analytics in the skills economy has emerged as a trend. This is an approach by which a digital talent broker (sometimes someone external to whom work is outsourced) utilizes troves of data points to compile pools of candidates who appear to be ideal matches for the company and/or role at hand. Essentially, it’s a means of fine-tuning candidate searches through data analytics. Once the ideal pool of candidates have been compiled, companies can begin to work through the processes of outreach, interviews, and –– when things work out –– hiring and onboarding.
5. Applicant Tracking
We can think of applicant tracking systems almost as second layers of people analytics, covering the latter half of the recruitment and selection process. That is to say, people analytics processes can narrow down and sort candidate fields –– but applicant tracking systems do the same with those candidates who actually apply.
These systems collect and sort applicant information (by names, resumes, or even specific attributes or qualifications), and log them according to company preferences. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon even for fairly large companies to have disorganized heaps of information from applicants: a stack of printed resumes here, a backlog of emails there, and so on. But by embracing digital, automated applicant tracking, companies can enjoy neatly organized information on hand and sort through applicants in a more ordered and sensible manner.
And rest assured, many are now doing so: Last year, an article aimed at assisting applicants revealed that 75% of recruiters are now using some form of applicant tracking, with nearly 100% of Fortune 500 companies on board as well.
6. VR Onboarding
In recent years there has also been an explosion in new applications of VR technology across a range of industries.. Unsurprisingly, the tech has also become useful in modern business.
Much has been made specifically of the emerging potential of VR in employee training. The tech can safely and efficiently help with the teaching new skills, and can facilitate practice with everyday interactions in any given role.
Even before new applicants reach the training processes though, VR is also proving to be useful in recruitment induction. By using VR in this capacity, companies can virtually invite selected candidates to visit offices (whether through detailed 360-degree scans of actual space or custom-built virtual environments mimicking the layouts). This gives the recruits a way to see what a company really feels like, and to enjoy a sort of preliminary orientation –– without actually having to show up in person or arrange for travel.
Recruiting and hiring are delicate processes. They require constant effort from companies, with careful strategy applied to maintaining a strong reputation, locating the right candidates, and guiding those candidates through application, hiring, and onboarding processes. As the examples above demonstrate though, many aspects of these processes can now be digitized. In the end, this provides companies with more efficient and effective means of attracting and hiring new talent.