Practically all aspects of the work world are now tech-powered, even if the work isn’t being done in a tech-centric industry.
This also applies to the starting point of all work relations: the application and recruitment processes. Here are a few ideas for how to make the most of it.
Applicant tracking systems
Manual applicant tracking is too resource-intensive nowadays. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a powerful recruitment tool that automates much of the process, although it can’t completely replace the human factor when hiring.
An ATS can be great for:
- Comparing applicants’ data to available positions
- Analyzing recruitment channels to see where the best candidates are
- Tracking and adapting hiring goals
- Streamlining communication with candidates
- Automated offers, rejection emails, etc.
- Notifying quality candidates about relevant new positions
- Following up on appointments
- Analyzing interviews and skill tests performance
A recruiter who’s smart about utilizing their ATS can eliminate unnecessary tasks and customize their workflow according to the type of position they’re recruiting for. However, there is one major pitfall to look out for: the power of ATS’s is based on bots.
Each applicant’s resume is scanned for pre-defined keywords, and only those that pass the scan reach a human recruiter. Excellent candidates might get overlooked because they didn’t use enough keywords, didn’t get the synonyms right, or made a typo. One of the most common hiring mistakes is becoming overly reliant on automation and neglecting to vet the bots’ results from a purely human standpoint.
Social media candidate tracking
There’s a good reason why many job-hunting articles advise candidates to build a personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, etc. Not only are these the new advertising boards for open positions, but they also offer recruiters a unique avenue to build rapport and check backgrounds and qualifications in one fell swoop.
An applicant’s social media presence reveals attitudes that might impact their performance, as well as what incentives would motivate them to bring their best value to the position. Ideally, you’d want a candidate who nurtures connections with industry peers, follows key speakers, discusses current industry topics, and otherwise demonstrates a level of passion and interest in their field. This can also reveal some promising industry beginners who might be worth investing in.
Smart talent sourcing
If you’re not already, start using predictive analytics in your recruiting practices. When it comes to picking the right person for the job, there’s no better tool than historical data. Use that information to extract insights into what made past hires successful.
This includes company culture fits and character traits as well as skills. It can help you predict, with a fairly high degree of accuracy, who is most likely to succeed in a role you’re recruiting for.
You can also opt to use direct sourcing to find more talent instead of relying on third parties. Direct sourcing means you use your brand to attract people, so the talent pool you access tends to be pre-vetted to a certain degree.
Applicants that respond to direct sourcing strategies are often past contractors, passive candidates or runners-up who stayed in your network, retirees, etc. In other words, these are people who are already familiar with your brand and have a positive disposition towards your company.
Robust recruiting software
There are many benefits to implementing human resource management software in your offices: it makes training and development easier, and streamlines performance and compensation tracking, among other things. But robust HRMS can also make a world of difference in handling compliance issues.
Employment regulations can change in a blink, and when bringing on new talent, a company must comply to:
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Immigration laws
- Workplace safety requirements
- Medical leave regulations
- Wage regulations
- Fairtrade regulations
- Industry ethics, etc.
A good HRMS lets you compare your hiring policies to compliance requirements and find weak spots that need fixing. Advanced reporting options can generate both standardized and custom insights, so your recruiters can optimize workflow while keeping both the company and the employees legally protected.
AI-powered process support
Last but not least, let’s not neglect the helpful tools provided by artificial intelligence. Of course, AI in hiring is nothing new. Your recruiters can save a ton of time on their day-to-day durities, especially the low-level, somewhat simple, and repetitive tasks. Chatbots shine in this scenario. They can handle answering frequently asked questions, basic troubleshooting, arranging appointments, etc.
However, the real power of AI is the elimination of bias. People have ingrained attitudes even while we try to ask with the best of intentions, which means our perspective of others is always somewhat skewed.
But if you delegate some of the selection process to AI, you can explicitly train the software to focus on objective values such as skills, experience, qualifications, and quantifiable achievements. At the same time, you can teach it to flag and filter out any discriminatory factors – something we people still unconsciously fail at a lot of the time.
Technology is a great asset to your company’s headhunters and HR leadership. There are powerful solutions for everything, from handling resumes and appointments, through sourcing and vetting candidates, to simply saving precious time on the minor everyday tasks.
The trick is balancing automation with a healthy dose of human insight to make sure you find, and keep, the best people for the job.
By Mike Johnston