Analysts and pundits tell us that the reason recruiting is more challenging today than it was thirty years ago is that Millennials are different. We disagree. Baby boomers wanted a better candidate experience then, but it wasn’t possible. Everyone had a tedious, bureaucratic process, and the standard response then was “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
Technology, with its instant communication, has changed expectations. Today, job seekers can go online to find an opportunity and apply in a few minutes. When they do, they want an immediate response. If you do not contact them quickly, they will assume you are not interested.
HR has gone digital, and recruiting has gone mobile. Speed and the candidate experience have become the recruiter’s competitive advantage. The customer experience is emerging as the primary differentiator in consumer markets, and in the same way, the candidate experience has become the differentiator in recruiting.
There are three strategic moves you need to make if you are to remain competitive:
Recruiting is becoming more data-dependent, and the pace of technology adoption is speeding up. We now have evidence that at least for some positions, machines make better hiring decisions than people. We knew this fifteen years ago when we used assessments in a large call center and reduced annual turnover among customer service representatives by over 60%. What is different now is that we can apply sophisticated algorithms early in the process to reduce recruiter workload and make better decisions. Instead of wading through stacks of resumes, recruiters can concentrate on wooing the people most likely to succeed.
People are melded to their mobile phones and tablets. Even when they have desktop or laptop computers handy, they will use their mobiles to shop and do their banking. Ninety percent of job seekers use mobile devices in their searches. They want to find a job, apply, and upload a resume or link to their online profiles anytime and anywhere.
Why? It’s the mobile experience – simple, uncluttered, and available 24/7. As a result, mobile users have become very discerning. If your application process is not mobile-optimized, talented people will pass you by.
Candidates are judging you by the recruiting experience. If the application process is tedious, bureaucratic, or creates a negative impression of the candidate experience, candidates assume your workplace to be the same.
If you still require applicants to fill out long applications detailing their entire job history, your hiring process needs an update. Your application process should allow candidates to connect to their online profiles instead of completing a long form. Modern technology enables you to gather information about a candidate from a variety of online sources.
The candidate experience has a significant impact on your company’s brand and reputation, and it will affect your ability to attract and retain talented people.
To put all of this together – data, mobile recruiting, and candidate experience, your optimum path to success will be through the cloud.
Antiquated applicant tracking systems can’t keep pace with the demands of modern recruiting. Today, talent is a seller’s market, and you need more than applicant tracking to be competitive. Your recruiting platform needs to be scalable, flexible, and well connected.
Today’s cloud platforms offer many advantages your ATS cannot deliver.
If you are using software designed over three years ago, you may be losing out on good prospects. That does not mean you need to rip out your entire HR system today and start over (although 40% of companies are). On the other hand, you do need to update your online presence to be mobile friendly, and your candidate experience must reflect the best your organization offers.
The pressure is on in recruiting. Finding skilled talent is now the top priority for 83% of companies, and recruiting is where business leaders look first to fill the gap.
Many factors drive the skills gap, including advancing technology, demographics, and economics. Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells a part of the story.
Although we have seen growth in available jobs, companies have not been hiring to fill positions because the right talent is not available. Our graph also shows that a rise in the number of quits, indicating that employees are more willing to leave employers if they are not satisfied.
Recruiters are on the front line of the competition for talent. Successful talent acquisition professionals have moved beyond “post and pray” to advanced sourcing, networking, and relationship management to engage the talent they need.
Welcome to the new world of technology-enabled recruiting. If you are facing recruiting challenges, it may be time to update or replace your recruiting technology.
Human resources software is reinventing itself, and we are in the midst of a new wave of innovation. Software is moving beyond tools for HR process management to employee-centered technology. The management functions still exist, but the role of HR has changed from talent management to talent enablement. Just as Marketing developed a relentless focus on the customer experience, companies and the software they use focus on the personal experience of each member of the organization.
As Josh Bersin explains, HR software has moved beyond automation and past talent management, and is now moving through employee engagement to an age of employee empowerment. New startups are building on new ideas to create integrated interaction between machines and people. Mobile applications are becoming an integral part of almost every employee’s work day.
Every part of the candidate experience is undergoing a change. New demand for recruiting tools have created a new array of applications. This doesn’t mean the functions in your ATS aren’t valuable. They are the foundation of compliance in hiring practices, but innovators are leading the way ahead with new technology:
We approach this question carefully. Your recruiting needs are based on your business goals. You may need allthis functionality or none of it. For example, you may need to do some social recruiting, but it may be enough to join in Marketing branding efforts. If you are recruiting primarily construction workers, you probably don’t need much video interviewing.
Conduct a thorough analysis of your recruiting strategy and future needs before you consider the leap into sophisticated software. Recognize, too, that each additional technology tool can complicate the job for a recruiter if you have a small staff. Productivity software should make your people more productive.
Single-focus vendors can innovate faster than vendors of talent suites. If you need leading-edge capability, you may wish to consider a top specialist like Jobvite or iCIMS. If you have a talent suite and can use the recruiting module in it, you can easily integrate other vendors to provide ancillary services, and the best vendors will provide API connectors.
Your digital strategy will determine the path you take, but if your recruiters are to be competitive, they will need the right tools.
After years of lagging, recruiting professionals are catching on to modern marketing techniques. Analytics, machine learning, and neuroscience are defining new ways of sourcing, screening and selecting candidates. Recruiters who learn to leverage these innovations will become better at their work. New methods promise to improve organizational performance and productivity.
Despite alarmist warnings, artificial intelligence is not about to replace recruiters because it does not yet exist. Depending on how you define it, may never become a reality. No machine achieves intuitive human thinking. They can learn faster than humans, but only within specifically programmed parameters. What will define the future of recruiting will be the partnership between recruiters and their machines.
Marketing has been using data to refine its messaging for decades. Analytics and biometrics have enabled marketers to fine-tune messages to the needs of individuals and to know who is likely to respond, where, and when. If you apply the same principles to recruiting, you can radically change the way you source candidates.
The standard practice is to broadcast job openings to the entire world and sift through hundreds of resumes to find a few suitable candidates. By adopting analytical tools developed in Marketing, you can identify likely candidates and use analysis of their online behavior to predict when they might make a move. You can then target those individuals and gain a much higher response rate than with mass marketing.
Targeted recruiting shows promise in attracting people who are strong candidates. Coupled with job descriptions that focus on objectives rather than lists of requirements, you can start with a much better slate of possibilities.
Psychometric assessments have proved their value over the past several decades, but machine learning in recruiting promises to take applicant screening to a new level. Algorithms can use a wide variety of information sources to determine the suitability of candidates without the inherent biases of human screening. Machine learning can identify predictors of success, and can help companies eliminate the artificial barriers of “creeping credentials.” As the industry gathers data, we find that education and experience are much less valuable than other attributes. Machine learning promises to make that information more accessible to recruiters.
Machine learning can help companies make better selections and avoid many of the discrimination pitfalls in selection. In a world where one in five interviewers asks an illegal question, unbiased selection tools can improve your diversity initiatives and reduce your exposure.
Video interviews enable analysts to evaluate facial expressions, vocabulary, tone of voice, and many other indicators that a live interviewer will miss. It allows us to create a quantifiable picture of each candidate. As the amount of data grows, the predictions will become much more accurate, enabling recruiters to eliminate many of the natural biases in the selection process.
Predictive analytics are not a panacea. Algorithms can inherit the biases of their creators, and machines cannot replace human judgement.
Machine learning in recruiting requires massive amounts of data, and making defensible employment decisions requires accuracy and validation. Smaller companies who do not have sufficient numbers of people to support accurate analysis would do well to engage a consulting firm with enough cases to support their validations.
Biometrics and machine learning can help recruiters make better decisions and manage their workload, but they cannot replace human conversation. Some analysts tout chatbots and human-like talking computers to handle routine communications with candidates. History may prove us wrong, but we believe nothing can replace a recruiter’s personal touch.
After years of promotion, publicity, and discussion, the exponential growth we have expected in big data analytics in HR has begun. The percentage of companies capable of predictive people analytics doubled from 2015 to 2016 to eight percent. Seventy-seven percent of respondents to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 survey now see people analytics as important to their businesses.
Part of the reason things are changing is that the software needed to gather and analyze data become universally available. Analytical capabilities are now built into human capital management technology or are available off the shelf. Most companies have upgraded their technology in the past few years, and analytics is a standard feature of modern people management platforms.
If you are just now contemplating getting into people analytics in your organization, we recommend you start with recruiting There are two reasons for our recommendation.
One is that you have using automated recruiting for any length of time, you have a wealth of data about the people you hired. You have information about their education and work history. You have detailed information you gathered in assessments. You also have information about how they handled interview questions. Josh Bersin noted in a recent podcast how a company found that people who exaggerated their work experience had a high tendency to become toxic employees.
The other reason is that recruiting, as Bersin says, is “an easy win.” A small change in how you select people can have a significant impact on organizational performance. A large call center we worked with impacted turnover by showing its recruiters how introverts stayed longer and performed better than their extroverted colleagues.
We have long known that managers tend to hire people like themselves. Part of it is personal biases. Some of it is the belief that their experience and background is the best model for success. Having data on which employees stay longer and perform better will help those managers overcome their misconceptions.
We do not recommend you rush out and invest in a company-wide analytics project to measure everything you can. As in our other recommendations about organizational change and alignment, we recommend you start with a small, high-impact project that will show the bottom-line value of statistical analysis.
People analytics will soon become a foundational strategy of successful organizations. If you have not already done so, we urge you to get started right away. Your company’s bottom line will thank you.
It seems like just a blink of time ago we were excited because we could review résumés online instead of shuffling stacks of paper. Today we are recruiting in a multi-channel media and communications environment, using social media, and reviewing online profiles instead of résumés. Recruiting technology is growing up and leading the way to a candidate experience much different from the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” of a few years ago.
However, according to the Aberdeen Group, 60% of companies are in reactionary mode. They recruit only when there is an opening, and are not developing talent pipelines that lead to sourcing the best candidates. One of the reasons is reactionary thinking, but much of it is because they are using outdated technology that doesn’t give them the tools they need to operate in a social media world.
Talent technology vendors are responding to the demand in a big way. We now have the capability of providing a seamless experience where applicant tracking systems (ATS) are merging with candidate relationship management solutions (TRM) to make recruiting an all-encompassing social experience. We have reviewed the offerings of the top providers and recommendations from the Forrester Research Talent Aquisition Vendors report of September 2015 and identified what we believe are essential tools you should consider in your talent acquisition technology selection.
Here are the top ten new features we want you to have in your recruiting platform.
We hope this helps you get the most from your recruiting platform investment. If yours does not have all these features, we recommend you discuss them with your vendor to find out when they will be available. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, it may be time to move on.
Social Media Continues to Grow and Influence Behavior
Social Media took the Internet by storm in the early 2000s when Facebook showed up on the scene. A quick study of the phenomenal growth of the once exclusive online community, and you will discover the simplicity of the concept.
Fast forward just over a decade and the number of users on social media grows every day. Marketers have long since tapped into the world of social media to build relationships, advertise and promote their brands. With social media at their fingertips, recruiters now have access to a larger pool of talent than at any other time in history of the profession.
In fact, 92% of recruiters are already using social media as a part of their process. Over 85% are taking advantage of Linkedin’s professional network, 55% use Facebook and 47% regularly use Twitter.
Social media also helps with the brand awareness challenge most recruiters face.
The number one quality of top recruiters is building and managing relationships. Recruiters can develop relationships that could last a lifetime. With social media those connections become mutually beneficial because people change jobs an average of 12 times and stay at one company for less than five years.
Some of the biggest reasons to use social media in your recruiting strategy include:
The bottom line: available positions get filled faster, because of social media’s high usage and instant response time. This allows you to multiply your efforts and increase your placement rate.
When we discussed quality of hire last January, we noted that the metrics used to evaluate recruiting didn’t pass the credibility test. We based our concerns on the top recruiting metrics reported in the Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report from LinkedIn.
Only 33% of recruiters in the survey believed they had effective measures. The number one metric in that report was new hire performance evaluations, and our conclusion was that the low confidence in evaluations rendered that metric invalid. Now, with the worldwide trend away from performance evaluations, it has dropped off the list. Table 1 shows how the measures changed year over year.
The report for 2017 shows the new top three measures: length of time new employees stay with the company,
time to hire, and hiring manager satisfaction. That is an improvement, but we question the credibility of the retention as a measure of quality of hire.
Recruiting has a significant impact on quality of hire until the day the employee starts in the new role. The transition from candidate to employee depends on the quality of recruiting and onboarding. However, recruiting no longer controls the ongoing quality of the relationship. The forces that influence the employee experience most are working relationships, growth and development, and company culture.
We support time to hire as a measure because it affects the employee experience. If you are slower than your competitors, you can lose out on top talent. We recommend using it as a factor in measuring the candidate experience as well.
The relationship between the recruiter and the hiring manager is four times as influential as any other performance driver. Research by Robin Erickson, Ph.D., of Bersin by Deloitte shows us that recruiters with better working relationships outperform others. Organizations in which better relationships between recruiter and hiring manager exist outperform their competitors.
If this number one indicator drives organizational performance, it pays to assess and grow recruiters’ ability to form those relationships. For some managers it is not easy, but relationship management is a skill that can be improved with training. We look forward to seeing results of improvements and hope to see it on next year’s list of metrics.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.