Robot Recruitment; How Recruitment Became Digitally Led

This is a guest post written for us by Lukas Vanterpool, Director, of The Sterling Choice

We live in a digitally led world, and with many businesses turning to automation to help them with their predictions and processes, it was only a matter of time before recruitment became the next industry to turn to technology to aid its day job.

Computers and software are both now able to predict needs, before they’ve even been registered in the human brain. And with processes which we once believed were a hands-on job, now becoming the responsibility of a tech device to inform us as to the direction we should take, we’re becoming less reliant upon our own decision making, and using technology to help clarify and confirm our own decision.

With around 35% of job roles at high risk of computerisation, recruiters are using a combination of online processes, combined with offline skills to create a recruitment process which is digitally led, but still harnesses the personal touch.

It’s How It All Starts

Gone are the days of newspaper job adverts and cards stuck in a corner shop window advertising a new position – technology is how the recruitment process begins these days. Digital has completely revolutionised how the initial stages of the recruitment process works, increasing competitiveness tenfold.

Job seekers no longer wait to be approached or keep their job search quiet; they are actively searching and promoting their professional selves online, allowing recruiters to access a wider talent pool. Yet, a diverse range of recruiting tactics should be deployed – relying on digital on its own, will inevitably mean you are left with gaps in other areas.

The digital world has enabled recruiters to become much more targeted in their approach too. Cookie-based targeting can be used to look at online behaviours which demonstrate an interest in a particular industry or career path; allowing positions to get in front of the desired audience at the click of a button. Just because one trend is taking off, it shouldn’t mean that the others are ditched – a combination of getting out there and meeting talent, combined with online analysis will produce better results.

Mobile savvy candidates are also redefining the process, as they use their mobile devices to look for vacancies intermittently. Therefore, mobile strategies are becoming a priority for recruiters who want to target this demographic.

We use our mobile phones for just about everything in our lives, so it’s only natural that applicants expect to be able to use their phone to search and apply for jobs. Everything is about convenience these days, and if a process isn’t simple, then it’s likely to turn the user off.

You should be offering the option to apply for vacancies via a LinkedIn profile as standard practice.

Convenient Conversations

Mobile and conversational tools such as FaceTime and Skype have both removed the need for physical contact to be made when time is tight, location is difficult or convenience isn’t an option. It’s also helped to improve initial screening phases, and added in another step before the first physical contact has made. This has saved businesses and recruitment agencies thousands when it comes to travel and meeting costs – allowing the candidates who have the true potential to be met with face to face.

Some recruiters are even turning to text and WhatsApp to communicate with clients and candidates. As the attention span of the nation decreases, short and concise messages get to the point straight away and often command a higher response rate. A simple automated text message to say you’ve received an application can suffice when time is short, or you’re unable to make a short phone call.

It’s also worth remembering that the agency who gets the candidate in front of the client first, is the one who is likely to succeed. Improving client/agency communications by using the latest conversational tools is likely to speed the process up, and ensure that opportunities aren’t missed.

Understanding Applicants and Their Environment

HR analytics and personality testing certainly are playing a major part of the recruitment and retention process. Essentially, psychometric testing allows recruiters to understand both applicants, and their own employees. Through looking at which personality traits have been historically successful when hiring from a certain discipline. It takes the focus away from a CV led process, and instead focuses on other attributes which have been key to an applicant’s success.

For example, some roles, such as sales positions, often require employees to have high dominance and extroversion and low levels of patience and conformity. Higher extroversion levels ensure they can create conversation and speak comfortably to new prospects, while high dominance ensures they can control the situation.

Following on from this, team analysis and communication reports can ensure that each business department has the right balance of character types; ensuring that individuals complement each other, rather than spend time competing among one another. By discovering the history and DNA of the businesses successful employees, it enables companies to repeat this success and avoid a situation where they’ve hired poorly.

While there is still an element of face-to-face interaction required, analytics allow recruiters and businesses to better understand their employees, what motivates them and which personalities and skillsets work best among a team. Businesses understand that in order to produce the results they desire, they need to focus on where their talent strengths lie, which skills gaps need to be filled and which personalities work well together – things which only data can point to.

The Personal Touch

Despite the technological advancements which have enhanced the recruitment process, the personal touch still remains in the industry. There are some things a piece of software cannot do and that’s interact with the human touch. Reading body language, analysing answers, changing interview tactics, assessing someone’s personality and suitability for a role all require an element of humanity to them.

While tech, has enabled the recruitment industry to become more fast paced, improved communications and enabled a better understanding of which candidates have worked best for which company, the technology has been there to inform recruiters or clarify a direction – not overtake the whole process.

Without the personal touch in recruitment, businesses are at risk of hiring carbon copies of previous employees, something which would do little for adding skillset or personality variety to an organisation.

Using tech to inform hiring decisions and improve processes isn’t a lazy cop out – it’s simply a smarter way to go about the recruitment process. Just don’t forget the personal touch along the way, without it you could end up putting your recruitment USP on the line.


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