As a result of the pandemic, talent acquisition and recruiting have shifted to a virtual environment. Technology and software applications have dramatically increased efficiencies and there’s no question recruiting has been streamlined and improved. Candidates are now much more comfortable with the use of technology in the hiring process and have come to expect it. But at the same time, recruiting is a people business and human touch is still an essential part of the process. 75 percent of candidates say their experience during the hiring process influenced their decision to accept or not accept a job offer. So how do go about finding the correct balance between technology and human interaction to create a great candidate experience?
Use technology for administrative tasks
To ensure that human touch remains part of the candidate experience in today’s high-tech world, it’s important to use technology to perform the administrative tasks that are typically part of the early stages of the hiring process. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to have more time for the high value recruiting efforts that only humans can perform. Below are ways to use technology to your benefit for more laborious tasks throughout the process.
- Communicate often: Job candidates frequently criticize employers for a lack of responsiveness and failing to keep them updated— this is one of the primary reasons applicants drop out of the hiring process. The use of technology—such as chatbots or other virtual assistants—provides candidates with a more responsive and engaging experience. Just be sure that the messaging that you’re communicating through your technology platform is friendly and human—not terse, robotic, and bureaucratic.
- Set expectations early: Streamline processes by scheduling an automated email to be sent to the applicant immediately after his or her application is received. In the email, outline the timeline and expectations for the hiring process. Specify a date, after which, the candidate should follow up to check the status. This will reduce the number of candidates dropping out because they feel they have been ghosted.
- Make scheduling convenient: 43 percent of candidates globally have dropped out of the hiring process because of interview scheduling delays. Utilize the platforms and tools available on the market to take the stress out of scheduling— and rescheduling—candidate interviews.
Use the interview to focus on skills
Technology can’t assess a candidate’s personality, how he or she would react in certain situations, or the soft skills he or she possesses. But a good interviewer can identify a candidate’s emotional intelligence, communication skills, and transferable skills when meeting face to face or during a one-on-one virtual interview.
- Soft skills: Most job descriptions require a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are easier to assess—on a resume or job application—because they relate to technical knowledge gained through education or training. Soft skills are more difficult to access because they relate to a candidate’s personality traits that develop over time. The interview presents the perfect opportunity to access a candidate’s soft skills using situational interview questions related to how the candidate would handle a problem that is likely to arise within your company. Situational questions address interpersonal and collaboration skills, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, organizational skills, and managerial skills.
- Transferable skills: The demand for labor during the pandemic recovery is fierce and quit rates are at record highs. Recruiters and hiring managers must redesign talent acquisition around the work that needs to be done—with demonstrable skills and learning agility—and stop focusing only on experience and past job titles. There’s been an ongoing shift towards a skills-based approach to hiring through which job candidates are evaluated based on their skillset and potential capabilities instead of their prior work history. This approach helps organizations fill in-demand roles with workers that possess transferable skills. Transferable skills—also known as portable skills—are competencies that a candidate has developed throughout his or her life that can “transfer” to a variety of different roles and industries. These skills may have been obtained in a previous job, during his or her education, or through hobbies or volunteer work. For example, bartenders and hospitality workers possess many of the skills needed for customer service roles even though they have no experience in the field.
Humanize your brand and create excitement during every stage of the hiring process
Candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your organization. However, technology will never be able to fully access the concept of corporate culture and how a job candidate will fit within an organization. It’s up to you to humanize your brand and ensure there’s alignment between the candidate’s beliefs and behaviors and your organization’s values and culture. Below are ways through which to accomplish this.
- Job postings: Sell your employer brand in your job postings. Candidates are less likely to apply for positions filled with dull descriptions and lots of organizational lingo. Use your job posting to create an image of your culture and what daily life looks like within your company.
- Employee spotlights: Use spotlights to highlight your employees and help create excitement at different stages of the hiring process. Nearly a third of candidates (31 percent) say that spotlights and stories can convince them to apply for a job.
- Company culture videos: A company culture video showcases what you stand for by telling the story of your brand and the people within your organization that are committed to it. Check out these examples compiled by the CSI Group.
Candidates like the benefits provided by automation during the hiring process but they still want human interaction. Organizations that have mastered the art of effectively using technology to make the hiring managers or recruiter’s job easier, provide a more interactive, memorable, and positive candidate experience.