The wave of HR technology is fundamentally changing our mindsets, our processes, and how we view business and specifically, in this case, recruiting. With this, the wave can create an overwhelming situation that can leave many people in a state of paralysis by analysis given the myriad choices.
HR Technology is Your Friend
So, you have multiple positions to fill and precious little time to source and find qualified candidates. Most organizations are now using technology in one form or another, including spreadsheets to power their efforts more effectively and efficiently. But using technology in the best ways requires a change in mindset to purposefully embrace the proliferation of technological improvements in everything from searching for candidates to qualifying and hiring them. This new mindset should look at products like applicant tracking platforms that integrate all the available functions versus a series of independent pieces that don’t work together holistically. The right recruiting technology (ATS) should enable you with the tools to expedite and better qualify people, as well as save recruiting dollars. The benefits of using the right recruiting technology are myriad compared with using a manual, tedious process to manage your hiring. The efficiency here is in being able to conduct all aspects of the sourcing and recruiting with greater speed that incorporates and leverages technology to bring about a better result and not just a quick turnaround. Also, a well-designed ATS platform will enable you to onboard new hires with better capabilities by offering paperless and mobile-based applications that can be completed on the go by both recruiter and candidate. In addition, the best recruiting platforms seamlessly integrate with other best-of-breed vendors you need to use in your recruiting process. For example, the best available services such as background checks and other screening tools should be offered and not because they benefit the ATS provider, but because they best serve the recruiting needs of the client-organization.
Past Recruiting Paradigms are not Acceptable
Some companies are on a carousel of hiring that never stops, while some have the occasional hiring need. The one thing that is a constant in both situations is that neither can sacrifice quality of hire, nor take too long to find the right person for the job. Even with this, recruiting has long-been considered a tactical duty rather than strategic initiative, but much research has uncovered realities as to why recruiting must be strategic in nature versus reactive and tactical. This is where the new mindset must break out of that outdated thinking.
It’s no surprise that moving away from the reactive mindset is difficult for some recruiters. Change is typically difficult and with that, some recruiters are hesitant to abandon their reactive habits due to many years of working tactically. However, with greater availability of data and analytics for effective hiring, forward-thinking companies see the value in being proactive and learned versus reactive and imprecise and are open-minded to how technology can pave the way to a better outcome. For example, organizations are placing greater emphasis on finding candidates who align with the organization’s mission and values, most believing that this “attitude” is a major factor in productivity, ambassadorship, allegiance, engagement and retention. What this means for recruiting is that marking off a checklist of skills and keywords is no longer the deciding factor in someone’s candidacy. Additional measures must be taken to determine what motivation candidates have and if they will fit into the culture of your business. The organizations that have expanded their mindsets recognize the value and advantages technology and data bring to their recruiting process, and how necessary these tools are for achieving greater levels of success.
What to Consider
When hiring-managers need people to fill vacancies, they usually need them “last week.” However, the evolved recruiter has adopted a mindset of knowing that good communication and previous experience with that hiring manager will serve as a guide to hiring success. Without effective communications between hiring managers and recruiters, compounded by a lack of recorded data identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) of those employees who stand out as desirable, make it nearly impossible to fully understand what qualities and attributes will integrate nicely into that hiring manager’s team. This knowledge will, also, serve to create a more proactive approach… recruiters can and should develop a pipeline of candidates for varying positions before the immediate need arises. Simply, proactive attempts at forecasting, networking internally (think ERPs and brand ambassadors) corporate alumni programs, and external networking are all excellent ways to keep a healthy pipeline of candidates thriving and engaged, especially in today’s socially astute world. Quality, quantity, cost and speed are always going to be balls to juggle, but balancing the right combination of these is also essential to successfully deliver quality candidates.
Keeping a Grip
Finding the happy medium for recruiting in your organization is a must. It’s great to see what other organizations are doing and what technology is emerging or being used effectively by other organizations, but the caveat here is to first evaluate if their practices in recruiting are doable within your organization. Too often, people want to emulate the success of other organizations before determining if what that other company is doing makes sense for them. You must first evaluate your culture and determine if your organization can manage what works for others. This determination includes which recruiting technology is being used, what compensation and benefits are being offered, and potentially eliminating unnecessary steps used to successfully vet candidates. It’s important to understand your own processes inside and out and determine where the bottlenecks are and evaluate those glitches. Using data to analyze where you were and where you need to be can open the door to some interesting findings in your current processes. These findings, in turn, may help you develop a mindset that belies the use of anecdotal experiences and replaces them with the use of empirical data in your qualifying and selection processes.
Additionally, if your recruiting strategy is homogenous, consider exploring other avenues. For example, if your employee referral percentage is low, give thought to how this can be improved. Also, if you are not looking to affinity groups within your organization and diversity groups outside the organization, you are missing out on opportunities to incorporate diverse experiences, skills and people who may very well align with your company’s mission and values.
All-in-all, recruiting in today’s world is an interesting place to be. As technological options expand, data and predictive analytics take a prominent place in the process, job seekers and candidates become savvier and more aware of companies as they consider culture a determining factor in their selections, and with transparency via social media bringing information to the forefront faster than ever before, the modern-day recruiter is being called upon to perform her duties with the speed and effectiveness of a well-oiled machine. These changes, however, should not deter you, as it’s just evolution taking place in your profession and raising the bar of expectations, and with that comes a wide-variety of technologies and tools that can advance you to greater levels of success within your profession.