Let’s face it. If you’re a recruiter in 2017, you’ve got it pretty good.
Just listen to any “old-timer” – say, someone who was recruiting 15 or 20 years ago – and they’ll be quick to tell you how it used to be in the not-so-good-old-days.
Paper resumes. File cabinets. Phone books. Rolodexes. Fax machines.
Look these things up online kids, and gaze upon your yesteryear colleagues in pity. I mean, how did any recruiting actually get done? It’s hard not to appreciate that it’s much easier to recruit good candidates today than it was just a few years ago – before we all learned how to use the internet – and could reach out to just about anyone by simply hitting enter on a keyboard.
Technology has definitely made it much easier to share our job openings with the world, and it’s provided good recruiters with the opportunity to source candidates with specific skill-sets in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
Life is much better – for both recruiters and job seekers.
However, the use of technology and automation in the recruiting process has also made it possible to turn potential candidates off in an instant with something so simple as a poorly crafted message, or one that feels too impersonal. The old adage “with great power comes great responsibility” can be applied to recruiters as well.
It’s important to be able to determine when it makes sense to take advantage of the powerful technology and automation solutions available to you – and when to take a more “old school” and personalized approach.
When technology and automation can be used for good:
Job postings and distribution:
It actually wasn’t too long ago, that job seekers (mostly active candidates) had to wait until Sunday to view the Help Wanted ads in the local newspaper that was dropped in their driveway to find out about job opportunities.
Today, technology provides the opportunity to share job openings almost immediately, and in multiple places at one time. This increases the possibility that your job openings will be seen by more candidates that may be a match, and also by passive candidates who may come across the information while engaging with social media, or through automated job notification feeds. This is a win for both recruiters and job seekers!
Parsing data from resumes:
“Back in the day”, after waiting two or three days for paper resumes to arrive in the mail, recruiters often had to set aside a day or two to go through the resumes to make decisions about which candidates to put in the “yes” pile, and which ones to relegate to the “no” pile. Unfortunately, this process lacked both objectivity and speed.
Today, using technology solutions, resumes can be quickly and objectively screened to ensure that bias and the postal service don’t add ambiguity and delays to the process of selecting the best candidates to evaluate for job opportunities. Once again, everybody wins!
When to throw it back, and go old school:
While technology has changed much about the recruiting process – often making it faster, more effective, and scalable – we must never forget that we’re dealing with humans.
Humans aren’t machines, and humans make choices based off of feelings and emotions. Humans like to work with (and for) other humans that they know, like and trust.
1. Respond to applicants to let them know that their application was received – and inform them about the next steps in the process/expected timing. Sure, this step can be automated, but it can still be personal. And the fact that your company does this – when most do not – will set you apart.
2. Personalize email communications with candidates – and let them know why you’re reaching out to them specifically. Many active and passive candidates are turned off by mass emails, and they’re exponentially more likely to respond to a personalized approach – even if it’s to say “thanks, but no thanks.”
3. Once you’ve interacted with someone (pre-screen, in-person interview, etc.), make sure that they have contact information where they can reach a real person to get information, or ask questions – even if that question is to check on their status in the process.
Technology is the gift that keeps on giving for recruiters, and it has definitely improved the recruiting and hiring processes for all involved.
Take some advice from this “old-timer”:
The best recruiters will always be those that understand the importance of making personal connections, and who engage with candidates early and often in the process.
Now, go build some relationships to win!