One of the key challenges for any business is finding the right team. This is crucial, as ensuring that the talent you bring on board fits both the requirements of the position and the goals of the company can dictate the trajectory of your success. Your staff aren’t just there to perform a strict set of tasks, they can also help you innovate and thrive.
Thankfully, our digital landscape has been instrumental in making this process more efficient. Industries as diverse as customer service and healthcare are utilizing technology to both narrow down their fields of candidates and identify the best. At a time when candidates are actively job hunting online, businesses must engage with them accordingly. Knowing the right technology to use can give companies the edge over their competitors.
It’s time to take a closer look at how your business can best approach a tech-enhanced hiring process. What are the key tools that you should be exploring? Where should your human resources (HR) department be placing its focus during the talent discovery process?
When people think about automated machine learning systems like artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, they often think about jobs being replaced by robots. However, AI is currently being used across industries to enhance the work of humans. One of the ways it is doing this is by helping HR personnel collect, analyze, and interpret data to narrow down what can often be a vast international talent pool.
Primarily, this is done using applicant tracking systems (ATS). These have been popular tools for some time and, as research shows, around 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using them. Over the years, these AI-driven software tools have gotten more sophisticated.
Where once they simply dredged the pool of resumes to pick up relevant keywords, they now use complex algorithms tailored to understand not just the tasks a candidate must perform, but also the context in which their skills will be used. This means that companies can expect to interview more than those who are technically qualified but also who meet soft skills and company culture needs, too.
Perhaps the most important aspect of utilizing AI in talent searches is the potential for end-to-end automation. There are already ATS that take care of everything from candidate identification to interview invitations. Some, such as Greenhouse, even generate data to create appropriate interviews to determine the most suitable candidates.
Why is this holistic automation important? It helps mitigate the effects of unconscious biases that can often influence the hiring process. This is vital for a truly equal and diverse workforce. While it’s certainly important to have human input on emotional intelligence and culture during assessments, machine-generated interviews give us the cold data that allows us to accurately consider our reasons for making less technically logical choices.
One of the most interesting aspects of our technological era is seeing tools extend beyond their original use. Developers are constantly exploring how new applications can be adjusted to fit the needs of various industries. This has been no different for the growth of blockchain. While it was initially designed to ensure robust security for cryptocurrency exchanges, it is now being used for a variety of tasks that can benefit from a reliable chain of records. Recruiters are among those exploring its possibilities.
To see where this fits into recruitment, it’s useful to understand exactly how blockchain works. It creates a chain of records, known as blocks, across a decentralized, distributed digital ledger. These records are constantly updated; recording computers solve a complex mathematical problem to gain access, called mining, and the blocks are stored in chronological order. Each record is also assigned a unique identifying signature, which is duplicated across all systems in the network. As a result, individual blocks cannot be altered without also accessing and changing every other block in the chain that preceded it.
While still in its early days, blockchain in recruitment is starting to creep into use. Currently, this is largely from a data protection perspective, HR personnel have to be certain that the vast amount of personal information gathered about candidates — both manually and via ATS — is immune to hacking or other breaches. As many recruiters store and share candidate information through cloud platforms, blockchain is an ideal method through which to mitigate any points of vulnerability. This attention to protection can go a long way to building trust with talent, and demonstrating that the business already has employees’ best interests in mind.
However, there are other more direct possibilities for blockchain in recruiting that HR professionals are starting to feel out. Perhaps the primary one among these is ensuring consistency in qualification and employment history. According to one report, 78% of candidates misrepresented themselves on their applications. This presents a problem in finding the right talent, even when using ATS. By putting in place a system whereby universities published qualifications to a blockchain for a student, and employers added references to the same chain, recruiters could quickly get a genuine background check for a candidate.
Our digital landscape can be instrumental in making the recruitment process fit to attract the best and brightest. Indeed, when employers are willing to consider remote working options, there’s the potential to engage an international talent pool from diverse cultures. However, this needs tools that ensure the process is practical and effective.
One of the details that businesses are beginning to recognize as an important tool for attracting employees is their own website. When executed correctly this can act as both an application portal and provide insight for candidates into the company culture. Yet, this can only be effective when recruiters ensure that the design of the website is fit for the purpose.
It’s worth remembering that Millennials — currently the largest proportion of the workforce — place a premium on online user experience (UX) that is easy, quick, and reliable. This means that focus needs to be placed on ensuring that the recruitment section of the website has an intuitive approach to navigation, it must be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices, and it has to look good too. Candidates will be less likely to engage with a company whose site is slow or difficult to get around.
To narrow down candidates even further, some businesses are starting to use online services to screen applicants. Chatbots have become a familiar aspect of customer service, designed to provide answers to common questions with minimal human staff interaction. Recruiters have begun utilizing this approach in place of initial telephone interviews. Candidates communicate with the bot, which asks questions designed to narrow down suitability based on qualifications, knowledge, and even how they engage with the bot itself. This frees HR personnel to spend their time on more important tasks.
The right staff can be the difference between a business’ success or failure. Therefore using the right combination of recruitment approaches and tools is imperative. Companies have started to explore the potential for technology in locating and attracting talent. Between artificial intelligence platforms, to smart UX design, the elements of our digital landscape are proving to be useful collaborators with human recruiters.