Illustration by Lara Borovcic-Kuri

Some might say that dating and hiring have a lot in common. The search to find the perfect match, getting to know each other, the commitment and sadly sometimes the break-up. Very much a similar sequence to recruitment, all to find the right person for the job. As tech has evolved, these matchmaking processes have advanced, well, totally transformed shall we say. Dating has seen the introduction of online apps and HR, the rise of tech tools. But as we take a moment to reflect, has recruitment really moved with the times?

Recently, recruitment has focused on employer branding and “selling” an organization, rather than concentrating on finding an aligned candidate. Although the tide is starting to turn in favour of employees (especially since the pandemic), the tech and processes behind the recruiting cycle aren’t necessarily candidate-centric.

So how do you place the candidate at the heart of the recruitment process? Here we share our thoughts on leveraging tech to streamline and drive recruitment forward for a long and happy union.

Authentic employer branding

We’ve all heard about the now infamous CEO firing 900 people before Christmas over Zoom, and yet the company's Glassdoor rating remains at 90%?! How does this give an honest insight into an organization? And how can we expect a candidate to really know what it’s like to work for a department or team within that company? It’s impossible. This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed, quickly. 

Company career sites are often the first port of call for candidates searching for vacancies. A recent study showed that almost half of the respondents visit these sites as an indication of what it’s like to work at that company, get an overview of the culture and how they would fit into the organisation.

However, it must be said that the power of these career sites has fueled employer branding to such an extent that it’s becoming dishonest and almost worthless. So it’s vital that you invest in honest branding, as at the first whiff of deception, talent will be heading for the exit. A great way to show your transparency is to share your top three cultural drivers with candidates to help talent realize if this is a good cultural fit. 

Personalization matters

When you’re striving to recruit the best talent, be mindful of uninspiring, generic job posts, lackluster career pages and laborious processes. It’s crucial not to let the first impression of your organisation give a negative experience to potential candidates. 

Personalized landing pages tailored towards specific audiences, such as college graduates, help to engage and resonate with the talent that you’re trying to attract. The overbearing candidate-facing emails sent in bulk, lack human touch, which is one of the largest frustrations job seekers experience in the employer-candidate communication.

Candidates don’t appreciate generic statements, undefined expectations and being left in the dark. In fact, 69% of candidates stated that a negative experience would cause them to rarely or never reapply again. So leverage technology to personalize emails, content and landing pages, ensuring that you’re providing a positive candidate experience from that initial interaction. 

Using data on culture to improve the quality of hire

The attracting, screening and evaluation of candidates has often been automated and streamlined by Talent Acquisition Software. But does this tech help the recruiter to understand and focus on what’s actually important to the candidate?

Job ads are limiting and pre-selective by nature. Cultural priorities seem to be low on the list of key attributes when looking for talent, and the traditional assets of skills and experience seem to play a far more important role. This is where data is crucial. By accumulating data on employee values, organizations have the scope to add culturally aligned candidates to driving desired behaviours in teams or departments.

Recruitment should also move their concentration from the time taken to fill an open position and number of hires, more towards the KPI’s that will measure the success rate of the hire with:

  • Performance metrics
  • Candidate surveys 
  • Retention rate

Granting greater autonomy to TA’s allows them to fill any open position at a faster rate and also gives confidence to prospective talent that an organization can think horizontally as well as vertically. Particularly for start-ups, opportunity hires are crucial. Hiring for the potential of the candidate opposed for immediate fit will give added value in the long-term.

Understanding candidate motivations

Being open with what you expect from potential candidates before the interview stage will save everyone heartache further down the road. In your job ads, mention criteria such as desired values and ethics of a candidate, this will help filter out those that aren’t suited. Vague job descriptions might fill your pipeline, but they’re not a guarantee for finding the “perfect fit.” It is, however, a guarantee that you’ll spend a lot of time and energy on screening applicants and interviews, before having to disappoint a number of candidates who invested a lot of effort. 

Gaining actionable data on what motivates your candidates is crucial if time-wasting is to be avoided, it can also be utilised to design tailored questions targeted to each and every applicant. Getting to the core of your candidates priorities, will streamline the recruitment and interview process, therefore saving time and reducing spend. This can be better spent expanding the reach to optimal candidates who are aligned with the teams and departments that you’re striving to recruit for.  

Consider gamification

New employees are 69% more likely to stick around for more than three years if they’re given a well-formed onboarding process. Tech is there to help you to improve this. The use of gamification techniques (adding game mechanics into a non game environment) helps break down a large volume of information into bite-sized, digestible chunks.

Whether it be interactive training videos, anonymous surveys or reward systems,  these can have the added bonus of helping teams to interact with each other, vital for any new remote team member. Not only can gamification help onboarding, in areas such as training, knowledge management and employee benefits. But it can also be beneficial in the recruitment process, as data from surveys or assessments can help to remove bias and increase engagement levels, therefore improving the candidate experience.

Howard Schulz, American businessman and author once famously said

“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can't tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture”

Whilst he’s correct on the resume part, the HR tech now available can guide recruitment in making data-driven choices to both increase and improve the employee lifecycle. 

The whirlwind nature of current recruitment certainly rewards those that are tech savvy.

Written by
Claire Stone
Content Specialist

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