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Building a talent tunnel is a long-term task. But what to do in the age of global pandemics---with the most recent one, coronavirus set to disrupt every industry? The relationship building must not only continue, but it’s highlighted the development of a new era: Hiring 2.0.

Fortunately it doesn't involve bidding on eBay for $80 hand sanitiser.

The current challenge for hiring teams now is: getting to know candidates quickly—and remotely. Given the state of affairs, in-person interviews may not be an option right now, but filling vacancies is still very much game on. 

Hiring 2.0 emphasizes a digital-first experience.


Global pandemics, like Covid-19, highlight how recruiting must be digitally agile, rapid, and mobile.

As any talent acquisition knows, the key to a strong candidate pipeline is finding the largest number of qualified candidates, qualifying them, and engaging them through each state of the hiring process. It’s a balancing act---but most companies were not expecting a global pandemic to reshape how candidates are interviewed.

Coronavirus may be an opportunity for talent teams to reexamine certain touch points to make them “digital proof”.

Recruiting isn’t about technology at all; it’s the ability to start conversations with potential applicants and to draw them in by showcasing the opportunities at your company.

 

Reexamine the first-impression

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Revisit branding. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 76% of job hunters want to know what makes a company a compelling place to work, prior to applying for a job there. Take the time to think through what your organization has to offer employees, big or small. It can be the chance to work with great colleagues, excellent benefits, remote office, or having an in-house chef. You may want to meet with the head of marketing to go over whether these benefits are being clearly defined and communicated. A strong message will be communicated both for external applicants, but also for employees who are looking for the next opportunity.


Advertise where your talent pool is at. You’re on the hunt for the platform that acts as a “water cooler” of sorts, the gathering place for the specific talent you’re after. If you’re looking for technical talent, they’ll be on certain platforms; if you’re needing to find a company executive, you may want to work with a specialized headhunter. Review your recruitment channels. Keep in mind the age demographic. Digital natives make up 50% of the workforce. They may not be reading trade publications or the local newspaper, but a Baby Boomer may look to these channels. Place job ads on platforms that are relevant, like LinkedIn or a Monster job board.


Optimize programmatic job advertising. What is programmatic job advertising? A piece of software that does the purchasing, publishing, and optimizing of job ads, rather than a team member. This automated system saves time on finding the appropriate space to advertise a certain position. A hiring manager enters in the details of the demographic and the ideal number of prospects to be reached. Using technology like analytics and machine learning, the job advertisement is shown to the most relevant audience, increasing the quality of applicants.

 

To revamp job advertising, here’s a few tips:

Shorter job titles drive higher apply rates
Appcast Business Report found that job titles with one to three words have a 162% higher conversion rate on average than job titles with 16+ words. As the main “header” for a job description, be sure to keep the job title short and sweet.

Don’t put symbols in a job title
If you’re tempted to put certain symbols in the job title, (e.g. %, $, &, and!) this can cause the application rate to fall by almost 30%. Avoid using these symbols.

Be transparent about salary
Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor’s COO, explained how they noticed the employers that added salaries to the job descriptions increased conversion rate by 17%. It may seem intimidating to disclose such information up front, however it’s an opportunity to build trust with an applicant. A small action like displaying salary means dividends in gaining qualified candidates.

 

Digital Interaction

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Perfect your career site. Take the time to look over your company’s application site. Does it provide as much information about the company as possible? Highlight the benefits your company offers, including both the fun and practical. Monthly catered lunch? Cool. Paid time off and dental benefits? Way cooler.

Road test a chatbot. You may have heard how companies, like IBM, use chatbots as part of the hiring process. Take this time to road test using this particular technology resource. Application chatbots answer the most commonly asked questions. Often the most qualified candidates will be most interested in learning more about a position; a chatbot offers a rapid response to candidates, increasing the communication between employer and applicant.

Review employer reviews. Check sites like Glassdoor that allow past and current employees rate their employers. Candidates want to learn more about a company and often turn to these sites to provide “real” insight into a company’s culture. When checking these platforms, thank the reviewers who have left positive impressions. For those who seem unhappy about their experience working at the organization, thank them for sharing and then share how you’ll take their feedback into consideration to make your company better.

 

Revamp the Application

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Reach out to previous applicants. The hiring and recruitment process may have slowed down. Applicants may be hesitant to apply to organizations, as they’re not sure what the process entails in the era of coronavirus. Start by going through and examining the candidates who’ve applied to every position within your company. You should have them stored in your ATS. Usually at least one person is stored under a relevant job title, but there may be other candidates listed. Use this time to reconnect with candidates and remind them about current vacancies or share company news. If you’re under a crunch to rapidly hire employees during this time---like Costco and other retailers---this can be an especially important step in broadening the talent pool.

Make the application mobile. Most people may be at home right now, but people will still be on their mobile phones. Making the application process as easy as a few swipes is more than modern user experience design; it ensures you don’t lose quality candidates due to a lack of a mobile-friendly option. A survey conducted by IBM found that 6 in 10 candidates find companies that make mobile recruiting easier as more desirable. Already 25% of candidates use mobile to complete the entire application process. Make your application process as mobile as your candidates are.

Digitize the pre-screening process

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Modernize pre-screening. With 70% of companies using pre-screening assessments at the beginning of the application process, it’s time to stand out. You’ll make an impact by making it mobile, simple, and easy to use. Use a medium candidates are familiar with, like video. You can also deliver value to them---which candidates feel they lack when they fill out singular multiple choice assessments. Hardly engaging. Consider by trademarking your assessment experience using technology and tools that are enjoyable, or offer something valuable back to the candidates. Some companies use games to assess candidates or give them scenarios and listen to their responses. Companies like BMW and Lufthansa use Retorio’s video-based AI assessment to learn more about a candidate’s personality. With video, candidates can easily submit their responses and most importantly, gain rapid feedback.

Eliminate bias. Hiring bias occurs 35% of the time within in-person interviews. Retorio enables companies to select the best candidates on capabilities alone. By implementing tools that hold talent acquisition teams accountable, you’ll fulfill the diversity goals your in-house teams and your company board is waiting for. As part of the digitization effort, tools like Retorio, support accountability and transparency in the hiring process.

The coronavirus may be deterring your competition for the next 6 weeks. However this could give your talent acquisition teams an advantage to analyze and revamp key aspects of their hiring process. Building a talent tunnel and hiring talented people takes time. This type of work, urgency, and diligence must take on a digital-first format. Video interviewing, gamification, and chatbots are leading the way in Hiring 2.0. Are you?

Companies, like BMW, leverage Retorio's AI to support their own talent management teams. Our video-based AI was featured in TechCrunch and Süddeutsche Zeitung .

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Elizabeth T.

Written by Elizabeth T.

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