HR Management & Compliance

RecruitCon 2018: What Does the 2025 Workplace Look Like (Part2)?

In yesterday’s Advisor I explored Susan Vitale’s RecruitCon 2018 session titled Outlook on the 2025 Workplace: How to Attract the Next Generation of Talent by Effectively Recruiting Millennials and Gen Z. Today we’ll look at more from that session.


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Vitale is the Chief Marketing Officer at iCIMS, a company you may recognize from its suite of applicant tracking and recruiting software solutions. One of the benefits of working for a company like iCIMS is access to a database of over 3500 customers and 61 million applications, information that has proven useful in analyzing trends and conducting research on recruitment and retention.

In this article, I’ll focus on the consumer mindset to the recruiting process and how you can ensure your candidates get a good experience.

Bring a Consumer Mindset to the Recruiting Process

Consider how your recruitment process compares to the services and technologies that Millennials and Generation Z applicants are accustomed to using. Millennials bring a consumer mindset to the hiring experience, so iCIMS asked candidates—in a recent survey—about the types of consumer services and experiences they expect to find in the recruiting process. Tools such as Tinder, Netflix, and Yelp had very clear applications to the hiring process.

For example, the Tinder-like ability to “swipe left” and “swipe right” to sort through numerous job listings, rather than opening and wrangling a series of website tabs, was of interest to more than half of survey respondents. Also of interest was a Netflix-like experience in which candidates could receive job recommendations based on their profile and preferences or the experiences of applicants with similar skills, résumés, and backgrounds.

Thanks to Google and machine learning technology, Vitale points out that this experience is not that far off. She also highlights another benefit of this customized recommendation approach: “Entry level talent doesn’t know what your jobs are,” as applications and job descriptions tend to use a lot of jargon.

Just as you may not know whether you’ll enjoy a TV series based on the title, you may not be able to learn much about a job from its title or “synopsis” either. A Netflix-like experience based not only on the applicant’s profile, but the collective experiences of similar applicants, can ensure the right matches are made.

Millennials and Generation Z are also used to being able to read reviews, as with Yelp. So, they will look past your marketing materials and will conduct their own research, not only on sites such as Glassdoor, but also via your social media portals, and a standard Google search. Here, they’re looking for a feel for your workplace culture, including real photos of your workplace and employees.

Speaking of Google, 73% of candidates start a job search on Google.

Ensure Your Candidate Experience Reflects Your Organization

As with our expectations relative to entry-level work experience, Vitale reminds us to consider whether our candidate experience is reasonable and efficient. For example, she cautions against processes that waste candidates’ time, as one of the top reasons candidates withdraw from the hiring process is having their time disrespected.

So, consider whether you’re requiring candidates to come in multiple times and meet with multiple people—would a quick Skype interview reduce this burden for everyone involved? Consider that younger workers may have more difficulty managing their schedules to come in for multiple interviews—what may entail a few hours of paid time off for established workers can mean an entire missed workshift for younger workers in hospitality and service roles.

Next, what about your application process? Does it really need to take 45 minutes for a candidate to complete your application? Is your application mobile friendly—not only accessible on a mobile device, but do your questions make sense for mobile submission? Are you requiring candidates to type an essay using their thumbs? Does your application allow candidates to upload documents, such as a résumé, from cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive?

Vitale also recommends sharing your expectations regarding time to fill positions. Even if you expect to require 6 weeks to make a final decision, simply being transparent and sharing this information shows respect and helps build trust.

And So Much More …

Vitale also covered retention tactics, how communication expectations have changed, and the importance of training, development, and mentorship. Her RecruitCon 2018 presentation was truly knowledge-packed and data-backed, and even after these highlights, I’ve only touched on a few of the insights and practical tips she had to offer. If you have the opportunity to hear her speak on this or other recruiting topics in the future, you won’t be disappointed.

HollyHolly K. Jones, JD is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. She understands the existing and emerging needs and challenges of human resources professionals thanks to several years of experience managing, writing, and editing key legal and compliance publications for BLR. Prior to joining BLR, Ms. Jones worked for the Tennessee Legislature’s Office of Legal Services.

She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in English Rhetoric and Writing, Political Science, and Psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she also received a 2001 Citation for Extraordinary Academic Achievement. She received her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee.

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