With the vast amount of available technology today, it’s not surprising that recruiters are relying on tech to streamline the hiring process. As someone who’s spent 30 years working primarily with tech firms, I get it: Technology is valuable and useful. It’s brought success to many companies and helped them save time and money. But when it comes to recruiting, technology is not the save-all answer to your problems.
Tech Tools That Won’t Be Game-Changers
Many tech companies will try to sell you on the idea that technology is a panacea for every recruiting woe. But that’s just not the case. Here are some widely used digital tools that are touted as recruiting “game-changers” and why they won’t make that big of a difference:
One-Way Video Interviewing Apps
Video is big in the recruiting world. Talent acquisition thinks they can save valuable time by having candidates complete a one-way video interview. The way this works is the applicants log into the program from a computer with camera capabilities. They’re then presented with one question on the screen at a time, which they answer verbally using the camera. In some cases, candidates can “redo” their answer, but in other instances, the first recorded answer is automatically saved. The prospective candidates have a window of time to answer each question.
Why is this tool unhelpful for recruiters? The recruiters and interviewees have no opportunity to talk back and forth about any of the questions. In “real life,” these one-way conversations don’t exist.
In limited circumstances, an interactive questionnaire or a printed application may be appropriate. Still, when hiring someone, you need to communicate with the person face-to-face. One-way video interviewing stifles the natural, free flow of thought and communication. Also, not everyone will excel in these types of interviews. A candidate might be the perfect fit but feel awkward talking to a blank screen. So, you might miss out on the opportunity to make a great hire.
In the recruiting world, it’s common for recruiters to blast out mass messages to individuals on LinkedIn. Some use e-mail marketing programs to curate targeted lists and send mass mailings to candidates. But these methods tend to fall flat. Most people will sniff out the message’s generic language because it sounds impersonal. These messages often end up in the trash—and rightfully so!
Applicant Tracking Systems
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a program recruiters use to help narrow down a pool of candidates and improve the search workflow. The more applicants a company has, the more heavily it tends to lean on ATSs.
ATSs scan a candidate’s résumé for keywords that match what the recruiter has plugged into the system, which could include key terms, specific phrases, and more. The ATS then scans the database and rejects all the résumés that don’t include the keywords the recruiter seeks.
The problem with this approach is that good candidates easily slip through the cracks simply because they didn’t use the recruiter’s exact phrasing or a specific keyword. This is why good recruiters don’t rely solely on this technology; they incorporate old-fashioned headhunting to complete the job.
Recruiting Tips That Never Fail
While tech tools may assist recruiters in some ways, you shouldn’t rely on them as a panacea. Instead, incorporate these proven tips into your recruiting workflow:
Pick Up the Phone
It might sound old-fashioned, but talking on the phone is a tried-and-true way to know whether you’ll “click” with a candidate. Give every candidate a call. Take time to get to know them and find out what their goals are for the future. This is what I like to call a “get to know each other” call because that’s really what you want to do. You can ask them about what worked (or didn’t work) at previous jobs. You’ll also determine whether it makes sense from their perspective (and yours) to move forward. Is a particular candidate someone who would be a good fit for a position you’re working on?
Build a Relationship
While you’re talking with a prospective candidate, you’ll be building a relationship. This may seem novel these days, but it’s essential to operating a successful business.
We are human beings and thrive on human connections with one another. Besides, even if you decide you don’t need the person for this position or don’t need the person right now, you may need this candidate later. Build that relationship now.
Research every candidate, and look for information you might not see on a résumé. What are these candidates’ values and career vision? Where do they see themselves in the future? You want to ensure there’s a cultural fit right from the very beginning. You need to dig deeper than a list of skills and abilities.
Many tech tools help recruiters do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, but none replaces good old relationship-building and communication. As an old partner of mine told me many years ago, “If sales were so easy, they’d give a dog a note.” Recruiting is sales; the sooner you see it this way, the better off you’ll be. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Utilize this approach.
Carol Schultz, founder and CEO of Vertical Elevation, is a talent equity and leadership coaching and advisory expert with 30 years in the business. She’s helped hundreds of companies transform their organizations and create sustainable, talent-centric cultures that run at maximum efficiency. She’s also the author of the Amazon bestseller Powered By People: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention, and Revenue (and How to Build One).