Technology has completely changed the face of recruitment. Over 96% of consultants reportedly use social media to help procure talent, and with the rise of instant messaging and automated responses we are able to handle immense amounts of data such as CVs and applications quicker and more efficiently than ever before.
Although this has made finding and processing large numbers of applicants much easier, it is not just data being handled here; it is people’s careers and therefore a large part of their lives. Although it’s beneficial to all parties that our clients are able to connect with more jobseekers than ever before, when do modern recruitment methods stop being convenient and start dehumanising the candidate experience?
The obvious draw to using the internet, apps and online forms for recruitment is accessibility. In such a competitive industry it is essential to grab the attention of as many applicants as possible, and with so many connections being made it is logistically impossible to contact so many people without an automated emailing system. Screening these candidates is also much quicker using applicant tracking systems, saving time for both client and candidate.
That being said, there is a vast difference between engagement and communication. For instance, if a candidate takes the time to fill in an application form and submit a covering letter – only to receive a short, generic rejection message, it is understandable why they may feel both frustrated and a little insulted. What sort of view will the candidate develop about the organisation and how much it values its’ people. How does an organisation’s employer brand look in this instance?
Technology has also complicated the recruitment process and by simplifying the application process it has also encouraged prospective candidates to apply for any job whether they are right for it or not. This means that the sifting and response part of the recruitment process has increased. Conversely many job seekers complain that finding the right role has become more complicated and confusing. The lack of communication or the option of speaking to someone has meant that many feel “herded like sheep” down a particular route and are frustrated that they cannot engage with the organisation on a personal basis.
Many senior sales professionals complain to us about the automated candidate experience they encounter when job seeking. They lose interest in opportunities where they cannot interact and communicate with a recruiter or line manager to gain a better understanding of the role and to collect feedback. Companies who want to grow their sales force will need to understand and empathise with this frustration and realise that prospective sales candidates need to interact with their people and fully engage with organisations from a people perspective.
It’s useful to remember that a CV cannot paint the whole picture of a person. There are so many elements to the ideal candidate beyond education and experience, such as work ethic, personality and ambition. Connecting by telephone and more importantly face-to-face is the only way to discern these traits and also helps the candidate to familiarise themselves with the company. The successful procurement of talent is a process that requires both the candidate and the company to be on the same page, and the only way in which to do this is with effective communication.
Ultimately, recruitment is all about people. The internet and social platforms such as LinkedIn are fantastic for starting and building relationships but they are limited. Embracing technology is essential for modern recruitment, but it can never fully replace the value of face-to-face interaction. Let’s not completely dehumanise human resources.
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