HR can get ahead of the hiring curve by leveraging the latest in technology.
By Christa Elliot
HR departments have more tools at their disposal for ramping up recruitment and hiring than ever before, and technology plays a huge part in keeping the industry current. In 2017, the push toward a 100-percent-digital hiring model is a consideration as mobile and cloud- based solutions continue to gain popularity. A desire to attract top candidates and have them view organizations and their brands as on the cutting edge are at the heart of these trends, and RPO partners are helping lead the charge.
For Patricia Tourigny, senior vice president of HR shared services at Magellan Health, this process involves letting automation take care of the details so that recruiters have more time to focus on the candidates.
“At Magellan, we are working to automate as many manual processes as we can and leverage a variety of digital and social channels so our recruiters can focus on recruitment basics: building and maintaining relationships with the external market and influencing our hiring decisions so we can onboard the best possible talent.”
Magellan is far from the only organization turning to automation as a way to increase efficiency. On the contrary, this technology is in demand for companies in numerous industries and has been added to the wheelhouse of many RPO providers. According to Randstad Sourceright’s latest Talent Trends survey, 84 percent of U.S. business owners said they believe artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will have a positive impact on the workplace in the next three to five years. Further, 48 percent said that automation and machine learning has either transformed or had a positive impact on their business in the past 12 months.
AI tools have the capacity to take over mundane and time-consuming tasks such as skimming resumes for keywords, sending follow-up emails to candidates that aren’t a good fit, and scheduling interviews. Some AI tools can even help find passive candidates online; others include “chatbots” (also known as conversational AI) that can field basic HR questions for career site visitors.
“Bots are being utilized as an on-demand knowledge based to engage candidates at the point of interest and provide relevant real-time organizational information,” says Steve Parker, director of global RPO technology for Allegis. “Chatbots are also being utilized to screen candidates, schedule interviews, drive employee referrals, act as a virtual coach for hiring managers and even create personalized career site experiences.”
In the future, experts predict that AI’s capabilities will continue to expand, and as this happens, time to hire and other important recruitment metrics will see improvements. Despite some concerns that AI will displace recruiting jobs, most talent acquisition (TA) professionals are con dent that recruitment will always need a human touch. Undercover Recruiter estimates that 100 percent of source and match tasks are automatable, but only between 20 and 24 percent of TA-related management and sales tasks are automatable. In other words, human beings will always have an important role to play in promoting the employer brand and creating a positive candidate experience.
“Automation of administrative process steps as well as marketing automation are certainly on the rise as the talent market tightens. A buyer could find some interesting partners in Beamery, Yello, Candidate.ID and Phenom People,” says Adam Godson, Cielo’s vice president of global technology solutions. “AI generically has many applications, but candidate matching in the sourcing process is where it is having the greatest impact. Companies like HiringSolved, Entelo, Brilent and Vettd are all doing interesting things related to matching companies to candidates and vice versa.”
The cloud holds great potential for amplifying recruitment strategies as well, and there have been several innovations in this area over the past few years.
“Recruitment marketing platforms with robust CRM capabilities are assisting in managing brand, value proposition, career site, talent networks, job distribution, events and even referrals from a single platform,” says Parker. “Onboarding cloud-based platforms have also now evolved into employee work ow engagement engines which are simple to use, but have a powerful impact.”
Parker cites SmashFly as an example of a company providing these services, as well as continuing to evolve and build a strong ecosystem around its clients’ products. Meanwhile, he says, Olivia by Paradox.AI is pushing the boundaries in the areas of machine learning, conversational AI (chatbots), and robotics process automation.
The advent of video interviewing is another a prime example of a cloud-enabled technology that has made recruitment easier for employers, and RPO provider PeopleScout knows this firsthand.
In an effort to help one of their clients improve its candidate experience, the company invited a staggering 86,000 candidates to record video interviews. Of these, 75 percent completed the interview for the client, and the average completion time for the video interview was just three calendar days—less than the average time for a phone screening. Needless to say, the candid and on- demand nature of video interviews appeals to today’s candidates.
“Candidates can record their video interviews on their own time, and recruiters can review them on their schedules, reducing the time and administrative burden it takes to set up and complete phone screenings. It also reduces the time recruiters spend on initial screenings, allowing them to spend more time with quality candidates,” PeopleScout President Taryn Owen says.
Mobile solutions are also a fundamental part of the services that RPO providers offer, and candidates have come to expect a mobile-friendly experience when they apply for a job. In fact, research from Glassdoor found that 45 percent of job seekers search for jobs daily on their mobile device, and 89 percent of job seekers think mobile devices play a critical role in the job hunting process.
Many organizations interested in boosting their recruitment numbers already have a designated mobile recruitment strategy. Today, the conversation about mobile recruitment has shifted from whether or not to implement a mobile strategy to how to optimize programs.
“For mobile technologies such as the use of apps and chatbots, the conversation has changed from if or when it will happen, to how we can measure the results. Recent gains are more incremental, working along themes of personalization, integrated assessments, and automation to drive throughput in recruiting processes,” Godson says.
Talent Community Tools
One of the newest waves in recruitment technology is the concept of talent community tools. Talent communities are groups of candidates that opt-in to communications from the employer and engage with the career content that the organization produces and distributes. In advanced talent communities, candidates also have the opportunity to exchange ideas and information, including career advice and feedback on employment opportunities, using social media. Thus, “talent community tools” are the platforms and technological resources that community members can use to engage in discussion. Examples of these tools might include CRM software used to engage current or future applicants; AI designed to seek out and engage passive candidates on social media; or even company Facebook pages and LinkedIn and Google groups that allow candidates to read and respond to original content from the employer.
“We are just starting to leverage technology to build talent communities,” Torigny says.
“Our goal is to connect with these groups of potential candidates through a variety of ongoing communications on a variety of channels.”
These tools can be incredibly useful to the organizations that they support by helping build engaged pipelines of both active and passive talent and adding new candidates through marketing initiatives. These initiatives might, for example, lead to a landing page mechanism to engage and capture interested candidates. Likewise, candidates might join the community during the application process with a check box on a simple form or after a brief interaction with a chatbot.
“Talent pools are meaningful ways to empower recruiters to engage and nurture their passive candidate pipelines,” Owen says. “Tracking activities and gaining insights on candidate behavior allows recruiters to make smarter, data-driven decisions on the passive candidates who may be likely to move to a new position.”
Selecting the Best
With so many options under the tech umbrella to choose from, RPO partners can be a valuable resource in providing the technology and determining which ones are appropriate for an organization’s recruitment needs.
“Companies can take advantage of proven technology by partnering with an RPO provider who has already done the heavy lifting to evaluate and select the best talent technology,” Owen says. “RPO providers also have the advantage of being able to leverage their volume to secure the best prices, as opposed to a client independently sourcing each component of a bundled technology solution.”
An RPO provider can also assist their clients in organizing the various technologies that they decide to employ, making them easier to use for candidates and recruiters alike. Parker agrees and adds that these trusted partners can use their capabilities, thought leadership, and experience to gain a detailed understanding of the business and provide an attainable “three-to-18-month technology roadmap”—one that is aligned to the services the organization offers to candidates.
SIDEBAR: A-List Automation
AI can take many forms, but as it relates to HR, there are several solutions providers who are making the jobs of HR professionals easier. Here are just a few:
Beamery: Beamery is a candidate relationship management (CRM) software that allows clients to engage passive candidates, build talent pools, and make better hiring decisions using predictive analytics. It uses AI to source directly from web pages, import existing sourcing lists, and reduce the need for manual data entry.
Brilent: Brilent’s platform lets employers automatically sync candidates and jobs back to their applicant tracking system (ATS). It also ranks candidates against open jobs, provides salary estimates, predicts the likelihood of a candidate changing jobs, and makes it easy to navigate back to the ATS.
Candidate.ID: Candidate.ID offers talent pipeline software designed to accurately measure a candidate’s desire to work for an organization in real time, enable recruiters to improve the quality of their shortlist, and reduce costs and time to hire.
Entelo: Entelo uses AI and predictive analytics to automate manual sourcing tasks and speed up the hiring process. It offers a highly predictive candidate sourcing software as well as a email tracking and analytics platform designed with recruiters in mind.
HiringSolved: HiringSolved’s database allows employers to search for candidates with a number of skill sets, start searches using sample resumes, and organize candidates via a exible tagging function. Database users can also save, label, and share searches.
Phenom People: Phenom People is a talent relationship marketing platform that utilizes personalized career sites, ATS integration, social distribution, and predictive analytics to attract, identify, and build relationships with top talent.
Vettd: Vettd assists with the recruitment process by uncovering the connections between each job description and inbound applicant. It also creates custom solutions for job boards, applicant tracking systems, and large organizations.
Yello: Yello tracks the candidate journey at various touchpoints using predictive analytics in order to provide insight into the talent pipeline. This technology also illustrates the effectiveness of diversity initiatives and supplies a database for storing and searching through candidate data.