Today’s AI-enabled talent management platforms deliver a quality user experience and best-fit candidates to boot.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Every business leader knows one thing to be true: Customer experience is essential to good business. And in today’s socially connected world, the consequences of delivering a bad customer experience can be costly.
But does the same hold true for candidate experience during the hiring process?
The research says: yes.
According to CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study, the vast majority of candidates (78 percent) view the overall candidate experience they receive as an indicator of how a company values its people. Furthermore, The State of the Candidate Experience, a 2016 study by CareerArc, reports that 72 percent of job seekers who have had a poor candidate experience have shared negative feedback online or with someone directly.
“Candidate opinions impact your employment brand and, with social media, opinions can be easily voiced and heard. Because of that, an efficient and well-managed recruitment process is vital to an upstanding employment brand,” says Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr.
By utilizing technology like applicant tracking systems (ATSs) and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in their talent acquisition (TA) functions, organizations can protect their brand and enhance candidate experience while improving business outcomes.
“When used correctly, talent management technology can aid and add value to human interaction during the recruitment process,” Miklusak adds. “It lets you automate certain aspects of recruitment, and the end result is that candidates get a consistent and immediate experience.”
Talent Tech Today
In recent years, the rise of modern, well-designed talent management technology has opened up a world of possibilities for helping companies attract and engage top talent. This new generation of CRM platforms and ATSs are often armed with these main features:
- Consumer-based candidate experience. In the face of continued skilled talent shortages, employers have been leveraging talent management technologies to create a consumer-based candidate experience that resonates with the modern workforce.
“Just as consumers have demanded a better experience with brands, candidates are expecting the same,” says Annette DeHaven, vice president of marketing at gr8 People. “Candidates want to be heard. They want communication in return. And they want their experience to be relevant individually as well as to the new work they are exploring.”
This means that today’s candidates expect personalization, ease of access, timely communication, and support.
“For anyone deploying talent management technology, the cold hard truth is that both employees and candidates have been spoiled by consumer technology which heightens their expectations around what technology-enabled interactions should look and feel like,” explains Leela Srinivasan, chief marketing officer at Lever.
- Intelligent tools. In the last year, companies have increasingly turned to automation and artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to become more effective and efficient at sourcing and engaging the right talent. “Automation can minimize the manual effort that talent acquisition teams expend by automating standard processes,” says CEO of Hireology, Adam Robinson.
In particular, Robinson says that organizations are leveraging automation to systematize outreach and communication efforts, basic pre-screening processes, and data sharing between systems. “There’s a focus on leveraging HR, AI, and software to actually improve productivity and help teams work together,” he explains.
Additionally, intelligent technology is being used to source top talent quickly and precisely. “One of the main parts of intelligent automation is machine learning, which observes recruiter and job seeker actions inside of resumes and jobs, and identifies patterns that can be useful in categorizing information, such as determining candidates who would be most likely to respond to an offer,” says Mary Delaney, president of onboarding solutions for Careerbuilder. “This information is then passed on to the recruiter, who can quickly take action.”
This can lead to better results. “[The use of] intelligent tools can result in improved candidate profiles, greater certainty of the fit of an applicant with a specific role in the organization, and even the automation of engagement with job seekers,” according to gr8 People’s DeHaven.
Other products on the market that leverage AI include platforms that aim to reduce hiring bias. “The topic of diversity and inclusion has never been more in the public spotlight, which has led to more focus for companies on figuring out how to hire fairly and consistently, as well as build inclusive organizations,” says Srinivasan.
By leveraging intelligent tools and talent technology to perform easily automated tasks, recruiters can focus on the things that matter. “With much of the search and match work being done by technology, recruiters have more time to spend on the human elements of hiring,” says Delaney.
By using a platform that effectively integrates a customer-centric experience and intelligent tools, Srinivisan says that companies can deliver the following capabilities:
- Set up relevant, personalized multi-touch campaigns to passive candidates, increasing the likelihood of them responding;
- Offer a thoughtfully designed, mobile-optimized application process that makes it appealing for job seekers to engage;
- Expedite interview scheduling in an intelligent manner that is fast and seamless;
- Engage hiring managers in the process so they deliver feedback faster;
- Guide interviewers through a consistent set of questions so they evaluate candidates consistently and fairly; and
- Build long-term relationships with talent, whether they are sourced or applicants, so that each conversation builds on the last.
The result? A compelling candidate experience that increases the likelihood of finding the perfect person for the job.
Looking to the Future
With new technologies entering the market at rapid-fire pace, how will talent management platforms evolve in the next year?
- Smarter use of data. “The best talent management technologies on the market today provide recruiting teams not just with data, but with actionable insight. Recruiting leaders now have at their fingertips the power to understand what’s going on from initial candidate interest all the way through to hired—along with the ability to spot problem areas, diagnose ‘why’, and implement fixes,” says Srinivasan.
Although talent management technologies already offer some predictive analytics and data-driven insights, DeHaven believes that the best is still to come. “The use of analytics will continue to grow as talent acquisition teams seek to drive more efficiencies and improve output from their learnings. Predictive analytics will also be key in the ability to highlight areas of concern ahead of time, enabling the recruiting team to be proactive in responding to industry trends.”
Data will also be used to gather actionable insights about candidates based on more than just their basic recruitment data. “There’s no doubt in my mind that algorithmic hiring will become mainstream in the next year or two years. We’ll see platforms with a thoughtful approach to recruitment AI push the envelope on mixing basic recruitment data with preferences to create more valuable worker profiles and matches,” Miklusak explains.
As talent management technology advances, it will collect more detailed information and analyze it in more meaningful ways to drive decisions, enhance experiences, and predict outcomes.
- Multi-system integration. Talent acquisition experts agree that the consolidation of disparate talent management platforms to create holistic end-to-end talent ecosystem will be a top priority for 2018.
Although the emergence of the cloud has made it easier for talent technology providers to partner and integrate their specific solutions into larger systems that can handle all HR processes, the new year will see the convergence of vendors on the market into a limited number of total talent solutions.
“While the cloud and associated integration methodologies will assist with the integration of ATS and CRM platforms, we will also see platform providers developing their own solutions, eliminating the need to integrate multiple third-party solutions,” says DeHaven.
Delaney believes that HR teams that leverage these total recruitment solutions will see positive results in the quality of their candidate experience. “Candidates are judging you based on how you approach the hiring process, and end-to-end human capital management can help you better manage and understand how to improve the candidate—and perhaps future employee—experience,” she says.
According to Robinson, these end-to-end integrated platforms will also encourage workplace collaboration, delivering intelligent tools that fit into managers’ lives and provide more usable and accessible solutions. “HR tech is still built for people. I think the future is HR tech built for non-HR managers, and when that happens, HR will truly become more strategic,” he says.
Aman Brar is CEO at Canvas, the first text-based interviewing platform that enables recruiters to screen more job candidates, market employment brands, and help eliminate unconscious bias in hiring. With Canvas, companies leverage machine learning and analytics to transform their engagement with talent by designing their recruitment strategies to align with the communication preferences of today’s workforce.