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How to ensure a digital, dynamic, and data-driven recruitment process

Liam Butler, area vice president at SumTotal


In today’s hyper-connected world, the emergence of the digital workplace is changing the way companies recruit, manage and retain talent.


Some organisations are forging ahead with innovative technologies that extend their reach and capture behavioural signs from candidates about their skills, competences and motivations. This helps them know with more certainty who the right person is, at the right time, for the right job. Others, however, are getting left behind when it comes to digitising their recruitment process.


The ‘Amazon Effect’ means today’s candidates expect every company to deliver a seamless recruiting experience – the same on-demand, high quality and proficient experience candidates enjoy as consumers. Indeed, digital transformation in recruitment is changing the rules of engagement for businesses when it comes to talent acquisition. But opportunities to improve data collection and analytics also mean organisations have better insights into candidates when making hiring decisions.


Here are five top tips for organisations that want to ensure they have a digital, dynamic and data-driven recruitment process:


  1. Go mobile


strategy consultancy Kelton reports that 86% of active job searches now begin from a smartphone, so organisations must ensure their career sites and job posts are optimised for mobile devices, and that the application process is mobile-friendly and responsive. Otherwise, they run the risk of seeing high abandonment rates arising from job seekers who will quit the moment they encounter a time-consuming or frustrating process.


That means job descriptions must be tightly written and informative, while application forms will need to be streamlined and easy to complete—ideally within 5-10 minutes. The trick is to capture enough data to initiate a follow-up, without driving candidates away.


The rule of thumb for achieving maximum conversion rates is between two to three clicks for an online application, and the delivery of between 300-1500 words of information relating to the company and/or job role.


  1. Leverage social


The number of employers using social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn has hit an all-time high, changing not just how applicants find their way to a company’s career site, but how employers source and review candidates. Indeed, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers now use social media to screen candidates before hiring.


However, organisations need to strike a fine balance when it comes to using social media profiling—especially when it comes to exposing candidates to potential or unconscious recruiter bias based on their gender, race, age or political bias.


For this reason, organisations will need to pre-determine where to draw the line when it comes to collecting data and ensure this only relates to specific requirements or the job role itself. Similarly, recruiters must work hard to ensure that candidates are comfortable with their online presence being evaluated and secure consent before proceeding down this route.


3.              Turn employees into brand advocates


Today’s organisations need to be acutely aware of their corporate reputation on social platforms, especially as the job market becomes increasingly candidate-centric.


While savvy recruiters understand that building their employer brand is an integral element of a highly effective recruiting process, today’s jobseekers increasingly make consumer-like decisions when it comes to deciding which companies they work for. That includes looking at online review sites such as Glassdoor.


Before asking existing employees to act as brand ambassadors and share their positive experiences across their social networks, companies will first need to assess the health of their online employer brand. After which, they can begin encouraging employees to spread the word about company offerings—utilising incentives for referrals, for example.


As ever, the key to building a positive employer brand begins with building a positive workplace culture that is attractive to potential candidates and inspires positive reviews.


  1. Secure data


The majority of today’s organisations will, at a minimum, conduct the initial stages of the recruitment process online. However, data protection laws place certain requirements on employers that collect personal details from job applicants. This data must only be held for as long as is necessary for the process, it must be kept secure, and the potential employer must provide explicit reasoning why each piece of data collected is necessary.


Furthermore, in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) require that recruiters clearly explain to job applicants what will happen to their personal data in the form of an applicant privacy notice. This should cover what happens to a job applicant’s personal data during the active recruitment process, if they are unsuccessful in gaining a job offer or decide not to accept a role that is offered.


Businesses need to ensure they have appropriate processes in place and keep abreast of the latest data protection requirements.


  1. Dive into data analytics


Too many companies continue to evaluate their recruitment processes utilising ‘outdated’ metrics such as ‘time-to-fill.’ Those that are embracing data analytics are able to use detailed insights on the paths job seekers take to a company’s recruitment site, and where they abandon the online application process, to optimise hiring strategies and initiate smarter recruitment practices.


With competition for talent intensifying across every industry sector, delivering a modern and streamlined ‘digital’ candidate experience depends on being able to deliver the right information and resources on-demand, at the most appropriate point in the recruitment process.


As digital transformation continues to impact the way people look for jobs and how companies recruit and onboard employee, mastering new digital techniques will be the key to finding, reaching and engaging the right candidates.


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