The number of new technologies that have emerged in the talent acquisition space over the past few years is a little dizzying. From AI to automation, to Candidate Relationship Management and Recruitment Marketing Platforms, to text messaging software and programmatic job advertising, there are a ton of options to consider.
And as more and more of your hiring competitors implement these new recruiting technologies, the pressure to keep up with the Jones’ or risk falling behind can be dismaying.
As head of a small talent team at Bozzuto, a 2,800 person diversified real estate organization, I need to be really thoughtful about our TA tech stack and the capacity it has to help or hinder the candidate experience. We need to be able to scale with our existing team members and we don’t have an unlimited budget to throw at every new technology that hits the market.
As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time considering which new and emerging recruiting technologies are giving the biggest boost to candidate experience and why they’re likely to stick around. So, without further ado, here are my predictions along with my rationale behind their staying power.
Candidate Experience and Talent Acquisition Technologies That Are Here to Stay
1. Text messaging software
Text messaging software allows your team to reach out to candidates by text efficiently and at scale. Rather than having your recruiters message candidates manually from their own devices (and phone numbers!), text messaging software allows your team to instead log in to a platform where they can quickly send messages from a separate number right from their desktop to candidates.
With text messaging software, you can set up campaigns to message all candidates that fit a certain criteria, or just keep your best fit candidates warm as they move through the stages of your hiring process. You can also set up QR code or short code campaigns that let candidates easily apply for open roles through text.
In our experience, candidates also really enjoy text messaging for scheduling and confirming interview times. Candidates respond really quickly to our texts, so we can move them through the process more efficiently and reduce our time to fill.
Further, text messaging software typically comes with a chatbot that can live on your careers site. This chatbot can answer questions that candidates have throughout the process. At Bozzuto, we use TextRecruit for text messaging and for our careers site chatbot. We find that many of our candidates like to engage with our chatbot to check in on the status of their application. The chatbot can be programmed to respond to many FAQs automatically, and we have real recruiters monitoring and available to respond to more one-off questions during working hours.
2. Digital interviewing platforms
Digital interviewing platforms allow your hiring team to interview candidates in different cities or countries without having to spend money on travel expenses.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “wait, isn’t that something I can do with Skype?,” you should know that digital interviewing platforms have more bells and whistles that are particularly geared towards hiring.
For example, you can get employees to record an introductory video answering a short list of questions rather than conducting a phone screen. This saves your recruiting team time because they can batch all of these introductory video screens together, rather than have random phone screens scattered throughout the day. It’s also convenient for the candidate, since they can record their own intro at their convenience, without having to book in with a recruiter.
Digital interviewing platforms also offer in-platform evaluation rubrics to keep things organized and digitally attached to the candidates. They often integrate with your Applicant Tracking System too so all of the information logged about a candidate will transfer over to your main database.
3. Video tools
Video is taking over the internet! According to Wordstream, one-third of online activity today is spent watching videos. Additionally, YouTube data shows that mobile video usage is increasing at a rate of 100% every year.
Because people (candidates!) love watching videos online, video content has become one of the most important and effective ways to share information about your company, including: culture, values, approach to getting work done and much more. It brings the employee experience to life in a way that no other medium can really quite capture.
Videos can save your team time too, because candidates are able to take a look and self-assess on whether this environment seems like a good fit for them before deciding if it makes sense to go through your hiring process. Our profile on The Muse is a great way for job seekers to research our culture and see real photos and videos of our employees and environment.
Further, emails that have a video attached to them have a 300% higher click-through rate, according to Hubspot. In other words, when you attach a video to your InMail, text, email, etc., candidates will be more likely to notice and take action!
Any tools that help teams to easily capture and share video content will continue to thrive and have great footing in the recruiting arena in the coming years.
4. Sourcing automation tools
With unemployment rates in the U.S. at their lowest since 1969, according to the Washington Post, we all know that sourcing has become a lot harder than it used to be. It can take a lot of time to manually track down and reach out to the best candidates on the market.
As a result, tools that automate the sourcing process to speed things up for your recruiting team – so they can find and connect with more candidates in less time – have become essential, and are surely here to stay.
One of the sourcing automation tools we use is Leoforce, which is a platform that automatically fills our recruiters’ pipelines with candidates that are likely to be the right fit for those opportunities. But even LinkedIn is now building more sourcing automation features into their recruiter seats, such as presenting you with candidate profiles that are likely to fit with roles you’re currently looking to fill.
5. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools
AI and machine learning are having a profound impact on tech tools across industries, and certainly talent acquisition is not omitted from the list.
Now when I say AI and machine learning, I’m not referring to talking robots that will greet your candidates at the door and show them around your office. We’re not there yet, and frankly I hope we never adopt that particular approach! Instead, I’m talking about tools that get smarter over time – that learn from past system interactions and can provide better, more efficient outcomes as you use them more frequently.
One example of this includes the chatbot we have on our site. The chatbot is marketed as an AI product because it’s personalized (has a name and presents itself as a member of our team), and picks up on new things over time. Our chatbot learns from the types of questions that are asked and how candidates react to answers (are they satisfied or do they need more info?) and can get better at responding to candidate needs in the long term.
Another example is the LinkedIn automation feature I referred to before. LinkedIn delivers candidate profiles using machine learning technology that analyzes your past behavior. What candidate profiles do you typically click on? What characteristics define the candidates who you actually send InMails to? Based on your behavior over time, the system gets better at delivering up prospective candidates that are closer and closer to your roles’ typical success profiles.
Why These Candidate Experience Boosting Technologies Have Staying Power
So why do I think these particular recruiting tools are here to stay? Because they all have one thing in common: they improve the candidate experience.
For many of these tools, that improvement is direct. As in, candidates who are interacting with your company through these digital tools will have an enhanced experience as they go through your recruiting process.
For other tools on the list, like sourcing automation and AI, they often improve the candidate experience indirectly because they free up your recruiting team’s time. Your team doesn’t need to be in “heads down” mode sourcing as often, and can instead enter into what I call “heads up” mode. In “heads up” mode, recruiters can spend time building relationships with talent in their pipelines to make the candidate experience even better.
Wondering what didn’t make my list? That would include technologies that I believe detract from the candidate experience. These are tools that might increase your team’s efficiency, but do so at a cost. I’m referring here to any tools that make candidates feel like a number, instead of like a human interacting with other humans.
While I want my organization’s candidate experience to feel like a consumer-grade experience, I don’t want it to reach the extreme level of automation that we see with an Amazon-style shopping experience. A new career is a much bigger decision than buying house supplies online, and people crave human-to-human interaction when it comes to a decision that’s this big.
In other words, no thanks Alexa, my candidates will find and apply to their own jobs.