Hi Rally community! My name is Leah Ramsey and I’m the Vice President of HR Maximizer. My team focuses on recruiting for the healthcare industry. We’ve always been a tech-focused team, but this year, we’ve learned even more about how technology can help elevate the virtual employee and candidate experience.
In this blog post, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned this year as we had to rapidly scale-up hiring for healthcare workers, and describe the specific HR tech tools that have helped improve our recruiting process during this chaotic and highly-competitive time.
I’ll also be sharing many more of my thoughts and learnings at the upcoming RallyFwd Virtual Conference: Reinvent Recruiting in a Virtual World on Dec. 2, 2020. You can register for free to hear my session.
How talent acquisition and the candidate experience have changed because of the pandemic
We’re all in this together
My team recruits high-level certified and licensed healthcare practitioners and clinicians across the country. When the pandemic hit, there was a rush to hire healthcare workers. To help respond to this emergency, many recruiting and Recruitment Marketing agencies (mine included) jumped in to offer services for free to help where we could. Even large organizations, like LinkedIn, chipped in by providing free job ads in the healthcare space.
What I realized in that moment was how proud I was to be in recruiting, specifically to recruit for healthcare practitioners and providers. Everyone in our space came together to do what’s necessary for the greater good, which felt pretty profound.
An overnight shift to tech-first processes
While I’m proud of how the recruiting community jumped in to help employers hire healthcare and essential workers, it became apparent pretty quickly that recruiters couldn’t do this alone: we needed HR technology more than ever, and fast. I could see that the teams that had outdated recruiting systems were struggling, while those who had already switched to more tech-forward digital experiences were able to respond to hiring needs faster.
We’re now operating in a world where virtual recruiting is the norm. While we were already trending this way, the pandemic amplified this and sped up that process by a number of years! As a result, we’re seeing healthcare organizations needing to revolutionize their talent acquisition strategy almost overnight. Through the past 6 months, there have been 3 HR technologies that have made a difference for my team that I think can play a vital role in supporting your virtual candidate experience going forward. Let’s take a look.
Top 3 HR technologies to support your virtual recruiting processes and candidate experience
1. Modern applicant tracking systems (ATSs) that support mobile optimization and seamless apply experiences
Based on data from my clients, 85-95% of candidates are using their mobile devices during the application process. This is a complete 180 from a few years ago when 70% of applications came from a desktop. However, even prior to the pandemic, the move towards increased mobile job search and mobile apply was happening — it’s just accelerated much faster this year.
As a result, if you want to provide a stellar candidate experience today, then you need to create a way for candidates to quickly search and apply on a mobile-optimized careers site.
What’s most important to healthcare is “quickly apply.” These workers have zero tolerance for a long, cumbersome application process where you have to submit a resume and cover letter, then fill out all of the same information again — people don’t have the patience or time to do that.
In fact, a study by Appcast shows that when a job application takes longer than 5 minutes to complete, companies see a 50 to 75% drop-off rate. If candidates are forced to go through multiple pages to plug in information they already gave you, you risk losing over half of the candidates who start a job application with you.
And of course we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Candidates will appreciate your low-stress candidate experience, and remember your employer brand in a positive light, whether they get the job or not.
What’s great is that a lot of the most popular ATSs, that many organizations are already using, offer mobile optimization tools and quick apply options. It’s worth talking to your current vendor to see how they can help you improve here — and if they don’t have the right tools to help you modernize your process, then you might want to consider another ATS like:
2. AI technology that help you differentiate your virtual candidate experience
AI technology can help you to create a virtual candidate experience that will differentiate your company from your talent competitors.
One of the benefits of using AI is improved communications with candidates. Rather than having to rely solely on manual emails, AI tech can help you automate and broaden your communications channels. For example, setting up a chatbot to answer candidate questions can be a great way to ensure candidates receive the answers they need quickly, even when your team is offline.
AI technology can also help you decrease your time-to-fill. This is huge in an industry like healthcare because we can’t afford vacancies — they are costly and can also have implications on patient health and wellbeing. If you can decrease your TTF by even 3-4 days, you’re doing exponentially better. I worked with a client earlier this year that saw a 6 day reduction in the time a candidate spent in the recruiting pipeline by implementing AI technology. Ultimately, this time saving correlated to the recruiters being able to process 106% more candidates and hire 37.5% more FTEs, than they did prior to using AI.
Here are a few HR tech platforms with AI that you could consider including in your HR tech stack:
3. Informative Video Content embedded in job ads to bring your employer brand to life
Another game changer for our clients has been the use of video job ads to provide more realistic and appealing previews of the employee experience. These videos give candidates a broader and more realistic idea of the team culture and what it looks like inside the organization.
To capture video content, we use small camera crews that go into our clients’ facilities and take videos of the actual day-to-day happenings within the facilities. We show clinicians moving about departments and workstations, the medical instruments they’re using, and also create Q&As with various employees from the C-Suite to Techs. This type of approach gives candidates a full-on behind the scenes look to help them decide whether to apply.
Sometimes the information candidates want to learn can be quite granular, and you can communicate this through video too. For example, ICU nurses often want to know what type of monitoring systems you’re using. OR nurses often want to see the OR layout and surgical equipment they’ll potentially be using. While these all seem like minor details, they matter a lot to nurses because it impacts how they deliver on patient care. And that level of detail can be effectively shown in a video.
Even if you don’t have the budget for a film crew, or during the pandemic when on-site camera crews aren’t possible, there are ways to facilitate the creation of employee-generated content that you can use in your job ads now. You can create a simplistic Q&A template and share it with both on-site and WFH employees. Ask them to film their personal Q&A session on their phones or computers, which you can easily edit later.
This approach can work well because today’s candidates no longer look for something that’s hyper-produced. They want to see content that is more realistic. This actually plays in your favor because you can make high-performing and engaging videos on a low budget since no one is expecting to see a “Hollywood production” anymore.
Here are a few video platforms and programs you could consider:
I hope my learnings to date were helpful for you to hear about. I think at the end of the day the ultimate goal of any recruiting technology should be to provide the best possible candidate experience. And now that we’ve moved to a virtual recruiting world, we need to check that our tools are still delivering on that experience at scale and remotely.
We’ve found that the trifecta of mobile optimization, AI, and video gives the perception that the organization is forward-thinking and that they care about their people — which makes candidates actually want to work there because their time is valued and they get insight into what a company culture actually looks like.
If you want to hear more, during my session at RallyFwd on December 2, 2020, I will be presenting a case study from one of my clients who completely transformed their candidate experience through some of these technologies (and others) to overcome their COVID-19 recruiting challenges. Register today to save your seat — hope to see you there!