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  • Robert A. Dougan, M.A.

HOW TO USE TOP TECH FOR TALENT ACQUISITION



“74% of companies plan to increase their investment in recruiting technologies”

Interviewstream Survey, 2020

Nowadays, almost everything we do in business is digitized, which is pretty cool because it means getting things done more efficiently and effectively than previously. Talent acquisition is no different, and there has never been a more important time to use technology to improve the hiring process. After all, the role of the talent acquisition professional is much more than just about processing candidates and conducting interviews. Their roles also involves marketing, attracting and assessing quality hires, validating, onboarding, and reporting.

But thankfully, new forms of tech are making this job much less overwhelming than it would be having to do all of this by hand. The following are a few examples of some technologies that can improve the talent acquisition function—but only if used right!

  • Artificial intelligence

  • Machine learning

  • Chatbot automation

  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS)

  • Simulation assessments

  • Skill based/cognitive testing

  • Psychometric assessments

  • Credential verification technology

  • Gamified screening

  • Digital interviewing

  • Video job postings

  • Employee referral platforms


WHY YOU SHOULD USE TECH TO ACQUIRE TALENT Technology can be a game changer when it comes to helping manage and keep recruiters organized. Certainly, technology can enhance the recruitment process, but more importantly, when it is implemented and used properly, it can further contribute to predicting on-the-job performance and retention. Unfortunately, there are several companies who fall into bad hiring habits when under the pressures of a tight labour market, especially when trying to find quality candidates. While having a seamless application process and positive candidate experience is important, some companies, for example, have begun to cut corners on other parts of the process, such as the focus on selecting the best candidates who will thrive in their organization. This often happens in the hiring process because many organizations treat recruitment like an event, and have a knee jerk reaction only when there is a need to hire. This happens regularly in an applicant’s marketplace, for example, meaning there is a shortage of people applying for roles. Companies, in these instances, subsequently begin to shift their focus to attraction strategies only and hire just about anyone they can. In any standard recruitment process, there are marketing and attraction strategies used to fill a funnel with candidates. Oftentimes, companies skip the marketing aspect of recruitment and go straight to their attraction strategy—posting jobs. Unfortunately, this is the first mistake most organizations make, as they haven’t put continuous energy all year into their marketing. Organizations should be doing so consistently to show candidates why theirs is a great place to work; this can be done with targeted advertising (check out our latest blog on amplifying your recruitment brand)! GIVE YOUR RECRUITMENT PROCESSES AN UPGRADE

The good news is there are some companies that have adopted new recruitment technologies, like marketing technology that can be used to attract candidates, artificial intelligence/automation that can screen candidates, and pre-employment testing that can assess the quality of the candidates in order to provide the following: 1) A more user-friendly experience for the candidate

2) An effective candidate processing and screening system based on past employee successes

3) Reportable data on all applications to improve the hiring process

There is no doubt that technology is valuable in this industry in particular, and when this technology is used correctly, it will enhance the recruiting process so as to make it more predictive for future hiring. However, there are many companies who are using this technology to screen and hire at the expense of moving the hiring process at a much faster pace. While it is nice to move faster in your recruiting, if you are not monitoring these technology tools to ensure they are predicting performance and retention, then you’ve wasted your money, time, and resources by bringing on bad hires.


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CHOOSE SPEED OVER QUALITY

Here is a real example from a company who decided to adopt artificial intelligence in an attempt to screen candidates faster and more efficiently. While the technology improved recruiter efficiencies by improving time to hire by more than 25%, it also proved to be more costly because the company was not improving short-term attrition rates. In this situation, the algorithm that was implemented in the artificial intelligence technology wasn’t being monitored by the company or vendor. The technology remained in place for more than two years, and when finally someone examined the tool more thoroughly, they found out that the artificial intelligence technology for screening applicants was only predicting on-the-job performance and retention less than 50% of the time.

The organization in this example remedied this problem by using more robust psychometric selection assessments as a part of their process with short-listed candidates. While some organizations think pre-employment tests hinder the application rates, statistics actually show that candidate completion rates of pre-employment tests tend to be close to or above 90%. What this suggests is that pre-employment tests are not hindering the candidate experience, but rather enhancing it.

My advice for solving a recruitment problem will always be to measure the impact it will have on employee performance and retention. At the end of the day, performance improves the top line of any organization and improving employee retention reduces the organization's costs.


TO USE OR NOT TO USE? THAT IS THE QUESTION

From our perspective, using technology adds many benefits to the hiring process, but when used incorrectly, it can actually do more damage than good. Companies need to always think about what they are trying to achieve when implementing new technologies. Two of the most important outcomes are to hire people who will perform and stay with the organization. Other elements such as improving candidate experience and recruiter efficiency should be all top of mind. Try not to solve one problem without taking in the consideration of others. Always remember that you are trying to predict who will perform and who will stay with you. It might be a tough hiring landscape out there, but it is never worth sacrificing quantity of applicants over quality of applicants.


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