Traditionally, the recruitment team has been the poster child of HR functions. Just think back to the pre-LinkedIn and Facebook era, when tapping into a network was a skill that involved attending social/professional events, keeping contacts warm, making cold calls, and asking for introductions.
In other words, recruiters held the power. A recruiter’s rolodex or black book often opened the door to great talent that companies sought. And, they were able to control critical aspects related to the demand and supply of this talent.
And then came the winds of change…
Rise of social media
With the rise of social media, job seekers and employers no longer needed to rely on recruiters’ black books or gatekeeping to reach beyond their immediate network. Professional networking sites (like LinkedIn), and social media platforms (like Facebook) opened the gates to jobs and candidates anywhere in the world.
Social recruiting has proven to capitalize on referrals from current and former employees. And the viral nature of social media can help get the word out to the right people at the speed of a click.
Looking beyond CVs
Selecting a candidate based on a CV alone is passé. Today recruiters must go beyond the customary summary of a person’s talents, accomplishments, qualifications and experience – and scan his/ her professional footprints on relevant platforms. Job seekers with profiles on professional social networks or online job boards post virtual portfolios, share their work on platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow, contribute content on LinkedIn and Quora and more.
In short, by using social networks recruiters can get a more rounded idea of a candidate including his/ her fit with company culture. This saves time by weeding out the ones who don’t really have the right body of work (or temperament) for the role — and can be done easily without having to call candidates them in for an interview.
Doing it with data
Recruiters are now expected to make data-driven decisions in order to deliver the best results. Recruiting technology available today gathers data that can be used to optimize recruiting strategy including streamlining job descriptions, scoring and stack ranking candidates, altering the interview process, or adjusting compensation and benefits packages.
Objective and real time actions are made possible by utilizing the data and analysis capabilities of recruitment technology; aided by data from internal websites, mobile applications, social recruiting sites and so on.
Enhancing the candidate experience
It’s important for recruiters to realize that the expectations that candidates have of their interactions with any company they apply to have been upped significantly by their experience as consumers. This poses a challenge as well as an opportunity for companies; especially those that hire people for ‘high volume’ positions (e.g., customer service or frontline sales jobs where companies are continuously hiring), because their candidates could be their customers too, now or in the future.
Given the ubiquitous nature of social media, a single bad (or good) impression can leave lasting implications. For recruiters, adopting a more candidate-centric approach will produce higher rates of hiring the best employees, higher candidate satisfaction rates, improved retention and performance from newly hired employees, and a reduced risk to the company’s brand.
Building an employer brand
A compelling employer brand can make a company a desirable place to work, help the brand distinguish itself from its competitors, and make it easier to attract talent. It is also something that should consistently evolve to satisfy a change in brand strategy, or business goals. Instead of thinking of employer branding as a separate strand of activity, owned by one part of the business, there is an ongoing need for a more comprehensive approach in which HR should be seen as an integral part of a business’s marketing strategy.
Social media has changed the employer branding landscape in a big way. It’s given the talent pool greater insight into companies and access to opinions from current and past employees. In addition to making sure candidates and employees have a good experience with a company – recruiters must actively leverage online platforms to build visibility and favorable impressions of their company.
The race is on for recruiters to attract the best talent, and do it the new age way. It’s still a critical role that requires deep understanding of the company and industry, and how a new hire can add lasting value in this competitive scenario. Those who stall or question the evolution will find it a tougher climb to reach the top talent that is keenly sought after to ensure growth and future success.
About the author
Pritha Sen is the head of Communications at EdGE Networks, a next gen HR Tech company. Pritha has extensive experience in branding and marketing, HR and leadership communication. Prior to EdGE Networks, she worked in various communications role at MindTree and HCL Technologies.