4 Tech Trends Changing How You Recruit and Hire

Technology has disrupted our everyday lives in multiple ways. Most of us now carry smartphones in our pocket, use computers to complete our work, and download apps that do everything from controlling your thermostat to locking your door.

And when it comes to hiring and recruitment, technology has significantly affected those processes as well. Because of the highly competitive hiring landscape, it’s integral for hiring managers stay on top of these key trends. To help you stay up to speed, we’ve rounded up a few examples of tech trends — from text messaging to chatbots — that are changing how companies hire.

Video interviews

One major step of the hiring process that is evolving because of technology is the interview. Today’s workers are busier than ever, and finding time in everyone’s schedule for a candidate to come in for an interview is time-consuming and often frustrating. Enter the video interview.

As early as 2012, more than half of companies used video interviews as part of their hiring process, according to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a number that’s likely to have increased since then.

63% of companies use video interviews as part of the hiring process.

Video interviews save employers valuable time and resources when narrowing their search for the perfect hire and simultaneously keep the interview process simple for candidates. There are two different types of video interviews: live and pre-recorded.

Live video interviews

Live video interviews are like teleconferences or video chats. They happen in real-time and involve some sort of two-way interaction. The candidate is typically on video, while the interviewer(s) may or may not be. Live video interviews can happen over a digital-calling service like Skype, Google Hangouts or FaceTime.

Pros of live video interviews:

  • This allows you to really see how the person interacts with the team. This is important to find out if they fit with your team and culture. 95% of employers say that culture fit is important when hiring new employees, according to a survey by totaljobs.
  • The candidate can show they think on their feet during a live video interview, which you won’t get through pre-recorded ones.
  • Having two-way interaction may make candidates feel more comfortable than having to record an interview to a camera.

Cons of live video interviews:

  • If you have a poor connection, it can make the interview difficult to conduct. You may not get the appropriate impression of the candidate because of this as well.
  • This still requires scheduling with the necessary individuals. Scheduling conflicts may arise.
  • You still run the risk of wasting time on a no-show.

One well-known example of this is Delta, which asks flight attendant candidates to create recorded video responses to specific questions. While this step happens early in the process, it helps hone in on the best candidates — which is helpful since Delta receives tens of thousands of flight attendant applications regularly.

Pre-recorded video interviews

There’s also the option of pre-recorded interviews. Pre-recorded video interviews require candidates to record a video of themselves providing an interview. Employers would provide a prompt, question or directive for candidates to base their video on.

Pros of pre-recorded video interviews:

  • It’s convenient for both the jobseeker and the employer in terms of scheduling: All the candidate has to do is meet a deadline.
  • You don’t have to worry about a no-show. If they don’t submit the video, you don’t have to waste any time on it.
  • Videos are easily distributed internally to your colleagues and other employees. This means you can get more valuable input in a shorter amount of time.

Cons of pre-recorded video interviews:

  • Not everyone’s comfortable in front of the camera. Really great candidates could let their camera shyness ruin their interview.
  • Because you can review the videos whenever, it can be easy to let it fall to the bottom of your priorities list. Then you run the risk of that candidate finding an offer elsewhere.
  • No two-way interaction makes it difficult to see how they’d fit in with the team.

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, these pre-recorded video interviews are also a great alternative for both employers and candidates. Not only do candidates have the option to record their responses as many times as they like to give the perfect answer, but employers can get a better sense of someone’s distinct personality.

Chatbots

When employers are vetting large numbers of candidates, sifting through thousands of applications is overwhelming. But a bit of high-tech can automate part of this process so recruiters can get back to the important work of finding the best candidates for each opening.

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users. Recruiters can use them to engage job candidates in early stages of the vetting process — and do so accurately. This saves employers time while also putting candidates at ease.

“Candidates feel more comfortable opening up in this way,” says Alan Cutter, CEO of recruitment firm AC Lion. “Chatbots make the qualification process more efficient and cost-effective.”

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Army was inundated with applications. To help lighten the load of recruiters, they launched SGT STAR, their chatbot, in 2010. When candidates visited goarmy.com, they could click a button to launch SGT STAR. A live chat window would appear where candidates could type in any question they had about working in the Army.

Image: goarmy.com

SGT STAR was programmed to answer almost any question a candidate could have about life in the Army and did so with incredible accuracy. Over the course of five years, the chatbot had more than 2.8 million sessions and answered more than 10 million questions (about 1,550 per day).

The Chat Shop is one tool employers are using to implement live chat to help candidates through the application process. You can see the tool in action on the listings from their own careers page. When you click through to the job ad, there’s a small, clickable menu bar in the bottom right.

Clicking the menu bar will expand a chat window that potential applicants can use to ask questions about the role.

Social media

Much of the challenge of modern recruiting is engaging potential candidates where they are. And social media platforms are proving to be one of the more successful places to find top-notch talent.

Candidates typically want to engage directly with an employer — and shooting off a tweet or posting a question on Facebook are ways to do that. Engaging with an employer’s social channels is more personal than simply sending off an email to an unknown person.

Using social media as an HR channel provides organic opportunities for you to search for candidates there and answer questions on the spot. But with the growing capabilities of social ads, employers can also allot some budget to sponsored content and ads for urgent roles.

For example, McDonald’s recently experimented with Snapchat, a messaging application extremely popular with Millennials, to attract talent and generated massive interest.

70% of employers check potential candidates’ social media presence.

Social media also offers other benefits to employers, like getting a character reference from potential employees. In fact, 70% of employers check potential candidates’ social media presence as part of the screening process, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Checking a candidate’s social profiles is becoming more common, because candidates’ habits on social platforms can demonstrate certain aspects of their personality — both good and bad attributes.

For more information on social media for job hunting, check out our list of dos and don’ts.

Mobile applications and interviews

As with most other aspects of life in our modern world, hiring has also gone mobile. According to some estimates, 90% of job seekers use mobile devices in their job search. More job seekers are participating in the job hunt on their smartphones — and employers are keeping those mobile-savvy candidates engaged with text message application and interview processes.

90% of job seekers use mobile devices during the job search.

Why does mobile recruitment matter? An IBM study compared top-performing employees to employees with average to below-average performance, and the data showed there was a direct correlation between performance and mobile job search.

“High potentials engaged in more mobile job search activities than all other employees [those with below average performance in the workplace.]” The same study also found that “top-performing potentials responded to job postings more quickly, and retrieved information about job opportunities faster.”

Mobile platforms, such as Apploi, make the application process easier and more streamlined, and also help employers keep their talent pool organized. Even text messaging can accommodate applications and interviews.

“More and more of the population we are trying to reach actually prefer text messaging to talking on the phone. This gives us an edge because we are able to reach them in a way they are comfortable with while building an employee/employer relationship,” says Jennifer Ramirez, centralized delivery manager of Adecco Staffing.

Because many candidates respond to text messages within 15 minutes, more companies are using texting as a tool to conduct quick, efficient interviews. And for candidates who didn’t make the cut for one role, companies can use texts to connect with them about future opportunities.