New Technologies Disrupt the Future of Recruiting

Endless choices of social media and new technologies mean organizations need careful consideration when choosing one.

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Companies are getting creative with their recruiting efforts. For instance, fast food giant McDonald’s announced this month it is requesting applications to their Australian restaurants via the disappearing photo and video sharing platform Snapchat. Through the app, a filter creates the appearance that an applicant is wearing a McDonald’s uniform. They then record a 10-second video, submit it and wait for the next step in the application process, according to a recent Inc. article. In today’s war for talent, this is yet another instance of companies taking unconventional recruiting approaches to stand out, often through social media and other emerging technologies.

In years past, employer branding focused heavily on the written word, said Steven Brand, employer brand director at Randstad Sourceright, a technology talent and solutions provider in Atlanta. Now, organizations are choosing experiences to share with prospective candidates. How they deliver this and on what platform says a lot about the organization. “The choice of the technology is what defines the brand and the brand experience,” Brand said.

When choosing technology, however, organizations should first ask themselves if the technology aligns with the business. If the two are too different in content and tone, this could confuse candidates, Brand said. Also, it’s important to be sure the desired audience is likely using the platform. If recruiting experienced executives, for example, they’re more likely to be on professional networking website LinkedIn, not Snapchat. Also, be sure the posting aligns with the platform, “or else it looks and feels clunky and looks a bit like your dad turning up at the disco,” Brand said. The more research, the better, as ensuring the experience works practically will decrease the risk of a brand or reputation problem, he said.

Talent leaders don’t need to rush in, either. It’s not necessary to be the first to try out a new technology or social media platform, said Elaine Orler, CEO & co-founder of Talent Function, a talent acquisition consulting service based in San Diego. First, become a part of that digital community and understand it as its users so recruiters aren’t an obstacle or a burden to the audience they’re trying to attract.

RELATED: Are Bots the New HR?

But where’s the best place to attract desired talent? It depends. “I don’t think there is any place that isn’t an opportunity to recruit when it comes to what’s available as an open, social, public forum,” Orler said. How recruiters use the chosen media and how they behave with it will make or break how the organization is going to be perceived. Some simple advice: “Common sense is my first request of any organization,” Orler said.

Here are three emerging recruiting technologies to look out for:


Orler said Snapchat advertisements are becoming popular, as long as they aren’t too lengthy, she said. And filters — a combination of images and virtual masks — are effective methods for reaching attendees. Especially at an event, this can help an organization compete with other companies for candidate attention.

Artificial Intelligence

Search and matching is one area in which AI excels, aiding in identifying the candidates best fit for a role based on their résumés, Orler said. Limitations abound, though, including access to data and integrating the search tool into legacy data systems and recruiters’ daily work.

This technology is expected to grow in the future. Orler said AI could soon include social listening tools, in which software can follow potential candidates on social media and alert recruiters when candidate sentiment seems to change. If they’re expressing frustration about their job, it might be a good time for the recruiter to reach out with a job opportunity.

Virtual Reality

One German firm, Deutsche Bahn, uses VR to showcase jobs that are hard to fill, giving viewers a taste of some roles before they apply. The British Army also uses this technology, providing a VR obstacle course, parachute jump and more.

As VR becomes more accessible in the future, it could also be a standard part of skills testing for some roles, said James Hawley, executive vice president of Veredus, a Hays Company, a specialized recruitment and staffing agency headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

What’s the C-suite’s role in all of this? Hawley said senior leaders shouldn’t be involved in choosing recruitment technology. However, “they should encourage their teams to be creative and open-minded when assessing new technology,” he said. In the end, HR practitioners and recruiters are the expert advisers.

Lauren Dixon is an associate editor at Talent Economy. To comment, email

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