As the competition for talent becomes fiercer every day and especially the COVID-19 crisis making people a bit more hesitant to switch jobs it is obvious that candidate-focused companies are taking the lead in this race for talent. And the race for talent is truly on. 67% of recruitment professionals said their job is more difficult than what it was five years ago and 62% claimed that it’s harder to find suitable talent now than five years ago. Even CEOs acknowledge the same worries with a hefty 63% worried about the availability of key talent.
The key is to be as candidate-focused as possible
Being focused on your customers’ needs and wants has been the bread and butter in sales and marketing for already more than a decade and it will become the new norm also in recruitment. Companies building their recruitment processes to best serve their in-house processes lose the race for talent to companies who are aligning their internal processes to serve the ideal candidate experience – the kind of recruitment process every one of us would like to have when applying for a new job.
For most companies, attracting people to read their job spec isn’t a problem. We, as humans, are curious (or you could even say nosy!) and that plays to a recruiter’s advantage: we are always slightly interested to see whether the grass would be greener on the other side.
But then potential candidates face the biggest obstacle in the entire recruitment process: the barrier to leave an application. Currently, many companies want interested people to move on to an ATS to fill out their application or send their application via email. And this is not candidate-focused at all. It can require the candidate to spend at least 2-3 hours in updating their CV and cover letter and filling up all the open forms in an ATS. On the contrary things like LinkedIn Easy Apply have quickly become “hopeless” in the candidate’s perspective as they attract hundreds of applicants and no-one ever hears anything back from the respective company.
So how to make applying easier, still qualify people but also saving your recruiters time and energy while not raising your applicant’s hopes up unnecessarily?
By automating the first step of the hiring process and playing with human psychology.
Here are three ideas to get potential applicants to apply:
1. Be there to answer questions on live chat
Have someone be on hold to jump into your website when someone is viewing your job spec. Being there to help people is widely used in e-commerce & customer service but still under the radar in recruitment. You could also host live recruitment events on your website so that people get to ask questions live from the recruiting supervisor or recruiter through live chat. Companies like PwC and even The Royal Air Force are using it.
2. Automated first-phase job interviews with chatbots.
Some say this is even a better way than live chat because people want to stay anonymous as long as possible. Chatbots can also qualify people 24/7 with in-built scoring systems so lowering the barrier to apply doesn’t mean the recruiter drowns with the number of unqualified applicants. If you haven’t yet run into a chatbot interview you can try out one at this marketing agencies website.
A Scandinavian software company Geniem recently shared their experiences and numbers and they look rather promising: they were able to recruit the same amount of talent four times quicker than previously and also the quality of applications was higher.
And then there is the case of unconscious bias. As recruiters are only human there are instances in which they approach an application with unconscious bias. Bots eliminate this aspect and give every candidate the same chances, leveling the playing field in the application process making for better candidate experience and journey
3. Engage through gamification
People want to know if they are good enough for the role and gamifying your job specs is a brilliant way to engage. Gamification basically means that you include a short test within your job spec and instead of requiring people to fill in an application you ask them to test whether they are good enough for the job or not (read more here). Gamification can easily be combined with chatbots to utilise both tips 2 and 3 at once.
Gamification is often misunderstood as being something of a small smartphone game or app but that’s not the thing. Gamification is more about playing with the psychological aspect of influencing people and attracting them. When used in a job spec it really makes applying easy and qualifies the applicants to meet the requirements of the recruiter.
We hope that has highlighted the importance of shifting your focus from enhancing internal recruitment processes to being more candidate-focused as it truly is the most important thing to focus on in the race for talent. We also wish that we have been able to not only pinpoint the importance of it but also to offer executable ideas on where to start. The recruitment process needs to change and now is the time to be on the frontline of this transformation.
Santtu Kottila is a results-driven marketing and employer branding professional working at a recruitment technology company called Leadoo MT. Leadoo is a platform that helps companies to get more and better candidates by activating them to fill out applications whilst visiting your website. They have offices in London, Stockholm, Malaga and Helsinki and cater nearly 1,000 customers world-wide.