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Social media and hiring decisions

The challenge for in-house teams is to identify the tools that will pinpoint the right talent

Anto Toms 

As anyone who has stood in a queue all night for the latest smartphone will tell you, catching up with technology isn't easy. But with many HR departments assuming more responsibility for resourcing, it is essential to get a grip of the numerous recruiting channels, tools and technologies that have sprung up in recent years.

While areas such as social and mobile recruiting are still subject to significant hype, they are increasing in importance. There is already an overabundance of social recruiting tools to find people hastily - so that is not the problem, but the issue is how to get in touch and engage with people in a time-effective way. Similarly, domains such as video-interviewing and gamification present possible ways to develop recruiting practices. When it comes to the mobile space, corporations need well thought-through and consistent strategies that will attract exceptional candidate experience. Here's a look at new technologies and tools that have the potential to change the way you search.

1 Applicant tracking systems: The Applicant tracking systems (ATSs) were among the first bits of online recruitment technology that came forth in the 1990s. Early systems did little more than go after incoming CVs but in recent years they have expanded their ambit into domains such skills-matching, CV parsing and job posting to numerous channels. Many talent research and counselling firms consider today's ATSs as "integration platforms" that unite other tools and services used in the recruitment process.

So how do they impact the way you work? The new-age ATSs can help bring many enrolment functions under one umbrella. One is Tribe Pad, which depicts itself as a "social" ATS and whose users can publicise their jobs anywhere on the web. It boasts intellectual skill-matching established on semantic technology and supplies built-in real-time analytics to assess what channels execute best.

Significantly, the product allows bosses to create specific communities established on skills and location so they can more easily be in touch and connect with those prospects on the system. Recruitment and HR departments need to dig up maximum value from their ATSs, not just when waiting for new talent but to take advantage of the talent that already occupies the system.

2 Mobile recruiting tools: Mobile internet and recruitment have had many false starts, but record sales of powerful smartphones and tablets are likely to result in portable usage leapfrogging desktop browsing for the first time this year. It has forced mobile recruiting to the front position and is anticipated to become the key channel for hiring. Research shows that at least 2.8 million job seekers contact job lists from mobile devices every month, with 67 per cent appearing daily. A Potential Park study found 88 per cent of them looking for vacancies on their mobiles, with one in three eager to apply using their device.

Mobile takes enrolment into a completely new space. It marks a considerable change in how corporations talk, engage with and engage talent. Understanding how individuals behave in the mobile atmosphere and making sure it matches the quality of the desktop will be important. Mobile enrolling tools can be classified into four main areas: QR (quick response) codes, text alerts, apps and mobile-optimised sites. In general, it is the latter that is neglected, with many commercial career sites failing to suggest candidates any customised mobile experience.

3 Gamification: Gamification is the extensive movement of applying game mechanics to non-game environments, such as recruitment, to inspire people or change behaviour. Analysts say that it is poised to become "a highly considerable trend" over the next five years and that, by next year, more than 70 per cent of the top 2,000 global organisations will have at least one gamified app.

Gamification has the potential to bring significant efficiencies at the front end of the enrolment process both as an attraction and an appointment tool as well as a means to promptly identify people with the right skill-sets for a particular role. It can also be used to better unite, communicate and build relationships with candidates in the talent pool. There is a promising market of game developers, such as Connect Cubed, which builds appraisal games, while People Fluent has an app to improve the effectiveness of meetings.

4 Location technology: Geolocation is the power to discover the real-world geographic location of a person from his/her mobile phone or computer device, normally using the user's internet protocol (IP). It represents a low-cost way to target candidates on the move and appraise them of appropriate job vacancies.

It has the potential to bring staffing and HR teams much closer to the right talent. Today when you ask job seekers what is important, three things stand out: salary, job title and location. The ability to provide targeted job publicity based on location is something job seekers now expect and that HR professionals should take note.

5 Video interviewing: The cost of new tools has so far determined HR's appetite to use the tools available. But this may be changing. A recent study by a specialist recruitment consultancy found that almost 41 per cent of HR directors have incorporated the use of video-conferencing for interviews.

Video interviewing can close up on emotional clues and body language. Although this should not substitute face-to-face interviews, its speed and expediency allows more candidates to be seen close-up in the early stages of the enrolment process.

Video is also the medium of younger generations, so HR must become more consenting of its place in the staffing process. Managers are finding it increasingly difficult to source skilled local professionals and are looking at technology to help them. Video is particularly useful for candidates who are located in far flung venues and it helps hiring managers to form a visual opinion of the candidate.

6 Internet sourcing: Internet sourcing relates to highly-skilled people deploying a range of superior searching techniques to seek out hard-to-find talent. Social and specialised networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Flatparty have become the documenting apparatus of the trade for hiring professionals. The coming of LinkedIn and Facebook challenged conservative employment practices. Suddenly, by doing keyword searches, in-house recruiters and HR divisions could gain access to the same candidate details previously held by recruitment agencies. Every recruitment team, in-house or outsourced, should have a clear idea about how to use online platforms. LinkedIn, for instance, holds enormous amount of data and its search tools are phenomenal for intelligence-gathering as well as discovering potential candidates. But there is far more to internet sourcing than LinkedIn. Google+ is under-used for employment.

On Facebook, a tool called Graph Search assists in making people and data supplied by them more ascertainable.

The challenge for in-house teams is to find the tools and techniques that will pinpoint the right talent. Semantic search capability, which bases its outcome on significance rather than a word-for-word match, assures much but is still in the early adoption phase.

Anto Toms
CEO, flatparty.com

First Published: Mon, February 24 2014. 00:07 IST
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