Hiring in Today's Digital World Best Practices Digital Recruiting

To say that the latest technology has rocked our collective worlds is an understatement.  The same is true for the business of recruiting.  Breakthroughs in digital hiring have put a nearly unlimited number of prospective employees within reach of any hiring manager or HR team.  How to best harness the marvel of the digital world to acquire needed talent for your business:

 Set aside time, more than you think –  Yes, many online resources now exist for finding new employees that were not in use 10 years ago.  The old “rolodex” – Millennials, you’ll have to look that up –  has been replaced by a digital version of an unimaginable size.  Therein lies the challenge.  Being able to access dozens or hundreds of prospective candidates means that you probably will.  Getting to them is now the easy part.  Evaluating their profiles and resumes still takes time.  The more prospects available means more time spent looking for “the one.”  In a just-released report from Glassdoor.com – the leading employer review site – the average interview process in 2014 took 22.9 days, up from just 12.6 days in 2010.  The use of digital recruiting and screening tools has definitely contributed to this increase.

 Go to where the job seekers are – Heavily used sites for both employers and job seekers include Indeed.com and LinkedIn.  Indeed is great for posting ads as well as looking for passive candidates who are not looking for you.  The cost of advertising is reasonable, and is available on a “per click” basis.  You set your budget.  LinkedIn is free to use for looking around, and if you belong to a professional career group (Interests / Groups), they often have a protocol for placing job notices that can be widely seen.  But otherwise it will be a slow go without a premium subscription.  For a monthly fee, you get search filters to narrow the field by industry, job titles, tenure etc.  LinkedIn is rolling out new products all the time, so go to their “Business Services” tab to learn more about what they can offer for talent acquisition.  Within the Richmond recruiting scene, Craigslist is a favorite of small businesses because it’s free.  But you often get what you pay for.  You can also network via your Facebook or Twitter accounts to ask for referrals from your network, but don’t count on that strategy alone.

 Write ads with keywords – Not confident in your ability to write an ad?  Today’s ads are less about the “sizzle” and more about efficiently explaining the basic “steak” through keywords.  In the digital universe, algorithms are on an endless hunt day and night for keywords.  To get your ad placed in front of the right job seekers, use basic keywords and repeat whenever possible.  Stay as consistent as possible.  For example, use “project manager” instead of alternating between “project management,” “managed projects” or “managing projects.”  The frequency in which a keyword appears makes your ad more relevant – more sharply targeted – within automated searches performed by job seekers.  Check LinkedIn profiles for examples on how to best describe skills via keywords.

 Brace yourself – No matter where you hang out an ad online, you’ll get responses.  Lots of responses.  But unfortunately many won’t be qualified.  The total investment by a job seeker to throw a resume at you is a click or two… less than 10 seconds.  The digital world has brought the rise of the “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” approach to applying for jobs.  The good news is that tools also exist to send a polite “no thank you” response that are templated but personalized.  Definitely take time to respond; be mindful of protecting your employment brand in the marketplace.  This is in no way to suggest not trying to place an ad; one thing that hasn’t changed is that active job seekers still look for advertised jobs.  You’ll just need to allocate time to evaluate the many applicants and respond to each one.

 Scrutinize backgrounds – once you have a handful of promising candidates, you can efficiently evaluate with phone calls and traditional in-person interviews.  If your prospect is heavily scheduled at work or is located across town (or state), use a video call instead.  Skype, Google Hangout or even Facetime now make it quite easy to get in the same (virtual) room with your candidate.  Online assessments can evaluate personality traits, strengths and weaknesses.  If you want additional background checks (criminal, drug, education, etc.) there are a myriad of companies that can access databases all across the nation with more accuracy than ever.  A quick search will list dozens.  As with so much today, pricing is either subscription-based or done on a pay-as-you-go basis.  You’ll be charged for only for what tests or background checks you use.  But again there is a cost in time; Glassdoor again reports that the use of background screenings has jumped to 42% of all candidates in 2014, compared to just 25% in 2010.

 New technology has opened up candidate pools far beyond personal networks.  Digital recruiting tools put your jobs in front of like-minded prospects.  Online employment channels make it easy to zero in on interesting candidates, and qualifying and checking backgrounds is more efficient than ever.  However, with the increased quantity of recruiting methods and resources comes a higher demand for time to locate and secure top talent.