It’s not just skill set shortages that have shifted the balance of power in the recruitment process, although that is clearly playing a role. Digital transformation has also supported a candidate driven market in more ways than most hiring managers consider. Top level candidates are becoming increasingly switched on and better informed.
This generation of job seekers are more digitally savvy than ever before. At one time many candidates were one step behind in the recruitment process, and that might be still true for some. But those numbers are reducing all the time and the very top sought after talent is savvier than ever. This means that employers need to up their games and focus on their employer branding and candidate experience. Their processes need to be agile and responsive and many organisations simply aren’t.
Terms used in relation to dating sites are now becoming common in the workplace. We hear the term ghosting being used frequently about candidates who drop out of a process without a word. Some even fail to show up after they have accepted an offer. Others leave an organisation not long after starting and the word probationary period has taken on a whole new meaning. It is not just the candidate who is under scrutiny but the company.
Maren Jones, a UK-based Talent Acquisition Manager in the co-working space, recounted spending 6 months finding the right candidate for a mid-level facility management role. Her company went through background checks and onboarding and then the candidate left after two months. He had received a better offer (20% pay increase) but also claimed that he had been bored.
Candidates are also getting more switched on about unconscious bias in the recruitment process and are better informed about potential interviewer bias in particular. Women are gaining increased knowledge about gender bias and what to look out for. There is a growing belief that organisations may have a nicely published mission statement, but this may not be reflected in how the culture of the company really works.
Margie says that as a “curvy African-American woman” she has at least three potential biases that could work against her. Her race, her gender and her weight. She always does thorough research on the company before she goes to any interview. “I always check out the social media content of any hiring manager. I look at their LinkedIn profiles for the professional detail, but also their streams, especially to see the type of comment they make. American society is very polarized today. Sometimes their Facebook pages are open and their Twitter feed will reveal more about them than they think.”
Typically employers investigated a candidate’s social media history but now it works both ways. Hiring managers are also being checked out and social media can be a danger zone for many HR professionals if the post biased or extreme content.
Diversity and Inclusion
There are many ways candidates can check out an organisation with multiple platforms giving access to data which years ago would not have been in the public domain. They can look at social proofing sites and check on social media. If you use male icons and pictures of young cute white people – diversity candidates notice and understand the sub-text.
Timely and effective communication
Hiring managers and recruiters have to make their processes and communication more effective. I commit to communicating something to candidates within ten working days. If your organisation can’t achieve that, you risk losing your applicants. There are many ways to stay in touch with even a “nothing to report” message. This can be done via mobile apps and even text. Years ago this type of informal communication was out of the question but today younger generations are comfortable with using tech to pass on routine information. They also prefer this to a “voice call.”
If your system involves too many steps and high levels of personnel engaged in repetitive interviewing and testing processes, once again the market may not work in your favour. Top candidates are in multiple processes simultaneously and it really will be first employer past the post offering the best deal. Hiring managers and recruiters need to seriously reduce the layers in their recruitment processes. Candidates can experience as many as seven interviews, all day assessments and other testing processes. Today, candidates can be tested via online platforms and at lower levels given automated screening interviews. Some organisations use chat bots. At a recent HR conference a significant number said they had no problem using tech, even bots if they had an enhanced experience.
No time to be complacent
Digital transformation has impacted every element of the hiring process. But tech also supports a candidate driven market with candidates who are increasingly savvy and have higher expectations. For the time at least being they can call the shots.
If you want your recruitment process to be bias and diversity conscious get in touch now.