Recruitment` is an indispensable function of any organization. This process of attracting, hiring, and retaining great talent is becoming increasingly technology-driven, thus recruitment managers need to stay abreast of advancements in the industry in order to stay competitive.
According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (India) developed in collaboration with CareerBuilder India, the cost of a “bad hire” is five times the bad hire’s annual salary. This could translate to an amount well over INR 20 lakhs. While it is not practical to expect a 100% strike rate when hiring, companies need to work towards minimizing wrong hires because the investment made in hiring and training goes to waste when the candidate is a wrong fit.
Currently, 80% of organizations across all sectors have begun to use technology to narrow the candidate search and find talent with appropriate skills for the role. However, 17% of organizations are still unaware of recruitment tools. The CareerBuilder study found that the biggest barriers to the adoption of recruitment technology were lack of awareness and the inability to track return on investment (ROI).
Workflow for Tech Recruitment
An all-inclusive tech recruitment process has six key phases but it may vary slightly from organization to organization based on business vertical, company size, organizational structure, and nature of operations. Recruiting is a challenging process, especially for tech recruitment, and the use of appropriate tools helps manage the intricacies in a streamlined way.
The recruitment process (1) should be such that it finds candidates who are most likely to excel in the organization and fit its overall business strategy. If hiring for short-term projects or freelance assignments, the process should be able to identify candidates suitable for the needs of the specific project.
The six key steps of the recruitment process are:
Offer of Employment
Source: SmartSheet Inc.
Let us take a closer look at each step and explore how technology can be used to automate the process:
Often simply called “analysis,” job analysis (2) is a proactive process of collecting comprehensive information about a job and translating it to prospective candidates. Thus, it is a detailed examination of:
- tasks that make up the employee’s role
- conditions under which the employee will be performing the job
- aptitude, skills, educational qualifications, and attitude required for the role
Job analysis is done in two steps:
Identifying the data – by interviewing relevant people, gathering data using tools like online surveys, questionnaires, and evaluating data on the latest industry trends and new competencies in technical proficiency and technology.
Writing the job description – by translating gathered data such that it dissuades unqualified people and attracts the right candidates. Job descriptions (JD) should distinguish between “must-have” skills and “nice to have” skills in order to be effective. It is critical to have an accurate job description because modern recruiting platforms like Indeed and ZipRecruiter depend heavily on them to find the right people without the assistance of a hiring manager.
Various job analysis techniques exist—Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) Model, Occupational Information Network (O*Net) model, Fleishman Job Analysis (F-JAS) System, Functional Job Analysis (FJA) Model, Job Scan Model, and Competency Model.
The O*NET System
Previously, the U.S. Department of Labor used to publish the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), which contained a comprehensive description of more than 20,000 jobs. Now, it has been replaced by the O*NET online database, which has job requirements for an additional 3,500 jobs. The database also has a Career Exploration Tool to evaluate job seekers. Physical, educational, and mental requirements are described for all the jobs compiled in the database.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) also enables augmented JD writing. One such platform is Textio, which helps one write appropriate and compelling JDs.
Sourcing candidates involves identifying the right candidates and the process can be active as well as passive.
- Active sourcing refers to proactively reaching out to candidates because good talent is often already employed or has good offers in hand. They may not be actively looking for a job, but may still be open to communication.
- Passive sourcing refers to methods like maintaining the career section of one’s website, engaging digitally with candidates via social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, using job board platforms like Monster or AngelList, and monitoring one’s brand perception on websites like Glassdoor.
Candidate Sourcing Software
Recruitment software specialized in searching for the right candidates, called candidate sourcing software, helps recruiters scan thousands of online profiles to glean active and passive candidate details like resumes and email addresses.
- Some of the current best sourcing tools and services in the market are vSource, Fetcher, and Hiretual. For sourcing the best technical talent, Devskiller rates Entelo, Hired, and HiringSolved as some of the top platforms.
Candidate Sourcing Platforms
Candidate Sourcing Platforms
These tools and services help build the top of an organization’s recruiting funnel with quality applicants, and they are aiming to be better and/or more cost-effective than a LinkedIn Recruiter license. Most of these tools have machine learning and AI technology at their core.
- Sourcing bots are the latest AI-driven recruitment phenomenon, although they are considered more of robotic process automation (RPA). Recruitment bots free up recruiters from pre-screening research and interview scheduling, thus allowing more time to be spent on interviewing qualified candidates and consequently making better hires. These bots often integrate with the applicant tracking system (ATS), allowing candidates to apply for jobs and receive updates.
A 2018 survey by Korn Ferry found that 69% of the respondents felt that using AI for candidate sourcing helped them get higher-quality candidates. Some of the popular sourcing bot vendors in the market are Xor.ai, Ideal, and Olivia.
- Recruitment marketing (3) is an emerging trend in the recruitment industry, which involves applying marketing methods and tactics to the recruitment process to build and promote one’s employer brand and attract the best talent from the applicant pool. The top four recruitment marketing platforms in the market today are LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Zoho Recruit, CareerBuilder, and BreezyHR.
Organizations today receive a large volume of applications for each job opening, thus making manual screening tedious and time-consuming. 52% of talent acquisition leaders believe that the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large applicant pool.
- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software solutions that help recruiters keep track of applicants and their details, and where they are in the recruitment process. For screening the best technical talent, popular platforms are Coderbyte, CoderPad, HackerRank, Codility, and CodeFights. Once a company has found a candidate who appears to be a good fit, these automated technical screening services are used to assess coding abilities.
- AI-based technologies like natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and deep learning can be used to screen resumes contextually, just like a domain expert. It can then match and rank candidates to arrive at a list of the best talent.
According to CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study, 78% of employers (in the U.S. and Canada) said that using ATS makes it easier to find great talent, and LiveCareer reported that 64% of staffing firms in 2018 used an ATS to screen incoming resumes.
- The use of social media is a popular method of screening candidates, with companies requesting the social profiles of applicants. SHRM’s 2016 survey found that 43% of employers were using social media to screen candidates. Websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are popular spaces for professional engagement and interaction. LinkedIn profiles provide information on the applicant’s past experience and educational qualifications, whereas platforms like Facebook reveal the personality of the applicant and provide insights on their fitment with the company’s culture.
However, recruiters should be careful about how they treat the information on these platforms because of concerns about the accuracy of data, inadvertent job discrimination, and issues around the invasion of privacy.
Interviewing should be considered a vital business activity—it is here that a candidate’s skills, personality, and background are put to the test. The interview process is becoming a two-way interaction, especially for tech roles. Not only is the candidate being interviewed by the hiring manager and the technical team, but the candidate is also using this opportunity to interview the company to discuss his/her expectations.
The first level of interviews is usually conducted by phone. Either a hiring manager or an HR professional conducts the initial screening interview to quickly determine a candidate’s ability and qualifications before committing to an onsite interview. It also helps the company determine if the candidate is a good fit for its culture.
Video interviewing software is widely used nowadays to enhance the quality of the initial interview. Certain video interviewing tools even use AI to evaluate candidate behavior by taking into account factors like facial expression, tone, pitch, body language, and eye movements during the interview.
Organizations use three major interview formats:
Recorded/Asynchronous interviews – Employers create a set of video or text questions and invite a list of candidates to answer them. It helps save time when interviewing a high volume of applicants. The questions are designed to gain information about the candidate’s qualifications, skills, soft skills, and culture fitment.
Live interviews – Employers conduct online video meetings with candidates. Although similar to video conferencing tools like Skype, video interview software often has additional features like interview recording, whiteboard for writing/drawing, integration with popular ATSs, embedded evaluation forms, and interview scheduling.
Video resumes – Candidates submit a video introduction to prospective employers, who use it to study body language and communication skills. This is critical for the hospitality industry or in acting.
A remote coding challenge may be administered during video interviews using coding software by Talscale (4) or even Google Docs. Employers may also use candidate assessment and testing software from Test Reach or Talscale to test technical skills and soft skills.
Onsite or in-person interviews are structured interviews scheduled in advance at the company’s offices to help the hiring manager and the technical team evaluate a candidate’s abilities. Communication skills are important, no matter how technical a role is.
Classic data structures and algorithm interview questions are often asked, and practice problems can be found on websites like HackerNews and HackerRank. Candidates are usually required to solve coding challenges on a whiteboard in front of the interviewer(s).
Onsite interviews usually last a full day, and a candidate may meet with several people—the technical team, the HR, and even the CTO. Behavioral interviews are also conducted. Sometimes, these interviews extend beyond the day with take-home challenges or assignments.
According to Hired’s 2017 Brand Health Report, technical candidates are most concerned about the products and/or projects they are likely to work on, so both the hiring manager as well as the candidate should be clear about what the role will entail and whether the candidate has the ability to work on such projects/products.
Offer of Employment
Once the decision to hire has been made, recruiters proceed to send the candidate an offer of employment. Employment offers are commitments made on behalf of the organization, thus every offer should comply with the organization’s policies and any legal requirements.
Certain internal as well as external factors are considered when making the offer of employment:
- Internal factors: Salary equity issues, Applicant travel requirements, Relocation coordination, Establishment of appropriate job classification for the offer
- External factors: Market pricing, Wage and hour laws
Source: The Balance Careers
Technology is one of the fastest-moving sectors, thus newer and better products are emerging all the time. Technical recruitment has also had to keep pace with the rapid changes, necessitating the use of more sophisticated and modern tools and technologies. Recruitment has also become more personalized, with recruiters getting better at speaking the “language of the candidate.”