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The new world of recruitment – or why you’re not getting great hiring results from job ads any more

Posted by Rowan O’Grady, Hays Canada President on Monday, Jan 8, 2018

Why the right person didn't apply to your job adTechnology is changing every industry and function, from automation to AI, and recruitment is no different. Social media was one of the biggest shifts, as it changed how people accessed information and searched for jobs, but today social media is just one factor in a shift away from the old “advertise and apply” method.

For decades, employers have been advertising jobs – first in newspapers and print media, now on job boards and social media – and waiting for the right candidate to apply. In theory, qualified candidates find your job ad, and send in their resume and cover letter. However, in practice that isn’t what most hiring managers experience. As an employer, you’ve likely experienced the influx of unqualified and inappropriate applications, and gone through the time-consuming exercise of trying to find the best candidates from that selection. This model is inefficient, and doesn’t get the best results, but for a long time there weren’t a lot of other options.

In our recent What People Want report, we found that while just 11 per cent of Canadians are actively job hunting, 89 per cent would consider a job offer if it met their salary expectations, career goals, and preferred company culture. That means that a small proportion of candidates are regularly visiting job boards and you’re missing out on the majority of potential candidates.

Today, technology enables employers to step away from this passive, outdated approach and actively seek out the best candidates.

“In my ten years as CEO of Hays, I have never seen the world of recruitment and staffing evolve as rapidly as it is today,” says Hays, plc CEO Alistair Cox. “Employers and recruiters now have the ability to connect with a limitless number of potential jobseekers. However, finding the best people amid this crowd can be a real challenge.”

In a recent blog, Alistair notes that using the old model makes it highly likely that hiring managers will settle for a ‘good rather than great’ candidate – or even make a poor hiring decision. Despite this, the ‘Advertise & Apply’ approach remains prevalent across the industry today. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“The advent of data science and artificial intelligence means that the sands are again shifting beneath our feet,” Alistair says. “As a result, we’ve been developing and are deploying our new ‘Find & Engage’ approach, which we believe will usurp ‘Advertise & Apply’, and become the only effective way to operate in recruitment.”

What does “Find & Engage” look like in practice?

At its core, this new method is about making the most of technology to connect with potential candidates, communicate with them, and nurture their interest in your company so when a role opens up you have a talent pool to hire from. It’s a proactive approach, which, when done correctly, will mean a shorter time to hire, more efficient on-boarding, and better retention rates.

An internal recruitment social media and content plan is a good starting point for this process. Sharing regular, relevant content will engage people who are interested in your company and what you do. This is the foundation of your network of interested, qualified candidates. It also builds your employer brand, so when people think about your company they have an understanding of what it’s like to work there, the career opportunities, company values, and business priorities.

When you have job openings, you can share them with this engaged group and expect a number of qualified applications.

Today’s data science and artificial intelligence tools can track social and web interactions, which in combination with your team’s insights will give you better, more in-depth information about your candidates. Even unsuccessful applicants should be kept in your database, as they could be the right fit for a different role.

At Hays, we’ve been using many of these best practices for the last 10 or more years. We’re the most followed recruitment company on LinkedIn and have a significant presence on other platforms, and our proprietary candidate management system means that even if someone isn’t right for one role, we can still find and connect with them for the next opportunity. Our consultants build strong relationships with both clients and candidates, so when a role is open we can connect the right person with the right job. This combination of social media, emerging technologies, data science, and individual relationships helps us attract the best talent and make the best match.

“At Hays, we’re using this information to develop our own ‘Approachability Index’, combining data points ranging from a candidate’s prior application history and engagement with our website content, to collated insights from consultant conversations,” Alistair says. “The score embodies not just how the timing fits with a candidate’s career journey, but also how the role is likely to fit with their aspirations, and how relevant an approach from the consultant will be based on our relationship with that candidate.”

Over the next few years, the “Find & Engage” model will become the new norm, both for internal recruitment and specialist recruiters. Employers that want to stay on the cutting edge of recruitment should invest in both data analytics and technology. The first step is to determine who your target candidates are, and where you can find them instead of waiting for them to find you. Figure out how you can build relationships with these candidates today, so when you need to hire they are available and interested.

Download the Recruitment Remodelled report today for more information, or contact your local recruitment consultant.

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