This past year was transformative in just about every way, and the changes continue in 2021. After a period of record unemployment, companies are now struggling to hire enough staff to stay open. Stories abound, especially in retail and restaurants, about businesses being forced to reduce hours or close due to lack of staff.
To increase the effectiveness and scale of their recruiting efforts, more companies are turning to technology. Here are five technologies that are transforming recruiting:
Video: In the absence or reduction of in-person interviews, video use has exploded. Companies are not only conducting interviews over live video such as Zoom, but also leveraging tools for recording video applications. One approach involves inviting candidates to answer a list of specific questions (such as, “How would you handle a difficult customer situation?”) via video format. This ensures that all candidates have the opportunity to answer the same questions, and are evaluated on a standardized scale, reducing the potential for bias.
AI: Recruiting pros are now using AI in a myriad of ways. Many recruiting platforms have an AI underpinning that enables them to select applicants based on certain criteria—enabling hiring managers to leverage AI tech while masking its complexity. AI technology is more sophisticated than keyword matching systems, and can evaluate not only words in natural conversation or documents but also speech in a video—for instance, highlighting candidates who indicate in their video interviews that they are available during the hiring manager’s preferred hours or have a certain level of communication or customer service abilities. This saves managers a lot of time and manual work.
Chatbots: Chatbots are becoming essential for automating routine inquiries such as, “Is this position still open?” and tasks such as scheduling interviews. A top frustration of job candidates is employers who don’t respond quickly. Chatbots are inexpensive, easy to use, and enable companies to respond to candidates instantly. As Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology gets better and better, chatbots can parse out meaning in organic back-and-forth conversations and are becoming more human-sounding and smarter.
Marketplaces connecting recruiters with new audiences: Right now, hiring hourly workers is hard. Employers are competing against other employers, gig jobs and record-high unemployment benefits that are causing many people to take themselves out of the workforce. One key to filling those open positions is looking for candidates in new places. Tech-enabled marketplaces are helping employers automatically share details on their positions across different digital platforms as well as offline partnerships like boys and girls clubs, community centers and school campuses.
Automated marketing drip campaigns: Recruiting can comprise a significant portion of a manager’s day—up to half during particularly busy stretches. And when the process is manual, it’s easy to forget to follow up, or confirm an interview, or close the loop on a start date. In today’s competitive hiring environment, those failures to respond can mean positions stay open for much longer. Drip campaigns have been used by marketers for years—it’s a technique for sending trigger-based campaigns (typically emails or texts) to targets. Now, some recruiting and HR platforms are incorporating drip campaign capabilities to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of recruiting efforts.
Recruiting teams using one or more of these technologies are able to reduce the time spent on recruiting while improving the quality of hires and accelerating their hiring pipeline (from application to interview to hire). Those who aren’t will soon be left behind—speed and quality of response are key to setting an employer apart in a competitive jobs market.
Vivian Wang is the founder & CEO of Landed (gotlanded.com). She and the Landed team are building the fastest way for the 90M hourly workers in the US to land jobs at essential food & retail businesses like Wendy's, Taco Bell, Grocery Outlet & more with video. After graduating from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, Vivian worked in roles ranging from advising European central banks on financial markets strategy at BlackRock and launching the Asia & EMEA markets at real estate tech company, Matterport (NASDAQ: MTTR), to leading special projects for the C-suite at Gap, Inc., owner of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Intermix.