Recruiting? Here are the top five uses of powerful tech tools

By Karen Ekron, Head of Recruitment Consulting at Sage VIP

Johannesburg, 11 Mar 2015
Read time 4min 40sec

Today's recruiter has a range of powerful tools at his or her disposal to help make the recruitment process more efficient and cost-effective. From online jobs portals to social media, these tools make it easier to reach high-quality applicants, manage the flow of applications, and eventually complete the hiring process.

However, recruiters should not treat applicants like online commodities or imagine they can automate their jobs end-to-end. Though it can help recruiters to gather CVs more efficiently and identify suitable candidates faster, technology is no replacement for the art of building relationships, says Karen Ekron, Head of Recruitment Consulting at Sage VIP.

Here are a few tips about how to get the most from today's tools and use them to make the recruiter's job easier.

1. Match the technology to your audience

Recruiters love the ease of online recruitment tools - they're quick, easy, and often free. But as a recruiter, you must still apply your skill and understanding to the nuances of the job spec and specific client requirement.

All too often, recruiters use the wrong platform to attract potential talent for a particular position. Always ask where you are more likely to find the right talent. According to a survey by American company Jobvite, 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, whereas only 36% of job seekers are. Are you fishing where the fish are?

2. Social media can be an asset to recruiters

If you're considering calling someone in for an interview, it's a good idea see what sort of presence they have online. Of course, social media is not the only tool you should use to judge a candidate's suitability for your business, but it can add some colour to what you will learn about him or her from the CV and the interview.

From their social media profiles, you may be able to get an idea of whether they'll be a good cultural fit with your business. And it could be interesting to see who follows them on Twitter or who their LinkedIn connections are.

Social media is also a good way to broaden your candidate database. If the position is attractive, your professional network can help you share it through Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, hopefully attracting some high-quality applicants. More and more people are looking for jobs using social media, but be sure you use the same channels as they do.

3. Don't filter out good candidates

When you go online and see hundreds of CVs in your e-mail inbox or dozens of alerts on a career portal you subscribe to, it might be tempting to simply filter out those that don't meet your baseline criteria. For example, many portals and tools allow you to filter candidates by age, qualifications, years of experience and so on.

Yet, you should still assess every application to make sure that you aren't missing any gems in the rough. For example, someone who has less than your desired years of experience might have a great academic record and a solid degree. Or he or she might be missing an easily trainable technical skill, yet offer exceptional proficiency in another area of the job spec.

4. Video is no substitute for face-to-face contact

Video conference calls - using Skype, for example - are great for doing an exploratory discussion with a candidate who lives too far to travel for a first interview. But technical problems such as poor voice and video quality mean that doing an interview this way will always be a little unnatural for interviewer and candidate alike. Besides, a video interview is no substitute for meeting someone face-to-face and being in their physical presence. I'd recommend using video as a way to screen out unsuitable candidates, but a face-to-face meeting is still essential before you hire someone.

5. Remember that recruitment is an art, not a science

There are many objective data points that one should use in weighing up a potential candidate - skills, qualifications, psychometric tests, and so on. But softer points are also important - for example, whether a candidate has the right temperament for the role and how well he or she will fit in with the company culture.

This is proof that technology is unlikely to completely replace the skill required to recruit wisely. Persuading, negotiating, prepping, listening, understanding, and managing both the client and the candidate is a skillset no technology can offer. Your experience and wisdom in assessing how well an individual will fit in and perform once he or she is given the job is how you perform magic for your business.

Closing words

Technology is a powerful enabler of the recruitment process. Today's technology includes software that allows employers to manage their own recruitment process - filtering candidates, consolidating data and tracking placements. It can help you to free up time and be more productive - yet it cannot do your job for you and it probably never will be able to.

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IdeaEngineers Del-Mari Roberts (+27)11 803 0030
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