Technology (Part 1): advancing talent attraction?

Technology continues to have an impact on the way in which every organisation works. New techniques are being adopted that deliver increased productivity and improved service each and every day. The world of recruitment – particularly around Emerging Talent – has often been slow to adopt these practices, but times are changing. And fast.

Technology Enablers Part 1 

To understand where technology can be most readily applied, it is important to understand the drivers of a recruitment function – those that add value to the client or the candidate. 

In a world where access to talent cannot be guaranteed – a quick look at national employment and vacancy stats should disavow any organisations still complacent about this – the fundamental role of recruitment in the emerging talent space is to provide the workforce of tomorrow. Those individuals who have the potential to provide the skills and knowledge of the future and fit with the employers’ cultural approach.

Great recruitment leaves nothing to chance. Effective campaigns will make a diverse group of potentials aware of their opportunities. These campaigns will inform, attract and engage so that when recruitment begins, an active talent pool is already in place.

Technology not only enables these processes, but also does so in an efficient, effective and economic way. In other words, it delivers better results for less money.

Here are the main building blocks of a technology enabled process;

Core Technology – the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

For those that don’t already use one, an ATS can be revolutionary! For many years an Excel spreadsheet served not only as a reporting system, but also a record of candidates. If you are simply running in-house recruitment on a (very) small scale, this may still be sufficient, but as soon as your recruitment activities scale up to cover multiple roles, locations or clients over time, a spreadsheet just won’t cut it.

A good Applicant Tracking Systems should allow you to: 

  • Enter your vacancy details once, and push job listings out to multiple destinations and social media. This should include your website, relevant jobs boards and social media.
  • Manage all of your applications in one place – a central application portal allows recruiters to see exactly what is going on and avoids duplication of effort
  • Search applications for the best fit candidates – manual reviews of CVs are time consuming and inefficient at scale
  • Manage and track the recruitment process – efficient management of screening and the interview process leads to a high quality process for candidate and employing manager alike.
  • Create, manage and search a talent pool of previous and engaged candidates. Recruiting for Emerging Talent roles is often a process that runs for months. Keeping the best candidates engaged is critical
  • Compliance – A good ATS will have compliance built in – from candidate registration to management of communication channels. Need we say more?
  • Reporting – Sometimes overlooked, but being clear where every candidate and vacancy is in the recruitment process and creating reports at a touch of a button saves significant time as well as improving the experience of candidates and employers.

"My knowledge of apprentices as a whole has improved through GetMyFirstJob and with the report functionality,
we can now deliver better insight
to our employers" 
 

John Proctor, Hart Learning

Vacancy Promotion – Creating an Active Talent Pool

Emerging Talent Attraction and Recruitment is very different to traditional recruitment. Not only is the recruitment process often a long one with cohorts beginning at fixed times in the year, but many of the applicants are choosing between a range of different options of which they have no experience.

Applicants will also be drawn from a range of different situations; from those that are in full time education and focusing on exams, those that have taken a year out, those that have started work or University and discovered it’s not for them. Communicating and engaging with these different groups requires careful planning to get the best outcome.

So what is the role of technology?

For many years, ‘graduate’ and similar recruitment has relied on physical visits to educational institutions – Universities or Schools – as the main source of candidates. This may still have a role to play, but as organisation reach out to a more diverse group these visits are increasingly limiting.

Technology, however, provides exciting and innovative ways to inform, educate and attract a rich and diverse talent pool. It also provides a range of leading indicators to help evaluate the potential talent pool well in advance of application day. 

  • Dedicated careers web sites combining information about the organisation, roles, progression and culture as well as case studies
  • Social channels to share cross platform content
  • Subscription / email campaigns to allow candidates to be nurtured during lengthy hiring processes, both pre-screening and post offer
  • Physical / Digital interfaces; subscription and tracking of potential candidates through physical events and media

 By integrating these approaches, it is possible to evolve and influence recruitment activities during a campaign to ensure it achieves objectives; from the educational attainment of the talent pool, to diversity insight such as gender or ethnicity, it is possible to ensure that the attraction message is not only getting across, but resonating appropriately with each and every target group.

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