Everywhere you look these days, you can see how technology is changing how we live and work. Like many people, I’ve thought about how A.I. and machine learning is evolving, and how some job may be replaced by super robots. I’ve even wondered, “Are the days of recruiters numbered?” It was during this time that I came across a fascinating article on FiveThirtyEight by Oliver Roeder entitled The Machines Are Coming for Poker.
The story is about a team of four poker players facing off against Libratus, a super-program poker playing machine. It’s a rematch of a matchup that took place in 2015 where the humans won, except this time around, the “bot” is stronger and faster (is anyone having visions of any of the Terminator movies right about now?)
There’s a brilliant soundbite in the article from an Uber driver named Rodney. He says, “Man put his faith in the machine and called the machine the genius. But the genius is the one who created the machine.”
And that’s when I started to feel a lot better about the role recruiters play in today’s fast-changing, technology-fueled world.
Today’s recruiters can focus on the human interactions while they use technology to deliver a better quality pool of candidates for consideration. This means the strategy for talent acquisition can shift to a business-focused, forward-thinking approach to meeting the needs of people and the needs of the business. It’s an approach that can do both and not have to pick either or, something that recruiting technology has done in the past. This is good news for recruiters who are concerned about the lack of skilled candidates in the market because there are better ways to reach candidates who have the skills the business needs.
Why do recruiters need to focus on the business?
For your clients to experience better business results, they need the right people at the right time, guided by the right leadership. This puts recruiting in a clear position to influence how the organization achieves its goals.
But to do that, you need to understand the bigger picture of where the organization is going and what it needs to get there. Once you have a clear plan for talent needs, then you can get to work building a better pool of candidates for your client.
Here are four ways you can use a business focus to find the right people:
- Outline what success looks like and how it will be measured.
The first step is determining what success in a role looks like and how you and your client plan to measure candidates against that vision before the job description is written and posted. This is a collaborative effort between HR, the recruiting team, hiring managers and other employees, and it extends well beyond the recruitment phase.
Once you have a plan for the role being filled, the recruitment process starts to look a bit different since we have access to technology that makes it possible to be more efficient and effective with marketing job postings.
- Pay attention to how people react to your job postings.
You know what your client wants. You know what you need to achieve it. Now, design the job post to target those needs. What does the successful candidate look like? How do they behave? You can choose words in the job description that give candidates that information so it resonates with the people you want to attract. Then watch how candidates react. Does a prospective salesperson work at selling themselves? Does a marketer stand out from the crowd? Does an engineer provide a solid framework of their expertise?
Whatever position your client wants to fill, the way people behave based on the information presented about the opportunity can help uncover important information about their personality that might come in handy during the recruitment process.
- Be social and be human.
In a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 74 percent of respondents indicated they were more likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand by responding to reviews, updating their profile, and sharing updates on culture and work environment. Brandon Hall Group found that employers that invest in their employment brand are also three times more likely to make a quality hire.
Building your client’s employer brand gives the candidate a better experience through the recruiting process as well as a glimpse into the employee experience. By using social channels to tell stories about the different roles they have available, you can help shape the way candidates view the role and your client’s organization. When your client’s employees get involved with promoting positions, it extends the reach to their networks and strengthens the connections with potential candidates through people they know.
- Use retargeting to stay in touch with good candidates.
When candidates visit a career page, they don’t always apply for a job right away. But there could be great candidates you want to stay connected with about opportunities in your client’s organization. Through AI/machine learning, you can help identify who’s visiting your client’s career page and see where they came from and where they go. This provides useful insights about who does/doesn’t apply. That’s why today’s recruiters want to amplify their efforts through retargeting and keep your organization top of mind with candidates.
Recruiting needs to be a strategic business role
These days, most companies have comprehensive recruiting tactics that include career pages, applicant tracking systems, with jobs promotion on job boards and social media to entice candidates. It’s only a matter of time before technology, A.I. and machine learning really impact the recruiting game like it has other areas of business.
But, like Rodney said, the genius lies in people. Organizations need to focus more on how to help people succeed through a performance-based hiring mindset so they can meet the changing expectations of people in today’s workforce.
When you shape the candidate experience with this mindset, you can focus on how they fit in the bigger picture of the organization with every interaction. After all, people are the core of every organization and as a recruiter, you help ensure you have the strong talent you need to improve business performance.
About the author: John Fleischauer, Manager, Global Talent Acquisition at Saba Software, is a number of things. Most notably, he is big and tall. Hence his handle, @bigtalljohn. What gets John out of bed every morning is being surrounded by incredible people that are passionate about their craft. John feels very fortunate in that he's been able to live and work all over the world, and he's learned many life lessons along the way. He values people for who they are as individuals, not for what their resume says.