Why employers should adopt a high-tech high-touch approach to hiring

 In Evolution of Talent

Companies are facing an unprecedented scarcity of talent, and skilled workers are harder to find than ever before. To address this challenge, many employers are investing in a range of HR technology tools, designed to help them better prospect, screen and engage candidates. These include everything from automating job postings, to chat bots, to artificial intelligence that can parse CVs.

While these technologies can enhance the recruitment process in many ways, few organisations are considering the impact that they may have on the overall candidate experience. Key questions are often left unasked: Which technologies do jobseekers prefer? What is the role of human interaction? And are technology investments enhancing the candidate experience?

As the global leader in Recruitment Process Outsourcing, benchmarked by leading industry analysts Everest Group for eight consecutive years, ManpowerGroup Solutions surveyed 18,000 workers around the world to understand how candidates want – and expect – technology to be used during the hiring process. The message was clear: technology has the potential to provide a better experience, but it is no substitute for human interaction.

Candidates believe human contact is a critical part of the hiring process. Many employers are finding ways to convey company culture and employer brand with technology. However, candidates do not consider this to be a complete substitute for direct interaction with a prospective employer. In fact, with so much of the initial contact between candidates and organisations becoming automated, the need for human interaction may only increase in importance.

While technology can enhance and streamline the hiring process, it will not add value to the candidate experience without creative human beings who can harness the new tools to solve problems, optimise their usage and ensure return on investment. In short, companies need to combine high-tech with a high-touch approach. With this in mind, we’ve shared five areas that employers should consider when selecting and implementing new HR technology:

How to select and implement technology

Define the problem

1. Define the problem

New HR technology should ideally solve an existing problem. Is it a top priority to cultivate Millennial or Gen Z candidates? Improve the screening of applicants you are currently receiving? Engage passive candidates for senior positions? Defining the problem is essential to measuring the solution. Once the talent problem is defined, technologies can be evaluated for their effectiveness and cost efficiency.

Know your audience

2. Know your audience

While it is easy to be drawn to the latest innovations, it’s important to harness the technology that will enable you to attract the candidates you need. If your company wants to attract younger talent, invest in technology. But if you want experienced hires, consider all the options. Blindly programming an algorithm based on current employees may result in unconscious bias, or it could fail to account for important new skills in a changing workplace.

Diversify the channel

3. Diversify the channel

There is no single technology solution. Often, the best technology strategy is to employ a variety of tools and solutions, with continual testing and refining to ensure the best results. It’s important to give candidates choices on how to engage with your company – via a WhatsApp phone number, a text, through LinkedIn, or by creating a profile on the company’s career site. This will maximise your chance of success.

Turn quantity into quality

4. Turn quantity into quality

Technology makes it easier than ever before for candidates to apply for jobs. So, for certain job vacancies, you may receive a flood of applications – and they won’t all be from qualified candidates. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics can help to identify qualified candidates and ensure that hiring decisions are based on the traits and qualifications of current employees.

Incorporate human interaction

5. Incorporate human interaction

While technology is important, candidates still prefer human interaction. They believe they can better sell themselves through personal interaction. Any technology that dehumanises the candidate experience risks doing more harm than good. Delivering a personalised and tailored message is still the key to success, as it positively differentiates one employer from the next in an increasingly tech-driven candidate experience.

For more information about the importance of having a high-tech, high-touch approach to recruitment, please visit: manpowergroupsolutions.co.uk/high-tech-high-touch

This article first appeared in the ninth edition of The Human Age Newspaper.