In our personal lives, we are obsessed with having the latest and greatest technological advancement to hit the market. Whether it is the new smart phone, tablet, or computer, we have to have it. Society has advanced to the point where we actually laugh at the “old-fashioned ways” we used to do things. However, in the world of HR, the question remains: how can we leverage new technological advances and incorporate them into our hiring practices?
The answer is Applicant Tracking Systems.
A powerful ATS can eliminate the time-consuming task of going through piles and piles of resumes, while (at the same time) enhancing the hiring experience for each applicant. This may seem like a Jetson-like universe, but the digital age is here and resume relief came along with it!
Traditional Method: Resumes
If you look through the classifieds on Craigslist, you will probably see the phrase “Send resumes to Joe Smith, email@example.com” written over and over again. Then, Joe will get bombarded with 100 resumes overnight. And while the resumes are going to look polished (because applicants probably had a few people give the resume a “once over” to ensure it looked good) they will only state what someone did at a previous job. However, those skills may not necessarily translate into what you will need him or her to do at your company.
Digital Method: Pre-Qualifying Questions
While a resume is not completely outdated (since most employers will probably want to see one) qualifying questions are the “new resume” that allows you to enhance what information is provided in the beginning of the hiring process. For example: You are hiring for an Accounting Associate. Jane Doe has a BBA in Accounting from ABC University (it states that on her resume). Because of this information, Jane gets a check mark and you put her in the “keep” pile. But, you are looking specifically for someone with experience in cost accounting. If Jane doesn’t include this specific information, you have no idea of her specific areas of account expertise.
By switching to qualifying questions, you can ask: “Do you have experience in cost accounting?” With only a resume, Jane would have skated through this round without the qualifying question. But, since you have this information upfront, you can eliminate Jane and ten other applicants because they do not have the required experience.
Traditional Method: Cover Letter
Everyone’s college Career Services department will hand out the formula for a cover letter:
Step 1: Address to the employer
Step 2: Customize and highlight your skills that relate to the position you are applying for
The applicant will then take the generic cover letter and change it seven times so it works for your company and all the other ones that he or she is applying to.
It can be difficult to tell how the skills the applicant has will be applicable in the workplace (even for the most experienced recruiters).The cover letter may show that an applicant claims he or she can do something, but what will ultimately save you time and money is determining if a person can do what you need them to do (and do it well).
Digital Method: Assessment Testing
The birth of assessment testing was probably with typing tests. A computer will say how many words per minute a person can type and how many mistakes were made.
Today, assessment testing can be more skill and job related. You now have the ability to create customized tests that simulate what an employee will need to do for a position. Companies can include behavioral tests where emotional intelligence is tested. However, assessment tests can get costly if every applicant is required to take one; but using assessment tests on the top few candidates can help you gauge who is a better fit even if the applicants look identical on paper.
Traditional Method: Phone Interview
Many companies have their interviewing process streamlined: review application, schedule phone interview and finally, a face to face interview. This final step is really the first time companies are seeing how well the applicant can articulate his or her skills. But if the applicant fails to properly perform, the recruiting process can come to a halt (and ultimately, you would have wasted a lot of time and energy on the wrong candidate).
Now imagine, there could be a way where you aren’t calling twenty candidates for a phone interview, you can phone screen about half of that. ATS systems allow you to ask the phone interview questions up front and ultimately save you time. HR tends to “wear a lot of hats,” so, any time saving method will help!
Digital Method: Virtual Interview
There are several ways you can use a virtual interview to streamline your hiring process. For example, a virtual interview can allow you to customize the interview questions you will ask during a phone interview. (Allowing you to see how the applicant’s skills translate in a written form, and furthermore, if he or she can follow directions!)
A phone interview can go in a few different ways too, depending upon the applicant’s response. A virtual interview will give each applicant the same questions, so you truly have an “apples to apples” comparison of responses. Virtual interviews can also be used a face to face interview for applicants that are looking to relocate. It may not be as feasible for those applicants to come to your office – but with the help of technology you are expanding your recruiting reach, and can ultimately bring in better candidates.
It may not be feasible to go from the “Stone Age” to the 27th Century overnight. There are steps you can take before incorporating a completely automated hiring process. Asking for a resume and then following up with survey questions can be the first step to phasing into a more digital process. In the past, only large companies had automated hiring process. Since the industry has progressed, applicant tracking systems, like Hyrell, for small and medium sized businesses are more common. You may find combining the traditional and the digital will give you the most streamlined process. The most important thing to keep in mind is making your recruiting process work for you.
To learn more about how new HR technology can help to streamline your hiring process, download our eBook Stop Wasting Time and Money—Explore the Benefits of Recruiting Automation.