Recruitment & Retention Articles

After you've spent resources onboarding your new employees, the true task becomes retaining them. Finding top talent and keeping them around is what makes most growing businesses competitive. New technology and the changing workforce is shifting the age-old processes HR managers have relied on.

Digital Employee Recruiting: How to Recognize a Good Fit Before You Meet Face-to-Face

05 January 2018
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Employee recruiting has been likened to hunting, and there is a saying that you go hunting where the ducks are. Translated into recruitment, you go looking for candidates where you are most likely to find them. These days, that means the internet and social media.

As in most areas where the digital wave has hit, everything has changed in employee recruiting thanks to the tech revolution. At the same time, nothing has changed at all. What has changed is how employee recruiting is done, but the overall objective of getting the right faces in the right places is exactly the same.

Where to go From Here

Even in the digital age, the key to successful employee recruiting is knowing exactly what it is you want in a new recruit. You need a solid job description first and foremost. The most advanced artificial intelligence and the most elegant algorithms will do you no good if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.

In addition, the new employee must either already operate in a corporate culture similar to your own or have shown an adaptability that will allow him or her to easily integrate into your firm. These are not new. What is new is how you find candidates who mesh in these two areas.

Go Where the Ducks Are

Given a job description for potential recruits, you need to “identify their favorite news sources, forums, discussion groups, and places to practice social networking.”

Once you know where you are likely to find good recruits, promote your brand there. It isn't enough to be on one or two platforms. You need to use multiple channels to reach people.

Use the Force… or Any Other Resources Available to You

Don't forget your own website as a recruitment tool. Whatever else you do, make the “careers” section of your website friendly, open and easy-to-use. If someone has gone to that section of your website, they are already pre-qualified as a potential candidate because they are interested in working for you. They came to you rather than you tracking them down. Don't give them a reason to give up.

And on the subject of tracking, the digital changes to employee recruitment make it much easier to develop and maintain a potential pool of employees. Anyone who follows you on Twitter or Facebook is a possible recruit. But that works both ways. In the old days, you would have their contact information in the old Rolodex, and you would call them when a vacancy opened up. Today, the communication can and must be two-directional. Send out texts (emails are passe among Millennials) to keep them informed of developments, even if it isn't directly related to hiring.

Digital and Mobile

Remember, the future is not only digital, it's mobile. Make sure each and every part of your digital employee recruiting system is optimized for use on hand-held devices. More people check their phones than they do their desktop.

Once you have done all of this, don't waste your time or theirs on a face-to-face meeting just yet. Video conferences can do a great deal of winnowing in much less time. Up until this stage, you have been looking at who has the experience to do the job. Here, you can start deciding if the candidate is a cultural fit for your firm.

In addition, the digital presence of your candidate can tell you a great deal about whom you might hire. If the job requires 90% travel, and the candidate posts constantly about the joys of home, the issue can and should be addressed directly. By the same token, if you find a YouTube video in which the candidate is explaining exactly how to do the job you want done, it goes a long way to reassuring you about the candidate's bona fides.

Do all of this, and you still might get a disappointing candidate. But the odds are in your favor if

Jeff Myhre

Jeff is a writer and editor with 35 years’ experience in business, economics and politics. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Colorado.

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