Digitalizing recruitment - Part 1: Getting started

Viktor Nordmark
14 October, 2020


Let’s embark on a journey together. The purpose of this journey is to make you, a recruiter or HR manager, an expert in how to digitalize recruitment processes. We’ll dive deep into how you, by digitalizing every part of recruitment, can achieve better business results, speed-of-hire as well as help your team work better together. Beginning today with tracing every step of the recruitment process to get an understanding of why you should digitialize, what it can lead to, and what you should consider before implementing digital tools. Only to, in future articles, map out each step in order to see how it can be digitalized, but more importantly, why it should be. ‌‌‌‌

The recruitment process

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We’ll not bore you by going too deep into the details of a process you know too well. But to get a better overview of it, here is the most common structure of a recruitment process, seen from a recruiters’ point of view: ‌‌

  1. Preparing
  2. Sourcing
  3. Screening
  4. Selecting
  5. Hiring
  6. Onboarding‌‌

In the past and still to this day, each one of these steps have included hours upon hours of administration, phone-calls, paper-work, e-mailing and manual sourcing. The manual labor takes up a lot of your time and it brings you further away from what’s truly important; building relationships with the candidates. Perhaps you’ve suggested a candidate for a client that didn’t sit quite right and in retrospect you were thinking “If only I had had more time”. And that’s the thing, most recruitment tasks are monotonous and time-consuming. Which helps us understand why the development of digital tools and artificial intelligence (AI) within this field, has accelerated the past 10 years. Recruitment automation is without a doubt gaining momentum and you don’t want to be the one standing with papers in hand as you see your competitors soar away with all the top talents. Automation is a way for you to couple intelligent technology with the right talent and in return augment your business. ‌‌

These tools are made to simplify, increase efficiency and speed up your hiring process, at the same time as they, with high probability, increase the standard of your final hiring decision. It’s important to note that the tools are not here to replace you (see our article Will AI replace recruiters?) they’re here to support you. ‌‌‌‌

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The pitfalls of traditional recruitment practices‌‌

Reckon you have applied for a job that you’re very excited about but… you don’t get a reply from the company until weeks after, saying the application is closed. What are the chances of you contacting that same company again? Statistics show that 95% of all applicants would consider applying for a company again if they had a positive experience the first time. With that said, if you would have used a tool that sent automated e-mails to the applicants immediately after they had made an action of any sort, the chances of keeping them in your talentpool would increase with 95%. This is just one example of a teeny-tiny automation activity that has a major impact on your business as a whole. ‌‌

Recruitment is all about attracting, attaining and retaining talent. but when working with traditional recruitment practices you risk falling short in either one or all of these practices. Simply because of (to mention a few); ‌‌

Over-flooded candidate database

You and your team can’t keep track of all candidates at once. A continuously updated candidate database is, in many ways, the intrinsic value of recruiting. Manually reaching out to candidates for new information (regarding their experiences and skills) and at the same time keeping your current candidates in the loop, takes a lot of time and effort. But by not doing so you risk missing out on connecting a client with the top talent, simply because of faulty processes. ‌‌‌‌

Insufficient talent source processes

Your manual talent source processes take too much time and as a result you jump the gun by choosing a candidate that doesn’t really fit the job description perfectly, but you choose him anyway because you, on your end, are in a rush to deliver to your client. ‌‌


Talent wars

You miss out on talents because you don’t have time to work on your own communication outward, nor your branding, hence you lose them to more agile, flashy competitors. ‌‌

The common denominator of all these examples is: lack of time. By exchanging traditional practices with automation, you’ll find that all those hours you’ve spent on tedious, almost mindless, tasks, can now be transferred onto activities that truly require your creativity and skills. But how do you know which parts of your workflow that should be automated? ‌‌

How you benefit from digitalized recruitment processes ‌‌

In order to attract, attain and retain talent you have to think long and hard about your own workflow in order to understand; ‌‌

  1. Where your pain-points are. Which parts take too much time for what is reasonable?
  2. Which are your own obstacles in terms of your own skills. Are you better at talking than writing? Is your calendar a mess?
  3. The areas that you are really good at, how could they be improved?‌‌

When you’ve done a proper SWOT analysis (more extensive than the questions above), you can more easily see which areas of your workflow that benefit from being digitalized, not only because you get more time on your hands but also because of these reasons; ‌‌

ROI (Return On Investment)

As an HR manager, you constantly have to stay on the lookout for new opportunities business-wise. This includes staying on top of things regarding new technology that potentially could breathe new life into your business model. Digital recruitment tools do cost, but you’ll most likely get a high return on investment as you notice that you have more time to focus on lead generation and sales. ‌‌

Team efficiency and performance measurement

When everyone on the team works in the same tool, you get an immediate understanding of who has done what and what needs to be done, which streamlines your workflow and increases your team efficiency. There are also tools for measuring everyone’s performance. These tools make it easier for a manager to understand when someone is falling behind schedule and can thereby support the employees by motivating them. ‌‌

Candidate satisfaction

As previously mentioned, engaging with your candidates - the potential, current and new ones, on a regular basis, drives higher candidate satisfaction. By making use of tools that send automated emails as soon as a candidate has made an action (e-mailed you, looked at job ads et.c.) makes them feel as if they’re seen and heard and thereby more willing to continue reaching out to you because you are on top of mind. ‌‌

Employee satisfaction

Digital tools that support you in conducting employee satisfaction surveys, on a regular basis, are invaluable for creating a happy team. The tools analyze the responses and can instantly give you an understanding of what needs to be changed in order for your co-workers to feel more satisfied with their work-life. Same goes for onboarding a new employee. With the help of a virtual assistant the employee can quickly get answers regarding the company’s culture, benefits and other activities. Which in return makes the employee feel more comfortable and up-to-date with the inner workings of the company. As if that wasn’t enough, employee satisfaction in combination with low employee churn rate is the ultimate evidence for successful recruitment. ‌‌

Innovation

From an innovative perspective, being in the forefront of making use of new technology and sharing the learnings with your peers, makes you a thought-leader in your industry. So by consistently updating your blog with your insights and wisdom and share this in your social channels, you strengthen your employer brand and thus become a more attractive employer, company and recruiter. Because by doing so you let the world know that not only are you a game-changer but you also have your mind set on creating the most efficient HR firm/recruiting process possible. ‌‌

Big data

The day has come! All those excel files you have saved that hold information about numerous candidates, can finally come to use. The principle is - the more data you feed an AI with, the smarter it becomes and you’ll get the best results.‌‌‌‌‌‌

Now that you know some of the many perks with digitalization, let’s get an understanding of what you should think about before implementing new technology. ‌‌‌‌

Implementing new technology ‌‌


Let’s not focus too much on economy and budget but instead on the less obvious occurrences that may arise when introducing new technologies. For one, make sure you have set time aside to teach everyone in the firm how to use the tool. If one person doesn’t know how to use the tool you risk missing out on important information that could’ve helped you make a more informed decision regarding a recruit, business strategy and/or performance management. Secondly, make sure you are connected to good technical support, either from the provider of the tool or an external tech support provider. Mainly so that you and your team understand how to maximize the usage of the tool to avoid missing out on features that could’ve streamlined your business even more. ‌‌‌‌

In the next part of this article series you’ll learn about how to digitalize the first step of the recruiting process, which is; preparations. ‌‌‌‌

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Viktor Nordmark
14 October, 2020

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