The recruitment process has always been seen as a laborious exercise in which copious amounts of time and money are spent. Technology is now challenging this convention and as one may put it – help take the grunt out of recruitment.
The automation of the recruitment process is bringing about efficiencies in time, money and quality. Many have welcomed this development while others are far removed from this changing reality.
However, those that invested much faith in the resulting software systems have also quickly realised that no system can ever replace human intervention.
Whether you are a recruitment agency or a corporate talent acquisition team, no recruiting software is going to fundamentally change the way you carry out your tasks.
However, it is hard to over-state the importance of a system that recruiters will “live in.” Having a well performing and enjoyable software system that meets the needs of a recruiting team can help drive productivity and effectiveness.
Additionally, proper selection and implementation of recruiting software systems is rapidly becoming a must. There is no need to rush to a recruitment software system. The software has to do more otherwise all you would have done is merely change the means of broadcasting your search.
A company is only as good as the people it hires. In the knowledge economy, savvy employers understand what it takes to acquire top talent: build a wide net and make the right choice.
The technology to source smarter and faster is here. Engaging candidates over the internet is easy. Assessment science is increasingly precise. In weighing the value of a recruiting technology, you should ask yourself whether the technology adheres to market trends and meets the changing needs of recruitment. If so, you will be ahead of the game in recruiting top talent, and when it comes to the life-blood of your business, that is the only thing that matters.
In Kenya, a number of players such as BrighterMonday, EpicLeaf, KamaKazi, Careerpoint, Career24 and Employfy have entered the online recruitment market. However, technology driven providers must be more than a job listing site.
They must provide a recruitment platform that offers tangible smart solutions that save time for employers by enabling them make better candidate selection for their shortlists, thereby guaranteeing a higher quality pool of candidates for interviews. They must also support job seekers in their efforts to promote themselves and organise their job search professionally. What are the emerging trends in recruitment?
1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) with selection data and tools
For the past few years, the ATS has primarily served as a repository for resumes, with some workflow tools and reporting included. This is not the case in Kenya where the use of an ATS is in its infancy.
The ATS should also incorporate a selection pre-test to assist in the candidate filtering process. The next stage of the evolution will usher in the early adopters for what is referred to as a “selection management system,” or “smart ATS.” The next few years will produce the next generation of talent and selection platforms.
These systems will use a combination of biometric data and proprietary algorithms to predict which candidates are a likely fit, and which are not. Think of this as the evolution from keyword matching to “DNA matching” that is company specific, job specific, and much more accurate.
These developments are great but perhaps ambitious for the Kenyan market – little value would come from this until such time the market does the basic recruitment steps well.
These systems will come vertically integrated with lots of other tools that support decision making, online skills testing and background checks, and they will be offered at affordable prices. In the meantime though, their entry into Kenya will come at a premium for the early adopters.
2. Video interviews and video resumes
This type of interviewing will allow employers to see a candidate’s communication skills and personality earlier in the process. This will cut down on time-to-hire and help employers cut out time consuming phone screens.
Instead, employers can conduct one-way video interviews where candidates answer written questions on film. If employers know the candidate is a bad fit for the company, they can move on quickly without wasting half an hour or more on phone with someone all wrong for the job.
Furthermore, the technology will soon drive live video interviewing, thereby replacing face-to-face interviews. However, doubts remain as to the success of such technologies in Kenya; an environment that still struggles to serve up sufficient internet to power basic transactions.
For candidates, video resumes are becoming a more effective means of showcasing the profile of a candidate and selling their ability in a way that a paper resume cannot.
3. Recruiting will be more mobile
Recent statistics show that more than 60 per cent of Kenyans have their mobile phone within reach 24/7. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that mobile recruiting will be important in the future.
Other statistics point to an even deeper penetration of mobile usage, particularly among the youth who make the bulk of the job seeking workforce. Mobile optimised career pages will result in more great talent, especially passive candidates without the time to go through long applications. Candidates can even do video interview from their phones, making the possibility of the mobile process very real.
4. Improving candidate experience
Candidates are the oft-forgotten group in spearheading changes in the recruitment landscape. Whereas much change has occurred in the west, the situation is still dire in Kenya and surrounding countries. With far too many job seekers compared to jobs available, candidates have not had a look in.
However, candidate experience is synonymous with targeted, organised and structured application process, thereby making it easy for employers. This improvement can be achieved by according the candidate a job tracking system that supports them to save all their resumes and cover letters, follow all their applications in the one platform, archive past applications and refer to them when needed, communicate with the employer if so desired and instantly receive requests for interviews and other forms of communication.
Therefore, it should not be lost that online recruitment platforms will offer limited value if the recruitment practices and decision-making processesare not developed within the host organisation. An online recruitment platform cannot transplant itself on an immature environment. The benefits are there but you have to be prepared to receive them.