The job market is moving faster than ever, and it’ll grow even more competitive in future years. Recruiters are up against the speed of the industry, the speed of applicants’ expectations, and the speed of change. It’s an uphill battle when talent acquisition specialists are attempting to court top talent to enhance growth and company revenue.
Recruiters and human resources professionals simply can’t afford to procrastinate when it comes to making hiring decisions. Many recruiters are hyper-focused on thoroughness in analyzing and background checking an applicant. They are not realizing that the longer they consider their decision, the more likely it is that they may lose out on a worthy applicant.
Top Hurdles for Recruitment
Several roadblocks exist today that are derailing what should be fast-moving and efficient talent acquisition processes. These are five of the top hurdles facing recruiting and HR teams in their talent acquisition efforts, and a strategy for maximizing their efficiency.
- High-Volume Screening: Recruiters are facing one of the busiest, yet best, times of their careers with a low unemployment rate and a record-high number of job openings. In this demanding, candidate-driven market, screening the high number of candidates necessary to fill open positions is a big challenge for recruiters.
Companies are willing to shell out higher salaries and offer better perks to attract top talent, making it a great market for recruiters. But that also means they’re playing a numbers game in their talent acquisition and need to screen a high volume of talent. Technology, like text-based recruiting, is making it easier—as much as 10 times easier—to screen a high volume of talent daily.
- Lack of Candidate Engagement: Recruiters spend their days attempting to facilitate outreach for open positions to attract top talent. They’re calling potential candidates, promoting jobs, attempting to connect via LinkedIn, and hosting employment fairs.
Despite the massive output, recruiters often see a flat response to their talent acquisition efforts. It seems surprising given the effort put in, right? Well, the problem is that these attempts at outreach don’t allow for actual engagement with candidates. This leaves potential applicants disinterested, unimpressed, and likely to disengage early in the process.
- Wasted Time on Manual Documentation: Documentation is an enormous time suck for recruiters who spend hours each day on this task between detailing candidate conversations, creating reports and importing data into applicant tracking systems.
Unfortunately, talent acquisition leaders are often slow to change outdated recruitment tools. Automation is the way of the future that can result in an incredible ROI and increased efficiency.
- Personal Bias Affecting Hiring Decisions: Unconscious bias persists across the recruiting industry and with talent acquisition specialists at companies of all sizes. Unfortunately, this unconscious bias gets in the way of evaluating candidates objectively for the particular skill set of the position.
A 2016 study by the "Harvard Business Review" detailed the reality of personal bias, noting that when there is only one woman or minority candidate in a pool of four finalists, their odds of being hired are statistically zero.
- The Next Generation of Talent Is Hitting Ignore: Young professionals today may be sending videos via Snapchat or getting breaking news updates on Twitter, but it’s not likely that they’ll answer a phone call from an unknown number. That’s why talent acquisition leaders must ditch outdated recruiting practices and replace them with modern ways to connect with today’s on-the-go workforce.
In fact, a KPCB 2016 "Internet Trends Report" shows that only 12 percent of millennial employees and 29 percent of Gen Xers favor the phone for business communication. Top recruiters and hiring managers are aligning with this preference and utilizing text messages to reach potential candidates for interview screens.
Texting is effective to begin the conversation with applicants but is not meant to replace in-person or phone interviews. Following an initial text-screen, talent acquisition professionals often choose to continue the interview process through a phone interview or in-person discussion. The information from the text screens provides excellent background and can ultimately allow for better hires.
Talent Acquisition in Action
One company that is using text screening is Aegis Worldwide, an organization focused on manufacturing and engineering job placement. Aegis recruiters have reported that text screening has improved their ability to screen high volumes of applicants daily.
What’s better, they’ve also improved the quality of candidate and hastened the hiring process for all types of jobs, including positions that pay upwards of $100,000 a year.
When companies implement text screening, they’ll grow recruitment power and engage top talent, all while helping minimize their disruptions to talent acquisition.
Aman Brar has an extensive background in leading technology companies through periods of high growth, and has also held key corporate strategy and finance roles at Fortune 500 companies.