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5 Reasons to Give Thanks: New Technology for Easier-Than-Ever Recruiting

I just came across a post about the future of recruiting, written back in April by Dr. John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University.  In it, he names 11 factors that will force recruiting to change dramatically.  It’s a pretty interesting list, but what I find most remarkable is that the economy is conspicuously absent from it (which is pretty telling about how dramatically the economic climate has changed in the past few months.)

After all, the many budget cuts, layoffs and staff restructurings are forcing many hiring managers to rethink their recruiting methods, leading to changes that could remain in place long after the recession is over. 

It’s true that recruiting trends are shifting, regardless of the state of our economy (btw, Sullivan later addresses the topic here), but because the economy is what it is, it’s that much more necessary for companies to shift their recruiting strategy, like, now – because if businesses aren’t cutting talent or implementing hiring freezes, it seems they’re slashing recruiting budgets, which should be an absolute last resort.  

Luckily, today’s technology enables businesses to recruit in a completely innovative way, keeping them relevant and helping them spend money where it’s most effective. Take for example, the following:

  • Social Media Taleo research indicates that 47 percent of candidates find a company’s poor job application process offensive, specifically the lack of communication and feedback from employers. Social media, which include networking sites, blogs, and podcasts, can change this perception by opening up the doors of communication between companies and job seekers.
  • Social Networking Sites are one of the most effective – and inexpensive – ways for companies to engage job seekers, build relationships with candidates, and strengthen their employment brands. In fact, in a recent Execunet survey, 70 percent of executives and executive recruiters polled indicated that networking would be the key to either finding a job or finding candidates. (But take note: Social networking is an investment – albeit a worthwhile one – of time and energy on your part.  It’s often a collaborative effort, and success – however you measure it - won’t always happen at Paris-Hilton-gets-a-new-boyfriend speed, but it will happen.  Still confused by the above two? Dawn Foster provides a great social media “starter kit” for businesses.)
  • Recommendation Technology For those companies that are overwhelmed with the number of applicants they receive, aren’t finding the right types of candidates they need, or both; recommendations, such as those provided by CareerBuilder’s Recommendation Engine, match candidates to companies based on the companies’ specified wants and needs. Clients can even upload resumes they like or consider “ideal” and the engine will know to find similar resumes. (If only Match.com worked like this…)
  • More Sophisticated Search Hiring managers have long been able to get access to resume databases to search for candidates themselves, but search engine technologies are constantly evolving to accommodate user needs. (You may be familiar with CareerBuilder’s Resume Database, which enables companies to search by any number of factors like keyword, region, special skills, degree or a combination of several.) Today the technology behind both the Recommendation Engine and Resume Database is more intuitive than ever (recognizing “lawyer” as a synonym for “attorney,” for example, and turning out results for both), for even easier usability and maximum results.
  • Easier-Than-Ever Employee Referrals – As CareerBuilder’s Jason Ferrara implied earlier this week, employees are your company’s best ambassadors when it comes to recruiting. Implementing an employee referral program is one of the most effective – and cost-efficient – ways to find new talent. If you already have an ERP, streamline it to make it as easy as possible for your employees to refer friends. Designate a place on your company Intranet that employees can quickly and easily find and upload resumes in just a few simple steps.

But even as I tout the wonders of technology, I’ll note that, as Workforce.com’s Samual Greengard writes, “Software isn’t always a panacea for recruiting and retention problems.”  While these tools, when used as part of your recruiting plan, certainly make finding better talent increasingly easy and accessible…the power of this technology lies in how you use it.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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