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December 19, 2019
3 Trends That Defined Early-Career Recruiting In 2019
Alex Csedrik

2019 has been quite a year—from “OK Boomer,” the US Women’s soccer team winning another World Cup and fighting for equal pay, to the college admissions scandal. But with everything that took place this year, what happened that impacted early-career recruiting the most?

Learn how these three early-career recruiting trends change the way your organization attracts—and hires—top talent.

1. Always Respond—And Quickly—To Applicants To Avoid The Applicant Black Hole  

Too often has the applicant black hole—the place where 98 percent of all resumes are sent but never seen by your team—created issues for your organization. If you don’t think it’s a problem, realize this: It affects your recruitment process, revenue, and your employer brand!

This year’s labor market has been tight—with the November unemployment rate pegged at 3.5 percent. And that means attracting and hiring top talent has been harder than it’s been in years. But you may be inadvertently making it harder for yourself by not allowing top talent to surface when you’re reviewing resumes. Open roles get flooded with applicants, so it’s impossible to read all resumes. Invariably, some jobseekers and referrals with strong credentials may be banished to your ATS—unseen and unhappy.  

As a result, the applicant black hole also creates a negative candidate experience, which is detrimental to your organization. After all, when candidates don’t get a response—even a negative one—from a company about their application status, they lose trust in your organization. And this lost confidence affects sales: 41 percent of jobseekers who had a poor candidate experience with a company eschew brand loyalty and avoid buying that company’s products, per LinkedIn.  

Additionally, a negative candidate experience hurts your organization’s bottom line. For example, Virgin Media lost $5 million annually because six percent of candidates canceled their Virgin subscription as a direct result of their poor candidate experience. 

But lost revenue isn’t the only consequence of a negative candidate experience. The Human Capital Institute claims an overwhelming majority—72 percent!—of job seekers report sharing negative candidate experiences online. This delivers simultaneous blows to your employer brand and hiring funnel. Since Inc. claims 79 percent of jobseekers use social media in their search and that 69 percent of potential employees won’t take a job with a company that has a bad reputation, your negative employer brand will essentially shut down your talent pipeline.

As a result, a positive candidate experience is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must. So here’s how you can always respond to applicants to solve the applicant black hole.  

2. Prevent ‘Ghosting’ By Candidates—And Your Team 

Sadly, “ghosting” now exists in our recruiting culture. Before this year, it was restricted to dating—and described when someone you’ve dated a few times just stops communicating.

However, the term no longer only applies to rude courtship behavior. Now it’s part of the early-career recruiting lexicon too. You undoubtedly experienced more and more candidates not responding to calls, texts, and emails when coordinating interviews. According to Forbes, 94 percent of employers report being ghosted by jobseekers. 

Fortunately, there are ways you can become a candidate ghostingbuster. Here are five tips to prevent candidates from ghosting you.

On the flip side, candidates aren’t the only ones who “ghost.” Recruiters may be overwhelmed trying to coordinate all the interview logistics—on top of their other dozens of daily tasks! 

Unfortunately, this causes problems for your organization. If employees arrive late or completely miss interviews, it creates a negative candidate experience and can increase your time-to-hire because of needing to reschedule interviews. And a long time-to-hire literally costs your company money: ADP claims that unfilled positions weigh down US GDP by an average of $13 billion every month—or around $160 billion per year.  

In order to prevent your staff from ghosting, you should integrate high-tech into your recruitment process for certain tasks. But it’s critical you understand when—and how—to do this.  

3. The Perfect Mix Of High-Tech And High-Touch For Your Recruitment Process

Automation—the use of technology to perform tasks—is now all the rage in early-career recruiting. You may be tempted to adopt it for all aspects of your hiring process—from chatbots to communicate with candidates, resume reviews, to the interview itself. But how much is too much? To find a balance of high-tech and high-touch, look to Goldilocks for inspiration. And yes, we mean the children’s story.

Finding a balance between high-tech and high-touch that’s “just right” can transform your team. Currently, your team spends 13 hours per week sourcing candidates for a single role. But with automation, your current manual processes—from resume reviews to interview scheduling—can be reduced to mere minutes. 

But, like all good things in life, moderation is critical when it comes to automation. While you might consider automated video interviews to create a more efficient hiring funnel, jobseekers aren’t in favor of this. According to our whitepaper, 87 percent of Millennials and Gen Zers prefer a phone interview with a person rather than submitting a recorded video response—with no human interaction.   

So can high-tech and high-touch co-exist to create an efficient early-career recruitment process? Yes, and here’s how you can balance the two

Besides being a year of major pop culture events, 2019 will be remembered for these three early-career recruiting trends. If you understand these trends—and make the necessary changes to your recruiting process because of them—2020 will be your best year for early-career recruiting yet. 

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