The death of the hiring manager at the hands of technology has been greatly exaggerated.
Yes, automation, AI, and digital marketing are now seen as must-have components of many recruiting strategies. But when overused, they can create a disingenuous and cold candidate experience. Depending on how you leverage technology in your recruiting funnel, it could be your biggest asset—or downfall.
The truth is, technology isn’t meant to replace hiring managers. Rather, it’s supposed to refocus recruiting priorities to enable teams to provide a positive candidate experience and hire the right—and most qualified—applicants. And the best hiring managers are marrying technology and human interaction to achieve this.
Think Long And Hard About Automation
Gen Z grew up with technology. They expect everything to move quickly. If something is too slow, they get bored and move on. So don’t expect top talent to stick through a slow hiring process.
But how can hiring managers prevent this from happening? They’re already working with limited resources, and, on average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. It’s like using a bucket to remove all of the water from a flooded basement. Thankfully, automation allows hiring managers to clear the resume flood in seconds by sorting through candidates who meet certain job requirements.
Instead of spending 13 hours per work week reviewing resumes, hiring managers can expedite the process. Quicker response times for applicants ensure a positive candidate experience, and prevent your company from losing out on top talent.
But companies need to resist the temptation to use technology for everything. Just because Gen Z loves tech, that doesn’t mean they trust it to make every decision. Seventy-three percent of candidates don’t want AI deciding if they go on to the next hiring round for a job. So, if your company is considering using AI or video interviews without human evaluation, you may lose out on top Gen Z talent.
Also, there’s an unfortunate bias inherent in AI. As WayUp CEO and co-founder Liz Wessel points out, an algorithm reflects its creators. For example, companies looking to hire a more diverse team may find themselves struggling to find quality candidates. That’s what happened at Amazon, a company with arguably the world’s most sophisticated team of computer scientists.
Amazon created an algorithm to help with hiring that was inadvertently biased against female candidates. The cause? It was based on historical resume data, which was overwhelmingly skewed toward men, who comprised the majority of the company’s applicants.
So, what’s the alternative? Well, personal phone screens combine the efficiency of technology—candidates don’t have to waste time commuting while companies don’t lose productivity—with a human touch point. But how can companies do this at scale?
Hiring managers, you’re in luck: You can use outside recruiters. They’re adept at sourcing and handling initial screenings and help drive more human interaction and ensure diverse candidates are passed through to later rounds of the hiring process.
Think Even More About Authentic Branding
Authentic branding is a great opportunity for companies to sell their employer brand, a critical element of a recruitment strategy. And it’s made easy through social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout, which allow you to schedule your posts. Start sharing and give your company a human voice using the efficiency of machines. Eighty percent of businesses already are.
You can begin by showcasing your company culture. Let potential employees see what it’s like working for you. This can be done by posting pictures of team outings, videos of your team working on projects (to highlight collaboration and creativity), and blogs that demonstrate thought leadership (which establishes your company’s status within the industry). Update your website with these assets too.
Your job’s not done, though. Don’t forget about your online reputation, which is a crucial element of your employer brand. But why should it matter what a former employee thinks about a company? Simple: Because 70 percent of Gen Zers look at online reviews before making any career decision.
Again, it all comes back to human interaction. Actively maintaining your employer brand means responding to positive—and negative—feedback. Both are opportunities to better learn what your company culture is and how you can improve it. And Gen Z loves that.
In this tight labor market, qualified candidates have a lot of leverage. The interview process is now equal parts your company wooing them and them wowing your hiring manager. If your employer brand is strong, the interview process won’t be a waste of time for either the candidate or your hiring team. And this is a big factor in a positive candidate experience.
It’s important to understand how technology affects the candidate experience. Remember, marriages work when responsibilities are shared. And if early-career recruitment is equal parts technology and human interaction, it’s a match made in (digital) heaven.