I work in the business world, but I also live in the social media world. The two are at odds with one another. I live at a time where the personalized message rings true with consumers, clients, and even candidates. As human beings we want to be special, individual, and personal with our friends, families, brands, and now our business.
The first model of hiring software was created to eliminate the human element in the process. Standardize our methods, optimize applicant flow, and create a lowering hiring cost channel, improve our recruiters productivity, reporting procedures, and thus so they say, a lower the cost per hire… Except that the invention of the applicant tracking and hiring software wasn’t the end all be all answer to all our hiring dilemmas. Old hiring software couldn’t change the human need for personal interaction that the job seeker craves.
Consumers and also candidates are tired of being a commodity when what we want is a real live human being instead of an automated message and a textual smile.
Welcome to the age of the employer brand. Companies are now using technology to humanize the brand and that brand is the employer/candidate connection, and the relationship that exists among job seekers regardless of their employment, qualifications, or status.
Social networks offer most anyone the opportunity to engage the brand, allowing business to join the conversation as an individual, a face, and a living-breathing business with a soul and not just an income-making machine to talk and relate to. This changes the game because instead of viewing a brand atop their ivory tower, they are now in the trenches asking questions, having fun, and participating in the conversations. They are humanizing the brand for the consumer, and as recruiters and HR pros we can learn a little from the shift that is upon us, adding a little personality into the hiring process.
When it comes to adding personality into the hiring process, the key turns with the candidate. Asking them what they want and including them as part of the decision-making and development process is the best way to develop a candidate-centered reputation. Create a better candidate experience.
While you begin crowd-sourcing ideas (social media works great for this), simple changes can be made to humanize your hiring software adding soul and personality to the applicant and hiring process.
- Follow up. Candidates want to be communicated to and hiring software provides an automated yet customizable solution. One option is to work off a template, then insert a short personalized sentence or two. Simply, it’s time to reply to all applicants. Alert your job seeker every two weeks to the current status of their application with an estimated ETA.
- Provide Resources. These resources can be in the form of articles from your blog or some of your favorite job seekers articles from blogs like mine or the Wall Street Journal. Give them suggestions, tips, tools, and insights into the mystery that is the candidate selection process.
- Make It Easy. Make the applicant process as pain free as possible. This means taking advantage of mobile career pages and short application process sending a message to the job seeker that their time is really important. Good word of mouth travels fast and you win good karma points.
Adding soul to your hiring process is not a one size fits all solution but engaged recruiters and human resource professionals can go straight to the source and get answers about their most valuable asset, the candidates. Through social networks and social media integration with your hiring software, you can improve your employer brand and candidate experience.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.