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BUILDING CULTURE THROUGH RECRUITING #5: Building the Right TA Tech Stack...

Capitalist Note: This post is part of a series on Building/Reinforcing Company Culture Through Great Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Practices. 

Let's face it people, "company culture" is a loaded phrase. Some of it is real, some of it is aspirational, but one thing on my mind recently is that as we try to build the culture we want at our companies, we forget about the messages we send in our recruiting process.

So you're proud of your culture - cool!  Let's dig in and see if you're reinforcing that culture in all the gritty details of your talent acquisition/recruiting process. Remember - if your TA/Recruiting process doesn't match and promote your culture, you're not going to get the fit/matches you need in the candidate marketplace.

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It’s only natural we can’t end a series on building culture through great recruiting practices without talking about Talent Acquisition technology (TA Tech). Once you’ve got your recruiting team, process and employment brand set up for success, the right TA Tech can dramatically help you scale your ability to communicate your culture and your company as an employer of choice.

TA Tech has blown up over the past decade with billions of dollars entering the marketplace in investment. It seems like every single day we’re getting an announcement via HRM-software email about the launch of a new TA Tech company.

All of this has caused massive confusion among HR/Recruiting/TA leadership trying to keep it all straight. The common questions are:

--What does this tech do?

--Do I need this tech?

--Doesn’t my ATS do this?

--What is my competition using?

--What should we be using to attract more talent?

The TA Tech marketplace is moving at a fast pace and innovation within the space is truly unparalleled in comparison with other segments of the HR Tech space. We’re offering up the following notes on buying/optimizing TA Tech with a narrow view hyper-focused on communicating your culture.  To ensure you have max ability to communicate your culture focus on the following items (after moving through post 1 through 4 of this series).

1—Find and culturally optimize the right ATS that fits your needs.

Your choices related to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are endless. ATS options are available for every budget and appetite for complexity. As you consider new systems or simply seek to configure the ATS you have, remember that simplicity wins. Reducing complexity maximizes the odds your recruiters will use the system and candidates will have a positive candidate experience.

Optimizing your ATS to maximize candidate experience is straightforward. As we’ve covered elsewhere, strip your initial apply process down to the minimum necessary. Revamp all ATS messaging to sound like a human. Ensure your recruiters use the system to update candidate status and allow the technology to provide status updates. Doing these simple things puts you in the top 10% of all companies related to TA Tech and signals your status as an employer of choice.

2—Make investments in technology beyond your ATS that deliver candidates who value and fit the culture you’re building.

The ecosystem of TA Tech is immense. Beyond the ATS, there are dozens of TA Tech segments with new solutions arriving every month. When making decisions about where to spend beyond the ATS, think first about where your best hires originate from.

For most companies, employee referral not only a leading source of hire, but the source with the highest perceived quality of hire. For this reason, it makes sense you would seek solutions that can help you automate the communication and marketing of employee referrals.  The right tech partner in this area can dramatically impact the reach and efficiency of your employee referral program.

Other solutions making sense for post-ATS spend at your company include CRM and Talent Pool technology, which allow you to track candidate interest and interactions and also make great use of the storytelling strategy described earlier in this series.

3—Invest in emerging tech in the Text Recruiting/Chat segment of Talent Acquisition.

The holy grail in TA Tech stack investment can be found in solutions that are candidate centric and help your recruiting function operate more efficiently. With those two goals in mind, one solution set comes to mind – text recruiting and chat.

Open rates on text dramatically outperform email in our lives, and this trend is true in recruiting as well. The best text recruiting solutions offer up early version of A.I., allowing a recruiter to work a candidate through multiple yes/no questions about their background and schedule time for phone interviews – all without the recruiter being present. This saves recruiter time for what’s most important – more phone time with the highest quality candidates.

The right solution in the text recruiting segment will also allow you to enable automated chat sessions on your career site – maximizing application rates by ensuring candidates don’t leave before they find what they’re looking for.

4—Mobile matters, so don’t mess it up.

Smart phones are ubiquitous, and 9 in 10 job seekers say they will use a mobile device during their job search. For that reason, you should develop your careers site and evaluate other solutions in your TA Tech stack with a “mobile first” mentality.

Most important to the mobile candidate experience is the apply process. Studies show that after 3 clicks, you lose 60% of applicants. That means it’s not enough to simply have a site/ATS that’s mobile responsive – design matters. The right “mobile-first” philosophy combines mobile-enabled platforms with an application process that that takes 2-3 minutes to complete. While features like “apply with Your LinkedIn profile” can ease this pain, keep in mind many candidates aren’t active on tools like LinkedIn.

Once you get your ATS and apply process mobile-friendly, remember that tools like required assessments should follow the trend of “mobile-first” design.

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Views expressed are the product of the school of hard knocks, which includes watching my team at Kinetix represent great companies and brands on the RPO recruiting trail. Reach out if you ever need recruiting help while you build something great.

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