There was a time when business owners stuck a "Help Wanted" sign in the window and the applicant pool walked through the door. That method still works in some places, but the vast majority of hires now require a much more complex process of attracting applicants, reviewing applications, scheduling interviews, vetting references, making written job offers, and generating employment contracts -- all while complying with numerous shifting government regulations.
During this same time, applying for a job has gone from applying in person to applying through the mail to applying online and now applying from a mobile phone. Integrating recruiting with social media offers benefits (easier screening) as well as drawbacks (an embarrassing stumble can cause recruiting nightmares). To stay competitive, modern recruiters need to embrace new technology.
Some important innovations include:
- "Going Mobile." Today, the primary communication tool is a mobile device, either a smartphone or tablet. Consequently, it's absolutely essential for your RMS system to have mobile capabilities.
Mobile access to the Internet is increasing exponentially, and is expected to surpass fixed Internet access in 2015. However, small-screen access, as from a smartphone, is a poor medium for tasks that require concentration. The recruiting "short tasks" that should be modified for the mobile environment include the ability to:
- apply online
- search jobs
- sign up/receive job alerts
- interact with recruiters/potential employer
- obtain application status
- schedule, cancel and reschedule appointments
- obtain company information.
- LinkedIn. It's the premier business networking site. The mobile LinkedIn app is a particularly valuable and widely used platform. There are a few LinkedIn "wannabes," such as Facebook's "Social Jobs Partnership" app which, while not to be ignored, are basically just aggregators of traditional job boards that offer some networking features.
- Social Media. While LinkedIn is social media for professionals, more general social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest are equally in play for job searches and referrals.
More companies are looking to export job postings directly from the RMS to the company's social platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Companies are spending time and money developing communities online, and want to integrate those communities with their recruiting efforts.
Recent research shows that almost 75% of organizations review potential job candidates' presence on social networks. A study conducted at Northern Illinois University found participants could more accurately predict a job candidate's success in a position by browsing their Facebook profile than by evaluating personality surveys.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, "In 2011 [...] 70 percent of US job seekers search for potential employers on Facebook, and 72 percent of job seekers will talk with a friend about a company on Facebook."
- Open API (Application Programming Interface). This is a set of technologies that basically enhance collaboration among so-called Web 2.0 platforms used for social media and other virtual communities. Perhaps the most notable user of open API is Facebook. Given the trend toward social media, any RMS software should be open API-compliant.
- Video. Preliminary screening interviews are frequently conducted over the telephone. There may be situations, particularly when recruiting nationally, when you'd like to interview someone face-to-face, but geographic differences make that impractical.
Video conferencing provides the next best thing to the in-person interview. Skype and Facetime are popular and easily accessible consumer video-conferencing applications. There are also professional HR video systems such as Async Interview, HireVue, Interview Stream, Sparkhire, and VidCruiter, among others.
- Location capability. Some kind of location filter allows you to restrict searches to a defined geographic area. The drawback, of course, is that you may filter out some great candidates looking to relocate to your area at their own expense.
- SaaS (Software as a Service). An overall trend in the IT industry, SaaS is when a vendor hosts not only the software, but your data in the "cloud," i.e., a large series of connected servers owned/leased by the vendor. You pay a service fee, as opposed to buying the software outright. Initial setup fees are usually lower because there is no on-premise software installation/integration required.
Access is provided through the Internet. While you don't "own" the software, the chief advantages are lower administrative costs and quick and easy scalability as your needs change. Moreover, SaaS typically features social collaboration capabilities that are essential to talent acquisition functions. The disadvantage is that while it is probably true that no system is 100% secure, there is some minimal extra risk in porting your data to an outside source.