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The “Sharing Economy”, “Geostrategic Competition”, the “Global Economy”; it’s all a game of chess, but, the one true competitive advantage in today’s challenging economy is TALENT. Today’s technology provides enormous resources for recruiters and job candidates alike to enhance the overall efficiency, effectiveness and user experience (UX) in what many consider to be the painful processes of recruiting and the job search.

Gone are the days of the rolodex, paper CVs, accordion job application files, spreadsheet tracking systems and the classified ad in the newspaper (ok, maybe not the newspaper classified yet). With the increased competition for talent, companies are looking for more effective and efficient ways to attract, engage, hire, develop and retain talent. Technology is playing a critical role in the Talent Acquisition & Development Strategy by providing solutions that not only enhance the job seekers experience but also deliver value in the form of ROI to the company and investors. Those who take advantage of the solutions offered by technology will have a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to attracting, engaging and hiring talent in today’s economy.

Mobile Technology – Did you know that nearly 23% of all Google Searches containing the word “job” come from mobile devices? And that 47% of ALL millennials use mobile to search for jobs. Have your attention? Whether candidates are coming from job boards or directly to your website, you want to provide them with a positive experience, making it easy for them to research your company, explore job opportunities, and apply for positions. Let them know you’re really open for business! If you want to attract talent in today’s market, you have to go after them where they “live”, on their mobile devices. A key way to build a positive experience for mobile job seekers is to make certain your website is friendly for use with all mobile devices. This technique is known as Website Responsiveness or Responsive Design. Using a Responsive Web Design (RWD) will ensure job seekers can navigate your site without having to zoom in or out, pinch the view, and a number of “device-based-gymnastics” just to find the information they are seeking. Chances are they will drop off your site, leaving in favor of a more user-friendly one. Despite the shift to mobile job searches, recruiters have been slow to respond by delivering a convincing mobile job search experience. Only about 23% of websites are considered “mobile-friendly”. If your site isn’t, what are you waiting for?

“Big Data” – In today’s world, data rules! Approximately 98% of information is stored digitally. More and more business decisions are driven by the data we collect and information we extract based on analytics. One of the most challenging parts of Data Collection is translating it into the actionable insight needed to develop solutions that can drive change and grow your business. Research shows that over 60% of companies are investing in Big Data and analytics, but only a small percentage, around 4%, have the ability to fashion that information into the analytics that can help predict trends and behavior. Without the right people and systems in place to provide actionable analytics of the data, all you have is a bunch of worthless information. Kind of like having the winning numbers for the lottery without any information on how you can cash in! That is truly what effective collection and analysis of data is, a wealth of information that can be used to drive business decisions like: how and who do you recruit; what skills and competencies do successful candidates possess for various positions; what is required to effectively and efficiently on-board talent; what are the keys concerns and needs of your work force? All this intelligence enables you to seamlessly integrate your talent management strategy with your company’s business strategy. That is, after all, what it is all about. Providing value and ROI, not just collecting data for the sake of collecting data.

Getting Social – Social media is a double edged sword in the recruitment world. It provides you with an enormous opportunity to engage with potential candidates early, often before they are an active job candidate. Social media allows you to establish your brand by providing a platform to tell people about your company and its culture; what causes are important to you; how you interact with your employees; the importance you place on customer relations; and even who won the Chili Cook-off at the employee outing. Social media also provides an opportunity for customers, job candidates and employees to “Like” or comment on their experience with your organization. This would be the double edged sword I mentioned earlier. If their experience was positive, their friends will hear. If their experience was not positive, the WHOLE WORLD will hear! The “sword cuts both ways” as 55% of recruiters consider information posted by candidates, on social media, in their hiring decisions. You may want to remember that the next time you want to go on one of those venting rants or post a funny but embarrassing image on Facebook. And don’t forget all those people who end up “walking their Tweets back” after reacting to something without engaging their brain first. Job seekers on LinkedIn can build a professional profile, research prospective employers and even use their LinkedIn Profile to apply for a position on numerous job postings and sites. Yes, there are many benefits to social recruiting.

Technology, if used wisely and effectively, can be a tremendous tool in the effort to hire talent and search for that perfect job. But technology alone does not replace the human element in the recruitment, development and retention of talent. Decision may be driven by technology but they are made by people. In my years in Human Resource and Operations Management I have never found anything that replaces effective engagement and communication. If you build a brand that people are proud to associate with, whether it be employees, job candidates or customers, you have already overcome you most important obstacle. These are the people who will bring to you your best candidates. And at a much lesser cost than through the “usual” recruitment process. So, as you assess your options and how you want to employ technology in your talent management and development strategy, make certain you include people at all levels and phases of the hiring process within your organization. Make certain you fully understand your needs, the positions you are recruiting, the skills and competencies that make a successful candidate and provide honest and accurate information about the positions and your company to the potential candidates. The one thing we have all experienced with technology is if there is “garbage in” there will certainly be “garbage out” and you will never find that ideal candidate.

If you missed the previous posts within this series, please check them out here:

  1. Tips to Hire, Develop and Retain Talent
  2. Hiring for a cultural fit

As always, please share with me your thoughts. I’d like to hear them.

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