Hiring today looks very different than it did just a decade or two ago. The days of handing out resumes are all but over. The process of collecting and analyzing job applications have moved in a completely digital direction – and it provides richer insights into candidates than ever.
"Twenty years ago, the resume was a piece of paper," said Jon Bischke, CEO of recruitment software company Entelo. "Now, it's a collection of all [candidate] data that can be found online, like participation in online communities, conferences and meetups. Recruiters can assess whether a person will fit, and learn if they has the right skills for the job."
In many cases, a resume is simply a formality and point of discussion during the interview, with applicant tracking software doing much of the heavy lifting in assessing candidates.
"Job postings typically require a specific set of criteria the candidate must meet," said Chris Collins, CEO of staffing and recruitment chatbot, RoboRecruiter. "When candidates submit this and other relevant information to an online application, the information can often be more easily read and organized by those filling the position. The resume upload is an additional 'one-sheeter' that gives a quick overview of the candidate's experience at a glance, and gives the candidate an opportunity to present their background in their own voice."
What's new in digital hiring trends?
Digital hiring tactics are ever-changing and bringing new tools to recruiters.
"Automation tools massively expedite processes, and tools like email verification help avoid sending to dead email addresses," said Collins. "Scheduling tools save time by avoiding the back-and-forth of manual scheduling. At RoboRecruiter, we see the use of chatbot technology to speed up the communication with candidates at scale."
According to Rachit Jain, founder and CEO of Youth4Work, the next advancement in digital hiring will be biometric data, and along with it will be cloud-based hiring which will store all applying candidates' information.
"The data analytics help in finding the most searched jobs along with which are of people, class, age, etc., are interested or well-fitted for the job. Recruiters always like to have more competition so they would like to go after the person who has applied to more companies," Jain continued.
The fact that so many candidates have been hired through this trend is what makes companies as well as the candidates utilize it more.
Collins added that the ability to track email/SMS/messaging delivery and response rates helps test and tailor recruiting approaches to maximize interactions. Wendy DeCampos, employee experience and human resources lead for digital transformation agency Levatas, uses JazzHR, which posts job announcements on both free and paid job boards, and enables applicants to go through an application workflow.
"The system is integrated with major job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor or HRIS systems, and Google calendar," DeCampos added. "It's also integrated with another digital tool we use, Spark Hire, which allows for one-way video interviewing."
Advantages for employers
What used to only be done manually during the initial hiring process, can now be done completely digitally.
"Often, the initial process or top-of-funnel activity contains administrative, repetitive, or otherwise inefficient tasks. A great example of this is an initial candidate phone screen," Collins said. "It takes several minutes to schedule a call, call the candidate, ask and answer questions to build out a basic profile, and then enter this data into a tracking system."
Collins added that repeating this several times a day can add up and take time away from something else. The entire process can be done digitally in minutes, drastically cutting down on time spent manually sifting through employee candidates, and freeing up recruiters' time to have meaningful conversations with those highest qualified for the position.
"Digital process tools such as chatbots will be crucial to recruitment as we progress forward, as they allow recruiters to reach the best candidates efficiently and effectively," said Collins. "Yet, there will be a continued need for skilled recruiters to facilitate the human aspects of the process – phone and video calls and in-person interviews – that technology cannot replicate."
The future of digital hiring and recruiting
AI seems to be taking over so much of the conversation revolving around employment. Employees now are wondering if their job can be easily done by artificial intelligence, and worried about their job stability.
"AI draws the line between the candidate applied and the right candidate for the job," Jain said. "AI works on an algorithm providing the employers with the best candidate. They also use AI to find the ways through which other companies are hiring."
Jain added that pretty much everything is going digital these days, and recruiting is no exception to that.
"Now employers don't reach out to candidates through newspapers or magazines but through online portals on which they open vacancies, [and] where candidates can easily apply for the respective jobs with their resumes," Jain explained.
One of the big trends to look out for, according to DeCampos, is making sure you have a great reputation that is represented on digital channels.
"Today's job applicants are incredibly savvy, so maintaining a great reputation on Glassdoor.com is essential," she said. "One bad review could deter applicants and qualified candidates, causing irreparable damage.
DeCampos added that "the future of digital recruiting means relying more on LinkedIn and other social sites for inbound marketing, as well as building a strong network of passive and active job seekers. As companies grow and mature, they need to develop a cohesive brand across all social channels to engage with potential customers, clients and talent."
Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.