Recruiters working with outdated techniques are at a serious disadvantage – but many organizations are still falling behind. This includes even government agencies, according to NextGov, which still often use the "post and pray" method when they try to attract top talent.
"Agencies tend to post jobs and wait, while applicants spray their resume to many jobs at one time," Kris Van Riper, managing director at consultancy CEB, told NextGov. "This results in a mismatch of skill need and candidate pool."
Moving Beyond Post-and-Pray
Private employers are also vulnerable to this strategy in attempting to get the best candidates – but it's not likely to work. Josh Bersin, writing for Forbes, reported recruiting software is now much more than a way to organize applicant data. The best recruiting software now includes candidate relationship management tools that allow recruiters to stay connected to all of their applicants and anyone with an interest in their employment brand and opportunities. Best-in-class software for recruiters also offers interconnected applications that let talent acquisition professionals use social tools and analytics systems to find the best candidates. These systems also let recruiters manage their advertising, video materials, mobile sites and more.
The HR technology landscape, from tools for recruiting and onboarding through training and leadership pipelines, is exploding, Bersin reported. Companies that are aware of this state of affairs and leverage it to their benefit will come out ahead in many areas – including recruiting.
Creating the Conditions for Success
NextGov reported the U.S. Digital Service and the General Service Administration's 18F team, both high-profile tech teams within the government, both have high levels of recruiting success – the former receiving 750 applications for 24 positions.
"USDS and 18F have inspiring missions, and those missions are a way to attract great candidates," Van Riper said. "It's possible to attract those candidates and other government roles if you appeal to their desire to serve their country and its citizens."
The Amplifying Effects of Technology
This points to the connection between employer branding and recruitment success – though it also bears repeating that technology can amplify an employer brand and make prospects more likely to apply. The first step of attracting applicants does depend on advertising and marketing activities, but having candidates complete their applications is another story. Bersin noted that making online applications not only easy but also fun is necessary to get top talent, which includes people who are more likely to upload their LinkedIn profiles than to take the time to write out their entire resume for every position that takes their interest.
Getting and using the right recruitment technology can propel an organization to new heights, no matter what its mission and place in the industry. The essentials of good recruiting, like branding and relationships, are no longer enough – talent acquisition professionals also need the right tools to succeed.
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