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It is time we realize how deeply technology is woven into the very fabric of businesses. The ‘so-called’ fourth industrial revolution, with its blistering suite of technologies, is here and already making waves.
With millions being added to the workforce every year, recruitment plays a vital role in an organization’s growth story and is inextricably linked with technological advancements. With the recruitment process taking the digital route, future-ready organizations are in the process of redefining their hiring practices through new and innovative tools that-
Companies are increasingly embracing technology to bring about a sea change in the cost, quality, and time taken to acquire the workforce.
Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and cloud computing, etc. are fast becoming our everyday reality, blurring the distinction between the present and future needs of businesses. These changing needs of the talent landscape require suitable recruitment solutions that bridge the gap between the present and the future needs of businesses, enabling them to build an innovative hiring strategy.
What is the Future of Recruitment?
Future-ready organizations are redefining their talent acquisition strategies through innovative tools. The future of recruitment is here and each stage in the hiring process is undergoing transformation.
Brand Building Through Hackathons & Ideathons
With evolving trends and the focus shifting on deploying technology to enhance efficiency, tech recruiters are turning to job portals, tech forums, social media, building the company’s career page, hackathons, and reaching out to passive candidates through LinkedIn.
The current workforce lives in the digital world and relies on it for all important decisions. Today, when candidates apply for jobs, they first research about the company on social sites before deciding their future course of action. Businesses must wield social media for their brand-building strategy, in addition to listing themselves on all review sites, and regularly updating all their channels with posts, reviews and open job vacancies to communicate the company’s work culture, and vision at large, to the candidate. Used in conjunction, these sourcing channels are excellent means of building a brand and reaching out to potential candidates.
The first step to recruitment, today, entails creating a strong brand proposition that potential employees aspire to be a part of. A candidate often considers the whole package, consisting of the brand name, along with the position, benefits, and culture of the organization.
Hackathons and ideathons provide great platforms to build a brand and speed up sourcing. They offer a chance for organizations to introduce themselves and lay out their vision, brand philosophy, cultural values, and stay updated on the latest in technology and innovation.
Chatbots to the Rescue
Traditionally pre-screening was a time-consuming affair, for recruiters had to sift through hundreds of CVs to shortlist candidates for the following stages. Not only was this exercise extremely time-intensive, but it also did not guarantee a thorough and scientific search. However, digital transformation has brought with itself faster means of pre-screening candidates, with a click of a few buttons. With many tools using powerful forces of AI & ML, the time taken to gather and sort through hundreds of CVs has reduced drastically.
For the job applicant, pre-screening serves as an important information-gathering stage. This stage involves candidates understanding the job’s requirements and getting answers to frequently asked questions, such as remuneration, benefits, nature of work, and other such important information about the organization.
From the recruiter’s perspective, the pre-screening stage enables shortlist candidates by figuring out whether the candidates have the required skill set, can relocate, or are willing to work in the offered salary, and other such parameters.
Pre-screening interviews are done either over a call (audio or video), or sometimes in person, often consuming more time than necessary, especially in high-volume hirings.
With a fast-evolving technology, several powerful tools can be used by recruiters to streamline and speed up the process. The game-changers have been the evolution of the Application Tracking System (ATS) & AI-Based Chatbots.
ATS helps streamline information in the available resumes and perform a search by keyword (job position and skill, etc.) and/or by various filters (such as location, educational qualification, years of experience, application date/source, etc.). ATS can also perform the same search through social media sites and job portals. Most ATSs have an in-built feature of automated emails to inform the candidates if they have been shortlisted or rejected.
A chatbot is a cutting-edge technology that is taking businesses by storm. The intuitive messaging app interface makes it easier for applicants to communicate with the bot. AI smartly asks questions and takes down all the details required by HRs for telephonic or in-person interviews. Chatbots are essentially the evolution of automation. They not only efficiently perform repetitive manual tasks but also have the potential to transform the entire recruitment process by removing bias, thereby enhancing the decision-making capabilities of the HR. Chatbots have an existing knowledge database of questions which get updated as per organizational requirements and are configured to collect the required data from job applicants in a time-efficient manner, without any problems in handling bulk information, thereby reducing manual hassles for HRs.
An outline of expectations regarding a candidate’s performance and behavior, competency frameworks make it convenient to checkboxes during the recruitment process, thereby maximizing the efficiency of each stage of recruitment.
For an effective screening, first and foremost, businesses need to have a competency framework in place, followed by a scientific method of screening, using assessments and tools. Competency frameworks enable interviewers and assessors to carefully design questions and activities to assess a specific set of skills and traits.
Competency frameworks can also provide a comprehensive overview of the future skills that the organization lacks in driving the business towards success. This accurate identification of skill gaps can help tech recruiters take the correct hiring decisions to make the organization future-ready. The competency framework, then, becomes a reservoir of current skills, while simultaneously laying out a map that helps organizations navigate future needs.
The Future of Assessments: AI-Powered Skill Evaluation & Remote Proctoring
There is widespread use of online assessments in the screening process. Online assessments enable organizations to test the core skills and suitability of candidates, in keeping with the role as well as the organization, and shortlist them for selection interviews.
With an increasing number of organizations rooting for cultural fitment and using psychometric assessments to find the best fit, analytics for recruitment has advanced to empower recruiters to work more efficiently and future-proof businesses by looking for specific skills and behavioral patterns. Most organizations are pivoting their hiring strategy to no longer only assess core skills but also to consider soft skills and general aptitude to better predict a candidate’s performance and growth in an organizational setting. Now, more than ever, organizations are also on the lookout for indicators that project a candidate’s future fitment and are thus supplementing interviews and skill assessments with advanced personality testing that are backed by advanced algorithms and AI.
Psychometric assessments in the form of questions and answers are giving way to advanced personality testing through analyzing speech and behaviour in a video-based evaluation, with AI analyzing a candidate’s personality by studying physical movement, choice of words, tone, pitch, expressions, gestures, and voice inflection for a comprehensive multi-level psychological profile to match it with the organization's competency framework and the broad cultural values. Cognitive assessments are also moving away from traditional online assessments to interactive game-based experience. While the validity and reliability of these newer technologies in the assessment landscape are still debatable, the use of one or the other form of psychometric and cognitive assessment is the accepted norm in the recruitment process today.
Skill testing is also moving towards automation, and auto-graded simulators are being used to measure the hands-on skills for a wide array of profiles.
Coding simulators, case study simulator, and language proficiency evaluators have helped organizations hire the best talent in an unbiased, cost and time-efficient manner, lending a significant competitive edge to businesses.
In addition to AI-powered skill assessments, remote assessments are making a solid case for themselves as they can be taken quickly and evaluated from anywhere. Many organizations have pursued the idea of remote assessments but have often been bogged down by the challenges stemming from administering them, such as impersonation, cheating, and using unfair means, etc. These concerns have led to the conception of remote proctoring. Remote proctoring uses a combination of manual and AI-based remote invigilation technologies to conduct remote online assessments that prevent candidates from engaging in any fraudulent means.
With steady globalization of teams and the acceptance of gig economy workers, remotely proctored online assessments are the answer to long-standing recruitment problems of having to call candidates to a designated venue, having them take a test, and making them wait for the result, etc. Remote proctoring allows a test to be taken from any location in a highly secure environment that lends it the much-needed credibility, wherever the candidate has a computer, webcam, speaker, and a high-speed internet connection.
Structured Video Interviews
Most organizations rely on personal interviews as the last stage of the recruitment process. In most of these interviews, the interviewer has a set of predetermined questions to examine the candidate. At times, the interview might even proceed as per the candidate’s response. Such an interview is unstructured, where the conversation is informal and open to a discussion. However, along the way, this approach has lost its purpose and has posed quite a few challenges.
A structured interview is a standardized way of comparing job candidates where the hiring manager creates interview questions, focussing on the skills and abilities being sought by the company. The HR manager also creates a standardized scale for evaluating candidates according to which the interviewees are ranked. Since the questions are mapped to competencies, there is a little scope of unfair or subjective assessment. In a structured video interview, you begin by defining key competencies for the roles you want to hire for, choose or create the right set of questions, gather multiple ratings by multiple interviewers, and make data-driven decisions to hire the right candidate.
Digital transformation requires organizations to scale up quickly, yet face-to-face interviews are not the most scalable model in a global world. Virtual video interviews allow organizations to hire the best talent, despite being located anywhere in the world, by leveraging technology to achieve a global presence.
Structured interviews can be administered in two ways - live interviews and pre-recorded interviews. Live interviews are highly engaging. Let the interviewer conduct interviews remotely, enable live coding evaluation, and incorporate collaborative tools to simulate face-to-face interviews. Meanwhile, in pre-recorded interviews, the job seeker's answers to preset questions are recorded for the employer to be reviewed later at a convenient time. They also provide the functionality of auto-grading, wherein what the candidate says and how he articulates gets transliterated and graded on various parameters like facial expressions, tone, pace, fluency, and more. Both of these methods have their perks.
When implemented successfully, structured interviews have the potential to transform the interview experience by saving significant time and effort, in addition to being location agnostic.
“The world has changed. We have become a data-driven society in which what we know drives our decision making as we move towards efficiency. Data collection becomes a key component to things like recruitment in the same way, because employers aren't just looking for formal education anymore. They're looking for skills and adaptability, even flexibility as main hiring points.
Everything from online assessments to application tracking makes hiring easier on my end. It's the most efficient way to find matches, especially since resumes are designed to make the candidate more attractive, but might not list specific attributes that I'm actually looking for.
AI is changing the way we recruit. It's about analyzing the data of current employees, performance reviews, and resumes to see if someone is going to be a good fit. It's a guessing game, but algorithms are better at guessing than we are.”
- Shayne Sherman, CEO of TechLoris
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Topics: Future Skills