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Digitalisation in recruiting

Opportunities and hurdles for job applicants

Digitalisation in recruiting

Recruiters have access to blogs by the score. We're turning the tables here. The following article focuses entirely on you, the job applicant. Do you wonder why a single job interview often isn't enough any more, why you're suddenly being invited to video interviews or why you're receiving automated emails? We explain the reasons and, above all, the opportunities offered by digitalisation in recruiting.

Gather information about the company, adapt your CV, write your covering letter, answer knock-out questions, submit a video, complete an assessment – when you're job hunting, you spend a great deal of time and reveal a lot about yourself before you ever have your first personal contact with a company. It's hardly surprising that not all applicants appreciate modern recruiting. Because, at first glance, it's a lot of work for the candidate. At the same time, it throws up critical questions, such as whether anyone will actually read the application.

Does everything really have to be automated?

Automation software programs make you fear that you're going to be reduced to an age or a number of years of experience, or that leaving keywords out of your dossier could be fatal. And a person here and there will also wonder whether HR doesn't want to be concerned with humans any more. However, the opposite is the truth. Because of cost and time pressure, it makes sense for HR to automate as many administrative tasks as possible. A short questionnaire in the application form or an automated confirmation of receipt are part of this. Because this is the only way to create time for direct contact with potential employees.

Personal contact between companies and job seekers is essential for successful, long-term recruiting, and a machine is no substitute. That's why many companies don't rely on fully automated HR software, but on supporting solutions. For example, knock-out questions or assessments are used to preselect applications who absolutely fail to meet certain key criteria.

Advantages of video interviews

The new technologies are an opportunity for you as applicants. Because companies with good digital recruiting offer you two crucial advantages:

  1. Speed in the hiring process: After you file your application, the invitation to a video interview follows in just a few days. Companies are aware that the best talents won't hang around for them. For you, the recruitment experience therefore becomes more reactive, and interaction is actually greater than in the traditional application process.
  2. Early cultural matching: You can already find out more about the company from home, without having to take half a day off for a personal, on-site interview. That way, you'll invest less time before you realise whether or not the corporate culture appeals to you.

So you should definitely see an invitation to a video interview as a partial success. It enables you to find out more about the company early on. Cultural matching is already going on, a process in which you'll get to know managers and staff and maybe gain an insight into the office.

And as far as the video is concerned: in all likelihood, the HR department will not be looking for the next Jimmy Fallon or Ellen DeGeneres. The HR people will be happy if they find out more about the applicant in a simple, authentic video.

Why applicants should "stalk" companies

But when you let yourself in for this whole process, you want to be sure that the company is a good fit. We therefore advise you to get the best possible picture of it before you apply:

  • Use the company's website, its presence on social media and Kununu evaluations to find out more about the corporate culture.
  • Review your LinkedIn network and try to talk to a contact who has already had work experience with the company.
  • Research the company's successes and failures and check out reactions to them.

The effort of making an application is only worth while if the corporate culture appeals to you and seems authentic. It could be the dream job with the perfect development opportunities.

How HR can make a recruiting experience positive

Of course, it is also HR's responsibility to meet the applicant on equal terms and on a personal, human level with its digital recruiting. One of the things companies need to attract the best candidates is authentic employer branding. Applicants have to be able to identify with the company even before the first interview. But how can a career page be made more personal and human? For example, by taking interested potential candidates on a virtual behind-the-scenes tour and getting employees to tell their stories. The company should be transparent and authentic during the entire hiring process so that applicants can get a feel for the real corporate culture. Prompt communication is also important. Candidates deserve to know at all times where they are in the recruitment process and what is still to come.

Administrative and repetitive jobs can and should be made easier by digitalisation. That improves job seekers' recruiting experience and companies can then secure the best talent. The following tools help to showcase the corporate culture in a credible way during the recruiting process:

  • For employee recommendations: With tools like Firstbird, employees can recommend other employees and share job advertisements with a few clicks.
  • At the video interview: OutMatch Video helps companies to enthuse and identify potential talents. And if the team starts out by introducing itself with a simple video, applicants lose their inhibitions about producing a video themselves.
  • After the application: A survey of candidates' recruitment experience enables companies to collect valuable feedback. The cloud-based platform Qualtrics can support fact-based decisions with simple surveys and insightful reports.

We encourage HR to use the power of digitalisation by combining a healthy portion of human understanding with smart technologies.

Published: 12. August 2021

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