If COVID 19 has taught us one thing, it is that crisis can come anytime but despite everything, the show must go on. The pandemic has forced organisations to take a step back and deliberate. Organisations are evaluating if they are prepared for another disaster of this magnitude. Recruitment functions were one of the most affected. Apart from being one of the busiest departments, they also involve a lot of human interaction. Some organisations that had resilient recruitment practices faced no disruption. However, most of them had to start at square one.
Organisations that struggled to bounce back had no plan B. They were mostly dependent on people and locations. The efficiency of their processes was as good as the performance of the employees. Resiliency demands organisations to relieve themselves of such dependencies. It can be achieved by creating an automated, presence-less and virtual workplace. Such an environment supports business continuity in all circumstances. Since recruitment is one of the most critical foundations of any organisation, it can expect a total revamp.
Here are the resilient recruitment practices that can minimise hiring disruptions during any crisis.
Practice radical transparency
It holds true for all the departments. When a disaster of this magnitude occurs, there is a lot of information circulating amongst the employees, and most of it is untrue. It creates an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty.
In such scenarios, the HR leaders need to up their communication game and keep the recruiters informed. They need to notify the recruiters about any strategy changes with regards to hiring. Besides, it is also a time to reach out to their teams as often as they can.
By being honest and circulating frequent information, the leaders can ensure that the team’s performance is not affected.
To maintain a constant flow of communication, recruitment teams need to design leaderboards, dashboards and invest in information portals. It will automate and simplify the task of spreading the right information to everyone involved.
Hire for agility
Agility calls for quick adaptation to the changes in one’s surroundings. An agile and resilient recruitment team can make all the difference during difficult times. Such a team is also more efficient when hiring demand surges.
As you hire recruiters, go beyond the resume and experience. Try to focus on the mindset and attitude of the recruiters. Try to understand how they will respond during challenging times.
Apart from this, organisations also need to foster a culture that supports agility. Having a vision and a future mindset will help them to create a desirable environment.
Virtual job fairs
Job fairs have become popular in recent times. By attending one such event, recruiters and hiring managers can meet dozens of candidates in a single day. As they interact one-on-one with qualified applicants, they can also understand the talent market. Moreover, it brings the possibility of meeting non-traditional talent with unusual backgrounds.
For recruiters, it is also a brand awareness exercise. Attending such events allow them to create an impression on job seekers.
When disaster strikes, recruiters may not be able to attend these events. Instead of missing this opportunity, they can attend virtual job expos. These are the online events where the job seekers and recruiters can meet and interact via chatrooms, webinars and emails etc.
Some of these events are more advanced that require the organisations to set up virtual booths. These are web pages on the company’s website that mimic a booth and has videos and presentations.
By investing in technology, organisations can enjoy the job fairs even when making personal visits is not possible.
Automate screening and shortlisting
With online job boards and job sites, the outreach of openings has already increased. Recruiters of large organisations receive thousands of resumes in a month. When they have to process these resumes manually, the recruitment process slows down. The efficiency goes for a toss and is evident in recruitment metrics.
The problem compounds during challenging times. In such situations, engaging talent and strategising for the future needs may take precedence. Recruiters may want to focus more on the problem in hand.
In such situations, a software tool that automates screening can give them the required bandwidth.
Screening systems can identify talented candidates from a large talent pool. Since these are based on AI, these tools can match resumes with the job descriptions. They can understand patterns and learn to align with the preferences of recruiters.
Recruitment chatbots go the extra mile and conduct first-level of interviews.
Impress is a highly-competent tool that further ranks the candidates for the greater convenience of recruiters.
Interviews have traditionally been face-to-face interactions. When the candidate is from another city, the general practice is to fly down the applicant for interviews.
However, in the current times of social distancing, the interview process has changed and how. The interviews have moved to the virtual world with video interactions becoming the norm of the day. However, it is a learning curve for everyone involved.
Apart from the technological challenges, there is a mindset change that is required. The hiring managers need to understand the nuances of a video interview. For instance, they may be biased towards a candidate who has a quiet surrounding or has a nice voice.
In one-way video interviews where the questions are pre-recorded, the recruiters need to prepare a list of thoughtful questions. The answers should not only help them shortlist the candidate for the next round, but also give a glimpse into their personality.
As remote working will become more acceptable in the corporate world, the need for virtual interviews will increase. Apart from being a cost-effective option, they can also reduce time-to-hire.
Technology for positive candidate experience
Candidates want regular status updates and frequent communication from the organisations. When they are kept in the loop, they feel engaged. With a positive hiring experience, they are also more likely to apply in future.
In the absence of technology, candidate experience is only as good as the recruiter. More often than not, the job of a recruiter is pretty hectic. From engaging candidates to negotiating offers to building relationships, a lot is going on in their lives.
When the status updates are automated, it is one huge responsibility taken off their shoulders. Moreover, it ensures that the organisation follows a standard response process. And that too, without any misses.
AI-powered chatbots are extremely useful in enhancing the candidate experience. They can mimic human conversations and provide relevant answers to candidate queries.
Such technology promises consistent experience across the spectrum.
Automated reference checking
SHRM found in a survey that 92% of organisations conduct background checks. It is done either at the pre-employment or at a later stage. The survey also found that companies value background checks. More so, for technical positions.
Traditionally, reference checking has been a manual and repetitive process for the recruitment teams. The flip side is that the other party can sometimes voluntarily share some information. These messages can create a bias in the minds of the hiring managers.
Automated reference checking tools can become one of the strong pillars of resilient recruitment practices. They make the process person-independent and add more value to the process of reference checking.
These systems are smart and learn about the candidates from the responses they get. Most of these tools use behavioural science to understand candidate traits. Secondly, they have a large database to compare these traits with other successful people in similar positions.
When onboarding is manual, the recruiters have to intervene to ensure that everything is in place. Right from desk allocation to network accesses to email configuration has to be done manually.
If the recruiter is unable to attend office, all of this goes for a toss. It sours the first-day experience of the employees and can also impact retention.
By automating the onboarding process, organisations can ensure that all the resources are in place. It creates a positive experience for new employees. It also empowers them and shortens their transition time from training to become fully productive.
Automated onboarding consists of having all the resources online. For instance, building online training dockets for new employees is much more useful than classroom orientation sessions.
With stress-free onboarding, the recruiters can also focus on other strategic aspects of their jobs.
Resilient recruitment practices are the way forward. In the new normal, organisations need to empower their teams to ensure business continuity in all circumstances. As remote working will become the new normal, recruiters will also have to change their ways of working.