Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Talent acquisition goes digital

Nicolas Speeckaert, skeeled’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Many businesses froze recruitment during the Covid-19 lockdown, but the tide is beginning to turn.

New research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo)[i], the trade association for the recruitment sector, revealed that professional vacancies in London increased by 14% month-on-month in June.

APSCo also highlighted that by the end of June the number of professional vacancies being created per day was up 54% when compared to April. There are signs that other markets are picking up too. In the USA, government statistics highlighted employers added 2.5 million jobs in May[ii].

However, as organisations start to focus on employment once again, how they approach attracting, selecting and hiring staff may change significantly, enabled by technology.

A report from recruitment outsourcing company, Cielo[iii] revealed that two thirds of businesses had successfully interviewed and onboarded new starters during the Covid-19 outbreak. They found that most employers are now comfortable using technology for talent acquisition, with 82% of hiring managers saying they will continue to interview using video once the pandemic is over. Two fifths (41%) are happy to onboard staff virtually and 32% are not concerned about making job offers without meeting candidates face to face. And 66% said their reliance on advanced technology will remain.

As the world moves out of crisis mode, it is likely many more companies will embrace technology to support their talent acquisition. The key reasons being that many are more comfortable now using technology for interviews and many still have a remote workforce, and report that home working is likely for the foreseeable future.

However, one of the key challenges for employers hiring staff in the next few months will be managing the high volume of candidates. With daily reports of firms making large scale redundancies, unemployment figures are rising. This situation will be further compounded by the furlough scheme ending in October which may result in large scale redundancies and a flood of new job seekers on the market.

Sifting through high volumes of CVs and applications and selecting the right talent is likely to be arduous, time consuming and costly. However, there is a solution. Using a digital talent acquisition solution like skeeled enables employers to streamline and automate the repetitive and time-consuming processes involved in talent acquisition, particularly the attracting, sifting, and selecting of candidates for the first interview.

skeeled’s pre-screening tool, which is powered by machine learning and Natural Language Programme (NLP) accurately sifts and selects candidates and ranks and evaluates them against an employer’s job specification, selecting only candidates that meet and match the requirements.

The system produces an automated binary decision: that either rejects applicants clearly not a fit or puts them forward for further analysis. However, the human touch is not lost - these automated decisions are regularly monitored and revised, and recruiters can requalify applicants that they might consider a fit.

Candidates can use the system to upload their CVs and post short ideas and undertake pre-employment tests that asses their skills, motivation and attitude, which gives employers more information and an in-depth holistic view of each applicant.

As part of skeeled’s pre-screening process, employers can invite applicants to take part in a pre-recorded video interview to answer some initial questions. The video interviews give companies a more holistic view of the candidates and they can check if they are a good fit before progressing to a face to face interview, saving them a great deal of time. These video interviews can also be shared with colleagues and teams who may be based in different countries or regions so they can collaborate and make collective, objective, and fair hiring decisions. 

An Applicant Tracking System is also included in the system which enables interviewers, recruiters and employers to track candidate progress, and collaborate and communicate throughout the hiring process and follow up effectively with applicants to ensure a good candidate experience.

For companies wishing to proactively market their business and engage and attract job seekers, using talent acquisition software is a good solution.

Businesses have inevitably been hugely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with changes to how they work and operate. However, one of the positives has been the adoption of technologies that enhance and improve many processes.

Companies emerging from this crisis want to be more agile, reduce costs, streamline their processes and technology is a key enabler. The use of predictive AI technology in talent acquisition is a trend that is here to stay and can help firms recruit and acquire the talent they need to recover.