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This article was contributed by Siadhal Magos, cofounder of Metaview

There will be an enormous focus on hiring over the next year. The Great Resignation trend, alongside the typical post-annual performance review job hunt, means that candidates will be flooding the market. Companies will want to capitalize and hire the very best candidates available. However, today’s hiring processes are often flawed, leading to poor recruitment decisions. There has never been a good time to make a bad hire, but in the middle of a global pandemic, this rings especially true.

We all know poor hires can be damaging to businesses; they endanger the morale and productivity of existing teams and are also expensive to correct. Mid-level vacancies cost around $26k to fill, whilst a bad hire can take up to $180k to rectify. 

As it stands, there is no ‘silver bullet’ technology that leaders can turn to to solve their hiring problems. Decision-makers need to understand the specific strengths and weaknesses of their hiring process, picking out tech solutions best suited to meet their organization’s needs: whether it’s talent sourcing, nurturing, or the all-critical interview stage. The pandemic has imposed remote-hiring practices, which have in turn exacerbated many pre-existing hiring issues, as well as created further headaches for businesses to manage. However, it is not all bad news, as this jump to remote work has sparked innovative new technology that businesses can embrace to take them forward.

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When applicants turn detective

Even before companies get to speak to candidates, prospective applicants are vigilantly researching their potential future employers. Whether it’s checking Glassdoor reviews, investigating social media channels or reading company blogs, individuals form their own first impression of a business, which makes the employer’s ability to effectively communicate their Employee Value Proposition effectively online key. Some themes, like the availability of quality tech, are fantastic draws regardless of team function – 47% of professionals have applied for jobs because of it.

Employers can and should do more. Company video content can go further than generic corporate introductions, instead of providing curious applicants with accurate impressions of team dynamics and activity. For those willing to be bolder still, like Gitlab, making employee materials and handbooks publicly available, is an assertive move that will attract and engage more motivated prospective employees, providing the opportunity to identify and engage with their business from the very outset. I expect investments in establishing a compelling Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to continue to grow.

Let’s stay in touch

Just like any good idea, timing is key for potential applicants. Highly capable individuals regularly discover businesses when job openings simply aren’t there for them.  Companies that miss the opportunity to track and cultivate relationships with these individuals are allowing quality talent to disappear from their radar, only to have to be replaced at a later date at an additional cost. Today’s combined influences of the Great Resignation and remote-working means that professional talent has never been more likely to visit another employer’s career page, if only out of curiosity. Those businesses that take the opportunity to collate this potential wealth of talent onto a central database, via recruitment CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms, save themselves valuable time and money when it does become time to find a new hire; they can already have a shortlist prepared and ready to go from day one.

As well as tracking these potential prospects, employers can nurture relationships through an ongoing, automated, and targeted approach. Why wouldn’t you run webinars and events for potential candidates, just like you do for potential customers? Why not sign curious visitors to tailored email campaigns relevant to their skills? This way quality individuals are kept engaged and close, instead of passively monitored, or worse still, just lost into the void. 

The interview minefield 

Interviews are inescapably at the heart of hiring and the impact of first rate interview practices on high quality recruitment cannot be understated. Businesses without a standard interview process are five times more likely to make a bad hire (Laurano, 2015), and 49% of in-demand candidates have turned down offers due to a poor experience during hiring.

The interviewing process is often too much of an art and not enough of a science, with few interviewers reflecting critically enough on their own performance. Common areas of weakness for interviewers include talking too much, inconsistent levels of engagement across candidates, and fostering inherent biases. Issues around rigour are of particular concern, our own data shows that almost a quarter (23%) of hiring managers ask fewer than five questions of each candidate, which highlights the need for further inquiry into interviewer quality. While remote working has forced many businesses to review and adapt their sales and operational approaches, many are persisting in continuing the same flawed practices they held pre-pandemic into the future.

Too many interviewers don’t know what good practices should look like, in large part because training has not been accessible or applicable to their context until now. Automated tools that record and transcribe interviews can free up interviewers to properly engage with the candidate in front of them. Importantly, they also enable teams to identify and address issues which could otherwise remain unidentified. These tools can produce insights that uncover damaging and frequently unaddressed problems, such as race and gender bias, which otherwise impact the interview process.

Interviews can shake off their reputation as information black holes, thanks to AI-powered platforms. Now remote interviewing practices have become mainstream, it is easier than ever to use technology to track and analyse the previously intangible data, to create fairer and more informed decisions. As simple as it sounds, by focusing on upskilling interviewers with tailored AI-enabled learning solutions, businesses can produce far better and more consistent interviews, which in turn ensure that teams acquire the best talent possible at scale.

Scaling quality to attract, interview, and convert talent

Remote working has introduced plenty of new perspectives and priorities into the lives of employees. This, combined with a buoyant job market, means that many businesses are scrambling to define a successful strategy to attract and convert the best talent.

Happily, this new world of work has also introduced new technology and innovations that employers can embrace to empower their ability to transform their talent acquisition and focus on engaging meaningfully, building relationships and making consistent first-rate hiring decisions at scale.

Siadhal Magos is cofounder of Metaview

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