On August 30, WilsonHCG and Talent Board hosted a joint webinar, Technology to Humanize the Candidate Experience. Throughout the webinar, Travis Furlow, WilsonHCG’s Vice President of Client Solutions, presented on the notions above as well as how, with the right people in place, technology can “humanize” the candidate experience in ways we’ve never seen. You can tune into the webinar recast at the link above, and the following features our three key takeaways from the discussion!
Technology has revolutionized how we complete tasks. Today, it plays a role in every aspect of our lives. For example, as Travis asked during the webinar, “When was the last time you stepped foot in a bank?” We used to have to walk into the bank for every aspect of banking, from check cashing to bill paying. More recently, we’ve moved to online options that allow us to pay our bills at the click of a smartphone button, even being able to cash checks through our mobile devices. Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, they’ve all become commonplace.
From an HR perspective, similarly, technology has become critical to all aspects of talent strategy, from attraction to engagement and retention to business-impacting decision making. A majority of today’s professionals grew up with technology as an integrated part of their daily lives. And this, in turn, affects how we manage and interact across our organizations – specific to the candidate experience, having personal conversation through various technologies has been wholly embraced.
Millennials, even Gen Z, as they continue to enter and begin to dominate the workforce (approximately 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020), are "always on" and connected. This has skyrocketed their ability to embrace new technologies within a given company or role. In turn, even Baby Boomers (50-70 year olds) are now much more open to accepting new technologies, even eager to try new and updated solutions. In large part, the evolution of technology and the role it’s playing across our companies is because of the role it plays in our daily lives.
More than 22 percent of millennials expect a response within 10 minutes of reaching out to a consumer brand. According to Travis, "What we believed even a year ago to be innovative is now table stakes." Specifically, innovation used to mean video interviewing and recruiting via social media, to name two examples; now, if you aren’t using these tools, which have become status quo, "you’re way behind the curve."
According to the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report, video interviewing is now a top five recruiting technology investment for employers. Moreover, onboarding has been cited as a top five recruiting technology investment for employers – highlighting not only the importance companies are placing on the candidate experience as a driver of the bottom line, but the investment they’re making in technology to ensure these experiences are as humanized, personal and efficient as possible. Because, as noted above, 18-35 year olds now expect a response to their inquiry within 10 minutes!
Technology is one of the key advantages to outpacing your competition in today’s ever-changing talent landscape. However, it’s the people who put your tools to work that determine just how high that advantage can climb. According to Travis, even based on his own personal experience as a candidate, no technology, no matter how sophisticated it may seem, should ever replace talent acquisition and management strategies or processes; rather, they need to supplement your process.
Technologies help drive efficiencies, such as automating research and profiling, but your people need to be at the forefront of all candidate experiences. For recruiters, as Travis explained, "When you look at the candidate and hiring manager experience, we believe it comes solely from the dialogue between person and person. Technology affords us the opportunity to spend more time building relationships and dialoguing, while finding amazing fits for complex roles." And really, this is what recruitment is all about: leveraging various tools to free up time for our recruiters to focus on the candidate, on the hiring manager and organization’s needs, on the onboarding process, the goals and desires of both sides. In brief, the personal relationship.
Travis wrapped up the webinar with the following: "Finding comfort and proficiency specific to AI and process automation revolves around open dialogue. Organizations can’t be fearful. We encourage people to have the discussion, because technology can truly add massive value. For us, it’s going to come down to balancing technology and support processes in a way that is fluid, candidate- and client-specific."
WilsonHCG is a global talent solutions leader that operates on the principle of providing true partnership to our clients. Delivering business-impacting talent solutions – including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), talent consulting and executive search – WilsonHCG is transforming our clients' businesses through their talent. While optimizing clients' talent strategies is essential, WilsonHCG recognizes the relationships we develop lead to the results our clients realize. Better People, Better Business.®