The need to make recruitment more human again – and how to do it.

Recruitment automation has really changed this profession over the last 2 decades. Long gone now, are the days where people only reach for their local newspaper to look at all the available opportunities. Now they are more likely to reach for their smartphone and ping over their CV at the touch of an ‘Apply Now’ button. Is it any wonder, that whilst these automated platforms are spitting out auto-responses left, right and centre, that candidates are doing more mindless CV-slinging without so much as a cover letter? Hands up! I am guilty of loving this technology – so much lost time has been saved to focus on more value-adding activities. But we need to recognise the consequences.

The trouble is, that some passion, effort and tailoring goes a long way when it comes to sorting the wheat from the chaff of applicants. As an employer, you can’t help but be wooed by the flattery of a targeted job application – you want to know the candidate wants your job, not just any job! There is also no doubt in my mind that as we move into an employees’ marketplace, clunky online application platforms will result in businesses losing out on top talent UNLESS the candidates have good, emotive, human reasons to spend their precious time applying.

I think it is time that employers looked at their recruitment processes with a view to making a conscious return to humanity. Automation is great for some areas of recruitment e.g. to save administration costs. Recruitment at arms’ length might be appealing to a busy hiring manager and will prevent unwanted interruptions – but I say – be interrupted! Recruitment is about people, about relationships and building the ones you want! The point is, if as employers we don’t go about making recruitment more personal, applicants will respond equally impersonally or worse, won’t respond at all.

Here are 5 simple tips that can help make your recruitment about relationships and help candidates feel more invested in their applications:

  1. At the very least, put a contact name and telephone number of a friendly, open-minded person, who knows the job well, on the advert so candidates can contact someone in the office to find out more about the job.
  2. Put images and photos in your adverts where possible and use social media channels to show off who you are as people. Team pictures and office dogs, in my experience, get the most engagement. If you have a page about your jobs on your website, make sure it is populated with all the human content you can muster!
  3. Make a video advert, showing candidates what your company is all about and show them the job you need them to do. Done well, this will make your advert stand out and will give candidates a really good flavour of who you are as people and as an organisation. Share this far and wide – it’s not only good for recruitment, it can also be a great marketing tool! You don’t need a big budget for this – this advert was made on an iPhone.
  4. Consider holding an open day for interested candidates to come along to look around the premises and meet the team – a great opportunity to scout out the talent and encourage applications from the people you are really interested in.
  5. Be confident about making your organisational values the key focus of who you are looking for to fit in with the team and the company. Often, the ‘who’ is more important than the ‘what they can do’ when it comes to picking your best applicant.

This piece was written by Nicky Luke, Talent and Recruitment Manager at Unlocking Potential.