How can businesses maximise technology in the hiring process?

Stephen Phipps our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 14 May 2020
For many organisations, the use of technology in the hiring and interviewing process is no new phenomenon. Ever since the advent of the computer and the boom of the world wide web - and more recently the smartphone, constant connectivity and digital scheduling apps - recruitment professionals have relied on digital connectivity to identify and attract qualified professionals, just as candidates turn to the internet to seek out new job opportunities.

Covid-19 and the corresponding lockdown has put the role of technology in recruitment under intense scrutiny, encouraging businesses the world over to incorporate new digital-friendly hiring processes. And with no clear exit strategy - and indeed, no ‘return to work’ date – hiring managers are now faced with a future where technologically-based recruitment solutions become essential, not optional. In fact, many people are predicting that we may never return to work quite in the same way as before the pandemic, with lockdown conditions ushering in all new ways of working – and recruiting.

With that in mind, how can businesses maximise technology in the hiring process for optimum results both now and into the future?

Seek out the best solutions for your business

For many businesses, Coronavirus has eliminated the possibility of in-person interviews, assessments and onboarding. If there are cost savings you can make in this area – for example, by not hiring meeting rooms to use for talent assessment – could these resources be channelled towards digital-based areas such as hosting virtual conferences or creating webinars to promote your business? Perhaps you might want to look at new ways of identifying talent, for example by seeking out bespoke Leadership Solutions to help find and develop the industry’s best people, or implement automated assistant software such as  to schedule meetings and transcribe calls.

Other viable options for business looking to incorporate new technologies include Culture Amp, an engagement-driven employee analytics platform and Enboarder, an experience-driven onboarding platform which offers virtual office tours, team introduction videos and interactive communication. Digital onboarding tools will likely be increasingly important in the future, with many office-based workforces expected to continue working from home on an ongoing basis, so investment in this area now will help to ensure a smooth end-to-end recruitment process. 
At Hanover, we’re seeing clients at varying stages of digital onboarding, with the most successful ones already providing equipment to new hires, organising remote access, using virtual onboarding processes and conducting 100% digital training processes. Our ongoing conversations with business leaders across our specialist markets means we can provide unique insight to help you get your onboarding up to speed.

Organisations can reduce or eliminate much of the time and money spent on recruitment technology simply by partnering with a qualified executive search firm. A good recruitment partner will employ their own technology solutions to attract and maintain connections with talent databases, presenting hiring managers with a small selection of qualified, vetted candidates who are ready to hit the ground running.Maecenas vitae

Ensure candidates are comfortable with new ways of interviewing

If there’s one part of the recruitment process that has fundamentally changed in the past two months, it’s the way interviews are conducted – and the fact remains that video interviewing may be here for the long haul. 

The benefits of video interviewing are plentiful and remain apparent even outside of a lockdown situation. The software makes the possibility of connection almost instantaneous, with candidates and decision makers being able to gather virtually without navigating transport issues and calendar clashes, particularly when using a digital scheduling tool. They also allow multiple decision makers to be present, meaning that international or remote stakeholders can join crucial interviews they would have to miss if hosted in-person. 

Most interview software also provides the option to record interviews, with candidate permission, to allow hiring managers and other stakeholders to share and review. All of this combines to add greater flexibility and pace to the recruitment process.

Make sure your business is using the video interviewing software that suits you best, whether that’s the simple, real-time Zoom, Skype, Teams or Hangouts video call or the more sophisticated Hirevue, Odro, Hinterview or SparkHire. A key point of differentiation is whether you opt for pre-recorded, one-way interviews (best designed for pre-screening or early-stage interviews) or live, two-way conversations that best mimic the traditional in-person setup. Many businesses are now choosing to implement a blend of both techniques. At Hanover, we can help you to determine the video interview strategies to best suit your business and the role you’re recruiting for.

Once you’ve determined your video interview software of choice, the next step is communicating this to candidates and ensuring they feel comfortable utilising the technology. A good executive recruitment partner will talk you and your candidates through this, and will advise both your interviewees and the candidate to download any necessary software ahead of time so they can practice. As with any digital process, video interviews always carry a risk of technical failure, so have a contingency plan (such as the candidate’s phone number) on hand in case of any connectivity issues.

Remember the rules of interviewing still apply

While some candidates will be perfectly comfortable with a more digitally-driven recruitment process – one-quarter of Gen Z job seekers prefer to communicate digitally anyway – not everyone is a digital native, and many people prefer to communicate in person. Bear this in mind during the hiring process and ensure that you communicate clearly and regularly to help add a human touch, as well as taking your time to build rapport with candidates and sell the role and company to them.

As with an in-person interview, preparation is key to ensure candidates receive the best possible experience. Run through your technology beforehand to ensure everything is working smoothly and the sound and video are clear. Keep the appearance professional, including the backdrop of the video as well as how you present yourself, and be punctual. The unfamiliarity of the video setup can sometimes make these types of interviews feel less ‘real’, so if you can mimic as much of a traditional interview as possible you will likely leave a better impression on the applicant. 

This extends to the assessment stage of the interview. We’ve seen some clients face challenges around candidate presentations and business plans, with not all interview platforms providing the right level of support for this. For many roles in our sectors – and certainly senior level placements – the assessment stage is critical to a successful hire. We advise our clients to select video interview software that hosts both screen sharing and video concurrently, so clients can see both the presentation and the candidate at once, and are happy to provide support to clients on digital assessment.

Understand the limitations of technology

Technology is undoubtedly changing the way professionals look for jobs and businesses hire talent – but it will never replace the fundamental human element that is at the heart of a good recruitment process. Research shows that candidates believe an informed, responsive recruiter is critical to ensuring the candidate experience is positive and the best person is found for the job – something that can’t be replicated by AI or automation.

From conversations with clients over the past six weeks, we understand that it is still extremely hard to secure talent in many sectors, and perhaps harder than ever to attract exceptional candidates. For organisations without the necessary connections and technical experience in their defined markets, the need to partner with a specialist executive recruitment agency is stronger than ever.

At Hanover, we have deep expertise in our specialist areas complemented by a broad network of industry specialists. We’ve devoted ourselves to researching the market and speaking to industry experts about their challenges throughout the Covid-19 crisis, which means we have the ability to share unique insights and information to help our clients navigate their resourcing strategies, both now and into the future.

Whatever the business landscape looks like in a post-pandemic world, make sure your recruitment process is as strong as possible. By utilising technology alongside specialist executive recruitment services, you stand in good stead to secure the market’s best talent.
Get an edge on the competition by working with an experienced recruitment partner that specialises in your field. Find out more about Hanover’s expertise or contact us to find out how we can help.

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