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Tuesday, April 20, 2010 from TalentRooster

Seven ways technology will change recruiting

How in the world do you fill precious few jobs with top candidates when your office is flooded with literally thousands of applicants? That was the million-dollar question for recruitment agencies across the country in 2009. And it wasn't just a question of success — it was a question of survival. Still, in spite of a rotten job market, many firms not only managed to get it right, but found success in the process. How? By leveraging technology to solidify their talent pool, make the most of their budget and transform our longstanding industry culture of information hoarding into one of information sharing. In 2010, technology will continue to change the way we find great talent and build better relationships—with our clients, our candidates and each other. Here are seven ways I see it happening.

  1. Recruiters and employers will track candidates' social media footprint. A skill set and work history on paper will never reveal a candidate's true personality. By visiting a candidate's social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter, you can learn their hobbies, interests and communication style. This makes it easier to thin the heard down to only the best, well-rounded candidates for a particular position and corporate culture.

  2. Video resumes will take on new dimensions as a recruiting tool. Any yahoo with a webcam can create a video resume, right? True, but does it look polished? Does it deliver the important information and personality cues employers are looking for? Probably not. In 2010, video resumes will become more of a holistic profile that incorporates detailed skills assessments, work experience and professionally produced on-camera interviews that allow the candidate's personality and spontaneity to shine through. Forward-thinking recruiters and HR leaders will be able to offer video resume services easily and affordably to their candidates. These services will allow potential employers to evaluate the candidates of their choice without wasting time on interviews that go nowhere. They will also provide recruiters with a way to earn revenue on every candidate, even if they don't get hired.

  3. Candidates will be empowered through "searchability." Forget the classifieds and massive job boards. Candidates can now search specific niche databases by keywords and target their job hunt. For recruiting agencies and employers, site optimization, social networking and cross-linking via blogs and other mechanisms will be key to expanding your reach and making sure candidates can easily find the opportunities you have for them.

  4. Networking will be just as important online as offline. Remember the old shampoo commercial that talked about telling two friends, then they'll tell two friends, and so on and so on? That's the idea. Social networking is the electronic version of word-of-mouth referrals. Networks like LinkedIn enable you to e-mail job openings to your targeted contacts who can then forward them on to their connections, and so on and so on—until you find the right candidates. And here's the best part—it's FREE.

  5. Mobile recruiting will slash time in "getting the word out." Imagine being able to instantly match an incoming request for a contract position to 30 profiles in your candidate database. You notify them all at once via text; they come to your office; the position gets filled—done. Simple as that. Watch for this technology sector to soar in the year ahead because it's going to make all our lives a whole lot easier.

  6. Huge job boards will evolve or die a slow death. For years, Monster, CareerBuilder and many other gargantuan job sites have charged high rates for postings and thrived on delivering quantity, not quality, when it comes to candidates. For those of us who have grown frustrated — and we are many — niche job boards have provided greater ROI for less money. With social and, potentially, mobile recruiting providing even more cheaper, and effective options, big job boards will have to rethink their strategy and prove their worth, or eat dust.

  7. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will eventually "play nice" with social recruiting. Nothing undermines your efforts to build relationships and garner referrals quite like a system that was never designed to do it in the first place. This is part of the information hoarding culture I was referring to earlier. Because of the compliance issues we face as recruiters, and our need for an automated process, applicant tracking systems are here to stay. But if I owned an ATS company, you can bet I'd be finding a way to be first-to-market with a more effective solution flexible enough to meet the growing demands of social recruiting. It has to happen, soon, or the systems we depend on will put us at odds with where the industry is going.

You've heard that necessity is the mother of invention. Without a doubt, savvy recruiters invented brilliant strategies to combat a dismal job market in 2009 by using emerging technology. This trend is only going to pick up speed in 2010 as information-sharing changes our industry—permanently. It's no fad, and that's a good thing. Technology will allow us to better serve our clients, support our candidates and strengthen our businesses as we build and maintain relationships in exciting new ways. How are you meeting the change? I'd love to hear what you're doing and the results you're getting. Here's to the revolution!

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