Recruiters, you’re staring at a paradigm shift. Will it paralyze you?

Social media and mobile technology have turned the field upside down—especially with passive candidates. To recruit successfully, you need to approach your job differently.

The age of the customer has arrived and the changes it brings applies to job candidates too. Veteran recruiter Danny Cahill spoke to this in “Recruiting Tips and Secrets of the Masters.” He described today’s job market as “candidate driven.” Candidates expect to be treated with respect and get real information about the job.

Insights from a talent management expert

Claire Schooley hiring tips

Claire Schooley

I recently sat in on a HireVue webinar where Forrester Research’s Claire Schooley was asked to talk about the paradigm shift occuring in recruiting.

Schooley said recruiters need new skills to deal with a new generation of workers, millennials, who have different career requirements and job expectations. She said traditional requisition-based recruiting is dead and gone. Now, recruiters must have marketing and candidate relationship management skills. Schooley explained changes in the workforce and recruiting often cause recruiters to stagnate.

Communications amongst different generations


During the webinar, Schooley highlighted some of the differences in how different generations approach work life:

  • Older workers are used to and most comfortable with written communications
  • Baby Boomers are comfortable with telephone communication
  • Gen Xers are used to email
  • Gen Y workers and candidates prefer texting and instant messaging (when you call or email a Gen Y candidate, you may get no response)
  • A new group is coming—the 2020 generation—those born in 2000

Recruiters have to recognize these differences and communicate accordingly. Schooley says you need to interact with candidates on their turf because they’re not using traditional means to find jobs. She stresses younger candidates tend to not focus on salary and are often more interested in career development opportunities. They’re ambitious.

Recruiters need to call on new tools

Cooley said recruiters must use new tools and techniques to interact with candidates:

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  • Informative, engaging career websites with interactive job boards, links to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, which enable candidates to ask questions about opportunities and company culture
  • Video has become critical in the recruiting process. Video is important for training, information dissemination, and all types of communication.
  • Tapping into the networks of new workers with employee referrals. Referrals are still the most productive recruiting mechanism, so recruiters must share job openings on social media to increase engagement.  They must make sure information on jobs is widespread and available for employees to access and share.

Four factors transforming talent management

Schooley identified four change drivers in recruiting:

  1. Demographics
    Today’s applicants are different than Baby Boomers and older workers. They have a different communication style and expectations from work. Meanwhile, while younger workers come aboard, older workers are staying in the workforce longer. The net: employers have a more diverse workforce than ever.
  2. Technology
    New technology enables employers to reach more candidates, faster and more easily. Candidates are more savvy with technology, so they may bring more to the table than before. Schooley described how candidates used to start a new job and be introduced to new technology on the job, excited about the opportunity to learn, but now candidates come to work far more knowledgeable and experienced with the technology companies need.
  3. Global workforce
    Workers conduct meetings remotely, interact through instant messaging and social networks, and expect seamless connectivity and fast communication at work. Consequently, the workforce is far more global, mamking it more diverse.
  4. Importance of employee engagement
    Employee engagement is a key to retention. Candidates may have the expertise and the knowledge, but often leave a job because they don’t feel comfortable. Schooley encourages employers to use new tools to assess culture fit and improve engagement.

What’s changed?

In the webinar, Schooley highlighted three areas that have undergone the greatest change in recruiting:

  1. Post and source requisition process
    Social media has changed the post and source requisition process. The reach of job postings in social media means employers have to closely target where postings are placed (or be prepared to deal with thousands of resumes).The job posting process today must be designed to get a good amount of resumes from highly qualified, interested candidates—not a flood of resumes recruiters won’t be able to manage.You need to post with niche job boards, use forums, engage participants, and created dialog online and at industry events.Learn more about sourcing today in “Recruiting Experts Sullivan, Steckerl, and Savage on Sourcing,” and “Where Will Your Recruiting Strategies Be One Year From Now?”
  2. Corporate career site
    Schooley said many small employers neglect the all-important career site. They misunderstand why and how candidates seek information about employers or spend website development budgets on other revenue-generating sections of the company website.She says this is a mistake because career sites are the second most common source of new hires for large corporations.Schooley explained career website reflect the quality of the company and influences candidates. The career website must include content that explains who the company is, its values, products and services, and culture. It should be attractive and easy to read, and include video, graphics, and multi-media features, as well as describe job opportunities, benefits, and career development opportunities. It should have social network links, a mobile job application, and have open job opportunities linked to the company applicant tracking system.
  3. Interviewing and feedback process
    Scheduling an interview and getting feedback have become far faster processes. While it used to be a weeks or months-long timeline between advertising a job opening and scheduling an interview, social media and recruiting technology have accelerated timelines substantially. The video interviewing process allows candidates to record their answers to interview questions and instantly upload the video.Want to learn more about video interviewing?Read “Video Interviewing is a No-Brainer for IT” and “Hiring for Attitude: Why 81% of New Hires Will Fail.”

Employee satisfaction and engagement

Schooley said recruiters must connect the candidate’s journey, integrate the workforce experience, and focus on employee satisfaction and engagement. She explained employee satisfaction and employee engagement are two different things, but the goal is to achieve both.

Employee satisfaction means job security, company financial stability, jobs that use employees’ skills and abilities, good manager relationship, and good pay.

Employee engagement means open lines of communication, digital employee experience, learning opportunities, employee focus and enthusiasm for work, determination to accomplish work goals, excitement about work, recognition and rewards.

She quoted Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study that shows that 70 percent of U.S. employees are not engaged.

Successful hiring requires a clear understanding of today’s candidates and their needs. The tools required include an effective recruiting strategy, a candidate-friendly career website, and excellent candidate management during the hiring process.


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