In 2017 it was reported that there were 1.2 billion active monthly Facebook messenger users. And that doesn’t even include Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat and the myriad other chat apps out there. So if this is the way people communicate, why are more recruiters not meeting candidates where they are?
I was at lunch the other day with some talent acquisition professionals talking about recruitment technology and the future of recruiting, enjoying some crispy fried chicken and pork belly collard greens (with plenty of hot sauce, of course), when someone half-jokingly, half-seriously blurted out “wouldn’t it be nice if candidates didn’t have to submit resumes to apply? I mean, candidates hate the resume and its antiquated structure and recruiters hate reviewing them.”
The brave soul paused. Looked slowly around the table. Laughed once. “Ha.” And waited for a reaction.
That’s when others started half-heartedly laughing, heads down, picking at their food.
Were they ashamed? Were they afraid? At first, I couldn’t tell. But through their feeble attempts to veil their true feelings, I got the sense that they didn’t think the suggestion was funny at all.
So as one who is never afraid to ask the tough questions (or maybe it was the bolt of energy brought on by the hot sauce), I asked the table rather pointedly, “what is the root issue with resumes? Why does no one like them?”
And with that, the conversation was revived. And as it continued, I learned that it was less about the resume and more about the way in which we choose to communicate with candidates. Or the way in which we offer candidates to communicate with us.
On a good day, the process is slow, inefficient and costly. On a bad day, it’s all wrong.
Later that day as the heat from the hot sauce subsided in my mouth, the thoughts in my head started to heat up. That lunch conversation really started to help me see things more clearly.
At first, I reflected on that last 3-5 years of talent acquisition and the sea of change and evolution it has gone through. Recruitment marketing, and with that recruitment technology, has become a real thing. AI and chatbots are creeping in to our ecosystem. And predictive analytics are helping organizations better identify great candidates. But one thing that caught me off guard was the industry’s overreliance on technology.
Our overreliance on recruitment technology
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is great. Heck, I work for a technology company. But I think in many cases the pendulum has swung so far towards recruitment technology that it has stripped the human from the process altogether. For example, I’m sure we are all very familiar with the automated email that is sent to a candidate once they apply for a job. And then the silence the ensues for days or weeks.
And this is a big deal for both recruiters and candidates.
From the recruiter’s perspective, it doesn’t provide the depth of information that is required to truly assess a candidate. It doesn’t show cultural fit, personality and ability to adapt on the fly. And in this job market where talent is so hard to come by, it doesnt give the recruiter an opportunity to pitch the company to the candidate.
From the candidate’s perspective, it doesn’t give the candidate any info on the company. And even if the career site has FAQs and employee videos, it can never replace that which is learned when two people chat with one another.
And that last statement was really my “aha” moment of the day.
You see, even with all this great recruitment technology that we have in talent acquisition, we are still missing out on some of the most basic technologies that we all use to communicate in our everyday lives: chat.
Candidates use chat and so should you
In 2017 it was reported that there were 1.2 billion active monthly Facebook messenger users. And that doesn’t even include Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat and the myriad other chat apps out there.
So if this is the way people communicate, why are more recruiters not meeting candidates where they are? If you’re meeting your friend at the mall, you don’t go to the movie theater.
Just think of the conversations that could be had. Recruiters could ask questions that go beyond the resume. You could assess cultural fit, strengths and weaknesses, and how much they really care about the job.
That last point shouldn’t be overlooked. We all know how easy it is to apply to jobs these days. It’s like Buy Now with 1-Click on Amazon except with jobs. But when you give a candidate the option to chat, and they follow through, that in-and-of-itself is very telling. Your energy won’t be wasted. Talk about predictive analytics.
Chat also reminds me of networking events or career fairs. I think most recruiters would agree that these in-person events allow recruiters a chance to quickly assess candidates. And why is this? Well, again, when recruiters have an opportunity to talk with a candidate in person, the learnings come easily and quickly. Talk with a great candidate? Move them quickly to interview. Don’t like a candidate you are talking to? Pretend you hear your boss beckoning for you and slowly inch away. Kidding. Excuse yourself politely and move on.
The point is, if you put recruiters and candidates in the same space and allow them to talk, a whole lot of magic happens. Recruiting is done faster.
Now move these conversations online and you have what we call a chat event. It uses the same technology that billions of people use everyday to communicate, connects recruiters and candidates in meaningful conversations, and allows recruiters to have multiple chats at once. It’s the best of both worlds: meaningful conversations at scale.
Result: identify top candidates and move them through the funnel much faster.
If you are curious about the details of how chat events work, you can check out our video on “What the heck is a chat event?”
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