How to Gain a Competitive Edge And Go for the Gold When Recruiting

CRN Staff
Recruiting is challenging. It's competitive and can be painful. But, as HireVue's Mark Newman, founder and Chief Innovation Officer of HireVue, notes, when recruiters think like Olympians, they often can land top sales and IT talent.

Recruiting may not be an Olympic event, but it is very similar to what the world’s best athletes just finished doing in London. Just like Olympic athletes, recruiters spend hours upon hours on their craft, face intense competition and do everything they can to get the gold and build top performing workforces. Yet, finding the most talented individuals and convincing them to join their company has become increasingly complicated.

Related: How Apple Apps Advance Recruiting at Your Own Business

A shrinking pool of top sales and IT talent, along with increased competition from companies all over the world, has made recruiting the best individuals quite challenging. In fact, according to ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, 52 percent of U.S. employers experience difficulty filling mission-critical positions, despite high levels of unemployment, and sales and highly specialized talent – such as IT professionals – are among the most difficult positions to fill.

In the past, employers could offer access to the latest technology as an incentive to candidates. However, in the world of BYOD, and as the latest technologies become more accessible, it is increasingly difficult for employers to stand out, especially when recruiting IT professionals. Instead, recruiters must think like an Olympian.

Just as Olympic athletes rely on supportive resources — the most elite coaches and trainers, top-notch facilities and gyms and the best training equipment available — to get the gold, recruiters must also leverage the tools that can help them get ahead. Some of the most successful athletes have worked tirelessly to build their brand and rally support; organizations can also bulk up their employment brands with the technology and processes they use to recruit to quickly engage top talent before the competition does.

Digital interviewing, a solution which enables employers and job candidates to connect using SaaS, video and mobile based technologies, is one resource that can give employers a significant competitive advantage in finding the talent they need for success by addressing both employment brand and the obstacles that can often get in the way when evaluating candidates.

A Faster, Stronger, Higher Recruiting Process
Some of the biggest Olympic moments are made in the blink of an eye; one swimmer’s fingertips can touch the wall a hundredth of a second before another’s, or judges analyze a photo finish to see which runner crossed the line first. Talent acquisition can be just as competitive; so organizations need to streamline their processes to engage top performers before the competition does.

Unfortunately, many application and screening processes are cumbersome and frustrating, causing qualified candidates to abandon their applications, harbor negative feelings toward the company and even convince their networks to avoid the organizations as well. For more effective recruiting, it is important to provide a convenient, positive candidate experience. Having the right resources and tools is crucial to finding, attracting and hiring the best candidates. For example, digital interviewing can help bring recruiting to the next level, streamlining the process and connecting employers with candidates much faster. Using such technology, employers can set their own speed records for recruiting, as digital interviewing results in much faster screening times and improved time-to-hire. Digital interviewing also enables employers to connect with candidates wherever they are, such as career fairs and college campuses. Mobile apps also help employers reach a more diverse population, such as those who don’t have regular access to a computer, and truly enables them to complete interviews at any time and from anywhere.

Recruiters can also take advantage of social and mobile capabilities to further accelerate and streamline the recruiting process internally. Just as the Olympics include qualifying rounds to weed out the weaker competitors, digital interviewing enables employers to skip over bad interview so they can focus on the best of the best. For instance, distributing QR codes that lead candidates to share a digital profile for consideration or providing universal links that can be shared via social media and job boards help to extend reach to a larger talent pool while enabling candidates to share jobs with their networks.

Putting the Spotlight on Candidates

Olympic athletes are more than happy to be in front of the camera and show off the skills developed through years of training and dedication. It’s very likely that sales and IT professionals will appreciate the opportunity to share their accomplishments in front of the camera as well. Through digital interviewing, candidates can answer predetermined interview questions using their webcams and mobile devices to put their strengths and abilities in the spotlight.

Digital interviewing is also much more convenient, enabling candidates to take interviews where and when it is most convenient. As a result, recruiters are able to connect with and screen candidates much more quickly and provide them with a user-friendly experience. This allows recruiters to identify right-fit candidates sooner and engage them before the competition does, and candidates will appreciate the time saved by conducting interviews when it is most convenient, without having to take time off from work to travel for an in-person interview.

As an added bonus, candidates who have experienced a digital interview are more likely to recommend the company to others and reapply to the organization if rejected. This provides the company with continuous access to top talent, ensuring it has a readily available talent pool to which it can turn to find strong candidates.

Carrying the Torch Forward
The athletes of the Olympics don’t just pack up their bags after the closing ceremony and quietly wait four years for their next chance to win the gold. Instead, they commit to continuous practice to ensure they are prepared for the next challenge. The same holds true for recruiters; in order to constantly provide their organization with the best talent, they must commit to using the best resources to consistently attract the right candidates and provide them with a top-notch experience. Using the above methods, employers can stay ahead of the competition and achieve the gold medal of recruiting: a high-performing and fully engaged workforce eager to help their company achieve its goals.

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