Remote recruiting is gaining traction at organizations of all sizes, and not just because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The move to a digital-first workforce has been in motion for a long time, with high-tech companies leading the charge. The remote revolution gained more participants as companies aimed to meet fast-changing working requirements, but many companies have realized such impressive productivity gains that they’re never going back.
While this shift broadens the reach of recruiters to find the best talent with less emphasis on location, it also presents challenges as employers sift through hundreds of applications looking for the handful best qualified to fill their open positions.
Even as the unemployment rate rises, skilled positions across all markets are sitting open for 30+ days. In most cases, it’s not because of a lack of available talent, but rather difficulty in finding the right fit among growing stacks of applications.
Three Cloud Technologies to Enhance Remote Recruiting
The key to helping recruiters spend more time working with the most qualified candidates is putting the right filtering and communication technology in place. Here are three cloud recruiting tools that help recruiters find ideal candidates faster:
1. Applicant Tracking
As applications file in from many sources, an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help manage the flow of traffic. This cloud-based solution lets recruiters quickly benefit from a categorized candidate funnel without investing inordinate amounts of time.
The State of Application Tracking Systems 2020 indicated only 7% of companies intended to implement an ATS within a year. Many cited cost and perceived lack of need as primary reasons for not investing in an ATS. In retrospect, businesses that invested in recruiting and applicant tracking—especially cloud-based solutions—were better prepared to manage remote applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, applicant tracking need not cost a fortune. In fact, many small business owners may find the applicant tracking functionality they already included in their cloud HR solution.
According to a recent HR Dive article, the average time-to-hire for hourly roles is 40 days. That’s a long time to be without staff—especially key leadership roles which can take even longer to fill. Driving the wait time up is the lack of efficiency in sorting an increasing volume of applications.
If your recruiting department only invests in one technology tool this year, prioritize ATS. This technology not only streamlines sorting and application management—ensuring good candidates don’t get lost in the shuffle—but also provides key insights into which sources yield the greatest return in terms of your team’s definition of recruiting success. This data can then be used to optimize your recruitment channel spending, thereby improving overall ROI.
2. Candidate Assessment
Once you have a platform through which to manage candidate progress, it’s time to find efficiencies in the skill and competency matching process. Just because a candidate has the experience a company is looking for doesn’t necessarily mean they possess the right skills or mindset to succeed in a specific organization.
Implementing an assessment platform can narrow the pool of candidates to the most likely to thrive in your organization. These cloud-based tools come with digital games, as well as skills, situational judgement, and personality tests to determine aptitude for success in each role.
After testing concludes, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms determine which candidates have the right skills and competencies to move ahead in the selection process. The goal is to give recruiters more time to interact and build rapport with the highest caliber candidates.
3. Candidate Communication
Once candidate processing and assessing technologies are in place, it’s time to turn to communication. Though job application volume is increasing, the hiring experience should remain congenial. Just because someone isn’t a fit for a current position doesn’t mean they won’t be an ideal fit for a different position in the future.
Recruitment is about relationship-building. Quality talent can be difficult to find, recruit, and retain. Poor communication throughout an interviewing experience can damage negotiations before they begin. According to a recent survey, 70% of job applicants loose interest if they don’t receive a status update within seven days. Speed is key to applicant engagement.
A recent Aptitude Research report found that 62% of job applicants never hear back from the prospective employer. With all of the HR automation available to businesses, there’s clearly room for improvement.
A candidate communication tool empowers recruiters with behavior-based communication templates that keep job seekers informed every step of the way. Regardless of whether you choose to hire someone or not, they’ll know exactly where they stand in your process—building rapport and keeping the door open to future possibilities.
Quick Tips to Improve Remote Recruitment Outcomes
Adding new technology can go a long way toward getting to qualified candidates faster. However, if you need best practices that you can apply right now, try these three quick and dirty tips to drive greater recruiting results within your organization:
1. Ask Employees for Referrals
Talented individuals already within your organization likely know and can recommend new additions. Many companies save so much time, money, and energy using this approach that they even incentivize successful efforts with one-time bonuses of $500 or more.
To effectively manage the proc
ess, however, there needs to be a tracking and vetting process in place. Only referrals that turn into hires should generate a bonus, and there should be stipulations around the payout, such as the new hire staying in place for at least 90 days before a referral bonus is rendered.
2. Respond to Top Applicants in 7 Days or Less
As mentioned above, a study has shown that candidates begin to lose interest in a role after not hearing back for seven days. What’s more, highly qualified and experienced candidates with a long history of driving results are always in demand. Identifying and replying to these candidates in shorter timeframes could improve outcomes in terms of the quality of candidates that you send to hiring managers.
3. Let Applicants Know Outcomes
According to The State of Candidate Experience report, candidates who don’t hear back on an application are 3.5 times less likely to re-apply to that company. Whether you have an automated candidate communication tool in place or not, take the time to inform all the candidates who aren’t moving forward in the process that their resume will be kept on file and they’ll be contacted in the future should a fit for their skillset become available. This simple courtesy goes a long way in building rapport—and could pave the way toward a successful hiring experience down the road.
The rejection email can be as simple as this:
Hi [insert candidate’s name],
Thank you for applying for [insert company name]’s [insert job title] position. While we’ve chosen to move forward with other candidates at this time, we’re keeping your application on file in case your skills are a good match for a future position.
Thank you again for your time and interest.
[insert company signature]
Putting Recruiters in the Digital Driver’s Seat
As application volume continues to grow, cloud-based tools that integrate with existing HR platforms can empower recruiters to find, assess, and hire top talent faster. Many organizations have already committed to keeping remote work options in place indefinitely. This means recruiters will need to work harder to build relationships over long distances. Applicant tracking, candidate assessment, and automated communications technology can all work together to drive recruiting progress while also keeping every applicant in the loop on their status.
Small business owners considering a cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) solution should put recruiting and applicant tracking capabilities near the top of their functional requirements list. Comprehensive solutions will include tools to help you attract, retain, and manage talent. For example, Asure HR helps businesses create tailored job descriptions, customize application questions, create different versions of applications, post positions to job boards, view job applicants, and set up customized recruitment workflows.