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article imageInterview: Helping recruiters engage with candidates Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 31, 2018 in Business
With 65 percent of Gen Z and Millennials communicating with others more digitally than in person, the use of new technology needs to be considered by recruiters in order to obtain the best talent.
The way that Gen Z and Millennials communicate and access technology is different from older generations. Something like a texting platform can assist companies to complete parts of the recruitment process. This includes some of the general screening processes in a fraction of the time that conventional methods take. This enables the candidate a response rate to be increased and it allows companies to work better within their schedules.
To understand more about such shifts in recruitment technology, Digital Journal spoke with Aman Brar, CEO of Canvas. Brar discusses how his company is helping recruiters and employers to engage with multiple candidates in a streamlined manner.
Digital Journal: What’s the current state of the recruitment sector?
Aman Brar: Recruiters are at a disadvantage in today’s hyper-connected society. There are several barriers that could impede talent acquisition this year, including a negative candidate experience, ineffective employment branding, ignoring the introverted candidate, and a lengthy to-do list.
In 2018, recruiters need to think more like marketers by promoting positions as a product to the workforce. By building an employment brand, job seekers get a better idea of what it will be like to work within the organization and how they will fit into the overall culture of the company.
DJ: How has new technology changed the way recruitment is undertaken?
Brar: Over the last century, the recruitment process evolved from window signs and in-person interviews, to online listings and phone interviews. While technological shifts have changed how people communicate, they have also created a more dynamic, ever-evolving business world. To keep up, recruiters must stay on the cutting edge and engage with talent in the most efficient ways possible.
The latest technology trend to positively impact recruits is the utilization of text messaging. By screening talent via text, a team of four recruiters can save 3,689 hours per year. A good recruiter can typically do about four to six phone screens a day, between scheduling and taking notes, while recruiters can do up to 10 times that amount with the Canvas platform. The average text screening takes just 4.4 minutes. Plus, you can have multiple conversations with candidates asynchronously.
DJ: Are there other benefits?
Brar: Other benefits of text-based interviews include removing the unconscious bias in interviewing; engaging introverts in a safe and comfortable setting; creating a better candidate experience; and Positioning the company as innovate and forward-thinking, setting them apart from competitors in the job market.
DJ: What techniques should recruitment services be adopting to attract Generation Z and Millennials?
Brar: While Millennials/Gen Z-ers are constantly on their cell phones, Snapchatting selfies, checking their Twitter feed, or posting to their Instagram story, they’re hitting “decline” as soon as the phone rings, even when a recruiter is on the line. Recruiters need to capture the attention of these job seekers by engaging with them on their turf.
According to a recent Yello survey, 86 percent of the 1,400 adults (ages 18-30) polled felt positively when recruiters or hiring managers used text messages during the interview period, a 7 percent increase from 2016. In addition, recent research from the KPCB 2016 Internet Trends Report states that only 12% of millennials and 29 percent of Gen Xers favor the phone for business communication.
DJ: So old methods will be less effective?
Brar: Picking up the phone and calling talent to screen them is unscalable and outdated. Aman Brar, CEO of Canvas, likens recruiting via text message to finding love on a dating app. Imagine in the world of dating, if you had to call everyone you were interested in dating as a first introduction? It doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t scale and it’s pretty uncomfortable for both of you. Sites like Tinder and have proven that starting a process purely via text could lead to your partner in life, so Aman thinks it could lead to your next project manager, sales associate or software engineer—and he’s been right!
DJ: How does this contrast to tracking down older generations?
Brar: While some may initially believe that older generations may be averse to being screened for a job via text, Canvas has found the opposite to be true. Parents communicate with their children via text. Grandparents communicate with their grandchildren via text. It’s a mode of communication that crosses all generations today.
According to Mobile Marketer, 60 percent of individuals over age 45 say they are just as likely to use texting as voice calling. In addition, Club Texting reports that 98 percent of people between ages 30 and 49 years old text, and 92 percent of those over age 50 text.
DJ: Which technique is likely to be the most successful?
Brar: Screening candidates via text message is the present and future of job interviews. Time is money for many recruiters as their pay is often contingent upon placing candidates quickly. Communicating with a candidate over text instead of the phone is more efficient, especially when trying to reach on-the-go candidates.
Take for example, San Francisco-based OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation service competing for top talent in one of the most competitive geographies. Instead of spending an excessive amount of time trying to reach top talent via a phone call, OpenTable is using Canvas to screen candidates.
Their recruiters love how text screening interviews drastically improve their productivity, enabling them to interview multiple people at a time – in multiple time zones. The nature of texting also makes it easier to create an emotional bond with the person being interviewed and showcases OpenTable’s innovative, forward-thinking culture. For candidates asking questions about the vibe of the workplace, the OpenTable recruiter simply films a quick video around the office on their phone and texts it to the candidate.
DJ: Which technology does Canvas use?
Brar: Candidates receive and answer questions from recruiters via standard text messages, while recruiters have the option to use the Canvas desktop or mobile app version—available on iOS and Android—to facilitate the interviews.
By integrating with leading applicant tracking systems (ATS), recruiters can add candidates to their Canvas chat screen based on contact records from their ATS. As conversations continue, chat transcripts are automatically generated with full details of the entire dialogue and are recorded in both Canvas and the ATS. Canvas can also update the ATS with additional candidate information. Canvas and the ATS work in partnership to capture necessary interview data.
DJ: Does this integrate with artificial intelligence?
Brar: In addition, recruiters can now utilize machine learning and natural language-based analytics to automatically suggest resource and response recommendations and more in the Canvas platform. These algorithms will also generate pre-built interview questions to increase candidate quality and reduce time to fill. These new features accelerate the screening process for recruiters, enabling them to connect with more candidates daily.
Canvas also offers a Google Chrome extension that allows users to pull contact information into the platform directly from their web browser. As recruiters come across candidates they’re interested in, they can quickly engage via Canvas to make a connection. The Chrome extension enhances the recruiter workflow, enabling them to reach candidates more quickly.
DJ: Which employers do you work with?
Brar: Companies have used the Canvas platform to screen and engage tens of thousands of candidates across a variety of industries and for positions ranging from machinists and welders to software engineers, sales professionals, physical therapists, nurses, pilots, and more. Canvas users span from startups to Fortune 500 companies located in Silicon Valley to the East Coast to France.
Companies have used Canvas to screen talent across all generations, across a variety of industries and for positions ranging from machinists and welders to software engineers, sales professionals, physical therapists, nurses, pilots, and more.
In specialized industries where there’s a high volume of applicants for each role, many companies are looking for a niche fit in terms of technical ability and interpersonal skillset to match company values. Completing that type of screening process can be very time consuming when trying to reach candidates on the phone.
DJ: Any specific examples?
Brar: Using Canvas has allowed Braden Business Systems, which offers a wide array of business solutions, to engage with multiple candidates in a convenient, streamlined, and user-friendly manner that’s beneficial to both the candidate and recruiter. The company can complete some of the general screening processes in a fraction of the time and allow the candidate a response rate that works best with their schedule.
More about Recruitment, Employment, Work, millennials, gen z
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