By James Bull, UK Country Manager at Starred
It’s fair to say that recruiters haven’t always enjoyed the best reputation with jobseekers. Many will be familiar with some of the more aggressive techniques that recruiters have been known to use: sending irrelevant job vacancies via LinkedIn or shooting out unhelpful generic emails for example. None of this has helped to endear recruitment agencies to candidates.
Of course, not all recruiters are guilty of these tactics. There are plenty of agencies out there taking a smarter approach. But many still don’t, and the wider industry is arguably being tarnished as a result. Recent research found recruiters are among the least trusted professionals in the UK. Another study found only 38% of UK jobseekers now consider recruitment agencies to be the best option for finding a job.
So how can recruiters rebuild trust with candidates and maintain their relevance? Two things will be critical. Firstly, recruiters are going to have to understand candidates on a far deeper and more meaningful level. Secondly, they’re going to need to give candidates a much stronger voice in the process. Thankfully, technologies and tools are emerging that can help recruiters to do both.
Learn through data
Data analytics is having a transformative impact on most industries. As a result, people have come to expect ultra-relevant services delivered to them in the exact moment that they’re needed. Some brands’ use of data and tech is so advanced that they can predict what a consumer wants and needs before they know it themselves.
But despite the pace of progress in other sectors, many recruiters have yet to fully embrace the benefits of these innovations. This will increasingly put them at a disadvantage. After all, candidates are consumers too, and they will increasingly expect recruiters to offer a relevant and personalised service. With so much candidate data now available to enhance talent detection and screening, recruiters have no excuse to not do this.
AI tools are already available that can analyse not just online CVs, but a candidate’s broader online data too, including their social media activities, in order to gauge whether they are suitable for a role or not. This data-led approach allows recruiters to ensure that they’re targeting the right people and not wasting a candidate’s time.
The data that recruiters glean from this process could also help them to better understand the content candidates will respond best to. This insight can then be used to enhance how they reach out to talent and maintain their interest throughout the experience.
Listen to candidates
Another method a recruiter can use to improve its relationship with candidates is to build feedback into the experience.
Candidates can sometimes feel like they are not much more than a number and that they are only being used by a recruiter to hit a quota. By reaching out for feedback and input, not constantly but strategically, candidates are given a voice and the recruitment journey becomes more engaging and personalised.
Feedback helps to generate rich insights on how a recruiter can continuously improve the candidate experience in order to get the best results for current and future campaigns. It also gives candidates an outlet for their thoughts, both positive and negative, on the experience. It’s far better for this feedback to come directly to the recruiter than in a potentially damaging comment or review on Glassdoor.
The advent of personalised, hyper-relevant services has radically changed the expectations of jobseekers. The old spray and pray method of finding talent is increasingly out of step in this data and insight-driven world.
Tools like data analytics and candidate feedback are going to be increasingly important if recruiters are to maintain their privileged positions in the labour market and build a closer relationship with the candidates they so rely on.