The disruptive force of COVID-19 has been well and truly felt by employees around the world, with many countries experiencing surging unemployment. Meanwhile, organisations are facing extreme shifts in their talent management, with some sectors rapidly scaling up – like healthcare and other essential services – while many others have slammed on the brakes.
As markets in Asia Pacific begin to re-open, employers looking to recruit new people are likely to face high volumes of applications from a population stressed both personally and financially by the pandemic. In these circumstances, it’s more important than ever that candidates feel respected and cared for during the recruitment process.
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There’s a big opportunity here for organisations to bring the candidate experience to the forefront, including through the targeted use of technology. The pandemic will have a lasting impact on how we recruit and care for candidates – we believe it’s a chance to make positive change that’s good for both the organisation and the individuals it interacts with.
No more excuses
The most common complaint from candidates about their recruitment experience is lack of communication. Put simply: they put effort into their application and then they don’t hear back. With the development of technology, this complaint could realistically disappear.
Technology – and particularly chatbots – play a key role in being able to create an efficient candidate experience. Chatbots are the key to managing high volume recruitment, while maintaining a conversation and high-touch experience for candidates. Their 24/7 availability offers a response rate that humans simply can’t replicate and they can help schedule candidates, answer basic role-related FAQs and shepherd candidates through the recruitment process so that individuals always know where they stand and how to find out more.
This isn’t to say chatbots are a silver bullet. As Korn Ferry RPO’s managing director of APAC solutions, Pip Eastman recently discussed on the HRO Today Educational Podcast Series, it’s not just the volume of communication that’s important, but the content of that communication.
Communication enabled by technology needs to span the entire recruitment experience, starting with the job ad placement and continuing through to onboarding. This means communication strategies need to consider the time before a candidate has an individual touchpoint with your organisation. Once candidates begin that individual contact with your organisation, there needs to be clear communication, assisted by technology that covers:
- The specific opportunity and what the job is.
- Information about your organisation, including culture and benefits
The bigger picture
While chatbots and technology offer micro benefits for each individual, they also offer macro benefits for the organisation.
More and better integrated technology means more agility for organisations to scale their recruitment processes up and down. While this was once a nice to have, the pandemic has revealed that it’s a necessity, not just to deal with coronavirus, but whatever the next challenge is that comes along.
Well designed and deployed technology can also help reduce conscious and unconscious bias in recruiting processes. Through stripping out demographic characteristics in the early stages, tech can help ensure that organisations are accessing the widest pools of talent.
By liberating talent acquisition professionals from the heavy volume of repetitive sourcing work, organisations will be able to activate a new source of value-adding work. Instead of scheduling and handling enquiries, these employees can focus on providing hiring managers with valuable insights into the talent market, talent supply, pay trends and more.
Both these micro and macro benefits build on the increasing focus – accelerated by the pandemic – on connecting with individuals inside and outside of the organisations and ensuring their wellbeing. The pandemic has been bad for the present employment market, but through making targeted changes it can be good for the future.
Hear more from Pip Eastman on the HRO Today podcast: