2017 is not a bad time to be looking for a new career opportunity. Thanks to a stable economy and some of the lowest unemployment rates of the last 16 years, we’re clearly in a job seeker’s market. But this puts added pressure on employers, with more than two-thirds of HR leaders confronting talent acquisition challenges in today’s recruitment environment, according to Society for Human Resource Management research.
Part of the problem could be the sheer time and resources required to locate the right candidates. According to some accounts, employers spend almost two months and $4,000 to fill one open position.
Given these growing figures, West UC recently surveyed 700 full-time employees to understand how (or if) digital technology is reshaping the hiring experience for candidates and employers. Our new report, Technology Yet to Transform the Hiring Process, reveals that most recruitment tactics still emphasize face-to- face interaction. We found that only 23 percent of job seekers have ever participated in a video interview, and 78 percent went through fully in-person onboarding procedures once hired.
For many hiring teams, this lack of technology provides an untapped opportunity to enhance and expedite recruitment.
How Virtual Technology Can Accelerate Hiring
Video conferencing tools, audio conferencing solutions and other virtual collaboration technology are already enterprise fixtures for helping employees be more productive. The same platforms have tremendous potential for simplifying the recruitment cycle – but few employers have taken steps to embrace them.
Consider two of the main benefits employers (and job seekers) stand to gain from enabling tech-driven hiring:
1. Video Interviewing Puts Your Organization in Front of Qualified Candidates Quicker
Our survey found that only 35 percent of professionals have landed a new job without having an in-person interview. This suggests that hiring managers and executives still place significant value on establishing not just face-to- face, but in-person rapport with candidates.
That said, limiting hiring to in-person interviews adds even more time and decision- making onto an already protracted process. By making video interviews a standard option, employers cast a wider net (geographically speaking) and get their name in front of more qualified people in a shorter period of time. Hilton, for instance, minimized its hiring cycle from six weeks to five days after incorporating video interviews. With video, hiring managers can also efficiently assess talent outside their immediate location without incurring travel expenses or excessive down time.
2. Virtual Onboarding Means New Recruits Can Get to Work Sooner
Hiring isn’t the only time- consuming part of recruitment. According to 66 percent of survey respondents, onboarding takes at least one full workday to complete – likely because most of it happens in-person. That said, 52 percent of employees who went through completely virtual onboarding say the process took one workday or less.
Employers should note, however, that simply shifting current onboarding tasks into virtual environments doesn’t guarantee efficiency gains. To ensure virtual onboarding is effective, HR teams should look for enterprise-grade solutions that make tasks more interactive and digestible (rather than creating a basic online version of your new hire manual). It’s also important to optimize digital onboarding steps – be they training videos or quizzes – for the devices employees prefer, not just desktops and laptops.
Employers’ hiring challenges are not likely to let up anytime soon. And as the nature of work itself becomes more digital, recruitment strategies will have to evolve accordingly. Introducing the right technology into the talent acquisition lifecycle connects job seekers and employers faster – a win-win for everyone involved.
For a closer look at businesses’ current hiring practices and opportunities for improvement, check out our full report: