This post was first published in The Economic Times on 24th October 2017.
The Evolution of Recruiting Solutions
Come to think of it, HR and in particular talent acquisition as a function have clearly matured from what it traditionally was in the form of a cost centre to now a booming and often game changing, profit centre.
While in the 1990s, typically hiring meant laying out large scale advertisements in India’s major newspapers, followed by scores of resumes coming into offices by hand mail and often hiring cycle times took almost four to six months – simply because of process lags and inefficiencies in handling volumes of applicants. Classifieds took a major wallet share of employers city wise to get attention of job seekers and MBA students were often found encircling advertisements in classifieds and applying to dozens of them via hand mail.
While offline recruiting was still mainstream in India in the 1990s, in the United States, things started to change. In 1994, Robert J. McGovern began NetStart Inc. as software sold to companies for listing job openings on their websites and manage the incoming e-mails those listings generated. After an influx of two million dollars in investment capital he then transported this software to its own web address, at first listing the job openings from the companies who utilized the software. NetStart Inc. changed its name in 1998 to operate under the name of their software, CareerBuilder. Thus began the job board era which well went on to see giants in the form of HotJobs, Dice, Monster and India’s marquee player Naukri rule the roost and turn the tides of how recruiting was done.While the world adapted to job boards and welcomed the internet as a way of life, things around 2010 began to change. What started as Web 2.0 around the 2004 time frame, saw the rise of specific talent communities come to life. Google quietly launched Orkut on January 22, 2004 and in no time – Orkut was beaming into every teenagers computer. In came Myspace then quickly followed by Facebook in February 2004 and Twitter in March 2006. The world witnessed a new medium not just to interact and exchange thoughts and to be known as Mr. Somebody – but also to be discovered – which brought a smile to the recruiting community.
LinkedIn brought in the concept of professional networking along with players like Ryze and Xing and thus gave rise to a whole new way of recruiting. Skills like sourcing were formed and developed, reference checks came to life via mutual connections, staffing firms began mapping companies all the way from top to bottom and leaders began to be accessible to the world at large by showcasing their thought leadership and participating in online communities.
The Rise of Outbound Hiring
Late 2015 is where we see the next big shift happening in the recruiting world. Data says that humans spend 60% of their waking lives working. And for any two people to come together and collaborate on a project, work on a hobby, build company or a even a movement for that matter, they need to align beyond just tech skills. Their ideas, ethos, culture and vision should align. Essentially, they must belong. While tapping into passive candidates was the mantra earlier, today it’s really about using new age tech in the form of artificial intelligence, machine learning and applying the science of big data and multiple sources of data to recruit not just top performers, but people that belong at workplaces. According to Forbes, fostering the sense of belonging promotes success.
Today, the best candidates don’t apply. They discover new opportunities through personal and social networks, respond to companies that value them for more than their skills and expect personalized experiences, not transactional engagement. With no dearth of choices, the best candidates today are no different from your best customers. To capitalize on these megatrends, HR and business leaders will have to fundamentally re-evaluate their talent acquisition capabilities. This warrants the need for recruiters to move from the traditional inbound method of hiring to the future of recruiting - outbound hiring.
Outbound hiring fundamentally flips the inbound recruiting funnel. Instead of waiting for the best talent to wander in, outbound recruiters proactively engage the right people at the very start by using social talent data and predictive analytics. Businesses save hundreds of recruiting hours that are otherwise wasted on marketing, filtering and screening unqualified candidates. And because outbound hiring delivers a personalized candidate experience at every stage, recruiters and hiring managers see far higher engagement and join rates from candidates.
Unveiling The Hiring Maturity Quadrant
Forward thinking firms have already started to use outbound hiring solutions where discovery of top talent is completely automated and the use of predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning helps learn recruiting behavior from users and delivers better results day on day thanks to automation.
On the engagement side as well, outbound hiring trumps inbound, as engagement moves from static to personalized – where candidate delight is at the forefront of recruiting objectives. Every candidate receives super personalized communication that appeals to his / her career objectives and passions. The best part – all this is completely automated thanks to new age tech in the form of AI. Recruiters can thus focus their time and energy, where is matters most – understanding what the hiring manager needs and ensuring that candidates have a great time as part of the recruiting process.
Impact of Outbound Hiring
Savita Hortikar, India Head of Talent Acquisition at Thoughtworks recently mentioned that “Today’s technology makes outbound hiring the most intelligent and scientific way to scale recruiting”.
Suman Arunagiri, Head of Talent Acquisition India at Tavant Technologies along with recruiting team have not only been core custodians of outbound hiring but also have demonstrated the same with impact in metrics. Tavant was able to demonstrate 20% reduction in Time to Hire and 55% increase in candidate response rates by embracing outbound hiring.
As business needs get more complex in this VUCA world, hiring teams will have to beef up their recruiting play and use the hiring maturity quadrant to move in a planned manner to outbound hiring to ensure their recruiters remain competitive and have a proactive recruiting strategy. However, when it comes to choosing the right solution for your hiring needs, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of players in the market. That’s why at Belong, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of questions that every Talent Leader should ask when evaluating a hiring solution. Take a look at the same here.