Recruitment Questions and Answers

Yesterday I had the privilege of hosting an online recruiting roundtable with recruitment experts Katrina Collier, Mark Lundgren, and Paul Sterk. During this webinar, we fielded a series of questions about recruiting trends, best practices, and how recruiters can change the way they are working. Here are three key take-aways:


Artificial intelligence and new privacy laws are never-ending hot topics in the recruiting space. When it comes to AI the panelists believe that it is going to play a big role in 2018, but Mark Lundgren pointed out that it probably won’t be as far along as we might think. At least for next year we can expect to see AI help to automate processes and gather information, but a lot of work will still be done by humans.

While AI will be saving people from doing some work, GDPR will likely be creating more work for recruiters. However, amidst this extra workload, our panelists did see an opportunity – the new privacy laws will 1) force organizations to have clearer processes with how they recruit people and then manage their data and 2) create the opportunity to use process and data transparency as a way of strengthening the employer brand. By making the effort to be extra transparent companies can help differentiate themselves from employers who are not transparent. This won’t be relevent to every candidate, but it will be hugely important to some.

Personalization Makes the (Recruiting) World Go ‘Round

If you’ve ever heard Katrina Collier speak you know that the main point she hammers on over and over again is to be human. Too many recruiters are still relying on spam and templates to communicate with candidates. This makes the entire process feel intensely impersonal, which in turn results in low response rates. Even in situations where recruiters are writing emails, they tend to be robotic in their approach, simply telling candidates they might be a good fit for X job and that they should talk. Such an approach simply doesn’t feel human, and in turn leaves candidates disinclined to respond.

Being human and personalizing things, on the other hand, may take more time, but it delivers better response rates and more engaged candidates. There are a few simple ways to make this work:

Search for and communicate with people outside of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great source, but its only one source. Furthermore, a lot of people aren’t very active on LinkedIn, but are on other networks. Finding people on other networks can help you get to know them better and have more things to consider in personalizing the messages you send them. At Talentsoft, for instance, our team looked beyond LinkedIn and found a candidate who wrote poetry. One of our recruiters then sent a recruiting email in the form of poetry – and it worked! Why? Because it was human.

Shameless plug: Hello Talent’s Social Finder tool can help you to automatically aggregate candidate social media profiles, which in turn will help you personalize your approach. Create your free account and try it today!

Design Job Descriptions to Show What the Job is Really Like

By writing job descriptions in a way that effectively communicated both the fun as well as the challenging part of a job you can manage expectations as well as encourage the wrong types of candidates to self-select out of the process. If people can see what a job is really like, including the less positive side of things, and have an idea about what types of personalities are most likely to succeed, this will have a large impact on their level of interest. In the long run this saves time because only people who have the right mindset will apply.

Post-Rejection Feedback is Great for Your Brand

While time and resource restrictions can make this difficult, giving personal feedback to candidates you reject can drastically change the quality of the candidate experience. Rejection is never fun, but if you make it a learning experience candidates are more likely to retain a positive image of the company. In turn this increases the chances that they will apply for other jobs they are better qualified for, and they may even encourage other people to apply.

Personalization almost always takes more time and effort, but it leads to better results. One can spray and pray to 1,000 candidates and get 100 replies, or one can craft 200 personalized messages (with the help of technology) and get 100 replies. Both approaches might take an equal amount of time, but personalization provides a better experience, which in turn helps to foster a positive image for the recruiter and the organization.

Videos Work Even Better than You Think

Video recruiting is a subject that has been hyped for quite a while now but hasn’t quite broken into the mainstream. There are two types that will become more key in the future though:

Pre-Recorded Video Interviews

This is already standard in some companies, but pre-recorded interviews provide a way for candidates to share their personalities more clearly, while also saving recruiters time from having to do as many in-person interviews. There is a potential downside though – unconscious bias. If your organization has diversity goals, video interviewing can hurt as much as it helps. Paul Sterk pointed out that in a video interview, just as in a real interview, we’re more likely to favor people who look, talk, and think like us. So while video interviewing can help, we need to use the tools wisely.

Video Messaging Works Wonders

Mark Lundgren is a big fan of using Facebook to recruit, and one of the things he’s enjoyed is the ability to record and send videos directly to candidates. Using videos instead of text can result in a lot more responses. Mark shared how after advising a recruiter to try this the team was able to go from a 30% to a 70% response rate. 

Another great thing about video messaging is that you can easily ask hiring managers and other colleagues to help record the messages. Having potential future colleagues contact a candidate in such a personal way can be quite effective because it provides an immediate view into what its like to work with that person or team. This might not work with every candidate of course, but the personalization it provides can make quite the difference.

These are just a few of the great insights provided during the webinar. If you missed it you can watch the replay here!