Recruitment in a digital world

With more reliance than ever on digital technology, it comes as no surprise that it's an important way to recruit the very best employees for your business. But there's a right, and wrong, way to go about it.

Everyone knows that the single greatest asset that any company has is its employees; they are the very essence of the business itself. Hiring and retaining bad employees can have a hugely negative impact on important functions: driving down sales, impairing productivity and even causing loss of customers. Finding the right person from the start is crucial for success.

Trends today suggest that recruitment in the future will be conducted almost completely online and digital management of recruitment activities are fast becoming an essential function for any business leader. For example, initial interviews are less often conducted in person as they can be substituted for a video call, with face to face meetings arranged further down the track. Work samples can now be submitted instantaneously online. A resume is no longer confined to a piece of paper-it’s the entire online profile of an individual.  

And these days both parties have equal power and opportunity to thoroughly research each other, with job-seekers turning to sites such as Glassdoor to learn what current employees have to say about their job, the company’s culture, and the calibre of the leadership. In this sense, employers too, have a responsibility to ensure their own online information is current and presenting them in the best light. Maintaining a current business website and having a strong digital presence also helps give the right impression to potential employees researching the company. 

Employers will increase the odds that they are hiring the very best candidates by being proactive online. It is widely understood that the best employees in any field are likely going to be the ones who are already working - and the more specialized a position is, the more important this concept becomes. It makes sense then to utilise social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to identify who to seek out and invite to apply for an imminent role. After all, you never know who might be open to having a discussion and making a change if the right opportunity is offered.

So, what is the best way to weed through the oceans of digital information to locate these individuals in the first place? It’s simply not efficient to look at all the potential targets manually. The use of data analytic applications in this area is on the rise. Websites completely devoted to data analysis for recruitment are proliferating and becoming more sophisticated at an increasing rate. These will become the go-to service for potential employers in the foreseeable future. 

Since the majority of research can be done online and upfront, it pays to also realize that applicants will expect a fast and easy application process. Using the immediacy that is inherent to digital communication shows applicants that you know how to leverage technology to work in your favor. It will also show them that you are serious in your intentions to find the very best person from the very beginning, and that working efficiently - no matter what the task - is a priority. 

Sarah Pearce is a professional speaker, business coach and social strategist: author of Online Reputation: Your Most Valuable Asset in a Digital Age.