Whether you’re using it to assess candidates or speed up your hiring, technology is becoming an ever more important part of the recruitment process. But with the market changing quickly, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options. This article gives you a summary of the must-have recruitment technology as well as some of the innovative options you can consider if you want to be at the forefront of the industry.
A high quality Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is a must-have for any good internal recruitment set-up – it will allow you to store, organise and track candidates’ applications to job openings. They come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a number of key requirements:
At a basic level your chosen ATS must have the ability to:
- Advertise roles directly onto job boards and collate the applications to make them easy to review.
- Adapt to your workflow so that you can track applications through the full assessment process. N.B. if you use different processes for different roles make sure that your ATS can adapt to all of your workflows.
- Automate manual tasks such as scheduling and sending personalised emails at different stages of the process. An ATS with a high level of automation will speed up the hiring process and allow for a more candidate centred approach.
- Provide key reports including pipeline conversion, source analysis, diversity metrics, time to hire and cost of hire.
At Instant Impact we recommend JazzHR as the best value for money, off the shelf, ATS provider – it’s very user friendly and fulfils all of the above criteria. However, there are lots of other providers out there that we recommend including Breezy, Workable and Greenhouse.
Diversity is a key focus at Instant Impact and for lots of in-house recruitment functions. Whilst most ATSs, including those mentioned above, have the ability to provide basic diversity reporting, very few of them enable a blind recruitment process which is a key part of our methodology for removing bias from an assessment process – find out more on diversity centric recruitment.
If you’re looking for a truly diversity centric approach to recruitment, we recommend Applied – our diversity led recruitment technology partner. Their system enables:
- Anonymisation of all candidates;
- Removal of CVs and replacement with work sample tests and other more predictive forms of assessment; and,
- Detailed reporting on all diversity metrics throughout the assessment process.
We’re Applied’s preferred implementation partner so if you’d like to find out more about how it could work for your business get in touch.
Once you reach 1,000s of employees you’re likely to need a more integrated ATS system as part of your overall HRIS infrastructure. You will need more sophisticated vacancy approval processes and to combine your recruitment results with employee performance for rich data analysis. There are lots of options on the market such as Workday, Oracle, SAP, Cornerstone and PageUp.
At this size, you will also want to make sure that you have the ability to run high quality, high volume and automated candidate nurturing campaigns. Good standalone providers of that functionality include Beamery although you should still be able to Talent Pipeline on more cost effective ATS systems.
Working remotely has forced companies to use technology as part of their assessment process but it has been an established market for a number of years.
There are two types of video interviews to consider:
1/ Live Video Interviews:
Used to effectively recreate a face to face interview virtually, with interviewers and candidates both joining. For these we would suggest using your company’s preferred video conferencing platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.). You could also explore whether your ATS has a good integration with a recruitment specific provider that would deliver you efficiency benefits that are worth the additional cost.
2/ One Way Video Interviews:
Here you upload set interview questions and the candidates record their answers within set time constraints for you to review at your leisure. We have previously used this function on Sparkhire for high volume recruitment although there are lots of other very similar providers.
- Less time consuming than live interviews for high volume roles;
- Allows you to compare candidate answers to specific questions more easily; and,
- Reduces administrative interview organisation.
- If you are recruiting for lots of different roles you can end up spending a lot of time having to tweak and change the questions asked;
- Being pre-recorded you can’t probe into candidates’ answers; and,
- A less personal candidate experience than having an interviewer to interact with
Candidate testing outside of interviews has developed significantly in the last couple of years. There are four main types of testing to consider:
1/ Aptitude Testing
Aptitude Testing has been a very popular form of assessment for decades with companies like SHL and Thomas International being two of the most well-established providers of Numerical and Verbal Reasoning tests. More recently lots of other providers and tests have come onto the market. For example Codescreen assesses candidates’ ability across a large number of coding languages.
- Clear pass/fail tests, easy to understand and therefore useful for narrowing down out of large pools of candidates; and,
- Can be a great way to directly test skills.
- Little room for interpretation; and,
- Completing tests can be a learnable skill; therefore you may end up hiring the candidate who has done the most practice hours rather than the naturally strongest performer.
Ultimately, we would only recommend using aptitude tests where you are confident that the skills you are testing are truly relevant for the role you are hiring for. If there’s nothing on the market that meets your needs you can always create your own tests to ensure you’re assessing the exact skills that you need. If you do use aptitude tests you will also need ongoing monitoring to ensure that there’s no adverse impact on diversity.
2/ Psychometric Assessment
Psychometric Assessments seek to provide a non-role specific overview of candidates’ working preferences. You can use them in the recruitment process to determine whether someone would be well suited to a role or your culture. Examples of these tests include The DiSC Behaviour Inventory and The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
- Take a long-term view – they can help you to find candidates who are a naturally good fit for the position and are therefore worth investing in
- Can be a positive candidate experience as results are usually shared instantaneously with them, if they are unsuccessful it gives them a clear framework for why and potentially some food for thought for redirection.
- Often don’t provide a clear yes or no answer but more information to interpret, this means that for large amounts of applicants they are not as efficient for shortlisting as other test types.
- Open to human error, the success of using psychometric assessments can be based on the accuracy of hiring managers' views on what they are looking for within them – Hiring Managers are likely to need training with some assessments requiring a formal business psychology qualification to interpret.
If you’re interested in Psychometric Assessments, we’d suggest using them in the late stages of an assessment process and discussing them with candidates to see how self-aware they are rather than using them as an early stage filter.
3/ Gamified Testing
One of the largest technological innovations in recruitment has come in the form of gamified testing. Arctic Shores, Hire Vue and Pymetrics are leading providers. Candidates will play through a game based assessment which seeks to identify their behaviours and cognitive abilities, it will then produce a “fit score” for the individual candidate based upon data from your company gathered in the implementation stage.
- Provides a clear yes/no framework for screening candidates which can be very efficient for large scale recruitment
- It is more holistic than traditional aptitude tests and can’t be “learnt” by candidates
- Provides a superior candidate experience of playing through a game rather than sitting a test.
- Designed for large scale recruitment of similar role types, if you are recruiting a diverse range of roles needing different skill sets it will be very hard to use a “fit score” to accurately assess.
- Requires you to have a history of hiring for the position and a good amount of people in the roles (or progressed on from the roles) in order to gather the data needed to build a “fit score”.
- If you are a smaller business or hiring a type of role for the first time the data set you provide may well be insufficient to provide meaningful matching of candidates
- There is some disagreement between HR and psychology professionals over how accurate these tests are
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A buzzword in many industries, new AI technology is also starting to impact the recruitment landscape. AI has the potential to streamline processes through automation and has many different use cases:
- AI Sourcing - using AI to search databases and identify candidates e.g. Seekout
- AI CV Screening/Application Screening - this can often be integrated into your ATS and allows AI to pass/fail CV’s and applications e.g. Pymetrics
- AI Recruiter Chatbots - provide instant questions, feedback and next step suggestions e.g. Talkpush
- Digitised Interviews - AI analyses answers, word choice, facial expressions and speech patterns to determine whether they pass/fail - e.g. HireVue
- If implemented correctly it can be massively time saving
- Standardising of the screening process
- Can be beneficial from a diversity perspective eliminating human bias from the process
- Requires a lot of upfront data to set up so if recruitment isn’t large scale it’s very unlikely to work
- All inputting of data and rules has to be accurate and any human error in that stage can lead to potentially disastrous consequences.
- Using AI can lead to unintended results, whilst it doesn’t have human bias it does learn to make assumptions based on results, therefore it can learn bias itself which can be damaging to candidate diversity or simply seeing candidates with alternative experience
Unless you’re recruiting at high volume, we’d advise you to steer clear of AI until it develops further. If you do decide to use it, make sure to proceed with caution and check for adverse impact at every stage of the process.
Start by considering who you are trying to hire and the skills that you’re looking to assess then use a combination of technology and recruitment best practice to deliver the high quality hires that you need. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how technology could be used to improve your recruitment process.