ARE YOU A DIGITAL TREND SETTER?A lot has happened in the world of Talent Acquisitions in the past few years.  With the widespread use of technology and social media, I’ve seen company after company scramble to find new ways to attract candidates.  It didn’t seem that long ago that company’s used newspaper advertisements.  Things quickly moved to electronic postings on CareerBuilder and Monster.  These days, companies are scrambling to get on the top of Google searches. 

With so much changing, I’ve noticed one constant in the work of Talent Acquisition; Companies are unwilling to step out there and set the trend.  I’ve read so many mission statements that say “we’re innovative” or “we provide a unique experience for our candidates.” In reality, organizations are only willing to step up to the plate when that new cutting edge technology is already a proven success.  It was less than 2 years ago that I attended a conference in New York.  One person after the next kept pulling me to the side to tell me their deep dark secret weapon that would boost them past all of the competition…”Hey, we’re on LinkedIn!”  I hated to inform all of these individuals that this secret weapon was also on the mind of every other person in that room. 

I write today to unveil the trend that every company should jump on.  While very well known, the age of digital interviewing has just begun.  Any organization willing to build their Talent Acquisition strategy around digital is going to benefit significantly, not just now, but for years to come.  Why hasn’t everyone jumped on this yet?  Like many other great innovations of the past, it takes time to evolve.  I attended an incredible event last week with an organization that focuses on putting our military heroes to work.  In that time, I was able to sit with 50 veterans who sat down and recorded their first ever digital interview.  Some found those interviews easy, and it was difficult for others.  I can imagine it was difficult for the first candidates who ever applied online or the first person who used an iPhone.  My takeaway wasn’t that each person had a different experience, but that each person was ready and willing to try and do it.  Candidates love it when companies offer new experiences and stay ahead of trends. Give them that chance!

My advice to companies looking to make digital interviewing a successful part of their recruiting process and culture is simple.  Put your brand and message out there for candidates to see.  Once you have done that, clearly communicate your expectations, calls to action, and follow-up to the candidate.  Do it in your own way, using your own words, and adhering to your own mission.  Several months ago I saw this done in less than 2 weeks.  My client recorded a video message that clearly defined what they were looking for, and excited and engaged their candidates.  The result was amazing.  The hiring goal was met and months later, qualified employees are part of a growing team and contributing to the success of the organization.

I mentioned before the benefits that setting digital interviewing trend will pay off for years.  I’m going to make the bold statement that just a few years from now, companies will be utilizing digital interviewing the same way they have posted their jobs online for years. 
What will the trend setter have that the others who jumped onboard late in the game don’t?  For one, the trendsetter will have thousands of digital profiles in their database to access whenever a job opens.  That database won’t just include job seekers, but also their own employees.  Most organizations would rather fill an open role by promoting from within.  The trend setting organization will keep a digital profile of their employees that a hiring manager can view the moment a position opens.  The trend setter will have also built and executed their talent community with specific branding and communication. 

I could write a short story about additional benefits but that in principle would go against the theme of my blog.  Go out and become the trend setter for digital interviewing.  Millions of eager candidates are out there to embrace an organization willing to give them a chance to demonstrate why he/she would be a great addition to your organization.  In the end, it’s about the candidates.  Engage them, share your message with them, give them the chance.  As I showed in the example above, they’re eager to learn about your company and work for you.  Set the digital interviewing trend, before those contacts at a convention whisper “I have a secret weapon – digital interviewing” to me a couple of years from now.

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