Recently we hosted a virtual conference, TalentSummit.io, to tackle the pressing issues of millennial engagement, the Gig Economy and its effect on team-building, and more. One of these discussed the experience of Molly Weaver, Talent Acquisition Director at Children's Mercy Hospital, and how she reverse engineered the way candidates interacted with the company to uncover overlooked talent.

A Mazelike Candidate Experience

It is essential for healthcare providers to fill open positions quickly and efficiently, so Molly knew something was wrong after noticing 30% of applicants left the job application before it was finished. A thorough examination Children's Mercy Hospital's application process revealed that:

  • The traditional application took over 30 minutes to complete, and applicants were required to create a personal profile before seeing relevant job openings. 
  • Once applicants were in the application portal, they were faced with industry-specific jargon that made it difficult to find applicable openings.
  • The application was not optimized for mobile- and 40% of job candidates conducted their job searches via smartphone last year. 

These are not issues specific to Children's Mercy, they are endemic to the candidate experience at many organizations.

What if Children's Mercy was missing out on the best caregivers for children who needed it most- all because of their complicated application process?

Introducing "Introduce Yourself"

So Molly had a novel idea. The traditional hiring pipeline follows a predictable path: candidates look for job openings, they submit an application with their resume, they attend two or more interviews, then are finally offered the position weeks or months after the process started. What if the first and second steps were flipped? Let candidates introduce themselves first via a quick video introduction. If they are deemed a good fit, they are directed to the appropriate application. This solves a couple problems prevalent in traditional job applications:

  • The hiring process is much more personal. The traditional job search leaves candidates feeling neglected. Too often resumes are sent into a virtual black hole and are never heard from again. But resumes do not portray personality, worldview, and specific experience- factors that are essential for fulfilling the requirements of a position. 
  • Employers can match candidates to jobs, not the other way around. Most job postings are full of industry-specific jargon, making them incredibly difficult for the average candidate to navigate. In their mission to acquire gainful employment, most candidates will apply to any position to which they are remotely qualified. The responsibility of trawling through job descriptions and prerequisite experiences falls to the job hunter. Not so with Molly's method. In each "Introduce Yourself" prompt, candidates are asked to reflect on their professional background and education, allowing recruiters to retroactively match them with positions that seem the best fit

But what about compliance? Molly explains that the requirements for internet applicants are threefold: the candidate must be applying for a specific job, they must be qualified for the job, and they must not remove themselves from consideration. "Introduce Yourself does not (meet the qualifications) because you are not applying for a specific job," she explains. Children's Mercy Hospital remains an affirmative action organization.

A Case Study: Spechelle Day

Pronounced "Special Day," Spechelle applied to Children's Mercy Hospital over fourteen times. Since the traditional job listings were laced with jargon and Children's Mercy-specific vernacular, Spechelle inadvertently applied for jobs with qualifications far exceeding her own.

In her "Introduce Yourself" video interview, Spechelle revealed that she wished to work at the front desk as a point of contact between patients and their families, a position hidden away under the title of "Access Representative." She has now been employed with Children's Mercy Hospital for over a year- and just received her second promotion.

Five Steps to Get Started Providing a Better Hiring Experience

Reflecting on her own success in hiring innovation, Molly identifies five steps to providing a better hiring experience:

  1. Don't wait. Around 54% of Glassdoor visits come from mobile devices, and it is estimated that the average person will own ten(!) smart devices by 2020. The sooner you can optimize your hiring experience for mobile the better.
  2. Meet candidates where they are. Use the form of media the candidate chooses, be it email, text, or social media message. Feed your social media machine: create content and publish material that engages potential new hires.
  3. Remove the black curtain around recruiters. Since they may be required to deliver bad news, recruiters are often afraid of engaging with candidates on a personal level. It is important to remove the curtain of anonymity and give potential new hires insight into the lives of their employment liaisons.
  4. Experiment. Use a variety of social media, and don't be afraid to jump on the bandwagon accompanying each. Many smaller social media platforms do not find great business success- but you may be able to find the perfect hire.
  5. Celebrate success. Molly celebrated the 100th hire through "Introduce Yourself" by taking each member hired this way for ice cream. You don't need to throw a gala event; small celebrations go a long way.

Molly's experience with "Introduce Yourself" is a striking representation of digital interviewing's potential. The traditional hiring pipeline is an arduous process for both applicants and talent acquisition specialists. Molly shows how digital interviewing software, combined with a little outside-the-box thinking, can do wonders for your organization's hiring process.

Want to learn more about the Introduce Yourself Program? Watch Molly Weaver's presentation here.

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