Different industries go through periods of transformation every few years, and talent acquisition is on a trajectory for rapid change. Today’s AI-enabled tools are set to fundamentally reengineer how we hire, similar to the ATS in the late 90s.
One of the main drivers of these tools’ adoption is the constantly shifting expectations of candidates. In the 90s, you didn’t need a career site. In the 2000s, you did. By 2012, if that site wasn’t optimized for mobile, you were in trouble.
Giving candidates a consistently great experience requires a forward-looking mindset. When it comes to how we treat our candidates in the future, artificial intelligence is poised to lead the way.
At Cerner, we build technology that empowers more than 27,000 hospitals, care centers, and healthcare facilities to run their institutions. How we hire has a direct impact on our ability to innovate, and candidate experience is a major differentiator when we go out to recruit talent. For the past two years, Cerner has been named one of Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Interview.”
How To Think About New Technologies
It’s critical to develop a baseline understanding of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. If you know what can be possible with emerging technologies - even if that functionality isn’t available on the market yet - you can develop strategies around how to use them. When they finally hit the market, you can jump on them.
But AI or not, candidates are the ones driving this process going forward. These are three areas to consider as you keep an eye toward the future.
1) AI as a Candidate Chaperone
Now that candidates are effectively consumers we need to provide them tools to serve their needs. The appetite we all have for immediate answers is coming in the way of chatbots that can connect candidates to the right opportunities.
This goes beyond answering key phrases. It gives the candidate direction based on their experience (either from their resume or from the conversation with the bot), and helps them navigate what is often an indecipherable list of job titles. For the candidate it provides direct access to information and finally answers the question: “Where do I fit in your organization?”
Your company also benefits: you have a better way to engage the increasing volume of interested applicants. I think this is just the first wave of candidate-technology engagements to reengineer how we engage with candidates. We are probably not too far away from starting the job search from our couches with the phrase: “Hey Alexa.”
2) Technology for Candidate and Hiring Manager Convenience
Once you have them to the right process the next step is evaluating their abilities.
Since most candidates are employed in today’s tight job market, it can be very difficult to sync schedules. You can give candidates a better experience and increase hiring efficiency by letting them complete parts of the hiring process on their terms.
Take technical recruiting. As a healthcare IT company, software engineers play a big role in our ability to deliver innovative products.
Previously, we screened every engineering candidate with a live whiteboarding interview. Candidates would be given a problem by our engineering team and show how they would solve the problem on a whiteboard. The goal with a whiteboarding interview isn’t so much to see them write a functioning piece of code as it is to see a candidate’s thought process. While a great way to see a how a candidate processes data, this meant every reasonably qualified candidate needed to be flown in.
We’ve since leveraged HireVue to replicate this screening step in a way that gives candidates the same interview coding experience on their terms. Qualified candidates complete several coding challenges; after each challenge, they explain their thought process and approach to solving the challenge via recorded video interview.
Since this entire process is asynchronous, we can consider more candidates and accelerate how quickly we recruit developers. We’ve also delivered hundreds of hours back to our engineering team and greatly decreased travel costs, since we only need to fly in the best for in-person interviews.
3) AI to Screen and Drive Candidate Flow
ATS’s have clearly advanced our industry, and over time the candidate changed. It is now easier than ever to apply to a position; no more filling out long forms.
With mobile applications, resumes stored in the cloud, and easy access to information about employers, candidates have turned into consumers. It’s easier than ever to apply on a whim. This has led to an increase in applications for many companies; recruiters are now spending a majority of their time reviewing incoming applications to find the best ones.
Ironically, the increase in applications is a barrier for recruiters to do what they really want: create strong relationships with their candidates to help put them in a new position where they will be successful.
Capabilities are being developed to drive the flow of candidates to ensure the recruiter is spending their time where they really want: with the candidate. The systems will be able to learn the measures for success and in turn refocus time normally spent on reviewing applications.
If we can harness the power of assisted intelligence we can leverage technology to sift through applicants and sourcing channels to then connect recruiters with the best candidates, so they can spend their time building relationships.
These are just a few examples of changes that will soon impact our industry, I am confident there are many more being developed. Our ability to rapidly absorb the possibilities while being open to the change how we deliver hiring needs may be the difference in winning or losing the talent war.
About the Author:
As the Director of Recruiting, Troy Teague focuses on talent acquisition for US, Europe, and India by developing strategies to identify and attract the best talent for Cerner’s human capital needs. Troy makes an impact on Cerner by ensuring we have the right talent to execute for our clients. He leads in the areas of recruitment, recruitment systems, reporting, recruitment marketing, veteran initiatives, and diversity outreach. Find him on LinkedIn.