2 min read
Automation is coming to recruitment. As we enter this new age, it’s important for recruiting teams to embrace these new tools in order to keep up with the times. Those that don’t embrace automation will fall behind and candidates will notice. Thankfully, most recruiters have seen the light. According to one 2019 study, over 80% of recruiters agree that recruitment automation software can help increase their productivity. And the most successful talent organizations see automation as a core component of their recruitment strategy. Though some may think that it may be hard to see how automation and candidate engagement can coexist, there is a way to ensure the right balance. It starts by looking for aspects of your workflow where a machine can replace a human. Then its a matter of finding and selecting the right platforms to make that automation a reality. The question surrounding recruiting automation is no longer “should we?” but rather “how do we?” With 75% of recruiters indicating that technology will play a larger role in their companies hiring process in 2019 and 22% increasing their spend on recruiting automation, it’s absolutely critical that these talent teams get the “how” piece right. ~Entelo With that in mind, here are five ways to better engage candidates with automation. Set their expectations. More information about your company’s recruiting process is needed for your website and on the ‘Thank You for Applying‘ autoresponder. Tell candidates what they can expect to happen next. Spell out your entire hiring process for them so they can be at ease after applying. Doing so will also prevent questions later down the funnel. Insurance giant GEICO does this well (example). There’s no reason you couldn’t replicate something similar and deliver it to job seekers in an automated message. Talk to them through chatbots. Having a chatbot that can answer basic FAQs about your company, culture and process is a no brainer these days. It acts as a virtual recruiter saving your humans valuable time instead of having to respond to individual emails. Keep them updated. Most modern ATS (applicant tracking systems) allow for automated emails to be sent as recruiters change the candidate status. Be sure your workflow is set up to trigger these alerts so you can keep candidates in the loop about their application. Nothing frustrates a job seeker more than NOT knowing where they stand. Automated alerts can aleve some of that pain. If your ATS doesn’t have automatic triggers give our friends at Greenhouse or SmartRecruiters a call. Let them self-schedule. The scheduling of phone screens and interviews is ripe for automation especially on the high volume side of recruiting. Home Depot allows candidates to self-schedule interviews with their store hiring teams once they pass the online screening. Tools like Calendly can be used on an individual basis to let candidates pick a time slot that works for them. Stay on their radar. Lastly use automation to stay in touch with candidates with important company news, job alerts and more. For instance in the email tool Mailchimp, you can create automated newsletters using RSS feeds. If you blog, you can automatically send out a newsletter at a scheduled day/time each time you post a piece of content. Just set it and forget it once its in place. What is recruitment automation? Recruiting automation is where the candidate experience is headed. It is going to free up immense amounts of time for your recruiters so they can return to the more valuable parts of their day—connecting 1 on 1 with candidates and holding meaningful conversations with them. Automation is already part of today’s workflow via tools like the ATS and HRIS system that provide self guided funnels into the apply process or employee experience. So get them involved to help you map out your automation strategy. Ask your vendors how they specifically automate certain functions. Devise a rollout plan with milestones, and work closely with your team to identify specific needs by walking through your hiring process step by step. If you lay the groundwork upfront your recruiters will see firsthand the benefits of recruitment automation software for getting candidates in the door faster.Continue reading
2 min read
It’s an exciting time to be running a texting platform for businesses. We’re learning a lot and and supremely passionate about what we do. Though text recruiting still has inroads to make in corporate America we are glad to be along for the ride. Our customers teach us new things almost everyday. One of the early learnings we’ve picked up is how some of our customers began using our tool to send internal communications. By simply uploading a list of employee phone numbers your HR team can reach nearly every employee in an instant. It’s great to see how our user base finds new ways to make texting a primary part of their day to day activities. So with that in mind, let’s explore all the ways you can use SMS to foster a more engaging internal human resources communications strategy. Onboarding New Employees: Texting offers you a simple effective way to remind your new hire where to go on their first day of work as well as links to important information. Mass Notifications: Having a snow day? Want to remind employees of the upcoming holiday schedule? Notify your workforce about schedule changes, closings and more. Open Enrollment: Every fall you need to communicate the latest options and enrollment forms for their healthcare. Text messages offer a much faster way at ensuring everyone is prepared. Employee Feedback: Send survey links by text to get a better completion rate. You will get more responses if you use SMS instead of email. Motivation: Keep your team motivated with exciting company news or perhaps by giving 1 to 1 shoutouts to personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty. Let them know they are appreciated. Payroll & Timesheets: Remind hourly workers about payroll changes and timesheets that are due. Avoid delays by automating payroll reminders before pay periods! PTO information as well. Training Classes: Having an upcoming lunch and learn? Or perhaps you are sending your team to a new training class? Remind them of the details for their learning and development. Performance Reviews: Annual performance review reminders are perfect for SMS. Let your employees know when they are happening so they can be prepared. Leadership Messages: Most companies send out important CEO messages via email but again your open rates for these messages will not match what text can provide. Emails can get lost in the shuffle of everyday work making deadlines more difficult to meet or getting workers to show up. Meetings are time intensive and interruptive. Texts cut through that clutter. The ideas above can and should be a part of your text messaging strategy this year and beyond. Just be sure not to over do it, there is such a thing as too many texts. Book a demo today and learn more about getting started with text messaging for your business.Continue reading
2 min read
When it comes to the apply by text application process, candidates are often still faced with the fact they’ll be redirected to a web page to continue. This usually presents problems in that each ATS handles applying differently, sometimes requiring the candidate to register first or worse, being forced into a long form which would take forever to complete on mobile. As the web moves to a ‘mobile first’ environment so too must recruiting software vendors if they want to convert that traffic into applications. Programmatic job platform Appcast says that 55% of all clicks to jobs they tracked in 2018 came from a mobile device. Therefore if you want more mobile job applications as an employer, it will greatly benefit you to streamline your apply by text and mobile apply experiences. You could allow people to apply by text using an AI recruiting chatbot, but only if you didn’t require a resume. Grabbing their name, contact info and answering a few questions is easy over SMS but they still won’t be able to upload a document. That requires a web browser. In my opinion, one of the best ways to handle the mobile job apply is to keep the number of required fields limited, provide a cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, LinkedIn etc) resume upload option and remove the register to apply function. Combined, those steps make an effective apply by text process achievable for most employers. One simple hack to do that (without an ATS) is to leverage a simple Google Forms page for your text or mobile apply process. Part of the Google Drive product set, Google Forms feature easy to build web based forms that any business can use to collect information. Importantly, all Google Forms are mobile friendly out of the box, so they will look good and be easy to use on your candidates’ screens. Google offers a number of prebuilt forms that anyone can use for conducting surveys or collecting job applications. All the data collected is stored online and you can export it as well as be alerted by email that someone has completed the form. Below is a sample job description form I set up. The page is customizable in terms of colors and cover image. The upload resume function can be implemented via Google Drive. This type of hack is great for an SMB owner who doesn’t have an applicant tracking system of their own. But, it can also work for large employers that want an elegant apply by text application form, but need to work around the constraints of their enterprise ATS to get it. For those SMBs looking for a mobile friendly apply ATS out of the box, consider vendors like Greenhouse (an Emissary partner) which provides a simple job application form directly on the bottom of each job description, thus eliminating the need to even click the Apply button to get started. Emissary & Greenhouse offer a powerful way to improve your own text to apply experience.Continue reading
3 min read
Candidate Engagement has become a big concern for employers during the past year. All kinds of new studies are pointing to a disconnect between the candidate experience and what most companies can deliver. Why does that make candidate experience so important? Because it can be a critical advantage (or disadvantage) vs. your competitors! For example, a lack of information about pay and benefits (50%) and interview schedule changes (50%) are the two biggest causes of frustration during the interview process according to recent research from Glassdoor. Companies who get candidate engagement realize that it can differentiate them in a tight labor market. How you make job seekers feel during the hiring process can make or break their perspective on coming to work for you. Among the most common candidate engagement problems reported by candidates include; A long or cumbersome apply process (especially on mobile) Lack of status updates regarding their application Job descriptions that don’t tell the whole story Long hiring process (too many interviews, drawn out process) Lack of feedback and communication with recruiter Not rejecting them in a timely manner With that in mind, here are several ways to make that experience more inviting to prospective candidates. Streamline Your Apply Process Look for ways to reduce the amount of fields in your online application form. Consider moving to a new ATS if your current one isn’t job seeker friendly. Vendors like Greenhouse actually let you put a short apply form right at the bottom of each job description which cuts down on clicks and improves applicant conversion rates. Set Their Expectations Candidates want to know what your process is like before they apply. So tell them! Publish it on a page on your career site like what GEICO does here. They break down the entire process in several steps that detail what the candidate will experience. Content like this is easy to create for any HR team. In addition be sure your recruiters explain it during the initial phone screen to reiterate what they may have seen online. Personalize the Experience Whenever possible make your career site more personalized. Technology now exists to show different content to different candidates based on their job preferences. Tailor that experience to them and they will be more likely to apply. Things like auto suggest when performing a keyword search or detecting their location via the web browser is a simple tactic now offered by many modern applicant tracking systems. Also be sure to personalize all email communications with their first name. You can personalize the interview too. One company we know about asks candidates what type of soft drink they prefer to drink and have it ready for the on site visit. That is a simple low cost way to say you care. Send More Status Updates Nothing frustrates the candidate more when they go days or weeks without hearing back from the employer after the initial touch point. This is where technology like text recruiting can be extremely helpful. A simple text message about what’s happening with their candidacy is a good weekly touch point. In fact I’d argue it’s a MUST do in today’s competitive market. Make Onboarding Simple Even if you get the candidate to say yes, you still need to onboard them properly. The good news is that onboarding is one of the easiest things to get right. It just takes a concerted effort by your team. Onboarding means setting that candidate up for success. So try to digitize as much of the paperwork as you can. Use e-signature services to get their forms filled out quickly before their first day so they can hit the ground running. Have a plan in place for their first few days. Introduce them to the immediate team members, take them to lunch, orientation or whatever else is needed to get them off to a good start. A good practice is to have their future boss reach out to them and describe how excited they are to have them onboard. Taking the time to welcome a new hire (who may be nervous) is a great way to set the right first impression. Ask for Feedback It’s important to provide the candidate with feedback on their interview performance but the same is true for the reverse scenario. Employers who ask for feedback from candidates stand to learn a great deal about their hiring process from an outsider perspective. Create a short survey of 4-6 questions about how they were treated during the hiring process. Not only will you engage them, but the data you will learn will help you tweak the process to make it as engaging as possible. The candidate experience should be a mindset for any talent acquisition professional hiring today. Companies that go the extra mile to please strong candidates who they end up not hiring will leave a positive impression which could lead to new referrals and positive ratings on sites like Glassdoor. They may even apply again later in the career. Here’s a quick recap of what we covered; 5 Ways to Add Texting to Your Candidate Engagement Enable share by text of your job descriptions so others can easily refer your openings. Update candidates by text every step of the way. Personalize any text messages that they opt into with their first name. Alert them of their onboarding paperwork (remind if still not completed) Survey them once hired to get their opinion of the process.Continue reading
1 min read
As texting expands ever faster into the world of recruiting people are bound to include emojis as part of their messages. Emojis are fun and they help users communicate quickly through visuals. They also help to set the tone of your conversation that’s often lost in texting. So that got us thinking. What if there was a set of emojis specifically for recruiters and candidates? Other than the typical thumbs up emoji it would be great if we can add more content to out candidate conversations over text. Below are a few ideas we dreamed up over the holiday break. They tend to follow different stages of the hiring process. Emojis help you inject personality (and brevity) into your candidate conversation. You can say to them “You’re Hired” with a single keystroke. Just stick to this rule when it comes to using them: only after you have established a relationship with the candidate. Get to know them first before injecting more personality into your texts. Are their other recruiting emojis you think should be included? Leave a comment and let us know. 1. The “Can We Chat” Emoji may help break the ice. 2. For when you meet that candidate in line at Starbucks! 3. Let them know they’re a Great Candidate! 4. The Purple Squirrel for when you find that elusive candidate! 5. The Send Me Your Resume Emoji. 6. I’ll Email You the Job Description 7. We’d like to schedule an interview with you. 8. This candidate has been rejected (more for internal use) 9. Congrats…You’re Hired! 10. The send me your W2 emoji. You know you want it! Facts About Emoji The first emoji were created in 1999 by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. Kurita worked on the development team for “i-mode,” an early mobile internet platform from Japan’s main mobile carrier, DOCOMO. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”); the resemblance to the English words emotion and emoticon is purely coincidental.Continue reading
3 min read
As we prepare to enter a new decade, talent acquisition teams and HR departments are seriously looking at ways to speed up their hiring cycles with recruiting processes automation. Whether through the use of recruiting chatbots, text recruiting software, AI or self service functionality one thing is clear, a faster, friendlier candidate experience is what they seek. How do you recruit in 2020? Today’s recruitment process has a great deal of repetitive and time consuming tasks that talent professionals struggle with. But most recruiters loathe those frequent manual tasks that suck up their time. Recruiting automation frees you of those burdens. Let’s take a look at which of these trends will gain traction in 2020 and beyond. Sourcing: Though they are not mainstream as of now, we are starting to see some automated sourcing tools enter the market. These sourcing ‘bots’ actively seek out candidates online and try to match them to certain job requisitions. Once they do, the bot contacts them through an email to gauge their interest in hearing about the job. These recruiting bots should get better as their AI learns what works/what doesn’t when it comes to engaging a passive candidate. Passive outreach through automation is coming. Status Updates: According to data from CareerBuilder, 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process. Most ATS providers have built in triggers that notify candidates when their resume has been received or when they get rejected. But more needs to be done to improve and automate the candidate experience. Some job boards now alert candidates when their resume has been viewed by a recruiter. Why can’t the ATS do that too? Candidates need more status updates around what’s happening with their application, ideally via text message to improve speed and access. With ‘ghosting’ such a hot topic among recruiters these days, status updates and timely SMS reminders offer an easy solution to that problem and are becoming more popular with HR software vendors. Resume Scoring: Manually screening resumes is still the most time-consuming part of recruiting. According to one stat I read, up to 88% of all resumes that come in are unqualified thus wasting your recruiters time. By scoring a resume using AI against the requirements of the job your team can concentrate on the top ranked ones first rather than looking at them all. We are seeing this more and more as recruiting software tools integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence into their products. Being able to quickly get a stacked ranking of candidates as they come in is poised to become a huge time saver. Pre-screening: This is probably the most pervasive trend in the market right now. Recruiting chatbots are really good at pre-screening applicants as they apply, essentially acting as a virtual recruiter that never goes home. They can answer questions and guide the candidate through your initial set of questions in order to qualify them. In some cases, AI recruitment chatbots can also schedule the interview or even reject the candidate should they not be a fit. Text Recruiting Software: Applicant tracking providers are also now building in or partnering with text recruiting software vendors like Emissary to move the email portion of communications, status updates and reminders to the SMS format. Even job boards like Indeed now offer text job alerts. Expect to see more texting options in the hiring process from vendors of all shapes and sizes. Automated Hiring: Through technology you can now automate almost all stages of the hiring process. High volume employers like Amazon and many large retailers are already doing this which allow them to staff up for seasonal hiring and special events. In fact Amazon warehouses are already hiring virtually, a massive achievement for the world of recruiting process automation. The successful candidate just has to pass the screening process in order to get a job offer invite for orientation. Onboarding: The onboarding process has traditionally been a paper intensive one. But now recruiting automation is leading the way through automated workflow tools that enable candidates to fill in and sign these forms digitally, often prompted by a text message. This allows the new employee to get to work faster, feeling like part of the team from day one. Welcome emails or texts, technology passwords, and training invites can (and should) be sent at the push of a button. What are the best recruiting tools? The best recruiting tools to provide solutions to the above trends would be platforms such as sourcing tools like Hiretual or Seekout. For screening tools recruiting chatbot software can do the trick. A number of vendors in the space can handle this functionality including of course, Emissary. For automated hiring and onboarding an applicant tracking system is your best option. It can send onboarding docs to the new hire and also have them sign electronically and store them in the cloud. Recruitment automation trends are clearly making the hiring process a smoother one for candidates and saving recruiters valuable time. As we head into 2020, the automation of recruiting is well under way.Continue reading
2 min read
In case you haven’t noticed, recruiting chatbots have become one of the most talked about trends in hiring technology the past few years, alongside text recruiting. And by most accounts I’ve read, many job seekers seem to like interacting with them, at least for specific ‘automation friendly’ recruiting use cases like FAQs and applicant pre-screening. It is still early in the game for recruitment chatbots, but many vendors in our space are racing to build them (including us). So, it seems likely that they will evolve over time into more sophisticated hiring tools deployed by more and more recruiting teams. Chatbots Defined: Recruiting Chatbots are automated conversational interfaces through which candidates can interact with your company/recruiters for job related purposes. I asked Emissary’s CEO Euan Hayward where he thinks chatbot technology is headed. In a recent call he told me, “A lot more employers will be deploying recruiting chatbots in the coming years, especially for high volume hiring. But, increased penetration depends a lot on the pace of improvement in the underlying technologies like AI and NLP. Progress in those areas will define the quality of the candidate experience, which in turn dictates which use cases will be viable for employers. Does the bot help a candidate get information more easily? Does it allow them to complete required steps more easily than doing it by other means? Value to the candidate/employee will directly dictate the how much benefit recruiting and HR can extract from the automation and scaling qualities that chatbots offer” How do you make a recruitment chatbot? Since recruiting chatbots are still in their nascent stages, there can be challenges with deploying them. Unless your chosen vendor onboards you carefully, setup can be an issue because many chatbots must be customized to deliver a high quality candidate experience. In addition, chatbots may not work well for higher level roles where candidates expect a more personalized experience. Today recruiting chatbots work in three main channels: SMS, Web and popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Depending on your country, candidates may prefer one channel over the other. For example, WhatsApp is a very popular tool in the APAC region, while SMS is preferred by many U.S. job seekers. When setting up your chatbot you’ll need to consider these four main buckets; Asking Questions: FAQs related to the recruiting process are often easy for chatbots to answer, since the most common questions are repeated over and over and don’t change much over time. Every company has a list of common questions candidates ask, making FAQs an easy target for chatbot implementation. Pre-screening Candidates: By taking the candidate through a series of screening questions, a chatbot can easily gather important data and filter out applicants who are unqualified. It’s often much more efficient to screen candidates before they click the apply button on your ATS. Interview Scheduling: Letting candidates self-schedule themselves is a great use of a chatbot. Scheduling is a huge time killer for recruiters and coordinators, so it just makes sense to offload that heavy lifting to a chatbot that can ask the candidate when they’re available and setup that first call or visit automatically by syncing with your Outlook or Gmail calendar. Applying: Chatbots still can’t collect a resume (unless it is a web based chatbot) but they can let people apply if you just collect the basics: Name, phone, email and phone number. By limiting the initial number of form entries you can get a greater percentage of candidates to indicate interest in the position. Interacting with a chatbot is a lot more fun than filling out a form. This helps employers build out their candidate lists by expanding the top of the funnel. Recruitment chatbots are definitely here to stay as the consumerization of the candidate experience continues. Expect more innovation in the next few years as companies demand more from these helpful tools as technology evolves. The more these chatbots can personalize and automate these hiring conversations, the more time you will free up for your recruiting team. Stay tuned to the Emissary Insights blog for more chatbot news and to hear about our coming offerings with our own text recruiting chatbot.Continue reading
apply by text
1 min read
Across the recruiting landscape adoption of text messaging as a primary means of reaching candidates is growing rapidly. Each day, recruiters are using text recruiting to communicate with their prospects to schedule interviews, clear up questions and send reminders. But where else in the process can texting add value? Here are some ideas/opportunities: Apply Reminders – Applications get abandoned far more often than they get completed… almost 10X more often. But, many of the people that abandon are qualified and interested in the job. Employers can increase their ROI on existing recruitment marketing spend by letting candidates sign up for text/SMS reminders to apply. Click through rates and apply completions from reminders are very high. Emissary offers an apply reminders widget that can be setup with very little effort. . Application Status – Some ATS providers offer application status updates to candidates, but status emails often get lost in the shuffle or get misdirected to the spam folder. Employers need a better approach to maximize engagement. The candidate experience is too important not to keep your candidates in the know about where they stand. And, communicating well enhances your employment brand. Content for Candidates – Do you prep candidates before they come to interview? Consider sending them tips and company background to ensure that they see your organization as an employer of choice in a competitive recruiting environment. Interview Details – After the interview is scheduled, a brief text with the time/address/directions should be sent. You might even think about including links to the LinkedIn profiles of those employees that they will be interviewing with. Internal Communication – Text recruiting tools like Emissary are also great for communication with your employees. Need to make sure everyone knows when open enrollment is about to end? Texting gets message through more reliably than email. Need to notify workers about a weather related facility closure? Texting is the fastest option. Got a hard to fill job? Text it to your employees and ask them for a referral. Apply by Text – Job applications are hard, especially in a mobile first world. But, employers can capture short form applications or even run through a longer list of screening questions on an automated basis using chatbots and AI in conjunction with texting. Though you can’t really collect resumes by text, this kind of recruiting automation can be transformational, especially for high volume employers, because it delivers results at scale while freeing the recruiting team for high value work. What else do you think texting can do for recruiting? We’d love to hear your ideas!Continue reading
2 min read
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