Hiring Challenges in Focus Series: Digitalisation & Communication

Hiring Challenges in Focus Series: Digitalisation & Communication 

Undoubtedly, the digitalisation of the hiring process has revolutionised the industry. Communication styles of yesteryear were characterised by dull newspaper adverts, snail-mail and missed calls recorded on lost post-it notes.

What a relief for the recruiter that the search and selection processes have been upgraded through digital channels such as phones, email, social media and the web. These tools, when used correctly, save time and money, plus grant access to candidates on a global scale.

The candidate, too, sees the benefits of digital tools, with two-thirds of UK job-seeking adults (64%) believing video interviews have had a positive impact on the hiring experience and two-fifths (41%) thinking that companies who use automation in the recruitment process are making securing a role easier. Nearly half (48%) say video interviews make them feel more confident and that they can present a better version of themselves.

At first glance, digitalisation appears to be a win-win, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that with digitalisation – everyone is doing it – but only some people are doing it well!

The digital approach should be unique and inventive to stand out and attract the best candidate. The communication style should be engaging, personalised and segmented. This is especially key for senior-level recruitment. An email blast ‘scattergun’ approach to a database of mostly, but not all, relevant candidates is a big no in the executive search business.

There are stats to back this up:

  • 50% of job seekers still prefer human interaction when job hunting.
  • 45% of those said the online process felt dehumanised.

And while I do not have the stats to hand for senior-level candidates, my instinct is that mature candidates will prefer a human touch to hiring, even more so than the above stats suggest.

Charlotte Rush, Operations & Marketing Director at MRG explains that “one must be careful not to lose our sense of customer experience with the rise of digital enablement and automation. The difference between an average search consultant and a great one is how they interact with their customers and use tools to approach the customer journey better.” In so many industries nowadays, we have lost the sense of customer service.

Automated recruitment has made many stages of the search and selection process simpler and quicker. However, direct and human communication is still highly valued, especially with senior search recruitment. A hybrid approach combining human and digital touchpoints must be the tactic for senior-level recruitment to be successful, and it is the sign of a great recruiter to know when and which tools to apply.

Finding the balance between digital and human hiring strategies

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