Employer Branding, Recruiting Technology

Message from Job Candidates to Hiring Companies: Get Personal

There’s no doubt that technology facilitates the hiring process. But from the job seeker perspective, too much automation is a turnoff.

Source: sturti / E+ / Getty Images Plus

So finds a new study from Randstad North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a global provider of HR services, which examines job seekers’ perceptions, attitudes, and expectations about the job search process.

Overly Automated

According to the data, while most candidates find value in technology, they are frustrated when it supersedes the human aspect of the process. A full 82 percent of survey respondents agree they are often frustrated with an overly automated job search experience.

Respondents weigh in on the specific role technology should play during the job search process:

  • Ninety-five percent of workers agree technology should be used to aid the recruitment experience, not replace it.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents agree technology has made the job search process more impersonal.

“The findings reinforce what we’ve believed for quite some time, that successful talent acquisition lies at the intersection between technology and human touch,” said Linda Galipeau, CEO of Randstad North America. “By leveraging emerging technologies, we are able to deliver on our clients’ and candidates’ expectations in a predominately digital world, but with more freedom to focus on the human connection. If done correctly, the right combination of personal interaction with the power of today’s intelligent machines can create an experience that is inherently more human.”

Human Touch

Randstad finds that the ideal candidate experience leverages technology but puts human interaction first.

New, digital HR solutions and tools drastically change the way people connect to jobs, offering a seamless digital experience that is becoming the price of entry for employers. The Randstad survey finds 82 percent of workers agree the ideal interaction with a company is one where innovative technologies are behind the scenes and second to personal, human interaction.

Candidates cite “a company that uses innovative technologies to find me jobs, but puts human interaction first as a priority,” as the most appealing when working with staffing or recruitment firms.

Randstad also finds that human interaction drives positive impressions of potential employers.
Job seekers have become increasingly savvy about what makes a great candidate experience and what leaves them with a less-than-favorable impression. The study findings reinforce anecdotal evidence from Randstad recruiters, who have observed candidates’ desire for greater human interaction, despite their self-reported belief that technology has made the job search process more effective.

For example, beyond the overall job offer, the top two aspects of the respondent’s last job search that contributed to a positive impression of a potential employer centered on personal interaction. Respondents cite “the degree of personal, human interaction during the process,” and “the recruiter/hiring manager I worked with,” as having most influenced their positive impression.

Evaluating the Process

On the other hand, 91 percent of workers agree technology has made the job search process significantly more effective.

However, they also cite “the length of the hiring process” and “the communication level throughout the selection process” as the top two aspects of job searching that created a negative impression of a potential employer.

That impression has lasting effects, as the survey finds one-third of workers who had a negative experience during the job search process will never reapply to the organization, nor refer a friend or family member to the company.

“Employers today, and in the future, will be judged by the experience they create for prospective new hires,” said Galipeau. “Job candidates are empowered to provide instant feedback on employers, rating a company’s candidate experience just as they would rate a movie or a product. In a tightening labor market, companies cannot afford to lose potential talent due to a poor hiring experience. And in a technology-driven world of talent, it’s not only about how a company markets itself, but what others say about the company that has a positive impact on employer branding.”