Recruiting is evolving at such a rapid pace these days that even people who work in the field are overwhelmed by the progress.
John Christopoulos, marketing manager for recruiting software company Workable, says there are plenty of exciting innovations and developments like new niche job boards and applicant tracking systems popping up daily.
But he says there’s still plenty that can be done tech-wise – like better solutions for video-interviewing or for creating tailor-made assessments for candidates.
“To be honest, I think we’re still scratching the surface of online recruiting and job search,” John says.
John recently caught up with us to talk more about Workable and offer his insight on the biggest challenges facing the recruitment industry today.
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Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us about Workable…what is it and how does it work?
Workable is a beautifully simple cloud-based software that helps companies advertise jobs, screen candidates and accelerate their hiring process. It’s being trusted worldwide by hyper-growth companies like Intercom, Vend, InVision and Declara, plus all startups taking part in Facebook’s FbStart program. Our product replaces tedious enterprise software and Excel sheets with a straightforward tool that HR professionals and recruiters actually enjoy using. From career pages and job board syndication to collaboration, scheduling, social recruiting and analytics.
What do you think are the biggest problems in recruiting and job-searching today? What makes the process so challenging?
I could probably spend the whole day referring to problems in the recruitment industry and process, since it involves every business sector out there, each one with its own special characteristics.
In general, most HR professionals are starting to admit that the current recruitment model is dying a slow death. The global recession played a large part in revealing most of the underlying issues, such as headhunters that act more like salesmen, a deeply fragmented job board industry, undocumented discriminatory practices during the hiring process and helpless HR departments flooded with spreadsheets and printed resumes.
It’s no surprise that more and more companies are developing internal recruitment teams to tackle the increasing cost of hiring, and even more are reaping the benefits of using HR software to streamline their hiring process. The most encouraging thing, of course, is that almost all those companies are showing signs of treating prospective employees as fellow human beings rather than just another number.
What are the biggest complaints you hear from employers as far as recruiting online?
It’s more or less the same story: going through thousands of resumes, down bottomless mail threads and countless job boards, each with its own posting structure. Usually made worse by tedious applicant tracking software, the obligatory Excel files on the side and the impossible coordination of interviews and feedback.
It’s probably easier than ever for an employer to be reached by candidates and, of course, to source candidates online. More candidates translates to more workload, decisions under pressure and lack of proper collaboration. Well, it shouldn’t be that way, and recruiters are starting to become aware of that. With the technology available, they’re expecting to have complete, intuitive and efficient tools in place so they can ultimately automate hiring. The ATS market is still not there, but it’s definitely where it’s being headed at.
What about job seekers? What are their biggest frustrations?
Usually their biggest frustration is when the application process for a job position proves to be virtually impossible to complete, either because of a (surprisingly usual) technical issue, or an unbelievable amount of steps and forms to complete. Applying for work is a full-time job, and most job seekers feel like they’re not being respected.
Another typical complaint is that only a few employers care to provide feedback when they reject candidates, even if nowadays it should be fairly simple for a hiring manager to send just a bulk rejection mail. At the end of the day, candidates are still human beings, and they want to be treated as such. We should never forget that.
What do you think online job sites and digital publishers do well in the realm of posting jobs?
I think there’s been a significant improvement in the quality of the services that job boards and job publishers offer. Their websites are easier to use, much easier to integrate with third-party software, plus better filtering and search options are in place. I recall searching for a job four years ago – it was literally a case of “the needle in a haystack,” even if I were computer-savvy.
What do you think online job sites and digital publishers can be doing better?
There are certainly lots of features to wish for and even more things to be optimized, since job searching is an ever-evolving process. I’d like to see even better personalized suggestions for job openings (something that LinkedIn is already does), and richer employer content along with the (usually) plain-text job descriptions.
How important is mobile in the world of job search today?
There’s a global frenzy by almost every software makers these days to “go mobile.” I agree that mobile has lots of potential and it has proven to be a very intimate and effective way to interact with the online world. Applicant tracking and some relevant HR processes need to go mobile, as more and more professionals need to work and check things on the go.
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However, I’m still a bit skeptical about mobile job search. As I mentioned before, looking for a job is a very time-consuming and demanding process. Candidates usually have to do research, read, then read some more, draft cover letters and resumes. If everything goes well until that point, they may have to complete tests or assessments. To me, it’s not something that can be yet done properly on mobile. But honestly, I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong in the near future.
How do you think sites can use social media more effectively?
If you think about it, as time goes by, all of our activity on social media can be used to depict a pretty accurate image of who we are. A resume shows only a polished side of a person’s professional life, while Facebook updates, tweets and Instagram selfies tell a lot about one’s life, interests, culture and communication skills. They can even reveal a huge part of one’s physical social network.
Aggregated social media data can be a very powerful asset for both job seekers and employers, and unsurprisingly enough, social recruiting and social data mining are already starring in daily HR tech news.