"... are the luckiest people in the world." — Barbra Streisand

The luckiest people in the world? Really? Somehow, I don’t think Babs was singing about recruiters...

Last week, we tackled the subject of robots here on the Jibe Blog. Our Director of Product Alex Hunsucker made the case that we don’t have to fear new technologies in recruiting and HR, so long as those technologies are built with a “people-first” mentality, ensuring that these new solutions being brought to market are developed in such a user-friendly way that the recruiter is empowered to perform their job even better, while the technology works in the background.

Today, I wanted to keep the focus on people. We are, after all, in the business of human resources. Instead of looking at the recruiter this time however, I wanted to focus on the other side of the hiring equation: The Job Seeker.

Jibe just signed on as a sponsor once again for the Talent Board’s annual Candidate Experience Awards, the CandEs, We didn’t think twice when the offer came through, as candidate experience is ultimately at the heart of everything we do. When our crack team of engineers develops new solutions, we don’t just have the recruiter in mind, but also the ultimate end-user: the candidate.

Searching for a job is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful activities an individual can go through, right up there with death in the family, divorce and other traumatic and life-changing events. And yet, the majority of companies still add to that stress by putting up roadblocks, black holes and landmines throughout the application process. Whether forcing a mobile job seeker back to their desktop by not enabling mobile apply, or simply losing a candidates information and making them undergo the entire process again.

I’m sure we all have frustrating anecdotes that we can pull from our own job-seeking experience. I sure do. Prior to joining Jibe, I tried to apply for a position with an unnamed but very well known financial institution. In the middle of the application process, my information simply disappeared and I received an automated apology but no explanation or recourse about what to do next. I started over, got nearly all the way through, and then it happened again. The robot said “sorry”, but that was it. I was done. I moved on in my search and thankfully connected with Jibe. I still carry a negative impression of that financial firm in my mind, one that I had respected and been excited about prior to that poor experience as a candidate. The employer brand risk associated with a poor candidate experience is real, and the damage done can be fatal to attracting top talent.

Now, if the ATS had offered me some wine, maybe I would’ve stuck with it a bit longer...

Liz Ryan had a great piece up on Forbes last week titled, “How Technology Killed Recruiting.” In it, Liz bemoans the fact that today’s recruiting solutions have sacrificed candidate experience in a big way. And, similar to the case we’ve made here, she calls for an intensified focus on humanizing the hiring and job-seeking experience.

“The ATS vendors that will survive to 2020 and beyond will be the ones that figure out how to humanize the selection process. Luckily, it isn’t complicated. An ATS that were oriented toward engaging job-seekers rather than intimidating and repelling them would be a good start. Once we make contact with a job-seeker, that contact should be human.”

Technology doesn’t have to get in the way of this happening. In fact, it should enable a more humanized hiring process. Engaging with candidates where they are — mobile devices and social networks — and streamlining the application process by using analytics to examine the full hiring funnel and identify where the process can be improved, are but a few ways technology can actually help, rather than hinder, the candidate experience.

Views: 158

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 7, 2014 at 2:32pm

I call bullshit. Sackett's response to Liz's article was right on. http://www.timsackett.com/2014/02/07/how-technology-saved-recruiting/

Protip - recruiters, the majority of the audience here, don't like to be told we suck. Just a little FYI

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 7, 2014 at 3:15pm

Thanks, Amy. You've opened the door...




Now, as I said yesterday:

"Candidate Experience"? What a ******* joke!

Nobody in charge cares- they don't have to. Either they didn't have to wade through the usual sea of **** to get hired, or they regard it as some sort of a perverse right-of-passage or hazing ritual.
If a company wanted to, they could pay a little over $2.00/hr for an offshore "Virtual Candidate Care Assistant" to make sure each and every candidate had a professional (if not actually pleasant) application experience, while simultaneously keeping us free to do our jobs. The fact that no one seems to have done this says a great deal to me. (I am sometimes answered with, "who do you think you are to tell what should be done?")

It strikes me as pathetic that the most action that HAS been done is an *annual survey and contest among willing participants to see who will be awarded for doing what every company should do as a matter of course. (Imagine a survey and prize for not dumping toxic waste, or for not breaking any wage-and hour laws.) I have heard of no firm plans discussed to strengthen the effectiveness of this, or to go after the worst (non-participating) offenders. I recognize that change (particularly in Corporate America happens slowly), but  again: I've no information that anything more significant in this direction is planned.


No Cheers,


Comment by Jed Hamilton on February 7, 2014 at 4:15pm

Amy -- I appreciate your comment, and am also a big fan of Sackett and the work he does. By no means in my post was I trying to imply that "recruiters suck" -- I want to make that abundantly clear. Quite to the contrary, my point is that recruiters today should be empowered with better technology then the majority have, to allow more focus to be placed on actually recruiting. The majority of recruiters today  spend way too much time dealing with inefficient systems, extracting and manipulating data to compile reports, working with inaccurate information, etc. My point is simply that it doesn't have to be this way.

Technology has not killed recruiting -- I don't agree with Liz's assertion on this front by any means; please don't confuse the point of her article with mine, I just liked the quote I pulled. Technology has helped recruiters in innumerable ways over the years. When the first ATS came to market, it was a godsend for hiring organizations. But the thing with technology is, you have to keep evolving it as the audience it serves evolves. Today's candidates expect to be able to apply to a job just as easily as they book a flight, stream a movie or connect with their friends. And it's not "entitlement" for them to expect this, it's simply the way the world has gone. And yet, a majority of recruiters are still saddled with systems that don't allow them to meet these expectations. Again, it doesn't have to be this way. 

Thanks again for the comment and the discussion, Amy. Discourse is how change occurs, so let's keep talking! Oh, and as a fellow Seattle native, let me just pander to your fandom side and say, Go Hawks! (but I mean it... dyed in the wool 'Hawks fan from birth. My Kenny Easley jersey was prized possession #1 growing up :)

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 7, 2014 at 6:27pm

Sorry Jed I should have clarified I think LIZ thinks we suck :) thanks for responding way too many commentators on here like to come in, pee all over us, and then take off until the next post. So I really do appreciate that. :)

(and you had me at Go Hawks... lol)


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