Hiring has come a long way since the days of sifting through paper applications, calling back the most promising applicants and setting aside hours to verify information on a résumé. Fortunately, more employers are taking advantage of social media, online tools and innovative software programs that make the hiring process easier and more efficient than ever before.
Whether it’s a software technician or a senior editor, specialized positions often require potential employees to take aptitude tests before they can move on to the interview phase. With more tests being created and administered online, this process has become seamless for employers. You no longer have to set aside time to administer these tests and, in some instances, you may not need to send the tests out to applicants. Instead, you can incorporate the exams into an initial electronic application process, allowing you to quickly weed out candidates who didn’t earn a high enough score.
Employers can save even more time by conducting their initial interviews online with programs like FaceTime or Skype or more targeted software like HireVue, which was specifically created for professional interviews. Using these programs can save you the cost of flying an applicant in and the time it would take you to conduct the interview. These programs also give you the ability to easily review and access parts of the interview, leaving you with a more accurate impression of the applicant.
References you know and trust
While it’s great that applicants provide their own references, it’s likely those references will be fairly biased in the applicants’ favor. If you want to dig deeper and get an opinion from someone the candidate didn’t hand pick, turn to LinkedIn. If you’re able to access the candidate’s profile, look at how you’re connected to that person. If you or someone at your company has a common LinkedIn connection with the applicant, contact that connection and pick his brain about the potential employee. Chances are good his feedback will be more honest and useful than feedback from the references listed on a résumé.
HR departments have benefitted from some of the most efficient software advances for businesses. Many companies now take advantage of applicant tracking, which allows them to maintain a bank of interested job applicants and, when there’s a new job posting, automatically pull the existing applicants whose skills match that posting. Applicant tracking is one of the easiest ways to automatically select the most qualified candidates, making it one of the first tools your HR department should implement.
As more job seekers—especially younger applicants—regularly engage with social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, an increasing number of employers are logging on to those sites to view applicants’ activity. Many employers are looking for an applicant’s level of professionalism and his or her ability to fit in with company culture. While an interview and résumé should be the basic tools you use to judge a potential hire, a quick social media search can give you a more personal view of what that candidate is really like.
Using technological advances while hiring can save you a countless number of hours and potential paper cuts. Perhaps most importantly, these tools provide a more complete and accurate picture of your applicants, giving you the power to consistently bring the most qualified new employees onto your team.