John Perez, Sr. Director Talent Acquisition, Sonic Automotive
Every day the advances in technology change the landscape of every business. And, the rate of change is only getting faster. Talent acquisition is certainly not exempt from this change. How candidates select employers, apply to job postings, and what they expect from their candidate experience is very different than it was a short time ago. Smart phones and social media applications are how most people communicate, get their information, and interact with the world. This is especially true for people that have grown up with all this technology, but is not limited to just millennials. Going forward, more and more candidates will prefer an application process that is full of self-service options, technology, and very little live contact. If companies and talent acquisition teams are not prepared to give it to them, they will not be able to stay in the game! Let’s face it, it is all here already. Glassdoor gives candidates a quick glimpse into what it is like to work at your company, online profiles allow them to apply to many jobs in an instant, and some companies are even starting to use Snapchat to let candidates answer an interview question. They call them “Snapplications”. Every Talent acquisition conference has sessions on A.I., and predictive analytics software. What will be next? I have looked into my crystal ball, and I have seen the future.
Evidence of the future of our society
Before I tell you what I see in my crystal ball, I have to tell you about something that happened the other day. I was doing what good parents do. I was checking out my teenage daughter’s activity on Twitter. I came across something she had liked and retweeted that I normally would have just moved on by, but for some reason I looked at the comments. The tweet was from some young English pop star or something. It simply said, “You yanks talk a lot on the lift”. There were about 100 comments. Most comments were agreeing with her. They were saying things like, “I hate face to face conversations with strangers”, “I just look at my phone until I get off the elevator”, “I’m so awkward talking to people”, etc.
Smart phones and social media applications are how most people communicate, get their information, and interact with the world
The others were on the other side. Their comments were: “You at least say good morning”, “If I’m in a hotel elevator, I just ask where they are from”, “You can meet interesting people in a hotel elevator”, etc. The amazing thing is, when I looked at the individual profiles, it was perfectly divided by age group. Middle aged and older tweeters on the side of: “You at least say good morning”, and the younger folks on the side of, “I’m so awkward talking to strangers”.
This is just one example of where we are headed with what candidates will gravitate to at first, and expect in the near future out of their candidate experience. Fast, easy, and limited physical contact.
What is all this leading to?
So, what did I see in my crystal ball? Picture this candidate experience. Kelly arrives at her new job this morning. She knows exactly where she is supposed to go, and who she is supposed to see. She already feels like part of her new team, and what many of her new coworkers like to do outside of work. She is confident that this is going to be a good fit for her, and her new boss feels the same about her. Today is also the first time she has set foot on the property, and the first time she has met anyone on the team, including her direct supervisor.
How is all that possible?
In the near future a forward thinking company will take things like: A.I. software, online selection testing, video interview data, Glassdoor reviews, realistic Job preview videos, and some sort of social media platform to complete the entire recruiting, selection, onboarding, and initial training processes. Selection will take only 1-2 days in most cases, and the onboarding and training process will be done at a pace, and in an order selected by the new hire.
Realistic job previews and links to Glassdoor will help attract candidates, and help them self-select in or out. (It already does) A.I. software will guide the candidate through the process, ask qualifying questions, administer the assessment process, and answer any question the candidate has. No interview will be necessary by the “Hiring Manager”. The data tells us that online assessments, and digital interview facial recognition software is better at selecting good candidates than human interviewers. Social media platforms will allow the new employee and his/her new team gets to know each other. Online onboarding, training, and simulations will prepare the new hire for their first day, and help build confidence in them. The supervisor will be able to see the results of the online training tests, and simulations, and will be able to build a development plan tailored to the new hire’s needs.
Some of you reading this will say that I am crazy, but some of you know that all of it is already here. The companies that embrace this new world will hire better, and faster. They will reduce turnover, and be more profitable. Those that don’t, will only see their struggles with turnover, cost to hire, and overall profitability grow.