Nicolas Speeckaert, skeeled’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner
The coronavirus pandemic has radically shifted how businesses are operating. Months of lockdown, employees working from home and social distancing measures have seen companies adapt to new ways of working and embrace technology in every area – from meetings, to internal comms and staff engagement – to attracting and hiring new talent, and it’s a trend that looks set to stay.
Companies embracing technology
Recruitment outsourcing company Cielo published a report entitled, ‘The Future of Work Survey ,’ which found that two thirds of businesses have successfully interviewed and onboarded new starters during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The report highlighted most employers are now comfortable using technology for talent acquisition. 82% of hiring managers said they will continue to interview using video once the pandemic is over. Two fifths (41%) are happy to onboard staff virtually and 32% are not concerned about making job offers without meeting candidates face to face. 66% said the reliance on advanced technology will remain.
While the UK government is urging people back to the office, many of London’s top City firms say they will only bring back around half of their workforce because of social distancing measures , and so virtual talent acquisition is likely to become the norm.
When the pandemic first hit, many businesses went into survival mode, with hiring freezes being commonplace. However, businesses are starting to look to the future and hiring the right talent to support business recovery is becoming a priority again.
The latest data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), highlighted that business confidence in the UK economy improved by 17 percentage points between early May and June. Employers’ hiring intentions also improved, with an increased number saying they plan to expand their workforce rather than reduce it in the next three months.
One challenging area for businesses will be managing the predicted flood of applicants chasing the same jobs. The furlough scheme ends in October which will inevitably lead to a rise in unemployment and the media is already reporting stories from companies receiving a deluge of applications for jobs. Sifting through high volumes of CVs and applications and selecting the right talent is likely to be arduous, time consuming and costly.
However, by embracing digital recruitment solutions, employers can now streamline many of the repetitive and time-consuming processes involved in talent acquisition, particularly in the early stages of recruitment in attracting, sifting, and selecting candidates for interview.
Last month, we launched our talent acquisition software skeeled in the UK to support companies with talent acquisition. Powered by predictive AI technology, skeeled automates the time-consuming early stages of hiring including the publishing of offers, the screening of CVs, the scheduling of first phone interviews and face-to-face interviews, saving recruiters and employers significant time and money.
The software includes a pre-screening tool, which is powered by machine learning and Natural Language Programme (NLP) to accurately sift and select candidates. The system produces an automated binary decision: that either rejects applicants clearly not a fit or puts them forward for further analysis. However, the human touch is not lost – these automated decisions are regularly monitored and revised, and recruiters can requalify applicants that they might consider a fit.
As part of skeeled’s pre-screening process, Employers can invite applicants to take part in a pre-recorded video interview to answer some initial questions. The video interviews give companies a more holistic view of the candidates and the ability to check if they are a good fit before progressing to a face to face interview, saving them a great deal of time.
Increasingly, our clients are sharing these video interviews with their colleagues and teams who may be based in different countries or regions so they can really collaborate and ensure that collective, objective, and fair hiring decisions are made.
Jobseekers can also use skeeled to undertake pre-employment tests that assess their skills, motivation and attitude, which again gives employers more information than they could glean from any CV.
An Applicant Tracking System is also part of the system and this enables interviewers, recruiters and employers to collaborate and communicate throughout the hiring process and follow up effectively with applicants to ensure a good candidate experience.
An exciting development is that talent acquisition software has evolved in recent times and companies can now use the technology to proactively market their companies and engage and attract job seekers with opportunities as well as publish information and news about themselves which can improve their employer brand.
While Covid-19 has shaken businesses everywhere, new opportunities are emerging. This crisis has accelerated the digitisation of every aspect of business and there is huge potential for employers and recruiters to use predictive AI technology to transform talent acquisition and make better, faster and more cost-effective hiring decisions in the future.