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Effective Recruitment in Digital Age

Not very long ago, preparation for an interview required people to diligently arrange their academic transcripts right down to the certificates they won during extracurricular activities in schools and college, in a neat folder with crisp white A4 size papers of their resume stapled in proper alignment with each other. “Every important document must be in print” was an advice given by elders in my family. I remember going a step further with laminating them to prevent any damage whatsoever, especially dog-ears. Those days even the discoloration of papers was also an agenda of discussion. As I look at my email signature saying “Think before You Print”, I cannot help but be thankful of how convenient our lives have become ever since digitization has happened.
In my capacity as a Chief People Officer, I often encounter questions on how can recruitment be made effective in this digital age? What most people miss out on is that recruitment has already been effectively digitized.
The age of paper resumes and CVs are gradually being replaced by their digital counterparts. Did you know, 14.4 million job seekers have used social networks to find a job; 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, 66% use Facebook, and 54% use Twitter and 73% of companies have successfully hired a candidate using social media*.
Netherlands as a country has the highest statistics of social media users with almost the entire working force present on Twitter & LinkedIn. In a record breaking incident, a major Dutch corporate giant recruited about 25% of the workforce through social media even in 2010-11. They had an aggressive presence in all social media platforms such as Twitter with all the recruiters having an active account; a dedicated Facebook page to focus on potential candidates and as a knowledge building platforms for prospective ones; LinkedIn page to assess experienced candidates by using features such as networking and recommendation and website embedded YouTube page with ample of videos on employees testimonials and career related learning – all of this five-six years ago!
Modern recruitment is all about quick, fast and easy access and social media is changing the dynamics between the recruiter and the job seeker. Smart companies know that screening a candidate on basis of their social media presence provides them a better insight on the person’s capabilities, interests, skill sets and preferences than they would ever be able to assess in a face to face interview.  For out station candidates, the first round of interviews is increasingly being replaced by interviews through Skype and other telepresence technologies, which is convenient and economic for both the recruiter and the candidate. These free tools are a smarter way to recruit top talents in the industries and at the same time optimize time, cost, travel and other resources.
Other websites such as Glassdoor provide transparency to candidates with real time feedback on recruiters that generally leaves little room for any form of discrepancy. Recently an online manpower recruitment firm began expansively exploring candidate’s social media profiles and cherry picking them on basis of personal blogs and sometimes on basis of something as small as sentence construction and spellings of a personal post.
HCL Technologies created history when they launched the #CoolestInterviewEver campaign on Twitter, by becoming the first company in the country to make use of social media platform for end-to-end recruitment. The success determiners came in the form of engagement of around 250K job seekers, short listing of 5 candidates via twitter interview, interaction of around 15 days with candidates from over 60 countries.
Very recently, we pulled off a successful campaign for hiring a unique business enablement team by making extensive use of LinkedIn for mass publicity and profiling and short listing of candidates across the globe. We targeted ~900-1000 potential candidates from 10 premier Indian & International B-schools and witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of followers on the HCL Infosystems page from ~54000 to the current 85000-odd numbers.
I often reflect on Miranda Nash President of Jobscience who notes “Rather than fearing or shying away from digital recruiting techniques, both candidates and prospective employees should embrace this new reality and these new tools to overcome geographic and budgetary obstacles to gain a competitive edge.” Its unlikely that digital tools would completely replace human instincts for choosing the right candidate, however, staying ahead in the technological trend in the current scenario comes as a great advantage to a company.

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