According to the JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) employers are twice as confident about the economy as they were this time last year and are widely planning on taking on more staff in coming months.
As the recovery progresses and the labour market booms, businesses face increasing competition for sourcing and snapping up the best talent, perhaps no more felt than in the intensely competitive financial services arena.
With so many people fighting for the best positions, many finance companies may consider automated recruitment as the most effective way of streamlining the recruitment process and getting the top brains in the door. However, automating so many critical stages of the recruitment process may result in great talent falling through the net.
Financial employers should formulate their selection process to ensure it’s the business, not the computer, which has the final say on the top talent to employ.
Keep the process relevant
For certain roles, candidates can be competing with hundreds of other hopefuls to secure the best positions within the finance sector. Candidates looking for a job in this sphere can go through up to four stages of an automated recruitment process before they get to speak to an assessor in person. For employers using these processes it is essential they be designed to source and filter candidates for the specific role that needs filling.
The key to applying these tools effectively is making sure they are tailored properly for each role. This involves carefully asking the right questions to candidates, monitoring which tests are in place and regularly assessing and updating the screening process. These help to ensure the automated system remains relevant and able to recognise right talent.
Ensure a cultural fit
Perhaps the biggest drawback with relying on automated recruitment processes is the possibility of unsuitable candidates applying for positions they aren’t properly qualified for.
Similarly, it can also result in those perhaps best suited for the role falling by the wayside if they cannot get past the machines. The bread and butter attributes that these processes pull out such as core skills and experience are essential, but they also go hand in hand with the need for identifying the cultural fit of a candidate and specifically how they can contribute to the team or organisation.
I remember my experience with a candidate who had been screened out during the automated process, but was subsequently hired as a ‘perfect fit’ after the employer agreed to meet him for a team building session. It is here that holes within the process are seen and questions raised about what talent and skills employers could be missing out on by limiting human intervention.
After all, there remains no substitute for searching and sparking a personal connection with a candidate. Until automated process can touch on candidate personality, this must not be forgotten.
Maximise online appeal
Of course, the best use of automated and online processes does not just lie in the hands of the employer. Candidates themselves must work to ensure they are appealing online as well as in person in order to get through the machines. Profiles should be kept current and carefully put together to stand out from the masses.
It is also critical that candidates thoroughly research the role they are going for. They must properly look into the position they are applying for and make sure their online profiles actually reflect who they are in person so that should they get past the automated hurdles, they stand every possible chance of success in the next steps of the process.
With this in mind there remains the need for a harmonious working relationship between the two recruitment tools. Until automated processes are able to do more for identifying cultural fit or better checks and balances are put in place, there is no replacement for the personal element of the process to ensure the best talent finds the right professional home.