The social media channels are frequently represented as the new silver bullet for communicators of all ilk, from recruiters to advertisers, from corporates to bloggers with a cause but is it an innovation that will truly launch recruitment into a new sphere of effectiveness and impact? At a recent Think Tank in the UK on the future of innovation in recruitment, effective technologies combined with the importance of personal “human” interaction and the power of “story telling” took centre stage as the best solutions for tangible ROI and success.
We were not surprised at the findings that web-based technologies can save time and indeed money when it comes to search, but when it comes to placement, human interaction by a skilled and experienced practitioner is essential.
Recently at Barclays in Canary Wharf we had a fascinating Think Tank about the Future of Innovation in Recruitment. Again as always it was a who's who of global brands and international recruitment leaders. It was interesting for me that most recruitment leaders perceived social media as the recruitment innovation that they felt they should be discussing but few of the direct recruiters in attendance could demonstrate tangible ROI or success from social media activities to date. This presented an interesting picture for me as in one breath some leaders recognised that most innovation was happening around social media but then in the next they dismissed its immediate value as they had not experienced much tangible ROI.
As the discussions progressed the attendees discussed numerous technologies that could be used in areas such as employee referrals, selection, screening and on-boarding. The conclusions at the end of the Think Tank were that innovation is not necessarily about technology or social media but more about finding ways of working that make it simpler and faster to successfully acquire and on-board top talent.
The strongest themes to shine through were around:
1) Automating the recruitment process where human interaction added no extra value
2) Improving the quality of human interaction where it was needed and added value. Here, the concept of ‘story telling’ was one area that innovative recruiters were very interested in, because well-told, interesting stories will spread to the audience for free whereas mess ages cost money to push.
It seemed that many larger companies had lost much of the human touch during their recruitment processes due to the size of their recruitment challenge and the volumes they have to deal with.
For most attendees, at the beginning of the session their interpretation of innovation in recruitment was directly linked to technology and social media. By the end of the Think Tank everyone agreed that innovation was just about simplifying and improving recruitment for the candidate and the recruiter. Automate the stages of the process that don't require human interaction and improve the quality of human interaction where it is important. If you can do that quicker, cheaper and better, then you are innovative.
Are you being innovative in how you recruit? Let me know @ColmHannon
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