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Are traditional recruitment methods always the best way to find candidates?

According to a 2014 survey conducted by Jobvite, 64 percent of recruiters said they see referrals as the highest quality source of applicants, and 40 percent of employees report having found their “favorite or best” job through personal connections. Even with the growing popularity of digital recruiting tools, personal connections remain crucial for both hiring managers and job seekers.

In fact, some hiring managers even feel that technology can hurt their recruitment efforts. Too much external advertising can result in a glut of resumes that don’t meet position requirements or the needs of their organization. On the other end of the spectrum, an overly-thorough applicant tracking system (ATS) can turn away applicants and weed out qualified candidates simply because they don’t meet one or two unimportant requirements. Either way, technology threatens to overcomplicate and dehumanize the recruitment process… right?

It’s not always that simple. Technology isn’t killing recruitment, but it can complicate it when it’s not used strategically. So should you stick exclusively to traditional recruitment methods? Not so fast. Here are three ways to use tech the right way to improve your hiring process and strengthen traditional recruitment methods:

Don’t just post your jobs to social media; build relationships with specific candidates on social networks

Whether you’re using LinkedIn or Twitter, posting a job opportunity on social media can help you get your open position in front of more people. This is a blessing and a curse: unless you have a very small and well-curated social media following made up of people who fit the needs of the position you’re looking to fill, you may very well end up with hundreds of resumés from candidates who don’t have the experience or skills you’re looking for.

So don’t just post about an open position and wait for candidates to come to you. Instead, use social media platforms to proactively seek out qualified candidates and pass them your information in a personal manner. LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search function lets you find and filter the best applicants in your area, allowing you to target job openings to the most qualified candidates, and search.twitter.com allows you to search for users based on their location and keywords used in their profiles.

Simplify your applicant tracking system

While an applicant tracking system can be a lifesaver for organizations looking to save time and money on recruitment, it can hinder hiring as much as it helps unless you set it up correctly from the start. Flawed systems may be unable to read PDF documents or resumes formatted in an unexpected way, and they often kill up to 75 percent of all submitted applications, some of which may actually be from qualified candidates. And yet, smart, strategic use of an ATS can help hiring managers organize, track and respond to a large number of applicants.

Instead of using an ATS to dramatically cut down on the number of resumés you see, set up one to two “filtering questions” to determine whether an applicant has the basic qualifications you’re looking for. Then, use it to automatically post to job boards, keep track of the recruitment process and organize applicants by title or experience. You’ll end up with a pool of qualified applicants that is manageable and well worth the time it will take to process.

Improve your website to attract candidates on mobile

An employee who applies for a job over the phone can’t be that serious, right? It’s not necessarily true. Today, people of all ages and experience levels are using their mobile devices to find out about open positions and opportunities, and luckily, your strategy doesn’t have to involve fancy apps and coding to connect with these mobile candidates.

The most important thing is that your organization’s website is mobile-friendly and navigable from a smartphone. Take the time to go through your own career site via your phone or tablet to see what’s not working, and then make improvements. Candidates should be able to go through each step in the application process, from reading the job description to submitting their cover letter and resumé from their phones. If they can’t, it’s time for a chance.

Are you looking to develop a recruitment strategy that uses technology strategically? Contact us. Our team of exper

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