How technology is powering a new era of student recruitment
With the 2019 intern/grad intake season well under way, large companies have received thousands of applications for what often is a very little amount of roles available. Yet the competition between these firms for the best students is as fierce as ever, with many strong applicants applying for several different positions. The recruitment process is often the company’s first point of contact with a candidate, hence plays an important role in employer branding for students who will rate the company based on their experience. The important question then is – how can businesses attract the top candidates to their firm in an effective and efficient manner?
The answer lies within technology.
Tech, especially artificial intelligence (AI), has dramatically changed the recruitment landscape in the last few years. Firms offering intern/grad program are increasingly turning towards technological advancements to streamline their operations. Face-to-face interviews and phone calls are gradually being superseded or pushed back into the final stages of the hiring process by automated screening, online gamification and digital interviews.
Here are the common stages involved in the current student recruitment process, and how tech plays a role in managing each stage:
The first stage in recruitment is screening applications/resumes to identify potential candidates from a large applicant pool – one of the most time-consuming part of recruitment if done manually. Therefore, it’s not surprising that now one of the biggest trends in HR recruitment is to use AI to automate these tasks. AI functions support the hiring manager by effectively engaging, screening and assessing candidates. Machine learning algorithms extract data from the company’s database and uses existing employee’s experience and skillset to shortlist those who match them most closely. This can eliminate common hiring biases such as confirmation bias and cognitive bias, as well as speed up the evaluation and rejection decisions.
GAME BASED ASSESSMENTS
Building on the foundations of psychometric testing, firms are favouring game-based assessments that are designed to be interactive and less time consuming for the candidate. For example, game test provider Revelian’s “Theme Park Hero” and “Cognify” are popular gamifications where candidates play a series games that created on psychometric principles, predictive analytics and AI tech. Although the relationship between these games and work suitability may not be evident from the onset, they are designed to test factors such as mental agility, numerical reasoning and attention span. Firms such as Deloitte are also creating their own customized gamifications to demonstrate their innovative brand and culture. Students may also be asked to download an iOS/Android app-based game, as with provider Arctic Shores, whom some government departments have enlisted the help of this year. Arctic Shores reports that these game-based assessments improves hiring efficiency and receives 85% positive feedback from candidates.
Automated interview invites are sent to applicants instead of scheduling face-to-face interviews or phone calls, allowing more flexibility and a reduction in time needed for both the hirer and the applicant. Generally, intern/grad video interviews are one-way and independent – the employer has pre-written set of questions where the candidate then records and submits back to the company. Most firms only give you one chance to record to emulate a real interview, however some firms allow multiple retakes to give candidates the opportunity to present their best self. AI may then be used to analyse the recorded responses – digital HR service provider HireVue uses tech to monitor facial expressions, keywords and intonations amongst other criteria to determine top candidates. Consumer conglomerate Unilever reports that since utilising AI to automate each recruitment stage leading to the final interview, they attracted nearly double the applications, decreased 75% of time spent on applications by recruiters and increased acceptance rates of offers by nearly 20%.
The talent acquisition space will only continue to change, new tech solutions combining data analytics, scientific research, AI, gamification among others are predicted to rise. Firms are investing heavily into innovative recruitment strategies to build their employer brand and attract the best students. Technology can improve the recruiter and candidate’s experience, yet the key challenge remains to ensure that a human element and personal touch aren’t lost in the transformation.