Alert — Recruiting’s Future Will Be Dominated By a Full Cycle Self-Service Phone App!

This “think piece” is designed to stimulate your thoughts around the future of recruiting

Forget what you’ve read about the future of recruiting because the biggest driver of change will be an integrated self-service phone app. A single integrated phone app will dominate because often today’s recruiting processes are merely a hodgepodge of barely connected parts. Executives now expect all business processes to be fully integrated with seamless handoffs. And as a result, sooner than you think, managers will hire without recruiters, using only a single integrated self-service phone app.

Self-service Mobile Phone Apps Dominate the Future of Business Processes 

It might initially seem strange that a hiring manager could complete the entire hiring process on their mobile platform without directly working with a recruiter. But the self-service phone app model has already begun to dominate in many other business functions.

In banking, for example, “fin-apps” already allows customers to complete almost every banking transaction on their own, gradually replacing most tellers/clerks and even ATMs. And of course, you can now, using only a self-service phone app, complete the purchase of anything from a luxury vehicle (Carvana) down to a latte (at Café X automated Café) without interacting with a single person. So, recruiting leaders shouldn’t be surprised to learn that they won’t be exempt from this trend. That means that the execution of the corporate recruiting process must now begin its transition from the recruiter dominated model to the “phone app self-service model.” Recruiting will be done exclusively by hiring managers using self-service and without (in most cases) the direct hands-on help of a recruiter. That will be possible because an end-to-end integrated recruiting phone app, supported by machine learning, will literally guide managers through each step, while simultaneously improving every single decision in the hiring process. 

Advantages of the Phone App-Based Self-Service Recruiting Model 

Almost everyone in business operations already acknowledges that a mobile platform and its associated “phone app” has already won the battle to eventually dominate all business service processes. Once you get past the “but we will lose the human touch” whining, it makes sense to begin examining the many benefits from this self-service fully automated recruiting model. They include:

  • The mobile platform wins because managers carry and use their phone 24/7 — simply because of its dominant accessibility, eventually all corporate software applications will be 100 percent usable from a manager’s mobile phone.
  • Every recruiting step must be fully integrated — currently, it’s hard to be even roughly integrated with separate vendor-supplied tools and separate functional teams managing each major recruiting step. A single integrated application is needed. And eventually, a large vendor will offer a self-service recruiting app that covers every recruiting step from the beginning to the end. Obviously, in order to be successful, each of the steps needs to be fully integrated, with a seamless handoff from the step before and on to the steps after it.
  • Managers “own” and control the recruiting process — a universal problem is that hiring managers don’t devote enough time to recruiting. However, giving managers total control can help to increase their engagement. With a self-service app, managers fully control the pace and they literally make all the decisions (with the aid of data). As a result, they can’t blame others for the recruiting process or hiring errors. Giving managers total control makes it more likely that they will devote more time to the process.
  • It is based on a data-supported process — the primary weakness of most recruiting processes is that they are based on intuition and best practices. However, this app increases the likelihood that most decisions will be made using data. At each step and decision point, the hiring manager is provided with data and predictive correlations that will steer them toward an objective decision. Managers can, of course, make decisions that run counter to the data. However, should a hiring mistake occur, the app’s automated failure analysis component will make them fully aware of their bad decision-making.
  • Decisions are made closer to those who understand the needs — often miscommunications between the hiring manager and the recruiter can slow up the hiring process and can even lead to mis-hires. However, using the app, the need for communication between humans is reduced. The app would allow a hiring manager to make every decision. They best understand the situation and precisely what type of talent is needed.
  • It also provides predictions and alerts — because the app is forward-looking and predictive, managers are periodically provided with alerts and warnings. They can consider hiring opportunities that they might not have even considered. Those alerts might include the sudden availability of individual top talent and the appropriate time to hire in order to avoid a high level of recruiting competition.
  • The hiring process can be accelerated — because it is a self-service model, there’s no need to “wait” for a call back from an available recruiter. The app will operate 24/7. A hiring manager has a great deal of control over how long the hiring process takes. Managers can access the hiring process app at any time because they carry their phones with them everywhere. This means that hiring managers can act on the next hiring step whenever they have a free moment. Managers will no longer have to wait to get back to the office or when they can get a recruiter on the line. Not only does this continuous capability speed up the hiring process, but it also helps to maintain a manager’s interest in completing the hiring process.
  • Process improvement is accelerated — a 100 percent automated phone app will reduce the need for hands-on recruiters. At the same time, it increases the need for behind-the-scenes data scientists and machine-learning experts who can gather and interpret the data. Using machine learning allows the self-service hiring process to continually improve at a much faster rate than the current recruiter-assisted model.

Because other business processes are shifting over to the self-service phone app model, the pressure on recruiting will be tremendous to do away with the disjointed hodgepodge of sorcerers, recruiters, and outside vendors and to transition to the future of recruiting. This will be dominated by this integrated self-service phone app that offers every hiring manager end-to-end full-cycle recruiting at their fingertips, 24/7. This app will interactively walk the manager through each step and decision of the hiring process. And in the end, it will provide an objective metric assessment of the result (i.e. the performance of the new hire). And it will provide the hiring manager with guidance on how to improve their performance for their next hire. ‘

Perhaps an example of how this self-service phone app will operate will help make the concept clearer.

A Walk Through the Hiring Process Using an Integrated Self-Service Phone App 

Imagine this phone-app recruiting scenario in the not-too-distant future.

George is the manager of the firm’s engineering division and he is not contemplating any current hiring. However, everything changes when he gets a phone alert from his firm’s “Sullivan recruiting app.” This lets the engineering manager know that Mary Smith, an already targeted member of their talent pipeline community, has an 84 percent likelihood of beginning a job search during this month based on the app’s predictive algorithm. Mary Smith meets the firm’s “future skills profile” because she is a diverse female engineer with experience in machine learning. The app also alerts the manager that based on a search of companies currently recruiting for this job, the recruiting competition for her will likely be extremely low. Given her current pay level and ZIP code, there is an 89 percent chance that he could land Mary Smith. 

The recruiting app advises the hiring manager that he has a sufficient budget for the position. Next, it advises him to instantly start the automated requisition-approval process. It next suggests that they call Mary Smith using the provided candidate profile and telephone number in order to convince her to consider this new opportunity and to participate in a live remote video interview. Based on her current job and where she works, the voice-driven chatbot provides the hiring manager with some arguments as to why this change would be beneficial to Mary. As a result of the call, Mary agrees and signs up for an interview using the apps external interview scheduling site. The manager is provided with a list of interview questions that have a history of accurately predicting on-the-job success for this job. The phone app also recommends that she take the firm’s online machine-learning scenario test.

After interviewing and assessing other candidates, the manager agrees with the phone app algorithm that estimates that Mary will have a 91 percent chance of being an above-average performer who will stay more than three years. The automated offer system generates an offer that has (based on past offer data) an 86 percent chance of being accepted. After accepting, Mary rates the candidate experience an A+. Then the onboarding segment of the app kicks in.

Key Features of the Integrated Self-Service Recruiting App 

As large vendors in the recruiting space begin to realize that the future of recruiting will need an automated and to end app, they will begin to put together a single integrated phone app with the following features. 

Educating managers before hiring begins

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  • Workforce planning — the app has a workforce-planning component that advises managers on the numbers and the type of talent that they will likely need over the next 24 months. It also makes managers aware of the “future skills” that the corporation has already projected that they will need.
  • A chatbot — a fully automated chatbot will answer all of a manager’s and candidates’ questions about procedures and hiring guidelines.
  • Best time — managers will be advised as to the best time to recruit for this job, including when the highest number of candidates will be available, and when the competition for candidates in this job will be low.
  • Job location — the app will also advise managers on where to physically place the work based on the geographic availability and the interests of most candidates.
  • Alert on future openings — managers will be given a heads-up as to the number of future openings as a result of predicted turnover/retirements within their team. When necessary, they can increase their recruiting targets.
  • Advised time-to-fill — the app will alert managers as to the current target “time-to-fill days.” They can complete the hiring process before most of the top candidates drop out as a result of accepting other timelier offers.
  • Technology alternatives — before hiring begins, the app will also make each hiring manager aware of robotic, software, and automation alternatives to hiring new employees.
  • Past hiring success — before the hiring process formally begins, the hiring manager will be made aware of their past “hiring batting average.” The app will provide hiring-manager nudges covering how it can be improved for this next hire.

Administrative features at the beginning of the hiring process 

  • Requisitions — an automated process for creating requisitions and getting them approved.
  • Advice on selection criteria — an automated process for updating job requirements based on data that reveals the selection factors that predict on-the-job success. The app also has an interactive feature that allows each manager to understand how the number of qualified candidates will proportionately increase whenever they lower any overly stringent job requirements.
  • Job posting content — the app will have an automated process for updating job descriptions and job postings so that they are more compelling to target prospects. The app will also contain software that will help to minimize biases in these descriptions.

Sourcing features in the app

  • Internal and external sourcing — the process will automatically source both external, talent pipeline, and internal candidates. It will also identify silver medalists (from recent openings) and possible boomerang rehires. When requested, the app will continually source and let the hiring manager know about the talent that is currently available.
  • Sourcing both active and passive — the automated process will be able to identify both active job seekers and those who are not currently actively looking. A machine-learning driven algorithm will also accurately identify those desirable targets who may soon leave their current job. The process will also use machine learning to better identify a larger volume of qualified diverse prospects.
  • Current recruiting competition — the app will let individual hiring managers know if others at your firm are simultaneously recruiting for the same job.
  • Soon to be available alert — the app will immediately alert managers whenever a pre-identified recruiting target begins a job search. 
  • Best channels — using marketing research data, the manager will be advised on the best channels to place branding messages and job postings. 
  • Superior postings — the algorithm will continually compare your firm’s job postings with those of your competitors. Ensure that yours have superior attraction capabilities.

Candidate assessment features of the app 

  • Automated resume sorting — an algorithm will automatically sort, assess, and rank the received resumes and LinkedIn profiles. The app will immediately notify the manager whenever a targeted prospect applies.
  • Candidates slate — an algorithm will advise the manager as to which applicants should be on the candidate slate for interviews. 
  • Self-service scheduling — a self-service online scheduling site will allow interviewees to schedule their own interview times when both parties are available.
  • Chatbot candidate engagement — an automated chatbot CRM system will continually communicate with interviewees in order to keep them fully engaged and interested.
  • Proposed interview questions — a data-driven process will suggest the appropriate interview questions that have the highest predictive value for each candidate.
  • Stored interviews — in the cases where interviews are recorded, those that couldn’t attend the live interview can later screen them. And managers can revisit previous interviews whenever necessary.
  • Suggest additional assessments — when appropriate, the app will suggest additional technical online assessment tests or VR reality simulations for each finalist. 
  • Automated reference checks — in order to speed up the hiring process, hiring managers can at any time request either a brief or a complete (vendor-driven) electronic records and reference check of any candidate.

Candidate selling features of the app 

  • Advice on candidate expectations — using market and data from previous hires., the app will educate hiring managers on the current needs, expectations, and knockout factors of most candidates in the marketplace. 
  • Side-by-side comparisons — the app will keep the hiring manager informed about other firms that are currently recruiting for the same position. It will provide them with information, comparisons, and arguments that highlight the advantages of working at your firm.
  • Brand strength — the app will alert the manager on the current attraction power of your external employer-brand image.

The app will help to sculpt successful offers 

  • Hire recommendations — using data from the interviews, the app will recommend which finalist to hire, while ranking the remaining finalists. 
  • Automated intelligent offers — weighing both current market rates and the candidate’s capabilities, the app will sculpt several offers, each with its own probability of being accepted.
  • Post-hire preboarding — after the candidate has accepted the job a chatbot-driven CRM process will keep the new hire fully engaged in order to minimize the chance that they will ghost your firm. 

Final Thoughts

Obviously, a fully automated hiring process will have many implications for current recruiters. The development and use of this app will drive some recruiters to become experts in gathering the data and writing the algorithms for the app. While for others it will drive them to broaden their skills, and to transition into the more strategic role of Talent Advisor. And for those that refuse to change, they should consider careers in real estate.

Author’s Note: If this article stimulated your thinking and provided you with actionable tips, follow or connect with me on LinkedIn, subscribe to the ERE Daily, and hear me and others speak this week at ERE’s Recruiting Conference in Washington, D.C.

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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