Today's businesses operate in a digital world, and must be able not just to survive, but thrive amid the ever-accelerating march of technology. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has affected - and will continue to affect - every aspect of business, including HR and recruitment.

If you want to acquire and retain the essential talent you need to succeed, it's vital that your hiring and talent acquisition practices are constantly improving. You need to stay up to date with trends in this space and the evolving expectations of jobseekers.

With that in mind, it's worth giving close thought to some of the 'dos and don'ts' of recruitment in the digital age.

do build a brand

The internet has made it easier than ever for candidates to research a company. The information jobseekers are able to find about you in digital channels is likely to have a big influence on whether they decide to apply for a position with you. 

That's why it's so important to build an employer brand that demonstrates what makes you unique and shows candidates what they stand to gain from taking a job with you.

It's always useful to have an idea of what your preferred applicants expect and value in a job. According to the 2021 Randstad Employer Brand Research, attractive salary and benefits remain the top incentives for people to choose a particular employer, but this is closely followed by:

  • Work/life balance
  • Job security
  • A pleasant work atmosphere
  • Opportunities for career progression

There are many things you can do to build a strong picture of what you stand for as an employer and to convey your brand message. Keeping a blog on your website, for example, will allow you to give candidates a 'behind-the-scenes' glimpse of your organization and possibly imagine themselves working for you. 

You could also consider conducting interviews and collecting testimonials from existing employees to share across your social channels. This is a good way to let jobseekers hear from people who have first-hand experience of working for you.

don't make it hard

Hiring can be an exhausting process if you have too many resumes to sort through, but it's better to have too many choices than not enough. You also have the option to work with a recruitment partner who can help you target your job placements and narrow down your field of applicants.

Consider how difficult the process can be for people on the job hunt. Jobseekers often send their resumes to numerous companies and can only start to be selective when they start hearing back from potential employers.

Consider changes you might be able to implement in your application process to make it as easy and efficient as possible for all parties. If you use online applications that require candidates to manually fill out every job they've had since high school and every address they've had since college, there's a risk of people losing interest and moving on to the next potential opportunity.

If you want to keep things simple, a digitally submitted resume and cover letter could be enough to give you all the information you need.

do use social media, but don't rush to judgment

There are many ways you can incorporate social media into your hiring practices. Firstly, it's one of the best ways to publicize job openings and to connect with talented people who can bring genuine value to your organization.

LinkedIn is usually the first choice for employers looking to promote their current opportunities and engage with candidates, but platforms like Facebook and Twitter also offer a lot of potential to make connections and spread your brand message. Instagram is another powerful channel that can help you humanize your business, present your company culture and show people what it's like to work for you.

It's becoming increasingly common for employers to check job applicants' social media profiles, but think twice before reading too much into what you find there. One possible approach is to use social media research to look for positive characteristics that might help you determine whether a particular candidate will fit in at your company. If every job applicant was judged on the smallest details of their social media profiles, most people would struggle to get hired.

don't overlook candidate feedback

One of the most valuable sources of information you have about the quality of your digital recruitment is the people experiencing it first-hand. Make sure you take every opportunity to engage with candidates and gather their feedback on different elements of your hiring process. 

You can use social media and surveys to ask questions like:

  • Where did they see the job advertised?
  • What digital platforms and resources (if any) did they use to learn more about the role?
  • Did they do any additional research about your company?
  • What did this research tell them about your employer brand and what it might be like to work for you?

The insights you gain from collecting and analyzing candidate feedback will help you make improvements to your digital recruitment methods in the areas where they're needed the most.

If you discover a trend of respondents saying they found the application process too long and complicated, for example, look for ways to make it shorter and more efficient.

do take full advantage of new technologies

Technology is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal when you want to optimize your recruitment workflow and deliver a high-quality candidate experience.

Cutting-edge developments in areas like AI and automation, for example, are likely to have a huge impact on talent acquisition in 2021 and beyond. Staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies in this space could help you unlock a number of benefits in your recruitment activities, including the ability to maintain regular contact with applicants and answer their questions with chatbots.

Pymetrics, which is supported by the Randstad Innovation Fund (RIF), is one example of an AI-driven tool that is helping to match candidates with opportunities that make the best use of their skills and characteristics. RIF has also backed ventures such as Brazen, which enables employers to host online recruitment and networking events, and Checkster, an automated reference checking service.

As technology and the world of work continue to evolve in the coming years, businesses that are the most open to change and ready to embrace innovation will be the best-placed to succeed on the recruitment front.

don't take human skills for granted

It's clear that the digitalization of business processes and rapid evolution in technology has transformed how companies operate and how workforces are managed. However, it's also important to remember that there needs to be a strong human element in your recruitment practices.

People going through the application process will appreciate the speed and efficiency benefits that come with technology, but they will also want to see the personal, relatable side of your organization. This is crucial if you want to give candidates a good understanding of your company culture and what the experience of working for you is actually like. Achieving a level of personal engagement in your recruitment will help you get to know your applicants better and make the right hiring decisions. This will lead to long-term benefits such as strong employee relationships and reduced turnover.

Furthermore, it's important to focus on the human knowledge and skills in your existing workforce, so you can be sure you're in a strong position to deliver a positive experience to candidates. The latest technologies and digital staffing solutions will be of little benefit if the individuals in your team don't know how to use them, or become overly reliant on them.

do get outside help when you need it

When it starts to become clear that you simply don't have the time or the necessary expertise to make your digital recruitment the best it can be, you might want to think about how you could benefit from working with an experienced partner.

Forming new relationships and getting expert insights and guidance on digital recruitment, (specifically in terms of how your practices can be improved), will be invaluable if you're looking for a fresh, impartial perspective on your methods.

Working with an HR expert will also help you stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in this space, so you can ensure you're always delivering a relevant candidate experience. This is likely to prove more important than ever in the coming years, as technology continues to evolve and jobseeker expectations change.

We have produced a guide exploring some of our favorite tools to help you recruit in today's digital age. Download the guide to learn how to incorporate HR tech in your recruitment process.