Building an HR Tech Strategy That Aligns with Recruiting and Creates a Seamless Journey for Candidates

HR Tech Strategy

As VidCruiter’s own Tamara Gravelle explained earlier this year, the use of technology for a variety of recruitment-focused purposes has become essential by today’s standards.

To be sure, this isn’t a baseless claim. As CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study shows, nearly 80% of recruiters using some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) say that this and other technology has made finding top-notch talent “easier than ever.”

  • “Easier,” in this context, refers to the idea that such technology allows recruiting teams to:
  • Be more proactive in discovering and engaging with top-quality talent
  • Communicate more efficiently with internal team members at all times

Surprisingly, CareerBuilder’s report also found that half of responding companies don’t use an ATS. As we’ll discuss momentarily, this is a pretty good sign that at least half of said companies aren’t taking full advantage of the many different recruitment tools available to them. This, in turn, likely means that said companies are experiencing major productivity gaps when it comes to their recruitment initiatives.

Now, this isn’t to say that such tools and technology are a “magic bullet” that will fix all of the issues plaguing your recruitment efforts with the flip of a switch. In order to get the most out of these tools, you’ll need to take a more strategic approach to implementing them into your recruitment processes.

Which is exactly what we’ll be discussing throughout this article.

Without further ado, let’s dive right into the five-step process to go through as you build out your recruiting tech stack in a way that benefits both your HR team and your potential job candidates.

5 Vital Steps for Building an HR Tech Strategy to Create a Seamless Journey for Recruiters and Candidates

1. Assess Your Current Goals and Challenges

Like we said, simply adopting a variety of tools into your processes for the sake of doing so isn’t the best course of action, here.

First of all, there are a ton of different tools on the market that focus on various aspects of the recruiting process. What’s more, you’ll also have a number of options to choose from when focusing on any one of these areas.

The thing is:

You may not need to use all of these different tools—at least, not at the present moment.

What’s more important, during this preliminary stage, is to determine what your recruiting team’s current goals are—and where they need the most help.

Typically, these goals and challenges revolve around your team’s ability to:

  • Find high-quality job candidates
  • Engage and pique the interest of these prospective employees
  • Maintain engagement and forge a relationship with top candidates
  • Learn as much as possible about potential candidates before formalizing the interview process
  • Document engagements and otherwise manage the recruitment process internally

Again:

Your organization may already have some of these tasks down to a science. In other areas, your team may be lagging behind in some way or another.

At this point, your goal is to understand what, specifically, needs to be made “easier”—and to start focusing on finding the tools that will allow this to happen.

Now, you’ll eventually want to adopt tools and tech that allow you to be more productive and efficient in all of these areas. And, in many cases, you’ll find that a tool that helps in one of these areas also serves to improve other areas of your recruitment operations.

Still, you don’t want to end up in a situation in which you’ve adopted a piece of technology without a clear idea of why you did so.

That said, your first order of business should be to nail down your top goals and biggest challenges before you even consider checking out the options you have at your disposal.

2. Start With a Strong Tech Foundation

Though we just advised that you start by focusing on your most pressing issues with regard to recruiting technology, you don’t want to commit to these more specific tools before you have a solid technological foundation to stand on.

By “technological foundation,” we’re referring to a centralized system that will allow data to flow freely throughout your recruitment team, and to your potential job candidates, as well.

Put simply:

You need a solid ATS on which to build out your recruitment tech stack.

A high-quality applicant tracking system serves a variety of purposes revolving around recruitment processes, such as:

  • Collecting, categorizing, and organizing candidate information
  • Group and segment candidates for more personalized communication
  • Assisting with candidate scoring and evaluation
  • Enabling communication and collaboration between recruitment team members

Overall, your ATS will serve as your recruitment team’s single source of truth, or SSOT.

That is, this centralized system will ensure that your recruitment-related data remains accurate, up-to-date, and consistent—regardless of which tool is currently being used. In turn, your recruitment team will be able to stay on the same page—allowing them to streamline all aspects of the hiring process for all involved parties.

Note that having this SSOT is essential in order to get maximum value out of the other tools you’ll add to your recruiting tech stack over time. Without this centralized system in place, you’ll likely end up siloing your various other tools in some way or another—leading to disjointed processes for your recruitment team, and a subpar experience for your potential job candidates.

So, once more:

Before you start digging into the more specialized recruitment tools we’ll be discussing in a moment, you need to have a solid foundation for these tools to stand on. With this foundation in place, it will be much easier to add more tools to your stack in the future as necessary.

1. Assess Your Current Goals and Challenges

At this point, you’ll know what your key recruitment-related goals and challenges are, and will have a strong base on which to build your recruitment tech stack.

Your next step, then, is to figure out which tools to add to this stack first.

As we said earlier, there are a variety of “types” of tools to consider, here—each performing different functions related to the overall recruitment process.

Candidate Sourcing Tools

To be blunt:

You’re never going to be able to attract top-notch candidates by taking a passive approach to recruitment.

Rather, your team needs to be proactive in their search for the best candidates for a given position.

Which is why candidate sourcing tools are an essential part of your recruitment tech stack.

There are a number of tools on the market that will allow you to take control over the process of sourcing high-quality candidates, such as:

  • Resume database aggregators, which automate and otherwise streamline the workflow of combing through databases in order to find qualified candidates. Examples include HiringSolved and TalentHook.
  • Portfolio database aggregators, which assist with the above tasks while specifically focusing on candidate work samples and other such artifacts. Examples include Carbonmade and GitHub.
  • Networking and referral platforms, which can help you find qualified candidates on social media and similar channels. Examples include AngelList, MeetUp, and LinkedIn Recruiter.

Recruitment Marketing Tools

The modern recruitment team, in many ways, engages with job candidates as marketing teams engage with customers.

To assist in these marketing-type initiatives, you’ll need to adopt the right kind of tools into your tech stack.

These tools include:

  • Candidate relationship management tools, which allow you to create personas for your target candidates, and track any communication and other engagements that occur between your team and potential hires. Examples include SmartRecruiter’s SmartCRM, SmashFly, and Bullhorn.
  • Brand, campaign, and content builders, which allow you to promote your company to potential recruits and showcase the ways in which they can benefit from engaging further with your organization. Examples include Boost Linguistics, Textio Hire, and Gender Decoder.

Candidate Screening Tools

As any recruiter knows, there are a number of surface-level qualities to consider before engaging too far with a given candidate.

Of course, manually weeding out unqualified prospects can be a time- and resource-consuming process. So, you’ll want to think about using certain tools to help make this process as quick and easy as possible.

  • Automated CV filtering tools, which scrape information from resumes and job profiles to determine a candidate’s baseline qualifications. Examples include Ideal Intelligent Screening.
  • Pre-recorded interview tools are a cost effective and efficient method for screening candidates as can recruiters can do an unlimited number of interviews and then review each candidate’s response at a time convenient for the recruiter. VidCruiter’s pre-recorded video interviewing software has multiple features so that you can widen your applicant pool while ensuring that you bring in the best candidate for the job.

(Note: Video-based tools can also be used further down the recruiting funnel, when your team is ready to interview a candidate in real time for a full-length interview. VidCruiter’s live video interview platform, which was built specifically for recruitment purposes, can be used here to meet candidates in a secure, user-friendly online recruiting environment.)

Candidate Assessment Tools

While candidate screening tools can help filter out those who definitely aren’t a good fit for a given position, there will always be more specific info to learn about a potential hire before bringing them in for an interview.

Even still, your team may not be able to afford to give individualized attention to all recruits who pass the initial screening phase.

Again, technology is here to help:

(Note that these tools benefit potential recruits, as they’ll be able to complete the assigned tasks and tests when and where it’s most convenient for them.)

Employee Onboarding and Training Tools

Onboarding and training is a vital part of the recruitment process, as they essentially set the stage for the new hire’s experiences within your organization.

In order to streamline this final stage of recruitment, you’ll definitely want to add a number of tools to your tech stack, such as:

  • Systematized training tools, which deliver on-demand lessons and training sessions to new hires as they “learn the ropes” within an organization. Examples include Learn Amp.
  • Document management system tools, which enable new hires to fill out essential forms with ease.
  • Knowledge management software, which provide new hires with access to the entirety of an organization’s collective knowledge, as created by the members of the company.

Communication Tools

Communication is essential throughout the recruiting process, in a number of ways.

Whether looking to connect with potential recruits, other team members, or even other third-party entities, it’s vital that your tech stack includes tools that make this communication as easy as possible.

Eventually, you’ll want to flesh out your recruiting tech stack to include tools in all of these areas—and even more, as needed.

For the time being, though, your aim should be to prioritize the tools that will allow you to accomplish your most pressing goals, and avoid the biggest obstacles within your current processes. Once you have these areas running more smoothly, you can continue building out your tech stack into the other areas of your recruitment process.

4. Assess Your Options

When thinking about adding a certain type of tool to your tech stack, there are a number of factors to consider:

Integration Capabilities

Before adding new technology to your recruitment processes, you need to know.

Whether the new tool will integrate with the tools you currently use

Whether the tool will integrate with tools you may decide to add in the future

As we’ve said, it’s essential that your various tools are able to transmit data seamlessly between one another. If any friction exists in this regard, adding a new tool to your processes could actually end up doing more harm than good.

Onboarding and Implementation

The point of adding new technology to your recruitment processes is to make it easier for your team to accomplish said processes.

This simply won’t happen if your tool of choice is too difficult to use, or requires your team to undergo overly-extensive training.

While there will always be a learning curve when introducing a new piece of technology, you want to ensure that the provider supplies your team with proper training materials and hands-on support that will make navigating this learning curve as simple as possible.

Multi-Platform Usage

You don’t need us to tell you that your recruiting team uses a number of different devices throughout their day.

That being the case, it’s essential that the tools you bring into your tech stack are usable on all devices your team may use. More than just “usable,” you need to know that said tools are optimized for use on multiple devices—from desktop and laptop computers to tablets and mobile devices.

In turn, your team will always be able to accomplish what they need to, regardless of which device they have access to at the current moment.

Scalability

Simply put:

Your recruitment team’s needs will evolve as time goes on.

That said, you don’t want to have to keep switching tools over time as your needs change.

Instead, you want to be sure that the tools you’ve chosen at the present moment will continue to provide value to your team in the future. This means finding tools that offer tiered levels of features and functions—as opposed to taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

In finding a tool that grows with your team’s needs and abilities, you’ll cut out the downtime inherent in migrating to a completely new service over and over again. In turn, your team can stay focused on optimizing their processes and getting the most possible value out of the tools in their tech stack.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Going along with scalability, you also want to ensure that you don’t end up spending more on a piece of software than it’s worth to your team.

Again, this is where tiered options come into play: Your goal should be to find a solution that “checks all the boxes” for your team without going overboard. A solution that offers too many features—most of which are superfluous to your team’s current needs—you’ll likely end up spending too much on the tool and not getting enough value in return.

(This is why we hammered home the idea of defining your goals before looking for a solution: With your unique needs in mind from the get-go, it will be much easier to find the exact tool that’s right for your team.)

5. Make a Decision—and Assess Performance Over Time

Once you choose a given tool, you’ll want to continually assess its value to your team over time.

  • In terms of day-to-day usage, you’ll want to take note of:
  • Where friction still exists
  • Any positive or negative surprises that come about

Over the long run, you’ll want to think about:

  • How the tool has impacted your team’s productivity
  • The costs (monetary and otherwise) of using said tool

Basically, you’ll want to revisit your cost/benefit assessment—using actual data in place of hypothetical projections. Not only will this allow you to gauge the value of the actual tool being used, but will also allow you to gain a better understanding of your recruitment team’s ongoing needs.

In turn, you’ll be able to stay laser-focused on what matters most:

Finding the best-fit candidates for your team—and bringing them aboard with ease.

Headshot of Josh Brown

Josh Brown
Josh Brown is part of the marketing team at Helpjuice. Helpjuice’s knowledge base software can help HR managers and recruiters with improving the hiring experience for new employees.