Recruitment & hiring: Let's evolve our process!

Hiring processes in most organizations have not kept up with the 21st century workplace trends. How can we utilize both technology and our connections better to have the best talent in the best positions?

Being a valuable member of the modern workforce is tough - with more fierce competition, job insecurity, and new technological advances than ever before, it can be hard to keep up. Finding the most suitable workers for your project is also a sizeable challenge.

How do companies decide who to hire, and for what position? Online job boards? Recruiters? Freelancing sites? From their personal network using word of mouth?

With online profiles playing a huge role in the hiring process, highly skilled, desirable specialists have a broad range of opportunities they can choose from. Employers end up competing for the best talent.

There is a lot of talk about data-driven decisions in organizations. If financial investments and marketing strategies can be based on sales projections and customer data, why can't hiring decisions be made using applicant data? Hard numbers tend to be more reliable than human judgment.

In an attempt to use data to assist the recruitment process, many online platforms offer services for employers and job seekers to 'match' - LinkedIn, online job search engines, company Talent Networks, and online marketplaces for short-term 'gigs'. However, the majority of the time, the algorithm simply takes keywords from the applicant profile and matches them to positions with similar keywords. This method is inefficient, as it often ends up ignoring important factors like the required experience level, candidate results in previous positions, etc. There's a lot of room for improvement. In fact, a LinkedIn Talent Solutions study found that one of the top recruitment trends worldwide is to improve the algorithms that match candidates and jobs.

Even in the freelance market, where the recruitment process is more fast-paced than the process for traditional employment, the selection of freelancers for projects is primarily based on manual human selection.

While completely automating such a human component of organizations may not be the greatest idea on earth, it is worth looking into more data-driven decisions, not just information-driven ones. Data should assist hiring managers in making more informed decisions regarding candidates.

Another approach to better recruitment practices is improved use of communities. Peer reviews, advice, feedback, etc. are powerful tools to encourage people to do specific things. After all, word of mouth is still one of the most influential marketing channels.

Communities are an effective way to learn, buy, recruit, collaborate, and do just about anything else. Many brands take advantage of people's need for belonging, creating customer forums, VIP events and promotions, and feedback cycles.

Being part of a community can help individuals meet new professional contacts, build rapport with potential business partners, find mentoring relationships, as well as new career opportunities. Similar to recruitment agencies, but instead of a one-sided relationship, individuals tend to help each other out more. This is what makes a community so powerful - multiple individuals with varied lifestyles and interests who feel connected to each other in one common part of their lives.

There are many examples of the positive impact that communities have made on individuals: local neighborhood watch programs, Comiccon, LGBTI communities, etc. In the workforce, independent professionals particularly benefit from being part of a something bigger than themselves.

The trends in recruiting seem to point us towards more project-based work within professional communities. Crossing the use of communities with proper data utilization, we can create more effective teams to deliver better outcomes.