Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Then and Now: How The Hiring Process Has Changed

The hiring process has transformed dramatically over the years, in large part due to technological advancements.

Beyond just the rise of the internet, tools like video interviewing and interview scheduling software have helped to streamline the hiring process, saving both time and money and making a hiring manager’s life much easier.

But there are some other, more subtle differences between how people acquire talent now versus a decade ago. Here is how the hiring process has shifted over time:

Your reach is much more expansive

Before social media and the internet, a person looking to expand their team had to hope that a qualified professional saw their job posting in the local newspaper or a trade magazine.

Their reach was fairly limited when it came to recruiting, and hiring managers often found they were talking to the same candidates over and over when it came time to fill a job — or worse, choosing less-than-qualified individuals for open roles, simply because they had no one else available to them.

The internet has truly revolutionized recruiting. There are so many more touch points available to a hiring manager looking to fill an open role. From LinkedIn to your company’s website to Twitter, Facebook networking groups, and beyond, it’s never been easier to access a deep pool of qualified candidates.

In some ways this might feel overwhelming, as it means you’re sorting through more resumes than ever before, but it also greatly increases your chances of finding someone who’s the perfect fit for the role in question. If you don’t like the applications you’re getting from those in your immediate area, you can go beyond your city and even your state until you find the ideal candidate.

Drastic improvements in video interviewing technology

Video interviewing has become a dramatic time and money saver for those looking to hire.

Instead of having to fly a candidate in for an interview or rely on the phone to get a sense of what this person is all about, the hiring manager can now utilize video interviewing technology in their process. This enables them to hear and see what the professional is all about without having to pay for airfare and hotel costs.

Additionally, video interviewing technology itself has become much more accessible since it first became available. What was once a high-priced system with fuzzy video and audio quality is now affordable for businesses of all sizes.

The quality of technology is much better now too, meaning you can clearly see and hear the individual on the other end of the system without worrying about the system dropping out every few minutes.

It’s much easier to schedule interviews

In years past, hiring managers had to engage in a constant back and forth with candidates as they tried to find a time to bring them in for an interview. This became a time-consuming and tedious process, often resulting in frustration for both parties.

Throw in time zone differences and the task became a nightmare, often deterring hiring managers from opting to work with candidates outside a close radius.

Thanks to the arrival of interview scheduling software on the scene, a hiring manager now is able to take the legwork out of bringing a professional in for an interview. This enables them to shift their attention to preparing for the interview and making the best hiring choice possible for the business.

An increased focus on cultural fit

Several decades ago, most people who were in search of a job zeroed in on open positions that offered the highest salaries, best health benefits, and most time off. They weren’t overly preoccupied with what their new colleagues would be like, or what their work-life balance would look like.

On the flip side, hiring managers were very focused on an individual’s resume. What sort of schooling did they have? Had they won any awards? How much experience did they have in the field? What were their technical qualifications?

These details were what determined whether someone would get offered a job at that company. Personality type and cultural fit played a miniscule part in the final decision.

This perspective has shifted entirely, and in 2017 both job seekers and hiring managers approach open jobs with new priorities.

Of course those looking for career advancement care about salary, benefits, and time off. They want to ensure they’ll be compensated fairly for their time and treated well, should they accept an offer.

However, job seekers have also taken a deep interest in what that company is like as a whole. What are the current employees like? What values matter most to upper management? How are problems solved? Is it a collaborative office or is individual problem solving valued? Do they allow team members to work from home? How is work delegated?

These questions are all worth considering, in addition to the basics about pay and time off.

From a hiring manager’s perspective, experience and education matter, but they’re also taking a deeper look at who that candidate is as an individual.

Those in charge of hiring have realized you can have the most qualified and experienced candidate available, but if this person’s attitude is going to cause tension among clients or with veteran employees, it’s probably best to look elsewhere when hiring.

They need to be in search of someone who will add to the team in a positive way, not just someone who is competent enough to get the job done. One person directly contributes to the morale of the entire company, so choosing someone who will fit in well is essential.

Technical skill can be taught, the right outlook simply can’t be.

Candidates run the show

Today, job seeking has become much more tailored to the candidate’s experience, particularly when a hiring manager is vying for top tier talent. Hiring managers have realized that if you want the attention of a valuable would-be employee, you can’t make them bend over backwards to move through your hiring process.

This is why allowing them to do a video interview when it’s conducive to their schedule has become a popular option.

Instead of forcing a candidate to take time off from work or make up an excuse about why they’re stepping out of the office for two hours, they’re able to record an interview from the comfort of their own home at a time that works for them. This shows that the hiring manager respects their time and sends a subtle signal about what it would be like to work for that company.

Additionally, many hiring managers have become focused on moving through the talent acquisition process as quickly as possible. They also understand the importance of keeping all candidates informed as they go.

Years ago, you could wait months to hear back about whether you landed a second or third round interview. If you didn’t get the job, you might never find out about it at all. This put your job search process into a constant, frustrating limbo.

Now, people tasked with hiring realize the importance of being transparent with applicants. They want to find the best candidate for the open role as quickly as possible, and when that person is selected, they understand they owe those who weren’t chosen the courtesy of an email or phone call so they can continue on with their job search.

There’s a greater emphasis on employer branding

With the rise of the internet, it’s become easier than ever for job seekers to gather information about the companies to which they’re applying.

What kinds of clients does this company typically work with? Based on pictures, blog posts, tweets, and homepage content, what kind of atmosphere does the office seem to exude? This is something hiring managers must constantly be mindful of, and work to monitor. Your online presence can either attract or deter talent, so make sure you’re using these resources wisely.

Everyone within the company, especially those tasked with interfacing with the public on behalf of the business, should be aware of the organization’s vision and values.

If you’re a creative firm, use social media and your website to show off that creativity and attract job seekers who want to be in a place where their ideas are allowed to blossom. If you’re a business with plenty of structure, use your online content to make this clear so you can recruit people who value this stability.

As a hiring manager, you may wonder why you pay an individual to monitor your company’s social media or write blog posts for the business’s website, but all of these touch points act as powerful recruiting tools and become essential when it’s time to hire. You want to make sure your messaging is consistent across all platforms, and that it’s properly reflecting what the company is all about so you’re attracting the right type of job seeker.

Networking happens in many different places

In the pre-internet era, networking happened at stiff post-work events with bad hors d’oeuvres and watered down drinks. If you weren’t present at these events, you were missing out on your chance to meet the most promising group of young professionals your city had to offer.

Now, thanks to sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook and Instagram, networking has taken on a completely different feel. It can happen anytime and anywhere, and has become a much more casual concept.

While there are certainly still structured events for people to mix and mingle, it’s become less about buttoning your shirt and grabbing your stack of business cards and more about starting an earnest dialogue with professionals with shared interests and common goals. You might find your next great hire in a Facebook group, via the comments section on LinkedIn, or in a Twitter chat.

As an added bonus, you’re no longer limited to those who are within driving distance of the networking event in your city. You’re now easily able to meet people from all different places and walks of life.

The kind of employee hiring managers want has changed

Regardless of the industry you’re in, hiring managers are realizing just how rapidly business is changing. The way you operated 10 years ago is probably drastically different than the way things work now, and will almost certainly be nothing like the way things happen in six or seven years.

As a result, the type of employee they’re looking to hire has shifted, too. Technical skills matter. The right personality type is important.

However, hiring managers also want to know that the individuals they’re recruiting are able to pivot, learn new skills, and adapt to a changing business environment. They need to be open to learning new technology and new ways of reaching their customers. Those who insist on sticking with the same old way things have always been done just because it’s comfortable will plateau and, eventually, get left in the dust.

This is important for those seeking new career opportunities to bear in mind.

There’s a greater focus on data and analytics

Hiring managers have started to realize they can use data to pick up on patterns and predict future success when it comes to expanding their team. They can look at everything from the responses a person gave during their video interview to the type of training they had as they got acclimated to their educational background and use these pieces of information to predict which candidates will be successful in the future.

Instead of guessing the type of individual who will make the best addition to the team and hoping they’re right, hiring managers have come to rely heavily on facts and figures to guide their choices as they pertain to talent acquisition.

Technological advancements have allowed the talent acquisition process to become much more streamlined and pleasant for both hiring managers and job seekers alike.

An increase in available data has also enabled it to become a more accurate process as a whole. Video interviewing and scheduling software enable hiring managers to save both time and money, and social media has become a powerful networking and branding tool for professionals from all industries.

With such drastic advancements in a relatively short amount of time, it’s exciting to think about how far the process will move forward in the next decade or two.

What to learn more about the evolution of the job interview? Take a look at our infographic!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.

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