LinkedIn’s latest round of updates to its job posting tool includes features designed to help smaller organizations without dedicated recruiting functions to more easily source and track qualified candidates, Monica Lewis, Head of Product at Linkedin Jobs, announced on the professional networking platform’s Talent Blog last week:
Now, when you post a job on LinkedIn, these new features will work to deliver a pool of relevant candidates who you can’t find anywhere else. … Once you’ve posted a job on LinkedIn, Recommended Matches will scour our network to find candidates who have the experience and skills you’re looking for. And, most of these candidates are exclusively on LinkedIn: 57% of our users in the US did not visit the top three job boards last month.
We put these potential candidates right in front of you, giving you access to their full profiles. In one click, you can indicate if you’re interested in a candidate and start a conversation with them about the job opportunity. Based on how you rate candidates, our algorithm learns your preferences and delivers increasingly relevant candidates.
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, has also reconfigured its matching algorithm and given organizations the ability to add their own targeting preferences, giving them more control over who sees a job post. The update also makes it easier for users to keep track of candidates they are considering or wish to contact.
The new features are deliberately designed to encourage smaller and medium-sized enterprises to use LinkedIn as a job board. ERE’s Joel Cheesman calls this “a smart move at the right time”:
Springtime is always a busy season for home improvement and gardening businesses, so the largest of these businesses in the US are embarking on massive hiring sprees to fill tens of thousands of seasonal positions, some of which will turn into permanent roles. The Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the US, plans to hire 80,000 employees for the coming season, while its main competitor Lowe’s is looking for 53,000 workers.
To assist in this massive recruiting drive in the context of a historically tight labor market, Home Depot is launching a series of new technological tools to help it recruit and onboard tens of thousands of new employees as efficiently as possible. In a press release last week, the company described an app that allows candidates who have submitted applications to self-schedule their in-person interviews at their convenience. The press release adds that 80 percent of candidates have used Candidate Self-Service since Home Depot began piloting the app in November:
Candidate Self-Service is the latest in a series of enhancements The Home Depot has made to its application process. Last spring, the company saw a 50 percent increase in candidates after rolling out its 15-minute application, Mobile Apply and Text-to-Apply capabilities.
Organizational culture is critical to business outcomes and more than 80 percent of organizations hire specifically for culture fit. Seeing an opportunity here, tech startup Bunch wants to help companies bring more analytic rigor into how hiring managers assess job candidates for culture fit. Steve O’Hear recently profiled the startup at TechCrunch:
Specifically, by mapping company culture data against that provided by a job applicant, the idea, Bunch founder and CEO Darja Gutnick tells me, is to be able to highlight any potential cultural fit issues that can be teased out during a subsequent interview…
The way Bunch works is as follows: A company signs to the Saas and its teams take a 5-minute culture assessment, based on the O’Reilly model. Then, using the data provided, Bunch creates a culture profile for the company and each of its teams, mapped onto 6 key dimensions: Results-orientation, Adaptability, Collaborative, Detail-orientation, Principles and Customer-orientation. Every new applicant is tasked with taking an automated culture quiz that Bunch checks against the team and company profile.
Bunch’s push to put a quantitative lens on hiring for culture fit is well-intentioned. Taking a more “gut feel” approach to culture fit, as many managers currently do, can open up the organization to unconscious biases that threaten workforce diversity. There’s just one problem: Hiring for cultural fit is both more difficult and less effective than Bunch’s platform makes it look. Beyond the significant issue of bias, our research at CEB (now Gartner) shows that common strategies to change or strengthen culture by bringing in certain types of people don’t usually work.
Here are three main reasons why tools like Bunch’s are unlikely to produce the results organizations are looking for:
LinkedIn on Tuesday announced the rollout of a new feature called “Pipeline Builder” that “identifies, engages, and generates interest from professionals on the LinkedIn network, through advanced ad targeting and a personalized landing page experience.” The feature is intended to help employers identify candidates who were not being captured through other sourcing techniques; in its pilot program, LinkedIn says, 84 percent of the candidate pool Pipeline Builder generated “had not previously applied to a job at the company, despite being qualified for the role and having shown interest in the company.” The feature is particularly geared toward organizations that need to hire a large number of employees in a short period of time:
Imagine that you’re looking to hire 10 engineers in a short amount of time. Here’s how Pipeline Builder works in this case:
You set the exact criteria for your target talent pool — you can filter by title, years of experience, schools, companies and location, to name a few. [As seen in image above, those] LinkedIn members are then targeted with ads in their feed on both desktop and mobile, as well as with a new banner on your Company Page.
Once members click on these ads, they’re taken to a personalized landing page experience that greets them by name and allows them to engage with your opportunity through custom rich media (including video) and tailored content.
- Prospects can then click the “I’m Interested” button on the landing page to share their LinkedIn profile and additional contact info, without going through the hassle of a lengthy application.
At ERE, recruiting tech expert Joel Cheesman characterizes Pipeline Builder as “another solid offering from LinkedIn” and as a competitive move in response to efforts by other tech giants to make waves in the recruiting space, such as Facebook’s job listing feature and Google’s machine-learning-enhanced job search functionality, as well as its applicant tracking system Google Hire:
Every recruiter is familiar with the concept of meeting candidates where they are, but new technological solutions are putting a new spin on that idea. Earlier this month, NPR’s Yuki Noguchi reported on how some employers are using geofencing technology to target job advertising to talent in specific geographical areas:
Carol McDaniel has a perennial challenge: Attracting highly specialized acute-care certified neonatal nurse practitioners to come work for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. They are “always in short supply, high demand, and [it is a] very, very small group of people,” says McDaniel, the hospital’s recruitment director.
So, about six months ago, McDaniel says, the hospital started using a new recruitment tactic: It buys lists of potential candidates culled from online profiles or educational records. It then uses a technology to set up a wireless fence around key areas where the coveted nurses live or work. When a nurse with the relevant credentials enters a geofenced zone, ads inviting them to apply to All Children’s appear on their phones.
Just weeks after launching its highly anticipated machine learning-enhanced job search feature Google for Jobs, the search giant has rolled out Google Hire, a recruiting app, as part of its G Suite of enterprise software offerings, according to an announcement on Google’s company blog:
Hire and G Suite are made to work well together so recruiting team members can focus on their top priorities instead of wasting time copy-pasting across tools. For example, you can:
- Communicate with candidates in Gmail or Hire and your emails will sync automatically in both.
- Schedule interviews in Hire with visibility into an interviewer’s schedule from Calendar. Hire also automatically includes important details in Calendar invites, like contact information, the full interview schedule and what questions each interviewer should focus on.
- Track candidate pipeline in Hire, and then analyze and visualize the data in Sheets. …
Now, all U.S.-based businesses under 1,000 employees that use G Suite can purchase Hire to land the best talent.
We first caught wind of Google Hire in April, when word got out that the company was testing it. A Google executive explains to Mike Prokopeak at Workforce why they decided to only make it available to small businesses:
Businesses of that size have a different set of hiring needs than larger enterprises, said Dmitri Krakovsky, a vice president at Google. “Small businesses don’t have deep pockets,” he said. “We wanted to level the playing field for them.”
McDonald’s made headlines last week when it revealed that it would be accepting job applications this summer through Snapchat, in an effort to attract more candidates in its key age demographic of 16- to 24-year-olds. Recruiting through social media is a promising tool for companies looking to put job opportunities before the eyes of younger millennials and Generation Z, as that is where most of their media attention is focused—not TV, newspapers, or job boards.
Another millennial-targeted innovation in recruiting is gamification, where candidates prove their skills and compete for jobs through online platforms and mobile apps where they solve puzzles or participate in simulations that demonstrate their ability to do the work. The latest example of an employer gamifying their hiring process is Jaguar Land Rover, Amie Tsang reported for the New York Times this week:
The carmaker announced on Monday that it would be recruiting 5,000 people this year, including 1,000 electronics and software engineers. The catch? It wants potential employees to download an app with a series of puzzles that it says will test for the engineering skills it hopes to bring in. While traditional applicants will still be considered, people who successfully complete the app’s puzzles will “fast-track their way into employment,” said Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Tata Motors of India.
All of these new, tech-savvy approaches to recruiting are deliberately meant to appeal to a younger crowd, but not every applicant is a Snapchatting millennial raised on video games, Steve Boese points out in his take on McDonald’s “snaplications,” and employers who rely too heavily on these novel techniques might find that it has an unexpected and potentially unwelcome impact on age diversity in their organization: