High volume hiring? Here's why smart-touch hiring is better than high-touch

The secret to securing great talent is a first-rate candidate experience. If you have been in any way entangled in the aftermath of 2021’s Great Resignation, you know that even an attractive remuneration package, with compelling benefits, is not enough: Now, more than ever, prospective hires will want to see the best of your organisation, and that includes the best of you. You must be fast, decisive, and flexible, from the point of first contact.

This is a problem amplified by scale. If you’re responsible for hiring 100,000 employees per year, for instance, you may find you are required to provide a top-notch candidate experience for that many prospects. You could decide that it is better to do things the old fashioned way, but it is more and more likely that, in doing so, you will miss out on great talent. The cost of such losses is best avoided.

Automation, be it through an assessment tool, conversational Ai platform, or Applicant Tracking System (ATS), is the simple key to solving volume hiring in a chaotic market. However, understandably, many high-volume hiring managers tend to think that automation comes at the cost of personalisation and human contact. If, for instance, you’re processing 5,000 prospects to fit 300 job openings, how do you ensure your candidates are met with the high-touch journey they expect? Is an automated Ai conversation, in the minds of candidates, not just as impersonal as older methods of qualification?

What ‘high-touch’ actually means, and its purpose

On the face of it, ‘high-touch’ implies an emphasis on person-to-person, face-to-face contact in your hiring process. If you can see your candidates, if you can greet them warmly and exalt your free-breakfast policy, you can make them feel special. Sending an email or a link to a form is impersonal, outmoded, and risks alienating the people you want to attract. 

What if, instead, high-touch is a stand-in for meaningful contact, instead of lots of contact? What if you could conduct a smooth, quick, and painless interview process that:

  • Asked the best from candidates, and allowed them to provide thoughtful responses in their own time
  • Explored the human aspects of their personality, and not just the line items on their CV
  • Ignored, by design, the aspects of candidates prone to bias (such as appearance, ethnicity, age, and so on)

Is that not more effective than a by-the-book interview in which you smiled a lot, engaged in forgettable small talk, and discussed a laundry list of perks?

Woolworths, Australia’s largest private employer, adopted the smart-touch automated hiring approach, and won handsomely for it. They used our Chat Interview (chat-based) and Video Interview (video-based) solutions to assess nearly 9,000 candidates, achieving a candidate satisfaction score of 9.2 out of 10. We saved the hiring team time and money, helped give each of their candidates the fairest possible go, and best of all, helped them achieve their hiring targets. 

Woolworths wanted the equivalent of a high-touch candidate experience, and judging by these candidate testimonials, they certainly got it:

“The chat makes you feel like you’re in a safe space – it gives everyone an equal opportunity instead of an in person interview as people can get extremely nervous”.

“I found the process to be reflective and I liked how they wanted to know about me”.

“Everything was amazing! By far the best interview system I’ve encountered! It allowed me to be comfortable and be myself, it really allowed me to take my time with my responses rather than stutter over my words”.

“It was great. I like the potential to retake videos and how quick you’ve responded”.

There you have it: That is how a small hiring team can process nearly 10,000 candidates, using conversational Ai, and offer a truly high-touch candidate experience. But the benefits don’t stop there.

With a smart-touch automation solution, Talent Analytics can heighten your touch

When you entrust your hiring process to Smart Interviewer, our smart interviewer, you automate the process of meaningful data collection. That data is then transformed into actionable insights that help you improve your hiring processes. With TalentInsights, you could learn:

  • Your average time to hire
  • Estimated time saving in hours (incidentally, we’ve helped our customers save a total of 530,000 hours that would have been spent in cumbersome, high-touch interviews)
  • The quality of your candidate pool overall, or by gender
  • Overall candidate engagement scores

And much more. Suddenly, you have the numbers to back your wider hiring strategies, be they focussed on DEI, or fairness, or another goal. You can show your business that you are making real, quantifiable strides, and leading the way in efficiency and social responsibility.

The appetite for good, actionable data in HR is higher than it has ever been. Hiring managers are waking fast to the realities of the Great Resignation – that we just don’t know as much as we should about what constitutes good talent and candidate experience. In other words: We don’t really know why people are leaving, and we don’t really know why they do or don’t choose us in the first place.

According to a recent study by Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research, only 50% of the companies that invest in Talent Analytics actually trust the source of their data. When you consider that around 80 million American workers are hourly workers, one of the hardest-to-recruit employment segments of the moment, it becomes clear that the need for useful data is absolutely critical. 

What approach will you take? What kind of experience will you provide your candidates, before and after hiring? What kind of data will guide your decisions? Remember: The choice to do nothing is still a choice, and it has an indeterminate cost.

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