Digital tools aid in talent recruitment

With increased connectivity and changing lifestyles, companies now integrating social media and online platforms to help search for talent and future hires, says HR recruitment firm.
Written by Tyler Thia, Contributor

The use of electronic and social media tools has transformed the recruitment landscape, but HR departments still find it a challenge to identify the right hire and retain talent, according to recruitment firm Kelly Services' outsourcing and consulting group (KellyOCG).

Given the demands HR specialists face today, they may not have the time to stay updated on the latest communications tools that are adopted by the general pool of talent their companies are targeting to recruit, Candy Lewandowski, vice president of KellyOCG's recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) group practice, said in an interview with ZDNet Asia.

To help its clients reach out to tech-savvy generations, the consulting group has been incorporating the use of digital tools into its recruitment work, she said. These allow KellyOCG to proactively "pool talents" for clients which may be looking to fill certain positions in the near future.

Lewandowski said: "We constantly work with different software in various regions to ensure it best suits the local market. The tools have different capabilities so we have to look for alternative sources for countries [that have different requirements] such as China and Russia, which are our biggest challenges."

For instance, Kumar Bhaya, director of RPO at KellyOCG's, said the software the company currently uses is unable to support double-byte Russian characters, hence, it has to source for alternatives which can be challenging.

Singapore-based Bhaya added that as China does not allow access to popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, so local alternatives of these platforms instead are widely used by the Chinese online community.

"[Therefore], it is critical to tap these platforms to remain relevant to the market," he said, noting that the ability to reach out to "digital natives" is important as these people have the knowledge and skills that Kelly's clients look for.

Proactive search for potential talent
Lewandowski said RPO is different from headhunting as it does not involve cold-calling or aggressively pursuing individuals in a given time. Instead, it capitalizes on a series of approach such as leveraging various platforms to reach out to specific talent pool that clients are interested in and educate them on the client's brand, even if the individuals may still be happy in their current jobs.

Bhaya added that creating a ready pool of talents will make it easier for organizations to hire the right candidate when positions open up, as RPO's emphasis is on screening people with the relevant skillsets.

Lewandowski also noted that social media networks should be tapped as part of a company's overall recruitment process and applied in a relevant environment where they can be most effective. For instance, it may not be feasible to use Twitter to hire an engineer in a country where the microblogging site may not be as widely used among this group of professionals.

She added that while traditional media has been a mainstay for recruitment advertisements, platforms such as newspapers are becoming "obsolete" in terms of talent search and Web sites are becoming the first point-of-reach for jobseekers.

Lewandowski said: "I don't think that a lot of our clients are going that way, unless the job [involves] low-skilled labor or where there is a large read in the city."

Bhaya noted, though, that while newspaper job advertisements are seeing a decline, some companies still use them as part of their widespread strategy to reach potential candidates.

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