Tag Archive for new recruiting technology

2012/13 Part 6: Video Selection And Mobility

In the last post of this series we looked at some of the technical aspects of mobile. Most of the conversation is around mSite, apps or responsive web design, and what the best solution is. The really important discussion though as with any change or innovation is what it means in real terms to people and practices.

Probably the best mobile development that I have seen over the last year is the HireVue iPhone app. This enables candidates to record answers to pre-recorded questions, to view employer brand video, and to switch to a Skype style live, two-way interview if required. When I first looked at video selection a few years ago, I could see the potential but the market wasn’t quite ready because of user attitude to being filmed, and the availability of technology. This has all changed, now most of us have a camera in our pocket, and we have got very used to video calling as a result of Skype, Facetime etc. I think HireVue have the lead at the moment in the video selection space because of the iPhone app, but Irish company Sonru are not far behind, and Dutch company Camio, and US based Green Job Interview and Wowzer (formerly Ovia) are not too far behind. Clooks are also worth a look.

As the pricing comes down and the technology gets wider adoption, this will become mainstream over the next year. This is also a busy space with lots of new products being launched each month in local markets, being fully multilingual is a challenge most tech companies will need to overcome if they are to compete on the world stage. The benefit of video is that it needs no translation, once the operating platform has been changed. Employment branding video content needs to be local, and in a language understood by the target audience, with support and recruiting process that reflects this. No point switching from a video in Spanish, to a Spanish video selection assessment, then on to an English based ATS. You need to be speaking the language of your candidates for hire and selection, and considering images and content according to local attitudes, getting properly in tune with local attitudes.

What I am confident about is that communicating by video, and video selection is going to become far more common over the next year and as more and more start-ups are entering the market, and the established vendors are integrating with the enterprise ATS’s, we can expect the costs to become more competitive, and use to increase. The mobile aspect of the HireVue application really opens things up in this area.

At #truLondon, Felix Wetzel, the Strategy Development Director at Evenbase ran a track talking about what he terms mobility. Mobility is the term used to describe how mobile has changed the when, where and how of recruiting on-line. I find this the really interesting aspect of mobile and social, because accessibility has become anytime and anywhere. 75% of e-mails are opened on a mobile device. This means thinking about the length and content included, and that any links go to a mobile optimised location, and that any images or video are view-able on mobile. The peak times for access to web destinations are also changing. The golden hours are 6.15 – 9.15, 10.45 – 11.20, 12.10 – 2.15 and 4.40 – 9.30. This is really important because these are the times recruiters need to be live to respond to questions, updates and conversations. The traditional 9 – 5 just won’t cut it.

What is also clear about these times are that people are accessing web locations, viewing content and browsing on the move.  The data from Evenbase companies Jobsite and Broadbean show a pattern of browsing and searching for jobs in the morning and bookmarking opportunities, looking at supporting employer branding content and companies in the day, and spending time applying in the evening from a desk top. The data clearly shows that this is what is happening, but I think that this is really a result of what is possible via mobile rather than what job seekers really want.

Research among job seekers by Potential Park, shared at #truStockholm shows the following data: (The survey was taken from 5000 students)

> 88% of job seekers are or would search for jobs via mobile Internet.
>The biggest current activity is to “search for jobs”, followed by “looking for career related information”.
> The second largest desire is to be alerted of jobs to look at
> Nearly 1 in 3 job seekers want to apply from their smartphone.

> Information on an employers recruitment process and tips ranked highly

This shows that the desire to complete the full process via mobile is there, the opportunity is not (yet!). This means employers need to think about the technology that enables candidates to go through to the apply stage on mobile. The other point Wetzel makes is that mobility means people seeking access to content on the move. This means browsing on journeys such as the daily commute where internet access may be dipping in and out. Wetzel makes the point that because of this, it is important to consider making the caching of data possible and simple, which leans towards an app approach.

My own feeling is that we need to move away from asking every applicant to go through a lengthy and painful application process which has to be done on a desktop. From the clients I work with, 55% of people who bookmark jobs on a mobile never get around to applying. They are lost in the delay. Better to make it possible to express an interest with very basic info, like access to a LinkedIn profile, and get the profile in front of a recruiter to decide if the talent network is the best route, or if the candidate should be applying because they match the spec. That is going to reduce significant seepage and be better for everyone. LinkedIn apply and applications like Jibe make this very possible. Jibe are a bit different because they make it possible to apply from any device, and take the application data to the ATS. There’s also a referral and job distribution product integrated. I’ve watched Jibe for a few years now, as they have evolved from what was a social e-mail plug-in that didn’t work brilliantly in to the product it is now, that solves a real problem in the market for candidates and employers.  Expect this approach to gain momentum in 2013.

For job seekers the trends are clear. They are tired of applying for jobs and then disappearing in to a black hole. In a test I conducted this year the average application takes 1 hour 55 minutes, and takes a minimum of 50 clicks and screens. That is close to impossible on mobile and has to change.

Job seekers are now only applying for jobs they are sure they want, for organisations they want to work for, and in jobs they are confident they will get an interview for. For me, this means thinking of jobs as content rather than adverts, and this content needs to be accessible by mobile with simple navigation and a mobile user interface. Think Amazon on job content, you might also be interested in this, and think video, photo, blog, social connections etc as well as job descriptions with an early notification of minimum requirements clearly set out. Make expressing interest with a social profile possible and easy from every piece of content from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc through to job boards. Think on-line events around jobs like Google hangouts and chats, scheduled in the golden hours and available via mobile. When you think this way, you start to recruit socially, and providing all the content candidates might want, in the format they want, with the opportunity to apply. It’s an interesting prospect we should all be thinking about.

In Part 7 I’m going to be looking closer at just what LinkedIn became in 2012, and a real example of social gravity. Thanks for sticking with the series so far.


Disclaimer: Jobsite sponsor #TruLondon and I have worked with Felix Wetzel as a consultant.

Clooks and Camio sponsor #TruAmsterdam

2012/13 Part 4: Changing face of the social ATS

This is the fourth post in the review series of 2012, addressing the changing face of the ATS. It is an area that attracts a lot of attention and discussion from users. Perhaps the technology buyers in organisations should be taking notice.

I haven’t been to, or held an event this year where someone has turned around and said: “You know what, we love our ATS!”. 2012 has seen a lot of complaining around what are seen as applicant turn-off systems. To be fair to the enterprise vendors, most users get the technology they deserve rather than the technology they need, but users, encouraged by the likes of William Tincup, are getting more demanding. I’ve seen Tincup speak a few times this year about getting much more from your technology suppliers. Tincup’s main point is that you only really hold the power when you are negotiating deals, and you should use this to your advantage to ensure free upgrades, (so you are always working with the latest version), and free support and training for the life time of the contract. Too often recruiters are only using a small part of the capability of their technology because they are uninformed or unsupported. My experience this year is that you should also insist on an open API, and integration with any other technology you choose, Technology suppliers need to learn that you are the client, and that they need to play nicely. I spoke about this at #HRTechEurope, and judging by the feedback it hit a real note.

This year I think we are going to be seeing a lot of change, and hearing a lot more about the social ATS. The stand out company in this area is SmartRecruiters. When I was first introduced to Smart, I liked the product but was skeptical about the viability of the pricing model. The platform is free, looks and feels like Facebook, is fully mobile optimized  and has career site build features and plug-ins, Facebook integration, job posting etc. The revenue is generated from job posting, where commissions are charged to the job boards for jobs posted by SmartRecruiters. They now have over 30,000 users, and lead a new breed of intuitive ATS’ that is easy to use by both recruiters and job seekers. Smart has been largely targeted at smaller companies with no existing ATS, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them announcing enterprise size users in the near future, as the platform continues to gain attention.
Using a similar model, Dutch company Vonq are launching Qandidate mid January. Qandidate has similar features, aimed at the European market. It has already been tested with existing Vonq clients, and is being built around the multilingual and legal requirements of the individual states within Europe. This will give them a bit of an advantage in this territory.
Recruitment platform and middleware provider Tribepad have also launched a social ATS, although this is priced in a more traditional way. Tribepad have enjoyed some big client wins this year including Sodexo Europe and the BBC. They have also launched in to the US during 2012, as G4S extended their use of the platform from Europe, as part of a global roll out. At #truLondon in October, Colin Minto outlined the necessary adjustments they had to make to comply with FCCP regulations. I haven’t seen another platform that is quite as comprehensive in this area, and if the Tribepad team are able to raise their visibility in the US, then more global client wins will follow. The real benefit of Tribepad is that you can wrap all of your recruiting data in one place, and the data flow in one direction. I’ve been impressed by the potential so far, and although I haven’t seen it first hand yet, I understand that they have now built social profiling in to the main platform, as well as making this available as a standalone product.

In response to customer demand, they launched a “light” version of the product for smaller users, available at a low monthly subscription with plug-in integration. What I like about the Tribepad team is that the product is in a constant state of development, almost a permanent beta, driven by user requirement and demand.If the company were in San Francisco rather than Leeds, I’m sure we would have heard a lot more about them already.  Watch this one closely.
Another new launch from the UK in recent months that is targeted around socialising and simplifying the application process is Peter Golds HirePad (No relation to TribePad). HirePad is built as the gateway between the ad (or update), and the ATS, making the job mobile, and creating a portal for a talent network. Talent networks record basic details creating segmenting interested people for updates, jobs and content that match their profiles. In most cases, this is much closer to what most hiring companies need, rather than the high maintenance, over hyped talent communities. Golds view is that the application needs to stay within the corporate ATS, but the process around expressing interest and connecting should be much easier, quicker and possible by mobile.

Gold is not looking to provide the full solution, given that most companies of size already have an ATS solution in place, but to provide easy integration, job posting and job marketing, and a complete mobile/talent network to make attraction and applying simple and effective.

I really like the integration with Google maps, that enables potential candidates to view jobs by location. I’ve seen this type of feature work very well for Pizza Hut using Jobs2Web. This is brilliant for the retail or hospitality sectors, where similar jobs are open at multiple locations close to the candidate. Jobs2Web have built a great business out of their platform, and were acquired by SuccessFactors in 2012.

I know Gold of old, and the real strength of HirePad lies in the job marketing from traditional to social job distribution, SEO, micro-sites by job etc, all  A/B tested to find the best solution.

Dutch company Maddle have had some success in Europe making individual jobs mobile through micro-sites and mobile apply at a low-cost, so the model is there. Maddle mobilise a job within 24 hours by launching a dedicated MSite, making the application process mobile, and providing the opportunity to add video and other content. It’s a brilliant, quick and cheap solution.

My reservation with the mobile half way house solution (as opposed to Maddle) is what happens when a potential candidate moves from a mobile friendly environment to a clunky, non-mobile friendly ATS. This puts a level of extra process in the application process, but is a big improvement on what is available now. In Part 5 tomorrow we will look closer at the mobile space and mobile recruiting.

The other platforms worth looking at when considering the social ATS are Irish company Zartis, and London start-up JobPage. Both offer low cost job distribution, social posting and ATS for the SME market. Zartis in particular is an evolving platform that integrates mobile, referral technology, WordPress plug-ins and other innovation. Zartis founder John Dennehy has a background in on-line gaming, and is integrating gaming thinking in to the platform. Expect to see more of these features in 2013. Dennehy is also involved in a really innovative country branding project with make IT Ireland and make IT Cork. I will be discussing these in more detail later in this review series.

It was HirePad founder Gold who first got me thinking that we should be doing away with the existing application process all together, inviting people to express interest, so that recruiters can get a look at interested people at the top of the funnel, and push only those candidates with a good fit in to the pain of applying in what is mostly a lengthy process, directing others towards a lighter touch talent network. I’m going to be very interested in seeing how this pans out over 2013, and if larger hiring companies can be persuaded to take this candidate centric approach. 2013 must see the applicant and the recruiter put at the heart of the application and candidate management process, and technology needs to reflect this.

Companies need to stop talking and start doing, which means involving recruiters in the recruitment technology buying process. All too often the real users just get given the latest purchase, and get told to get on with it. Is it any wonder that they just replace the old technology, with new technology without changing any of the processes.There is a lot of interesting technology coming in to this space to challenge the enterprise giants. The real innovation is coming from agile start-ups, and the market is calling out for change. 2013 will be the year we finally move from ATS to full recruiting platform, where tracking is only a small part of the functionality, and it is not before time. If the enterprise solutions don’t start changing usability, mobile optimization, ease (and willingness) to integrate with other technology and create easy navigation, then they are going to lose out as contracts come up for renewal. Watch this space!


Disclaimer: I have supplied paid for content to the TribePad blog this year, and Maddle and Vonq are sponsors of #TruAmsterdam.

2012/13 Part 3: Semantic matching, learning and some new technology

Happy Sunday. In Part 3 of this series I’m going to take a closer look at what has been happening with semantic matching, and how this impacts on recruiting tech, and a few more thoughts on how social learning is developing.

The social evidence based sourcing platforms I listed in part 2, have been proving their value in the tech sector. This is inevitable because the tech companies have a defined niche, defined communities, the greatest need and the expertise to develop the products. There is no logical reason however, that these technologies can not be applied to any sector for social evidence based sourcing.Expect to see this technology evolving in to other sectors during 2013.

The introduction of LinkedIn endorsements for skills, and there priority in search results is another example of where the thinking is going in this direction. John Sumser summed this up at #TruLondon when he described how the real problem was not a shortage of talent, but rather an inability to find it because of over supply. There is plenty of talent, it’s just not clearly labelled in the way it has been in the past. The only way you found someone with X skill was to hire someone with X qualification.

The problem now is that technology and business is evolving faster than academia, and people are learning skills in an informal way. Think YouTube, Stack Overflow etc. As jobs in the way we know them continue to disappear, and more people move their skills to being cottage industries, working on project rather than employment contract, so formal learning via expensive work based qualifications will disappear. The end result will be more informal learning, and a greater reliance on social recognition and endorsement. It is going to be interesting watching this unfold this year through learning programs like Udemy, which have a social feel, and are easy to edit, update and change as technology changes.

For recruiters, the soon to be launched MySocialTalent,Com is a great example of this, an interactive training platform that can be updated whenever needed. The platform is available on subscription at less than £200 a seat for a year. I know Johnny Campbells style well, and he makes what looks like complicated internet sourcing principles simple. The platform delivers training in bite sized chunks, with plenty of interactive exercises and feedback. The real benefit though is that as the search platforms and social channels change as they do on an on-going basis, the platform gets updated to keep you up to date. It is one of those products I wish I would have developed, and is built on a platform for the future.Expect more of these types of agile learning platforms to be coming to the fore this year, and reject traditional curriculum based learning, which is proving dated.

In terms of innovation, the other companies that have caught my eye are SmallImprovements, who offer an on-line continuous performance management and feedback product in a social way. It is a bit like Rypple for companies outside of the enterprise scale.(That is a compliment.), White Truffle, the intuitive matching platform with an innovative pricing structure, TalentFig, the assesment tool with a simple interface that is amazingly accurate, much better than SHL and other more expensive alternatives currently available in my opinion, and much easier to interpret.. Finnish swarm technology IntuneX that connects people within an organisation by their skills, expertise or interests, and Dutch HR data aggregator Hunite, who use mobile notifications taken from a companies vast array of HR systems to advise employees of essential actions via push notifications. (My description doesn’t really do it justice, but it is very neat.). I’m also watching what happens with Evenbases Jobsite.Com quite closely. This combines job scraping from corporate sites, with an agregator search interface for job seekers, semantic matching technology, and a pay for results pricing model where hiring companies choose to unlock details of applicants who both match and have expressed an interest in the job. My only concern with this is how companies will react to the scraping aspect, but then this has become common practice amongst the agregators.
I expect the agregators like JobRapido (also an Evenbase company by acquisition) and Indeed to continue to grow in popularity, as job seekers are looking for one on-line destination for jobs requiring no real registration, rather than having to go to multiple boards.

Semantic matching tech will also become more mainstream, as people are looking to see only opportunities they match and are interested in, rather than having to search through every opportunity based on key-words, which is time consuming and frustrating. Expect to see semantic matching and single job presenting as a feature of career sites over the coming year. Why show people jobs they are not suited for? It makes no sense for anyone, and this will solve it, preventing people from being tempted in to applying for jobs they won’t even get an interview for.
On the subject of semantic matching, I’m also expecting to hear a lot more about Monster’s SeeMore and 6sense technologies. Monster have partnered with the Department Of Work And Pensions to power the on-line presence for JobCentre+. It is going to be really interesting to see how this technology works on this scale, for the wide range of people who are claiming benefit or looking for jobs. Having looked at both SeeMore and 6Sense in depth a few times this year (as well as several conference demos), the potential applications for sourcing and matching is impressive. If I worked at Monster, I would be talking about it a lot more.

 Tomorrow in Part 4 I’m going to be posting more on ATS;’s, new launches and the innovation in this area. What do you think are the technology and products that will stand out in 2013?

Happy Sunday,


Disclaimer: Jobsite sponsor #Trulondon and Johnathan Campbell often buys me beer.