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The 7 Most Essential Hiring Tools in 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we operate, it is no surprise that modern hiring practices have had to adapt too. So, it might be time to reinvent the way you hire instead of sticking to the traditional, old-school methods that might even reduce your talent pool altogether.

That’s why we compiled a list of the 7 most essential hiring tools to take with you into 2021.

1. Video conferencing platforms 

A recent CareerPlug study found that 71% of businesses now conduct some aspects of hiring in a remote manner – a trend that applies to a wide range of industries, including restaurants, retail, healthcare, and more.

Even businesses that conduct in-person interviews spend more time beforehand on phone screenings and video interviews before extending invitations for in-person interviews. What began as a health and safety precaution during the pandemic has now become a way to increase efficiency and save time in the hiring process.

With in-person interviews seeing significant decline since the beginning of 2020, it’s no wonder that video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts have had a huge increase in their user base. In fact, 86% of companies now perform candidate interviews over video conferencing. What a shift!

In addition to these behemoths that dominate the video calling space, there are several smaller companies you can consider, such as GoToMeeting, RingCentral Video, and Webex.

There are several advantages to video interviews, like:

  • Cuts down on transport time and costs for candidates
  • Shortens the time it takes to make a new hire
  • Scheduling the interview is much more flexible and hassle-free
  • Makes the candidate more comfortable
  • Allows your business to stay up-to-date on all the latest technology trends

Plus, 66% of candidates even prefer a video interview to an in-person meeting, making it an easy way to improve the candidate experience.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots

Picture this: A candidate is interested in applying to your company. The job title sounds great, their values align directly with yours, and overall, the role seems fitting for the next step in their career.

However, they have questions, and are unsure exactly where to start looking for answers. That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in. 

Having AI – more specifically, a recruitment chatbot – integrated into your company’s website or careers page has already demonstrated worthwhile results for many businesses and hiring managers. 

In fact, one 2020 study shows that 95% more job seekers become leads with a chatbot, making it a great new tool for your recruitment marketing efforts.

AI integrations can also help take the hassle out of everyday recruiting components. Not only can chatbots link candidates to your company’s FAQ page or blog with the desired information, but provide application updates, assist in HR duties, and even conduct social media searches, ultimately inviting suitable job seekers to apply. 

It’s no wonder that 64% of talent acquisition pros made the investment in AI tools for recruiting in 2019.

And, as a bonus, AI can do these tasks any day, any time! Do your applicants have questions at 8pm on a Sunday evening?

Relax. Let your chatbot work for you.

3. Applicant tracking systems

The number one challenge facing business owners is the same as it’s always been: attracting and hiring the right people.  That’s why we recommend an ATS software, like CareerPlug. Simply put, an ATS streamlines the hiring process, helping you attract, hire, and onboard the right people. 

Here are some key benefits that an ATS can offer:

  • Allows candidates to easily apply to your jobs on any device
  • Seamlessly organize and manage candidates
  • Upload and promote your job postings to major job boards and other sites
  • Create an attractive careers page
  • Communicate with candidates faster with text recruiting
  • Screen and evaluate candidates through personalized assessments 
  • Make faster hiring decisions 
  • Complete new hire forms digitally
  • Create a great overall candidate experience

Knowing that the average cost of making a bad hire is 30% of the employee’s first year earnings, an ATS should be in any hiring manager’s toolbox. 

Go above and beyond by providing candidates with a fast, easy application process, while also ensuring that you’re making quality hires every time.

applicant tracking system review

4. Social media

Social media can be a powerful tool for your recruiting efforts. With 70% of hiring managers having made successful hires with social media, it’s an excellent way to invest in your search for talented candidates with the right strategy.

Establishing your brand is the first step – develop a well-designed page for your company with personalized graphics and photos. Include a careers section for the convenience of job seekers.

Share content: this could be a blog post, a news article, product page, or simply an update about a successful quarter for your team. Tell a story that shows what you’re all about and demonstrates your accomplishments!

If possible, have your hiring managers use individual profiles with their names, job titles, and bios to communicate with candidates on social media platforms. A corporate account is great, but having professional individual accounts adds authenticity and a personal touch when recruiting on social media. 

In addition to direct messaging, get involved on a broader scale. Join LinkedIn groups to connect and network with like-minded professionals and candidates.

On Twitter, use hashtags relevant to your job openings. Reply to tweets on your posts or those directly related to your business. Interact, and get to know your audience! 

Be sure to promote your company’s culture, too. Instagram stories and TikTok posts are a wonderful way to do so. Put your vision and values on display. Get the message out there: it’s enjoyable to work for you!

Half of all working professionals follow companies on social media to keep up with their job openings, so chances are your content’s being seen by your very own candidates.

While it’s important to showcase your company in a professional light, don’t forget to have fun and be creative. Give candidates a window into what it’s like to be a part of the team. In modern recruiting, social media is a great tool for finding the right candidates to achieve your company’s goals.

5. Reference checking software

At last! It seems you’ve finally found the best candidate for the job. There’s just one final step in the hiring process before they can officially join your team. And it’s a critical one at that. 

Integrating a software into your business that’s used exclusively for reference checking is essential. It ensures the candidates that your hiring managers have taken the time to screen and interview are the real deal. 

With options ranging from XREF to SkillSurvey and RefLynk as well as CareerPlug’s own partners, Verified First and Universal Background Screening, there is no shortage of brands to choose from for your company’s individual needs. 

A Society for Human Resource Management survey states that 92% of employers and hiring managers will conduct a reference check on potential candidates. 

Our philosophy when it comes to references is “trust, but verify.” Validate your candidate’s skills, expertise, and capability, as well as how they work alongside others and what unique contributions they can make to your team – all of which can be discovered by a deep dive into their previous roles.

As tempted as you might be to make an offer and get your new hire on your payroll, just remember: the hiring process doesn’t end at the interview. Never underestimate the importance of a reference check.

6. Candidate experience surveys

Ok, we’ll say it again: Whether or not an applicant ultimately goes on to join your team, guaranteeing an excellent candidate experience is key! But how do you know what kind of candidate experience you’ve created?

You ask your candidates, of course!

Consider sending a candidate experience survey to all the people you’ve interviewed, regardless of whether or not you made them an offer. We’ve created a free candidate experience template you can download to get you started.

Presenting a survey at the end of the hiring process allows candidates to give their feedback directly to your hiring managers and business, which, in return, impacts your brand and reputation as an employer. 

Look at this as an opportunity to learn firsthand about your company’s strong points and drawbacks as well as how your hiring process is truly perceived by candidates. 

The data doesn’t lie: 50% of candidates who were given a job offer declined due to a negative experience amid the hiring process. So, learning about your business from the “outside in” can only help, not harm, and even suggest worthwhile recommendations to improve the overall workflow and efforts of your team.

Be open to both positive and negative feedback. The goal is to surface any weak points in your hiring process. Don’t take negative feedback personally! You’re working to improve your chances of attracting high-quality applicants in the future.

To learn more about creating an exceptional candidate experience, watch the video below from CareerPlug’s Senior Director of People, Natalie Morgan.

7. Job boards

As a business owner on the lookout for top talent, chances are you’ve heard of the major job board sites: Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, Monster, CareerBuilder – the list goes on! 

Since 58% of job seekers use job sites in their search for new opportunities, these platforms are an outstanding way to maximize your recruiting efforts and get your roles in front of candidates. But just going through the motions might not be enough. You want your job postings to be successful in attracting the right people.

To start, be transparent in your job descriptions. Include any and all details of the position: qualifications, responsibilities, compensation, and benefits as well as your company’s mission.

Candidates want to feel valued and that they’re contributing to something in a meaningful way. Ask yourself what the position’s purpose is and how it impacts your team and clients. Be sure to address your answers to these questions in your description.

Also, have your current employees write reviews on the major job board sites. Let them tell applicants directly about their work experience. Build up your online presence and sell candidates on why it’s great to work for you!

Expand your reach into niche sources as well. These could be industry-specific boards, a local job board (for example, HIREDTexas for jobs in Texas), or even a newspaper or message board. Want to hire new graduates or student interns? Use a university job board, such as Handshake!

Post anywhere and everywhere. Spread the word and attract the right people for your team.

Small business hiring software that works

CareerPlug’s award-winning applicant tracking system was designed with small business hiring in mind. Chat with one of our hiring experts today to get started!

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