Cracking the code: Episode 1 - Hiring experience reimagined

Cracking the code: Episode 1 – Hiring experience reimagined

Cracking the code is a thought leadership video series focusing on the latest tech workforce trends, including actionable insights from Pontoon Tech & Consulting leaders.
In this episode, Shauzab Ladha, Global Segment Head of Technology & Consulting, sits down with David Molina, VP of Global Accounts, to discuss David’s recent thought leadership article “5 recruiting strategies for improving the candidate experience.”
Many companies struggle with keeping candidates engaged during the hiring process. Let’s listen in as Shauzab and David discuss solutions to this challenge, highlighting:
  • How the pandemic has impacted the candidate experience, current challenges, and AI integrations.
  • How working with a specialised and experienced recruiting partner can lead to better business outcomes and an enhanced applicant experience.

Shauzab Ladha: Joining me today is David Molina, who oversees a large Pontoon RXO programme in Europe with one of our industry-leading clients. David, our best last experience becomes the benchmark for future experiences. In your opinion, how has the pandemic impacted the candidate experience?

David Molina: In many ways, Shauzab. The most obvious one is due to the virtual nature of work. This is something that was not created during the pandemic. It was already there. But of course, what we’ve seen is a huge acceleration. Everything became virtual, from the interview, interview scheduling, assessment and onboarding process. So that has had a massive impact on the candidate experience.

Obviously, during COVID, employers were a little bit nervous trying to adapt the best they could. With the pandemic now far behind, employers can benefit from all this acceleration. As it relates to recruiting technology, everything is becoming virtual. The question is how do we find the right balance between what needs to be manual and what needs to be virtual to ensure we provide the best experience to our candidates.

Shauzab Ladha: Indeed. In light of the current volatile economic climate we’re seeing, what are some changes you’ve seen regarding the candidate experience?

David Molina: As you know, 80% of the candidates drop out of the interview process. This is a terrible number for any company or logo. So you’ve done all the hard work. You’ve attracted the candidate and had the candidate apply to your role. That is what is difficult in this market.

Finding a candidate is relatively easy. Converting this candidate into someone willing to apply to your requisition is extremely difficult. The other thing we see changing in the market is that candidates tend to come to your firm, then leave and work somewhere else, then return.

Whether you hire them or not, the impression, experience and journey are critical. They need to have the best experience because they’re potentially coming back in the future.

Shauzab Ladha: Definitely. There’s a lot of fickleness, especially with Generation X, Y, etc., that the marketplace is experiencing right now. In their tolerance as well. What examples can you cite where companies are improving the candidate experience, and how are they doing so?

David Molina: A couple of things you can also find in my article, but the most critical one is preparing your hiring manager. They need your help. They’re not recruiters. They’re hiring managers. They’re extremely busy. They have a lot of skills, but perhaps not the recruitment ones. Recruitment is a skill; it’s behaviour, experience, etc. It’s not something that you get naturally, so you’ve got to help and prepare your hiring managers and the business, so to speak, so that they can mature.

They need to create an engaging conversation for the candidate that will remain in applicants’ minds, planting positive seeds in their brains, etc., so they can benefit from the discussion. That’s a minimum requirement, in my opinion. Prepare your hiring manager.

Shauzab Ladha: Makes a lot of sense, David. When I look at the rate and pace of change we’re seeing due to introductions of technology and AI, what are some opportunities or challenges that you see concerning candidate experience in terms of technology and AI specifically?

David Molina: AI is a must, whether you are an international company or a regional one. You have to consider AI in your recruitment process moving forward. I think it’s an expectation from the candidate. They expect not to immediately travel to your office or headquarters for an in-person meeting.

They know they will have to speak to sourcers, recruiters, or whoever oversees the recruitment process within your company. So there is this expectation that AI and technology will play a role in the recruitment process. Another critical aspect is how you show up as a company regarding recruitment and brand image.

Employers must decide where to place the cursor between manual and AI technology. Do you want something more human, touch-based, completely automated or in the middle?

I genuinely believe that in the future you will have to partner with a company that specialises in recruitment. This is going to become more and more critical to attract the right talent for your company. So, having an RXO provider will only help you to achieve your business and strategic goals, ultimately providing the best experience for your candidate.

Shauzab Ladha: Thank you, David. I will say that for many of our technology providers and partners that I speak with, this is top of mind. They consider how we can potentially leapfrog, leveraging technology and AI and, more importantly, improve the candidate experience and the experience of other stakeholders involved. I think this will be super important to keep our finger on the pulse of enhancing this area. David, thank you so very much for your insights. Please read David’s thought leadership article around five recruiting strategies for improving the candidate experience.

Ready to elevate your recruiting game and learn more about strategies for improving the candidate experience? Get in touch to learn more about how Pontoon can help lead you to better business outcomes. Also, don’t miss out on more valuable industry insight videos and thought leadership articles; visit our insights page.

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