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HR Tech: 5 Recruitment Hacks

Hacking is hip. In marketing, growth hacking shed a new light on incumbent marketing strategies and as always, HR is catching up. Hackathons are being organised to find new solutions for old HR issues, and it probably won’t be long before we’ll see the first ‘HR Hacker’ jobs being advertised. But in essence, a hack is nothing more than a different way of doing things, an original approach to an existing puzzle. Whether this new take on a particular topic comes from a fresh pair of eyes, or rather an innovative type of technology, doesn’t matter; what counts is the result. Here are 5 – easy to implement – recruitment hacks.

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#1 The Job Ad

Why does this matter you wonder? Because more often than not, the job ad will be the very first thing people – job seekers included – see from you. It’s also the starting point of the applicant experience, so all the more reason to make sure you nail your job ads. Make sure to check the following boxes:

Tone of Voice

You want the language you use in the job description to reflect your company culture. If you are a young, fast-paced Green tech company, don’t write as if you’re a corporate accountancy firm. You want your words to reflect the organisation’s philosophy, so that applicants get a feel for the culture of your business straight away.

Mobile is a Must

Mobile recruiting, mobile rules. A job ad that is meant for an App or a mobile website, needs to be written differently than one that appears on a ‘normal’ website. Generally speaking, text wise you need to keep it to the point. Explain clearly why someone should apply and include an obvious call to action. Mobile recruitment is not to be taken lightly; it needs a solid strategy.

Here you can read more about mobile recruiting.

#2 Programmatic Advertising

This hack is still relatively unknown in the HR world. A real shame, because it can definitely make a recruiter’s life a lot easier. So, what exactly is programmatic advertising? In a nutshell, it is the automated placement of ads, with the help of Artificial Intelligence. The content of the ads is based on information about a particular target group. You could say it is personalised and customised advertising: the right message, at the right moment to the right person.

Now, how does this benefit the recruitment industry you ask? For starters, it means you’ll be able to define exactly what candidate profile you’re looking for. You’ll be able to aim your job ads – directly – at the people corresponding your job description, saving both them and yourself a lot of time. No more researching what website is best to post a particular role on, or inquiring for quotes from different job boards to find out which one has the best pricing. Secondly, with programmatic advertising recruiters are in control over the ad; they are the ones that set the target audience for example.

Besides being a time & money saver, there’s one last thing that’s worth mentioning about programmatic advertising in HR. It can also be a useful tool in engaging with relevant audiences. The whole ‘right time, right place, right message’ thing means it can deliver you precisely that; making your organisation perhaps the first company people think of when deciding they want a new professional challenge.

Here you’ll find more about programmatic advertising in HR.

#3 Let the Creative Juices Flow

Sometimes thinking differently can get you great results. Every once in a while companies come up with creative recruitment campaigns to find their perfect candidate. Uber for example had passengers solve a programming puzzle during their taxi journey as a way of discovering talented programmers.

One of our personal favourites in the ‘creative recruiting’ area comes from IKEA. In order to find people for a new IKEA branch recruiters put job ads in the product packages. The idea behind this strategy was that loyal customers make the best candidates. And the results were there: the company received 4285 résumés and hired 280 new staff members.
A final example comes from Volkswagen. The German automaker once used a cheeky way of attracting new mechanics: by placing ads underneath broken cars and then sending those cars to service centers.

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find more examples here.

#4 Preselection Tools

If there is technology out there that can make your life easier, then why not use it, right? We’re not saying you need to use HR Tech software for everything, but for certain parts of your hiring process you’re simply better off by doing so. Take candidate selection. Our own TalentPitch gives you analytic insights that can support you with this. As a result, you can back up your hiring decisions with data – all fully automated.

How exactly does this work you wonder? Well, through the implementation of Predictive Analytics (PA) in your preselection process. We could go on about Predictive Analytics for hours, but it’s much easier – and less time consuming – for you to download our free E-book at the bottom of this page. Be sure to get yours before you check out!

The main advantages of using PA in your preselection process are that it brings down the percentage of bad hires significantly, as well as the employee turnover rate and culture misfits.

#5 Feedback

Not only are we living in a technology era, we’re also living in a feedback era. No matter where you go or what you do – a night in a hotel, a purchase in an online shop, or a train journey, you will be asked to give your feedback afterwards. Maybe it’s because we’re so used to giving our feedback all the time, that we are very much wanting constant feedback on our own performanc too, who knows. The fact of the matter is, people want to know how they’re doing. Especially if they applied for a role and didn’t get the job. What went well, what can be improved, and why weren’t they the chosen one for this role?

Give candidates feedback they can work with and do so in a timely manner. There is software available to assist you both with the feedback part and with the timing part. Our TalentPitch for instance generates a tailor made feedback report for every candidate. This way, candidates get an insight into their competencies. Giving something back to applicants increases the chances of them continuing to be your customers, even if you have to reject them.

Don’t underestimate the importance of giving people feedback, even rejected candidates can turn into brand ambassadors if they had a positive applicant experience!

Stop guessing,
Start data-driven hiring.

Learn how you implement a modern candidate selection process, that is: streamlined, experience-driven and backed by data.



Neelie Verlinden is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Digital HR Tech. She’s an experienced digital HR & HR Tech writer, speaker, and entrepreneur with an international background. She has written countless articles on all things HR technology.

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