Digital Recruiting: Hiring in Today’s Talent Market

There was a time paper résumés reigned supreme as the sole determinant of landing a job interview. Now, employers are evolving their recruiting practices with the technological advances of their industries, moving away from administrative, reactive, paper-laden HR processes to the tempo of today’s unapologetically fast and transparent digital recruiting world. No longer is hiring a one-way street where employers have their pick of eager job applicants—rather, the job search has transformed into a two-way conversation where both employers and candidates have the roles of interviewer and interviewee.

Today’s digital recruiting landscape

Out of this dynamic, employers are moving towards “digital recruiting”—an approach to hiring that embraces technology, not dissimilar to how a marketer uses marketing automation platforms to optimize campaigns or how a salesperson uses sales prospecting tools to generate leads.

Read on to hear about how our Recruiting team at Greenhouse thinks about engaging top talent and which digital recruiting tools we leverage to help us do it today!

Recruiter responsibilities: Efficiency & transparency

Millennials now claim the largest share of the workforce in the United States, and Generation Z isn’t far behind. These demographics live in a bombardment of digital updates and globally accessible information that leads to the constant enticement of greener pastures. The result? More career comparison and job-hopping! With this increased reliance on technology comes changed expectations and a new interaction between employers and talent.

Recruiters in today’s world know that top talent moves fast. The efficiency and transparency of a company’s recruiting process, rather than just their brand, is having an increasing influence on a candidate’s decision to join a team. By running structured interview processes, startups are competing in the same talent pool as more established, well-known employers—and winning.

Tools: Your ATS

First and foremost, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is key if you want to optimize your recruiting process. Many ATSs have very similar functions, so below are three critical areas your ATS should cover to help make your workflow as efficient and transparent as possible.

1. Your online application process should be quick and simple.

  • The interface of your jobs page should be easy to navigate. Asking candidates to fill out dozens of mandatory fields or having a clunky application process can unnecessarily screen out qualified candidates.
  • Candidates are now applying for jobs through their phones, and on the flip side, recruiters are able to review these applications via mobile—we’re lucking enough to be able to use our own mobile app. Check whether your ATS supports these functionalities to keep your top of funnel as healthy as possible.

You can use the Greenhouse mobile app to perform many routine recruiting tasks such as rejecting or approving candidates. 

2. Every step in your recruiting process should be a two-way conversation.

  • Candidates should never feel as if they’ve submitted their information into a black hole. At Greenhouse, this means aspiring to respond to each application within 2–3 days. Think about whether your ATS has an alert system that helps you understand who you need to get back to and when.
  • Be candid with your candidates. Update them on what your timeline looks like for making a hire. Here, your ATS can help by providing you with high-level summaries of each of your roles so that at any given moment, you’re well informed about how many candidates you have in each interview stage of your pipeline.

3. Assess your ATS’s network of integrations!

  • With this increased focus on digital recruiting, there are dozens of new tools and apps aimed at solving problems in the talent acquisition space. Greenhouse integrates with 150+ of these kinds of tools, which allows someone like me to tap into a robust software ecosystem without leaving the platform. Check whether your ATS allows you to create your own network of tools to ensure your process is as integrated as possible.

Recruiter responsibilities: Sourcing

Sourcing, or reaching out to passive candidates, is a critical aspect of recruiting. Greenhouse recruiters outline a sourcing strategy for each role we run, including entry-level opportunities with a high expected volume of direct applicants. Our goal is to hire the best people for our jobs, and we realize that the best people are usually currently employed and won’t be aware of our jobs unless reached out to.

Today, you can easily go beyond a candidate’s resume and explore their digital footprint on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, AngelList, personal web pages, Github, Stack Exchange, Meetup, (and the list goes on!). Just as information on a company is no longer limited to the company’s formal web page (think Glassdoor, CrunchBase, Quora, etc.), employers now have countless online sources through which to learn about candidates. The information you need to assess someone’s fit for your role is much more available, and that better ties your sourcing efforts to optimizing the quality of your top of funnel.

Sourcing can be time-consuming and tedious, and naturally, many recruiters deprioritize this responsibility for more urgent tasks at hand (guilty: yours truly!). But there are a myriad of tools to help you automate your processes and see the ROI of your efforts, which can make sourcing rewarding and even—gasp—enjoyable.

Tools: Social media, sourcing software, and experts

  • Social Media:

    Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular as a recruiting source. These platforms humanize both employers and candidates by putting faces to names and breaking down the de-personalized formalities of a job application process. Candidates can now (and often do) tweet at employers to get real-time responses in a way they might not if they apply online. Group-focused social platforms like Meetup can also provide a good candidate pool for employers to nurture and source from.

  • Sourcing tools:

    LinkedIn is an essential sourcing tool for many recruiters and has evolved over the years to provide more information to recruiters on the potential fit and availability of people in and out of their networks. It’s key if you want to compete within today’s talent market. That said, there are other notable sourcing tools, including Entelo, Vettery, and Hired, that help recruiters find and engage with talent - providing prospects’ personal emails, flagging candidates who are more likely to make a move, or even allowing you to filter based on candidates’ ethnic backgrounds for diversity sourcing. Fortunately for us, Greenhouse integrates with many of these kinds of tools. Make sure the ATS you choose integrates with the softwares you need to support your digital recruiting efforts.

  • Leverage experts outside of your Recruiting team!

    As our industry shifts to a more data-driven approach to recruiting, we’re seeing more parallels between managing the recruiting funnel and managing the sales and marketing funnel.

The Greenhouse Recruiting team regularly checks in with Sales and Marketing to learn more about prospecting, nurturing, and closing deals to understand what we can adopt for our team. For example, we’ve utilized the prospecting tools that our SDR teams leverage, including Outreach and SalesLoft, to reach out to candidates in a personalized, yet organized and efficient way. Chances are that the best salesperson or marketer at your company will have a lot to say about how to generate and close leads. Check in with them often to see what tools you can repurpose to step up your recruiting game!

Given the growing number of tools out there for tracking, sourcing, interviewing, and hiring candidates, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and what to focus on. At the end of the day, make sure that whatever tools you choose align with your priorities—to fill your pipeline with quality candidates and ultimately deliver a great candidate experience through the efficiency and transparency of a structured recruiting process.

Thinking you might be ready for a new ATS? Check out "A Buyer's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems" for tips on getting budget and buy-in, plus an evaluation worksheet to help you guide your conversations with vendors.

Ariana Moon Headshot 2

Ariana Moon is a Senior Recruiter at Greenhouse—and a proud one at that! She partners with hiring managers across all teams at Greenhouse to learn what they do and help them hire the best people for their teams. Outside of work, she dedicates her time to Latin dancing and loves exploring her physical limits almost as much as she loves eating sweets.

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