The evolution of technology is a fascinating area of study. More capably than anything else does it track humankind’s capacity for advancement, ingenuity, and growth. Each technological phase, from the development of the wheel to the harnessing of electricity, has revolutionised every area of human life it has touched.
Recruitment is a sector that has very much felt this impact. At Search, it has facilitated a level of agility and responsiveness that has had a transformational effect for our clients and protected our business during a time of worldwide crisis.
The transformational effect
Take, for example, the UK bank that has a long-standing relationship with Search. When COVID-19 hit, they desperately needed a way to keep recruiting valuable candidates, but the country was on lockdown. This was a challenge that required a greater use of technology by the Search team, and the creation of an online process that could be tailored to the client’s hiring needs.
Using a suite of recruitment and business tools, Search was able to accelerate the entire process whilst keeping the quality of candidates high. The team set about introducing a new digital interview format, convenient and safe for both the business and the candidate.
“The team had used video technology before, so we had experience and knew it would be an effective way to manage recruitment during the pandemic,” says Alison Campbell, Associate Director of Search Call & Contact Centre.
“After consulting with the client, it was clear that restructuring the interview process to be fully video-based was the best way forward, and allowed the most flexibility during these unprecedented times. Hiring can’t just stop, so we needed to adapt.”
That adjustment to hiring during lockdown included a three-step online interview, pre-recorded and shared with the bank for review. The benefit of this was clear – not only did the client not have to risk a face-to-face interview at the height of the pandemic, or put their hiring needs on hold, but it still allowed them to vet multiple applicants and see who was ideal for their role.
For candidates too, it was a unique way to engage and deliver a safe interview. The Search team knew that applying for a job in the current climate was not easy, so offered additional support every step of the way. The bank even shared a short promotional video, to provide context for how the business operates and a snapshot of the internal culture.
“Using video communication software to interview these candidates was key to our success. Our in-depth first stage was recorded and then shared with the client to review at their leisure. They could re-watch the interview as many times as they liked, to ensure they had the best talent selected for the role,” says Alison Campbell, Associate Director of Search Call & Contact Centre.
“Both candidates and clients found this process to be flexible, and easy to understand.”
The results of this digital switch were very encouraging. The pass rate of candidates shot up, with 90% of interviewees making it to a final stage interview. For the bank, it meant a whole new way of bringing in talent and the knowledge that, if disaster strikes, their people can still operate to keep the business functioning.
The protective effect
Technology’s ability to shield businesses from disaster has never been proved on such a scale as with the COVID-19 pandemic. Though regrettably it has not been able to save every business, the versatility it has granted has allowed many to continue performing even where offices have had to close and physical interaction has not been possible.
Prior to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, Search was already using video-conferencing technologies, but used them mainly as peripheral tools, deployed more as last resorts or for emergency meetings. Lockdown brought them front and centre and they have since become critical to the company’s overall business methodology.
Through video, Search has been able to converse with candidates remotely and conduct interviews quickly and safely. The technology also allowed candidates to record videos of themselves discussing their skills and experience which could then be shared with employers, along with their CVs.
Digitising other traditional recruitment processes, such as the Right to Work, makes these procedures less time consuming and easier to verify. With electronic checks and biometrics in place, committing fraud with this type of working permit has become much more difficult.
Since introducing more technology, Search has found it not only speeds up the entire end-to-end recruitment process, but is actually improving it. It has become more agile, more content rich, and – for client and candidate alike – more convenient.
“Like many businesses, Search has adapted to the unprecedented situation brought about by COVID-19. Interestingly, what we’ve found is that it has pushed forward technological advancements in recruitment, and many of those are here to stay. Making recruitment more accessible for all, whilst supporting our clients and candidates through this stressful time, has been key. Technology has certainly helped us with that,” Alison Campbell, Associate Director of Search Call & Contact Centre.
If you’re looking to learn more about how Search has evolved to meet the needs of a ever-changing job market, or want to see what roles we have available, get in touch with us today.
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