Reaching the unreachable job candidates with HR tech

4 November 2021

With the world becoming more global and more digital by the day, head-hunters and job seekers have opportunities they could only dream of a couple of decades ago. But with many of the practical issues out of the way, they are facing a new spectrum of challenges. Recruiters need to figure out how to reach potential candidates in a feed of countless news, ads and updates, and then find the right person for the right position. The Link met SCC member firms Adway and Exparang – two companies exploring uncharted territories in the job search jungle.

Social talent acquisition platform, Adway, helps enterprises and recruiters find candidates on non-traditional platforms with the help of AI and automated workflows to drive time efficiency. According to Adrian McDonald, CEO at Adway, the people best suited for certain positions aren’t always actively looking for a new job, and are therefore not present on platforms such as job boards. “When posting a job ad on a traditional recruitment platform, you will almost certainly only reach the 20% of people who are actively searching for a job. We want to reach beyond the other 80%, since the right person for the position, even if not actively searching, might be open to change job if he would stumble upon the right opportunity”.

Instead of trying to reach potential candidates by posting ads on traditional job boards, Adway is present where the candidates are spending their time – social media. “The idea is not only to change the location, but also the method. Since different types of people are present on different platforms, you need to work with a multi-channel approach and use tech to deliver time efficiency. That way you can customise your content – such as ads, copies and so on – to the different platforms to reach through the noise.“

The process of finding passive candidates takes several things into account, including employer requests, behavioural patterns and attribution data. “When you know the profile that you are looking for, you can ask yourself where these people are spending their time. Once you know that, the matchmaking can begin.“

Matchmaking made in the dark
Another business mixing recruitment with technology is Exparang, whose platform is matching candidates with opportunities, without exposing their identities. As the profile of the member remains anonymous, the candidate can source – and be sourced – without having to worry about its current employer, or other people, finding out. “We help our members – mostly leaders and seasoned professionals – to discreetly access personalised career opportunities. On the other side, we help our clients – hiring managers and recruiters – to find outstanding candidates for board, executive and other key position searches.” says Carl Schander, CEO and Co-founder of Exparang.

The idea for the tool was born in the frustration Carl and co-founder Filip Strömbäck felt while working in human resources with traditional recruitment methods. “We both have a background in international executive search, but despite having the resources of some of the world’s top tier executive search firms, we were missing out on fantastic candidates who were in the market but not visible to the conventional research methods.”

They were convinced that they could create better matches by letting technology remove any potential worries. They developed an algorithm able to determine the best match for a given job opportunity or candidate profile. “Based on deep executive search domain knowledge, we developed a type of ‘match engine‘, with a sophisticated assessment and scoring system. The connection is only made once we see a strong mutual interest.”

In other words, the profiles and positions are brought together by smart technology, and the identity only revealed if both parties agree to move further.

A more inclusive recruitment
These new, smart recruitment systems can avoid some of the ethical challenges seen in traditional headhunting. Letting an algorithm, instead of a human, find the best fitting candidates can prevent errors and erase blind spots often created by the human factor. For instance, an algorithm will not discriminate or make decisions unconsciously influenced by bias or prejudice.

At the same time, both Carl and Adrian think that humans still play an important role in the recruitment process, for example to customise content. So even with this more advanced technology stepping up the recruitment game, it seems as if the “human” in “human recourses” will stick around for a bit longer.

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