Creating Next-Level Recruiters: This is How We Do It
HR professionals are superheroes. They’re constantly juggling multiple tasks — reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, giving feedback to hiring managers… the list goes on and on. But we wanted to examine their role from a different perspective: What would recruiters do if they had more time?
Ljuba Bogdanovich, Phenom’s Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition, joined our latest episode of Talent Experience Live to help answer that question and share how AI and intelligent automation can streamline simple tasks, freeing up precious time to focus on what really matters: people.
From Recruiters To Talent Acquisition Partners
Some find themselves in the HR field almost by accident. But for Bogdanovich, it was a deliberate path — he chose Human Resources over law school, got into recruiting, and never looked back. When he came to Phenom, he started in the Customer Success department, helping clients use Phenom’s Talent Experience Management platform to evolve teams and processes.
“Every customer’s got their own journey and their own story of where they’re trying to get to and where they are today, and how the platform impacts and changes that journey for them,” he said.
Now, as a TA leader, he’s applying that knowledge to his own team of recruiters — although at Phenom, the job title is Talent Acquisition Partner. “We think it’s critical … it’s a role that partners with the business quite well. It’s not just about recruiting, but it’s understanding the business, where it’s going, and how we can absolutely impact that through bringing in the right talent.”
And serving as a partner to candidates is just as important, helping them feel welcome and at home when engaging with Phenom.
How To Augment the Recruiter Experience With AI
Technology may be the catalyst that enables recruiters to evolve, but human connection will always be central, Bogdanovich pointed out. Consider the evolution of banking transactions: In the 1980s when ATMs started popping up, people feared it meant the end of brick-and-mortar banks. But today, even with online banking, branches remain open — and bank employees can focus on counseling customers on their finances rather than performing repetitive transactions.
Similarly, Phenom recruiters are able to serve as true Talent Acquisition Partners because technology lets them shift their focus from transactional functions (e.g., scheduling) to building relationships with candidates and collaborating with hiring managers.
“Cornerstone banks are still there,” Bogdanovich said. “There’s a parallel there from the recruiting perspective as well — we are moving, we are evolving. We have to evolve based on the speed and things being asked of us, but there is still that human element.”
Using a tech-driven approach to manage university recruiting events is a perfect example, Bogdanovich said. The pandemic may have spurred a pivot to virtual rather than in-person recruiting events, but live interaction is still the centerpiece.
Now, however, with an events management module like Phenom’s, recruiters can capture candidate information while events are in progress and move it directly into their CRM – much different than returning to the office with a stack of resumes to manually enter into a spreadsheet.
Other key ways that Bogdanovich’s team uses the Phenom platform to save time and evolve their role include:
- Leveraging AI for candidate discovery
- Automating the scheduling process
- Using video screening and assessments
- Enabling streamlined communication with hiring manager
1. Leverage AI for Candidate Discovery
When Bogdanovich first entered the recruiting field, he sourced candidates by running print ads and radio spots, and mining resources like conference attendee lists. Today, there’s the CRM — a whole system built for candidate discovery. How does talent discovery work for Phenom’s TA partners, who use a CRM with AI capabilities?
After uploading a job description, the AI works in the background to find candidates that match key skills, experience, and location requirements.
The advantages are multi-fold:
Time savings. Recruiters no longer have to type in massive search strings to surface candidates that match job descriptions. They can also spend less time searching outside sources to find candidates.
Enhanced candidate trust & engagement. Because the CRM captures information from career site visitors, recruiters can personalize messaging for more authentic relationships. Although outside sources like LinkedIn or Indeed are still important, “it’s much warmer outreach” when recruiters can engage with candidates who are already familiar with your site and brand, Bogdanovich pointed out.
Recruiter control. AI-driven candidate discovery is like a GPS, showing recruiters a faster path to the right destination (or candidate). But recruiters still use human judgment to guide the process, whether that means conducting additional keyword searches or giving the machine feedback on matches.
“At the end of the day, the machine needs to learn, it needs some sort of human input or interaction to help drive it, to get it to the destination you want it to go to,” Bogdanovich clarified. “We’re constantly giving the machine feedback on whether it’s a positive fit or not to help calibrate it.”
2. Automate the Scheduling Process
It’s always great to have personal contact with candidates. But is an endless game of phone (or email) tag really quality interaction? This is where automation can help.
For example, Phenom AI-Scheduling whittles the scheduling process from 5 to 10 minutes to 5 to 10 seconds, according to Bogdanovich. When you consider that recruiters often need to schedule as many as 10 candidate appointments in a day, this shortcut really stands out.
It’s a better experience for candidates, too — they avoid the back-and-forth and get to speak to the right person as quickly as possible.
3. Use Video Screening and Assessments
Video assessments are becoming essential to the team’s screening process, Bogdanovich said, allowing TA partners to scale efforts exponentially. It’s another tool that also benefits candidates: “If you function best at two in the morning … awesome, so be it. Hop on, answer the questions, it gets uploaded automatically within the system,” he said.
Although many candidates love this option, what about some who fear that video assessments are too impersonal? This is where a recruiter's judgment comes in. Provide options, Bogdanovich said, recognizing that some candidates will prefer a more personal interaction.
4. Evolve the Relationship with Hiring Managers
Traditionally, the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers was very transactional. “It was always about being order takers,” Bogdanovich said, referring to the process of receiving a list of requirements for an open position and then delivering a list of candidates who fit the description.
But when recruiters have more time to focus on collaborating with hiring managers, they can begin asking questions that add significant value, like:
- Where do you see the organization going, and how does that look from a talent perspective?
- What skill sets will you need?
- How can we add diversity of thought to help your team really raise the bar?
The Phenom platform streamlines communication between the TA team and hiring managers, Bogdanovich added. Everyone involved in the hiring process has instant access to candidate information, including profile data, interview notes, and screening assessments. That makes it easy for recruiters to gather direct, real-time feedback from managers.
Related Report: The 2021 State of Recruiter & Hiring Manager Collaboration
5. Utilize the Gift of Time
Saving time is terrific, but it’s not the end-goal when it comes to leveling up as a recruiter. It’s how those new-found extra hours are used that matters. Bogdanovich’s recommends recruiters make the most of those hours by:
Building relationships. Forming better connections with candidates, hiring managers, and mentors will help them grow their careers.
Exploring the industry and community groups. Either in-person or in the digital world, these networking opportunities will help them evolve in their field.
Better understand the business. Find out the long-term goals of groups they’re recruiting for in order to start growing talent pools with candidates who have the skills that will help reach those goals.
Leveraging technology. Explore how technology can work in the background, enabling stronger engagement with the right talent so that when hiring needs to happen quickly, they will be ready.
“The world is evolving. We’ve learned over the last two years that we’re absolutely able to pivot, we’re very flexible, we can change how we do things … and not be stuck within the confines of what we think we can do,” Bogdanovich concluded. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 are like.”
Interested in more next-level recruiting strategies?
This is a great resource: AI Recruiting in 2022: The Definitive Guide