7 tools employers are using to hire job candidates

Many of the high-level job seekers I encounter at an urban career center for which I work haven’t had to look for a job in 10, 20, 30 years, or more. For them, their advanced job search might feel like landing on Mars, as the job-search terrain has drastically changed. If you’re in this boat, this post will help you understand what you’ll encounter as you go forward.

Hands on Keyboard

Even if it’s been five years since you’ve had to look for work, you might not be aware of all the tools employers are using to find the best candidates. Employers are being more creative with their hiring efforts, while making it more difficult for job seekers to land a job. Let’s begin with the first and most well-known tool.

1. The applicant tracking system (ATS)

The ATS is one tool of an advanced job search that has many job seekers scratching their heads. When I describe it to my clients, most of them haven’t heard about this software which companies use to make life bearable for their HR staff and corporate recruiters. The bottom line is that the ATS eliminates approximately 75% of résumés that must be read for each job.

However, it’s a different matter for you. If you’re applying online for jobs where an ATS is used by companies, your résumé must have the required keywords, e.g., skills, job title, and even predicted skills to have it read by human eyes. Failure to include the required keywords on your résumé will most likely result in your résumé stored in the company’s database containing thousands of résumés that have been rejected.

Jon Shields of Jobscan.co makes it his business to know about the ATS. There are hundreds of ATSs out there. He claims 98% of large companies use an ATS. It’s also estimated that close to 65% of midsize companies employ one. Even smaller companies will outsource this technology.

2. LinkedIn’s mobile app continues to grow in popularity

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for recruiters. To engage in the advanced job search, you must realize that using only your desktop is not enough. You also need to install the LinkedIn app on your smart phone and access its features. Although the app’s features aren’t as robust as the desktop’s, they’re good enough to help you with your job search.

You can develop and nurture your network, access recruiters through Messaging, brand yourself with a video feature (not available on the desktop), and apply for jobs with LinkedIn’s separate Jobs app. You can do all of this practically anywhere in the world, even while you’re on vacation.

3. Live video interviews

Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, even Facetime have been a staple of the advanced job search. They’ve been a larger part of the hiring process, as they preclude the need for candidates to come to the company, thus saving time and money. However, these applications can cause some challenges for you if you’re not familiar with the technology.

Saving time and money are not the only reason employers conduct online interviews; they want to see you. Yes, they want to see your facial expressions and body language, and perhaps your age.

On your end of an online interview, you need to make sure you’ve covered all the technical requirements (proper lighting, clear sound, and tasteful background). Believe it or not, these technical requirements can be challenging for job seekers who don’t have the proper space for video interviews.

4. Pre-recorded video interviews

These are like live video interviews, save for the fact that you don’t see anyone on your computer screen. Instead, you’re looking at a screen that has questions written on it. Your answers to these questions will be timed and recorded. The final step is sending your recording to the employer.

Like an online interview, make sure you have the technical requirements covered and that you’re looking directly at the webcam to make it appear that you’re making eye contact with the people who aren’t there. That’s right; there’s no engagement required from the employer. They will simply gather your recorded answer and review them at their leisure.

5. Online pre-employment software

Hire Vue describes pre-employment software as: “… any tool or method used to evaluate job candidates with consistency. They range from hard skills tests (such as typing and math skills tests) to ‘softer’ tests, like personality batteries.” Many companies believe these tools are an accurate way to narrow the candidate pool.

Online evaluations get even more interesting. My valued connection, Mark Anthony Dyson, writes in his post on 14 Easy Modern Job Search Tips: ” With the arrival of AI, some companies are even implementing facial recognition technology to read candidates’ body language. Don’t get caught off guard by any of those cutting-edge technologies.”

6. Now it’s about your voice and image

If you’re comfortable with video, you’re in luck. Recruiters are looking at FaceTime Live and LinkedIn video features to assess candidates’ personality and technical abilities, both in the quality of your video and how you sell yourself. This advanced job-search tool isn’t a requirement for every occupation.

For example, if you’re a digital marketer and you produce a video that has multiple camera angles, effective lighting with a little music thrown in, and you let your personality shine; your video will impress the most critical hiring authorities. However, if you produce a poor-quality video, it may hurt your chances, rather than help.

7. It’s not only our kids who text

Recruiters are texting job candidates because of its convenience. Forget formalities. If they want your résumé “yesterday,” don’t be surprised to receive a text saying, “John from Company X wants to see your résumé today. Can you get it to me in an hour?”

Imagine you’re on vacation in Maine and away from your computer, but luck would have it that you’ve stored your résumé on your phone in Dropbox, Google Drive, or your iPhone Cloud. No problem just return it in a text. LinkedIn reports that employers and employees alike are using text, so get on board.

Sarah Johnson was a corporate recruiter. She explains: “When I was recruiting, my last hospital found that busy professionals were MORE likely to respond to a text vs. a phone call or email. I used TextRecruit to help me source for a few hard to fill physician specialties….”


These seven tools of an advanced job search that are not too difficult to take on. But you may have to take a few practice runs before you, for instance, send your video to recruiters. They may seem like a hindrance, but keep in mind that the job search has changed to make it easier and less costly for employers. It’s time to get with the program. You can do it.

This post originally appeared in Job-Hunt.org

 

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