Tag Archives: Hiring Tools

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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5 pre-interview tools employers use to screen candidates

You’re probably aware of the order in which employers attempt to fill a position. First, they consider their own employees; second, ask for referrals from their employees; third, seek referrals from trusted people outside the company; fourth, hire recruiters; and lastly, advertising the position. Or they use a combination of all of these.

pre-employment test

There are many reasons why employers prefer not advertising an open position, including the cost to advertise, having to deal with a deluge of résumés, and interviewing people they don’t know.

In many cases advertising their position/s is unavoidable because all other methods of filling them have failed. Thus, they resort to tools to make sure they get the most qualified people entering their doors. You need to be aware of these tools.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS)

This is the beginning of the hiring process from the candidates’ experience. The ATS eliminates approximately 75 percent of the applicants for a single job. It is a godsend for recruiters and HR, who are overburdened with résumés to read.

To be among the 25 percent that pass the ATS, you’ll have to write a résumé that is keyword rich. Unfortunately many candidates don’t know about the ATS and don’t optimize their résumés. I’m astounded by the number of people who come through our career center unaware of the ATS.

Your best bet is to write keyword-rich résumés that are tailored to each job. Instead of using the spray-and-pray approach, be more focused on positions that are a fit and dissect job descriptions to identify the most important skills and experience required.

Jon Shields of www.jobscan.co explains the ATS in great detail in this post.

Pre-employment aptitude and personality tests

Employers have come to rely on aptitude and personality tests that can determine the candidates who’ll advance in the hiring process. Some employers will swear by them, believing that the software can do a better job of screening individuals than their own HR and recruiter.

Employers use pre-employment tests because they are objective and fair across the board—each candidate answers the same questions—and they’re a good indicator of job-related skills. These tests also measure character traits like integrity, cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, etc.

Where these tests fail is measuring candidates’ motivation to learn job-related skills. This means if you aren’t completely proficient in a certain CRM software, for example, your ability to learn quickly isn’t factored in.

These tests can also encourage dishonesty. For example, you might get the sense that the test encourages outgoing, extraverted types; but you’re preference is for an individualistic work setting. Ergo, your answers won’t truly reflect your personality.

This article talks about the most common types of pre-employment tests.

Telephone Interviews

Hardly new, the telephone interview is typically the first type of interview you will encounter to get to the face-to-face interview. The interviewer has two main objectives: getting your salary requirement and determining if you have the job-related skills to do the job.

However, you need to expect not only the aforementioned questions, but more difficult questions, such as situational and behavioral-based. Telephone interviews have also become more numerous. It’s not uncommon for someone to participate in three or more telephone interviews.

LinkedIn’s report, Global Recruiting Trends 2018, states that telephone interviews are considered the least favorable out of the structured interview. This is probably due to the fact that phone interviews are conducted by agency recruiters who may know little about the job requirements and desired fit; thus producing less qualified candidates.

Skype interviews

Skype interviews are common these days. Employers use them to save time and, ultimately, money. As well, interviewers get to see your facial expressions and body language. They are akin to face-to-face interviews, save for the fact that candidates aren’t invited to the company. This means candidates must nail the following areas:

  1. Stellar content and demonstrated enthusiasm through your answers and body language.
  2. Professional attire. Dress as though you’re going to a face-to-face interview.
  3. All the mechanics are in check, such as lighting, sound, and background.
  4. Look at the webcam, not at the interviewer/s. Looking at them will make it seem like you’re not making eye contact.

Skype interviews may, in fact, be the final interview, which makes it even more dire for job candidates to be prepared for them. This is particularly true if interviewers are situated all over the world.

Don’t be surprised if an employer wants to conduct a Skype interview with you. One of the areas I didn’t mention is learning how to set up a Skype account. My efforts in setting up mine was frustrating, as I had a hard time figuring out how to access the free version.

Video interviews

Skype interviews can not only be challenging for candidates, they can also be time consuming for the employer, as it requires them to participate. Video interviews, on the other hand, don’t require employer participation, until the interviews are watched and graded.

Job candidates are given a number of questions to answer and are timed during the session. At no point do they see the interviewer/s, unlike a Skype interview. My clients who have participated in video interviews say it’s like talking to a wall.

This might be a bit unnerving, but don’t let it rattle you. Have you ever answered interview questions while looking in the mirror? Think of it this way and you’ll be fine. One more thing, look at your computer’s webcam while answering the questions, just as you would for a Skype interview.

Matthew Kosinski from www.recruiter.com. rates the top five video interview platforms in this post.


There you have it: 5 tools employers use to determine who to invite for a face-to-face interview. No method of hiring the right person is flawless, but employers feel like they’re making strives to accomplish landing the best candidate. It is up to you to do well in every aspect of the process.