As a society, we rely on technology for everything from paying the bills to staying up-to-date with current events. And while technological platforms have undoubtedly made many daunting tasks much more convenient, some experts say we may be depending on them too much — especially where job-hunting is concerned. It’s never been easier to submit a resume to an employer, but now that the application process and digital recruitment is the standard, many are wondering whether this could actually end up hurting would-be employees (or even employers).
According to Consumer Affairs, applying to newspaper want ads will likely become an all-but-extinct practice in the near future. A recent survey found that while networking and interviewing are still very much a part of the process, “recruiters and job seekers alike are increasingly turning to new technological tools, such as apps and video resumes, to aid in candidate selection and the application process.” Many companies even require that all applications they receive be subjected to a Google screening process that involves searching for a candidate’s name. The first page of search results often factors in significantly.
In terms of recruitment, the study found that LinkedIn and social media searches also played a big role in potential employment. Around 78.9% of recruiters said they check out candidates through these platforms and on Google, and 75.5% said they do so before they ever contact the applicant.
But while this may make it easier for the recruiter to get a complete picture of a candidate, many applicants feel frustrated when the process becomes overly automated. Another recent study conducted by Randstad US found that 82% of respondents felt aggravated when job experiences were overly automated and 87% expressed annoyance over the fact that technology has made the process less personal. In addition, 95% said automation should aid, rather than replace, the recruitment experience. Although 91% of respondents did agree that technology has enhanced the job search process, over-reliance on technology, rather than personal contact, can impact the applicant’s impression of the employer.
This can be a real problem for the employer, as well. Having a bad application or recruitment process can reflect poorly on the company and add to a negative company culture wherein employees feel disconnected from their jobs. Companies already fail in hiring good managers 82% of the time, and by minimizing personal connection with applicants, businesses could be doing themselves a huge disservice. Even relying on an untested background check service can allow employers to shoot themselves in the foot. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 38% of employers have had job candidates turn down a position because they had a bad experience with a background check. And around 56% of potential employees think less of a company if their background check experience was poor. While background checks are often essential, the fact that these services are untested by a company’s human resource department can be a huge problem.
Ultimately, recruitment and application technologies can take a load off an employer and allow them to weed out under-qualified candidates. But when a company relies on these services too much, it could end up costing them big time.