Written by Anand Srinivasan
In his article about the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face, Entrepreneur.com contributor Larry Alton lists “team building” as one of the most significant hurdles. He points out that picking the right team for a startup is quite stressful, even for those with considerable management experience. This is all the more challenging when you are already spread thin on resources and are looking to fill openings quickly.
This is not a challenge that only young startups face. Even large businesses with thousands of employees grapple with problems surrounding hiring the right candidates. For this article, I turned to HARO to hear from entrepreneurs who have faced hiring challenges. I wanted to know if technology can be a good tool to fix hiring issues that startups face.
Here is the gist of the various ways startups today use technology to fix their recruitment woes.
Applying for a job is no longer a labor-intensive process for candidates. There are bots that make it possible for candidates to apply to thousands of jobs at once. While this simplifies the process for job seekers, it can make filtering a nightmarish process for recruiters.
Simon Oldham, the founder of Dallas-based recruitment software firm QJumpers, says there are a number of ways technology can help address this problem. For example, many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) today come with automated filtering options that shortlist or decline candidates based on predefined rules set by the recruiter. Recruiters can also set up a talent pipeline so they can be alerted any time there is a new candidate matching defined criteria in the database, Oldham says.
In some cases, applicant filtering goes beyond what is written on a resume. Joe Edwards, the executive director of consulting firm W3, says asking “knockout questions” is useful if you want to know if the candidate is willing to travel, has visa sponsorship, and so on. You may also want to test the candidate on their basic language skills. His company built an in-house bot called “Arnie” that could converse with an applicant and get these questions answered before the right candidates are passed on to a human recruiter.
Edwards says this has helped his firm reduce candidate screening time by as much as 80 percent.