When voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home first came to mainstream attention, we used them to set timers, check the weather, and ask how old Jon Bon Jovi is (he's 58, by the way). Now, they can order you a pizza, turn your microwave on, answer the door, and play lullabies to put your children to sleep.
They can even help recruiters find candidates. Seriously.
Imagine looking for your next candidate by asking your Google Home. You wouldn't have to lift a finger to type. You could ask it while lying in bed (seeing as we're all still working remotely). "Hey Google, I need a Dutch-speaking graphic designer with their own transport who has experience working for VoIP companies," all while half asleep.
And, while it's not 100% possible right now, we're not far away. Smart speakers and voice recognition won't replace the array of tools and technologies we have in place now, but it will undoubtedly augment it and add to our diverse recruitment strategies. Smart speakers are being used daily to book appointments, check the weather, and make grocery lists. They're already being used to help candidates look for jobs.
It's not long until Siri, Alexa, and Google Home are ready to scan the internet to find the ideal candidate.
Looking beyond the superficial, here are five ways voice technology can help recruiters in 2021 and beyond.
Using voice-activated job boards
If you're serious about integrating voice technology in your recruiting efforts, the first step is listing your positions on job boards and websites already integrated with smart speakers. Have a look at the apps listed on Amazon, Apple, and Google, and post your jobs on the relevant platforms.
Bear in mind, new apps are being added all the time, so it's essential to check regularly.
Make sure job descriptions are voice search optimized
To do so, imagine you're describing this position to a candidate in person, as opposed to focusing on keywords. Instead of "Workforce management roles Glasgow," write, "What workforce management roles are there in Glasgow now?"
You then need to structure your content to answer natural questions, think "why," "how," and "when" type answers.
Lastly, it would help if you localized your thinking, as voice search is location dependent. So, all roles and descriptions need not just city roles, but the region and even street address.
Voice technology can speed up the process
The most significant benefit of voice technology is speed and efficiency. Specific voice commands can help you find individual pages or sections within your recruitment system; it can filter responses and generate reports to provide valuable insights.
Rather than endless clicking through menus and submenus, or typing out search queries, imagine saying:"Which candidates said no to question five?"
"How many candidates listed workplace collaboration under strengths?"
"Show all candidates born before 1991."
Because of the increasing demand for candidates with broader skill sets and versatility, using voice technology to filter and refine your search could give back valuable time. As well as making the process much less time-consuming.
Voice technology can also source resumes and schedule interviews, pre-screening them via phone or video conference. These pre-screened recordings and their reports can be automatically generated by a voice assistant and then passed on to a human recruiter to action the next steps.
Voice technology reduces manual efforts and lets recruiters focus on the more value-added tasks of recruitment. A chatbot can screen, source, and schedule interviews with several different candidates, reducing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.
Speaking of which,
1. Voice technology can reduce hiring costs
A bad hire is usually down to a lack of understanding of the recruiter's job requirements. Harvard research confirms this; they say 80% of employee turnover results from bad recruitment decisions.
Voice-enabled technology uses candidate personas to interpret a candidate's skills to create better engagement and avoid bad-hire expenditure.
Quality of hire used to be a recruiting KPI black box due to the difficulty that comes from closing the data loop (measuring what happened to a candidate after they were hired).
As HR data has become easier to analyze over the years, quality of hire is now a top KPI for any recruiter.
Voice technology comes into play with its ability to utilize data to match candidates' experience, skills, and knowledge to a particular job's requirements. This improvement has led to happier, more productive employees less likely to feel out of place.
2. Voice technology can help rediscover missed opportunities
Often, recruiters may fail to make use of all available resources. For example, not maintaining a candidate database, not utilizing a substantial social profile contacts lists, and not going over their list of candidates who need a career shift.
Voice assistants utilizing AI and machine learning can help establish a talent pool from internal and external sources. This can help recruiters begin a search to fill a position with a deeper candidate talent pool. This won't just reduce employee turnover costs, but help find the right people for the right roles quicker, decreasing time-to-hire and futile onboarding efforts.
Using smart speakers and voice technology to find an ideal candidate used to be something that felt years away. Now, it's slowly starting to turn into a trend. Potential candidates are already using voice search to find new jobs.
There is a wide assortment of apps that candidates use to find jobs, with more popping up every day. Although their reach may be limited now, it isn't long until you ask Alexa to find you a job as you would ask what the weather's like on the weekend.
So, what should those working in talent acquisition do in the short term? By optimizing career pages and job descriptions for voice search, you're putting yourself in a position to embrace tomorrow's technology rather than swimming upstream. It's like being an employer who embraced video conferences or presentation software years ago, rather than as the pandemic hit.
There's a shortage of tech talent worldwide, and recruiters are always trying to invent new ways to attract talented candidates. In this highly competitive market, we need to stay up to date with the latest in recruitment technology and methodology, and voice search should be high on your list.