Blog Posts

Managing Expectations: The Candidate Experience Conundrum

With jobseekers taking to social media, review sites and industry forums to talk about their experiences, creating a positive candidate experience during a hiring process is a strategic imperative rather than a mere nice-to-have for organizations today.

A positive candidate experience sets the stage for a long-lasting relationship, even if they don’t land the job this time.

Creating a Positive Candidate Experience:

1. First Impressions:
Candidates form lasting impressions based on their initial interactions with the company. Starting from crafting a compelling job ad, every touch point matters and adds to shaping the candidate’s experience. Remember, their negative encounters can cast a shadow and may deter future applicants.

2. User-Friendliness:
Lengthy application forms can repel the candidates, what you need is an interactive process that also respects their time and makes them enjoy the process of providing you their details.

3. Communication:
Silence during the hiring process can be a misstep while prompt and personalized messages with status updates help keep the rhythm alive and the candidate engaged.

4. Timelines:
How quickly are you able to move the candidate through the pipeline? Time is of the essence, streamline your process without compromising on quality. Respect their time and they will appreciate it.

5. The D-Day:
Interviews are more than Q&A sessions. Candidates appreciate clear instructions, respectful interactions and a deep dive into skills and aspirations that reveal their character. How swiftly are you able to move the candidate from application to interview stage? This matters too.

6. Role of Technology:
Invest in a technology like Hirewand that enhances the candidate’s experience. Hirewand’s Chat bot captures the preferences of every candidate interested in a job, easing the recruiters and helping them quickly move more candidates through the pipeline thus reducing the overall time to hire.

Today, hiring success largely depends on how we engage with potential hires. It all starts with a commitment to change and streamline the hiring processes, partnering with the right technology and paving the way for better candidate experiences.

To read this on LinkedIn –

Recruiter skillset in the world of automation

Multi-tasking and color-coded reports are no more the hallmarks of a successful recruiter. It is time to give your recruiters a software upgrade.

As soon as a CV lands in your inbox or job boards, Recruitment Automation systems like Hirewand take over, they parse the CV, match it to a job role, highlight skills, calculate fit scores and move the candidate through the pipeline. Hirewand can automate literally every step in the hiring process.

This fundamentally changes how recruiters spend their time, in this new world of automation. With this comes an emphasis on a skillset for recruiters that enables them to leverage automation and bring in the human touch that machines cannot bring to bear…

Listening to the Unsaid: Recruiters who can listen, really listen, to a candidate’s aspirations and fears. Those who believe that a career switch isn’t just about swapping job titles; it’s about transforming lives. These recruiters can spot a diamond in the rough, even if the CV screams “average.”

The Empathy Factor: Empathy is their secret weapon. Find a recruiter who can understand that a rejection email isn’t just a formality—it’s a moment that can crush dreams or ignite resilience. Those who believe that behind every LinkedIn profile is a person with hopes, and fears.

The Intuition Quotient: Intuition guides them. When faced with two equally qualified candidates, they sense the spark in one and the flicker in the other. They trust their gut, and know that sometimes, the best hires are the ones who surprise you.

The Emotional Intelligence Edge: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is their superpower. They decode body language during video interviews, spotting nervous twitches and confident grins. And when a candidate stumbles, they offer a virtual pat on the back, whispering, “You’ve got this.”

So, it is time for companies to arm themselves with the new breed who can embrace the magic of intuition, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Because in this AI-powered world, it’s the human touch that seals the deal.

To Read this article on LinkedIn –

Chat GPT response to why we need automation

An automation reponse to a question on automation 🙂

There are several reasons why companies might want to automate their recruitment process:

  1. Efficiency: Automating certain aspects of the recruitment process can help save time and effort for both the company and the candidates. For example, an automated system can handle initial resume screenings and schedule interviews, allowing recruiters to focus on more high-level tasks such as evaluating candidates’ qualifications and fit with the company culture.
  2. Accuracy: Automation can help ensure that recruitment processes are consistent and unbiased. For example, an automated resume screening system can use predetermined criteria to evaluate candidates, rather than relying on the subjective opinions of individual recruiters.
  3. Speed: Automation can help speed up the recruitment process by allowing multiple tasks to be completed simultaneously. This can be particularly useful for companies that are looking to fill positions quickly.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: Automating certain aspects of the recruitment process can also help reduce costs for companies. For example, an automated system can handle initial resume screenings, which can be a time-consuming task for recruiters.

It’s important to note that while automation can be a useful tool in the recruitment process, it should be used in combination with human evaluation to ensure that the best candidates are ultimately chosen.

Our latest release – Private vendor marketplace,

We have just released our latest major release – Private vendor maketplace.

Companies, be it recruitment firms or corporates use vendors to supplement their sourcing. This is a reality in most cases where in-house sourcing bandwidth is not enough to meet the demand.

As part of our recruitment automation system we have just launched our private vendor marketplace. This is a Private marketplace where the companies can choose which vendors to empanel and work with.

Our goal was to create value for both our customers and their vendors.

For our customers

  • A simple way to open up the job to select vendors and start seeing the incoming candidate flow into their pipeline.
  • Control access to the pipeline at every stage. Some of our clients only give access to the client-submit stage, some choose to give access to stages such as document collection and followup in addition to client-submit.
  • Keep the vendor in sync with the status of the candidate. ZERO mail updates and followups. The vendors see the candidate move along the pipeline in real time.
  • No cofusion about candidate ownership between vendors with Hirewand acting as a gatekeeper. Duplicate profiles never enter the system, with the policy on ownership configured and followed by the system, with no possibility of human bias.
  • On top of all this is the choice for our customer to automate any of steps in the pipeline, be it assessments, candidate verfication or document collection. All with no human intervention.

For the vendors

  • Get the incoming jobs and submit candidates in realtime to the client, with no back and forth on mail
  • Instant duplicate check, before the candidate is pushed to the company.
  • A dashboard where they see the live status of their submitted candidates.
  • Automated matching of best fit candidates from their internal database. Imagine a tool that tells you the top candidate you can shortlist for the job that just came in from the client. Simply talk to the candidate and submit.

New feature – Skill suggestions

While providing the screening critea in Hirewand we now suggest skills that the recruiter may want to add along with the one already choosen.

The skills we suggest are based on the learning from the skills picked together by other recruiters across Hirewand. The skill suggestion appears both as you attempt to pick an or skilll within a group or a independent skill to add to the screening criteria.

The goal is to make it easier for recrutier to build a comprehensive screening criteria without having to remember all the relationship between skills.

New feature – Candidate filter

Hirewand overlay on top of ATS now has a new feature – Candidate filter.

The overlay today shows the ranked candidates who have applied for the job and also good fit candidates from the company talent pool.

What you get now is an additional filter on the data that allows you to slice and dice the profiles shown, helping you shortlist the profiles faster.

A usecase for this feature could be the filtering of Diversity candidates from your existing talent pool. You can leverage the diversity candidates to shortlist your initial set of profiles from your existing pool, before other candidates start applying for the job.

Another example would be the rating filter. You can use this to filter the “excellent” fit candidates first and shortlist them, before going on to the other candidates down the ranking.

Our goal as always is to make your shortlisting faster.

Sourcing as a specialization, with metrics.

Companies tend to treat sourcing as one among many activities that the recruiter performs as part of their daily recruitment. The efficiency improvement would come is from more training for recruiters or spending more on sourcing channels. 

This is a lost opportunity. Imagine you are a staffing/recruitment firm and could increase your revenue and save cost by treating sourcing as a specialized field within your organization, with long term vision, strategy, roadmap, and milestones. You can think of ways to make this function more effective and the cost/benefit of doing so.

Start from collecting metrics that allow you to measure how this function is performing within your organization and its impact on your margins. You can then iterate on improving the numbers with regular feedback loops. 

A few metrics you may want to consider to start with:

Conversion efficiency – The ratio of the number of leads pushed into the recruitment pipeline to the final submission (or the final hire). Reflects the quality of leads your team is able to generate.

Time to first lead – The faster the first lead gets pushed into the pipeline the better. Reflects the efficiency of your sourcing team in servicing new requirements.

Lead frequency – The speed at which leads are generated. Reflects how quickly a requirement can be closed. This directly impacts your margin.

High conversion efficiency + high Lead generation frequency + Low time to first lead => Better margins and better hiring

In addition to the above efficiency metrics, a few interesting ones on cost:

Channel cost per lead – Measuring the channel cost per lead and breaking up the reason for this cost can help you improve on the spend across sourcing channels.

Channel dependency – The ratio of leads generated across various channels. It helps you understand your dependency on specific channels and the cost impact of each channel on your overall cost. Excessive dependence on a few channels increases future risk, especially if the channel cost is high.

Channel cost efficiency – The ratio of the cost per channel to the number of leads/submissions/hires from that channel.

You can think of a few more metrics around cost and efficiency that apply to your organization.

If you start thinking of sourcing as a function and build a coherent strategy around it, you will come up with more numbers to track that make sense for your organization. 

Track, measure, course correct and iterate your way to better sourcing…

How companies do resume screening and shortlisting

[Motivated by the query on quora –]

Most decent sized companies receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes a week from their various source. How each company handles these resumes varies. For simplicity I would put them under three broad categories:

Manual screening

Most companies fall under this category. The recruiters download resumes from multiple sources such as job ad responses to their mail accounts, resumes received at their career pages or resumes from recruitment/staffing firms. The recruiters focus on manually screening the profiles for the requirements they are handling at the moment. A typical recruiter can handle screening around 100 resumes a day. If the incoming volume is more than it there will be many profiles that gets missed. This is a very leaky screening process.

Here the candidate profiles that have been received previously or have been received by a different recruiter never gets looked at. It is humanly not possible to do so.

This is tragic for both the companies and the candidates as it is quite possible there is an excellent fit candidate for this opening already with the company or within the newly received profiles that got overlooked.

Simple cataloging

Some companies catalog the resumes by adding notes and tags to the profiles so that they can be pulled up sometime in the future. They use simple available tools to do this. This practice goes back in time where good quality recruiters would maintain a summary note of all good candidates they have connected with. This allows them to leverage these candidates when there is a new opening.

The tools used in this case are rudimentary, such as Excel sheets, gmail (with tags), ATS etc., Recruiters who follow this practice are also very rare.

Screening tools

Recently a few companies have started using automation solutions (Like HireWand). The software here pulls up the best-fit candidates for a requirement from already existing profiles that the company has received. The goal is to ensure a good candidate profile never gets missed. These would be the kind of companies where you will hear back when a new opening comes up that matches your profile. The software also looks out for good candidates from the incoming flow of resumes across the various channels.

The third category of companies is few in number. The goal of HireWand is to be a pioneer in this space.

The existential question – Why are we here?

Today, there are so many recruitment solutions out there, with a new one coming up every month and many disappearing into oblivion every month. The interesting question is, why are we trying to solve this challenge when there are so many out there already?

To get to an answer to this existential question let’s try to figure out:

  1. What are the biggest sources of candidates for companies today?
  2. What are the solutions out there in the market and check how they help in improving recruitment efficiency? and

Finally, let’s look at the reasons why a solution like HireWand would be needed in spite of the many solutions out there in the market.

Source of candidates

Who better to answer this question than LinkedIn? Check out the chart published by LinkedIn in their global trends paper for 2015:

Linkedin Source

Notice something interesting about the top sources? These are Internet job boards, Social professional networks, Company career websites and Employee referral programs. All of these bring in large numbers of resumes through which the recruiter needs to wade through to find the right candidates for different jobs.

Now check “Internet resume databases” on the chart, way down South.  Downloads from Job Portals fall within this bucket. There is a widespread notion that Job Portals happens to be the primary source of hiring in companies. When you spend some time digging through the data of any company you realize this is a myth prevalent across the industry. The chart above clearly breaks this myth. Why such a false notion is so prevalent is a topic for another blog post.

I believe the data in the last section speaks to us of a potentially huge opportunity that companies today are missing out on. To understand this, let’s think of the 3 primary factors that a firm is concerned about in hiring:

  1. Lead time to hire
  2. Quality of hire
  3. Cost of hiring

Let’s consider the new age recruitment solutions again – do they really help in improving all the above factors for a company? Let’s see:

Promise of qualityMany solutions out there promise quality candidates, either selected through better pre-screening or through tests. These “solutions” then charge the companies more than 15% CTC for every hire. So are these really even SaaS services or are they recruitment firms masquerading as a product?

The cooler version of Naukri: So many solutions pitch the value of “we are better than Naukri because _____”. You can fill up that blank with any conceivable reason, be it ease of use (swipe, swipe swipe), speed of hiring (24 hour offers), short circuiting notice periods (a competition to break commitments anyone?), reverse auction and so on. These short term differentiators do not seem to stand a chance against the brand and traction that Naukri already has. These new solutions simply add to the list of sources that the recruiter needs to deal with already. They only add to the overheads on the recruiter, add to the cost of hire with no impact on quality of hire and a marginal reduction in lead time.

Specialized solutions: Vertical-specific solutions, especially around referral hiring and social hiring, promising employee engagement with gamification and of finding candidates from employee networks by simply tapping into their LinkedIn network are in vogue. Referrals are definitely an excellent source of resumes, but are still just one of the 4 main sources. Hence they cannot be the onesolution the recruiter can depend on, to help with shortlisting.

Passive candidate searchThese solutions tend to draw profiles from GitHub, LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Meetup groups and more. The idea is to aggregate profiles across these sites and present a single view. They also provide search across these profiles to surface the right candidates. There are a few challenges with passive candidate search:

  • Most candidates are passive and by nature do not respond positively to either the job or your company. This adds a huge cost to the recruiter who has to sift through these profiles manually, calling each of them up, impacting lead times and cost of hire. The situation is made worse with the same top candidates appearing in the list for most companies and naturally getting tired of calls from recruiters. The fatigue that sets in results in quick refusal for any calls made to them making the job so much more difficult for the recruiter.
  • This pool is a small number compared to the large pool of quality candidates who today, are putting in their time working for organizations and less time in presenting themselves in these open forums.
  • The legality of public crawling of these sites (especially LinkedIn) is suspect.
  • A new trend of more and more “posers” presenting themselves on these public sites for jobs is making matters worse. Their carefully crafted profiles with copied code, duplicate project etc., do not represent the real capabilities of the candidate.

HireWand : Making Recruiters Life Easy

A recruiter’s life is centered on finding the right candidate for the job with focus on the number of openings that get closed. At the same time, a candidate’s focus is on finding the best job possible for themselves. For this to happen, the right candidate needs to be seen by the recruiter who has a job that is best fit for the candidate. Sounds easy enough, but there are huge challenges in making this happen efficiently.

The recruitment solutions today

Most, if not all, recruitment solutions out there are fighting over who is a better source of candidates.  It is a rat race, with new solutions popping up every few months and existing ones dying out at a similar rate.

Is HireWand, to build yet another solution attempting to be a BETTER source of candidates? The answer to this question is clearly NO.

Our answer

We clearly did not want to be yet another source of candidates for the firms to deal with. We wanted to be a tool in the hands of the Recruiters to make their hiring more efficient.

When you look back at the top sources of profiles, all of them leverage your brand and are sources where the candidate has chosen to apply to your firm and possibly for a specific job. By doing this, candidates send across 3 signals:

  • That they are looking out
  • They are interested in your firm
  • They are interested in the specific job if they applied for it.

These signals significantly increase the possibility of a positive response when you connect back to the candidate for a specific job.

This is where the challenge lies today. It is not humanly possible to efficiently leverage these sources. This is definitely not due to lack of intent, but due to lack of tools that enable the recruiter to leverage these sources. The challenge can be explained in 3 stages in the lifecycle of profiles within a firm:

1) The challenge when a new profile is received

A typical mid-sized Company has multiple active openings at any time. As a result, hundreds of resumes are received every single day. Manual viewing of every profile is simply impossible and results in missed quality candidates. Now imagine a virtual recruiter matching every profile with every active requirement diligently, consistently and objectively at any scale. This virtual recruiter alerts the owner of the appropriate opening when a good match is found. No more missed profile, no more wasted time looking through hundreds of profiles to find that one good one and no more waiting for days to get through the pile of resumes. The recruiter only looks at quality candidates and shortlists from there, freeing up time to focus on the more human aspect of hiring.

2) The challenge in searching through recently received profiles

With hundreds of resumes coming in every day a good candidate is easily lost in the existing pile of resumes. Most candidate profiles received in the previous 4 months are found to be active. It then makes a lot of sense to leverage these resumes for a new opening. But this is an almost impossible exercise if done manually. This is literally equivalent to searching for a needle in a haystack. Imagine a person going through thousands of resumes to find 10 good candidates to call for an interview. Simple binary search tools available in ATS solutions are of no use with their rudimentary string search. What is needed is a shortlisting tool that can pull up the best fit candidates for the requirement and present it to the recruiter to look at. HireWand is that tool.

3) The challenge in searching through older profiles that fit

Many recruiters think profiles that are older than 3-4 months are useless. This belief comes from their legitimate experience of finding that a small number of the candidates from this database are still looking out for a job. But imagine letting a virtual recruiter like HireWand automatically check with the candidate if they are interested in pursuing the specific job opening. The recruiter only needs to talk to the candidates who have responded positively and are a good fit for that opening. With Zero effort from the recruiter, they now have another shortlist of interested quality candidates from the firm’s own database.

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