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"Don’t be romantic about how you hire your employees" - Interview with José Kadlec (GoodCall)


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Has Covid-19 changed the development of recruitment?

I wouldn’t say that it has completely changed it but it definitely speeded up the evolution process. For example, if you work for a smaller IT startup, and you have been interviewing and maybe even onboarding all new joiners online via Zoom, Hangouts, Teams or Whereby, managing the processes in Asana or Trello, communicating internally on Slack, your recruitment process probably didn’t change much or at all. Maybe you have more work as the demand for IT professionals still increase. On the other hand, if you work for heavy 1000+ employee automotive corporation, there were quite some things you had to change to make the whole sourcing and recruitment process COVID-proof and sustainable.

What are the top trends that will determine our profession in the short and medium term?

There is one big technological and knowledge deficit for HR as a whole and that is work with data. You wouldn’t believe how many companies are still managing the recruitment processes without a proper ATS (Applicant Tracking System). A lot of future development will happen right in the ATS – we can talk automation, more sophisticated AI concepts if you will but also modest things such as sharing information about the candidates and how their progressing through the process, connecting the internal database with LinkedIn or managing recruiters and recruiting outcomes through detailed reporting.

What do recruiting leaders need to invest in to run a successful recruitment process?

The recruitment process is the numbers game for me connecting candidate pipeline from outbound and inbound channels. The current COVID or post-COVID can favor inbound channels with more active candidates on the market as the unemployment rate is growing. What is really important for candidates currently is a job security. What does it mean for recruiters? It means that candidates such as software developers who were tough to recruit before COVID might be even tougher to recruit them now. Why? Because people are afraid of leaving the current secure job and risk to be laid off in the trial period.

What business needs affect the recruitment profession the most today?

One big trend is recruitment outsourcing. Companies consider each placement carefully and that means also for recruiters themselves. That is why we see a significant increase in flexible bodyshopping of recruitment personnel – sometimes called RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing). This aim for efficiency is also connected with a proper candidate market mapping. Current sourcers and recruiters can get very valuable and usually expensive information (when outsourced over consulting companies) with their daily tools and channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. I would pinpoint e.g. LinkedIn Sales Navigator where you can also search for companies with advanced filters and you can quickly see which companies are hiring, firing or what is the medium employee tenure of employees in your or other companies. When we provide this information to our clients, they are using it to decide e.g. which country they should open a branch or a vacancy in or if it is realistic to hire for instance 40 Azure Architects in that country or region.

Will technology replace the work of recruiters? If so, in which areas?

I’m the total believer in that and I progress with the implementation of what I call transhuman recruitment or algorithmic recruitment at our organization. When you break down your recruitment process into smaller bits, you will find out that some of them you can automate it immediately. There are tools such as LinkedHelper, Myrobot.Works, PhantomBuster which any recruiter or sourcer can use for automated and still personalized LinkedIn invitations, InMails and messages. The significant progress of the technologies such as natural language processing, speech to text, face recognition, legal deep fake technology will allow us to do even more. You can tell your virtual assistant (such as Google Duplex) to arrange an interview with this candidate just by a simple voice command. You can create bulk but customized video messages with the real faces of your recruiters. The biggest challenge is the evaluation of the candidate profile which is the task you probably delegate to a software as a very last thing. Anyway, I think that we should focus on things which cannot be automated and leave the rest up to robots. That’s the way to be more effective and also happy.

What are the top 3 softwares that a recruiter should know today?

Of course, it depends on the fact if it is a 360-degree recruiter or he/she has sources at hand. What type of industry they work at, etc. So, if I speak from a higher perspective, I would recommend Calendly, X.ai or similar software to be efficient with screening and interview scheduling. MixMax, Lemlist, Followupthen.com, Followup.cc can help you with automation or semi-automation of follow-ups – it’s so-called e-mail sequencing. Of course, ATS is a must in today’s recruitment. We use Datacruit. We knew that this is crucial since the beginning of our sourcing venture, that’s why we started to develop our own internally. The part of this is also a plugin which you can connect your internal database with LinkedIn and as a recruiter you can see if the person is already in your database or not directly on LinkedIn.

What were the biggest benefits that Covid-19 brought?

The faster digitalization which should lead to the increase in productivity. A lot of people but also companies reevaluate what is really important for them.

What pitfalls lie ahead for us that recruitment professionals should pay attention to?

It’s said that recruitment is a human business which also determines the diversity of people in this industry who are not necessarily the tech savvy folks. This might be causing a backlash in adopting the new technologies in this business. Another challenge is to adopt a new sourcing channels such as TikTok, Clubhouse, Reddit and others.

How can recruitment be a strategic partner for management today?

Sourcers and recruiters have the information from the market at first hand and if they know how to gather it from LinkedIn, Google or any other OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) source, it provides the management with the most valuable info. You can get a lot of information from interviews or exit interviews as well. The prerequisite for this to be data-savvy and see the value in it.

Do skills and culture really matter or does our profession still only work on a requisition basis?

If you are a candidate who cannot find a job for almost a year, you probably don’t care about the culture. You just need a job to pay the bills. If your profession is in demand, you get 5 offer a week, then you are higher on the Maslow pyramid and things such as culture are suddenly a competitive advantage. Especially in this Covid season when companies can lose their reputation quickly, it is important even more.

If you could give just one piece of advice, what would it be for recruiters?

Don’t be romantic about how you hire your employees. Sometimes it is not about fancy Instagram advertisement or wannabe sophisticated X-ray search query for TikTok. Maybe it’s about simple but persistent LinkedIn communication or black-and-white flyer on the local grocery shop.

Personally, what was the hardest part of the past year and what was it that brought a positive surprise?

I’m the recruitment entrepreneur who is in the own venture all-in so my colleagues and I couldn’t just walk away. We had to make some very hard decisions but it paid off and the year finished up well and I believe that we are even stronger, efficient, determined and working with people who live it more than before.

Thank you for the answers to José Kadlec, the Chief Recruitment Architect & Founder of GoodCall!