By Cabot Jaffee, CEO of AlignMark
Frank Yurchak has been an owner-operator within the Chick-fil-A System for over 25 years. Prior to 2017, he hired candidates the same way every other operator did – the “old fashioned way.” Candidates would visit the store, ask for a paper-based application, complete it, and wait for a manager to be able to speak with them.
Now, a number of operators are using job boards and candidates can complete the application on-line, but that’s just making an old process slightly more efficient. Video job applications are changing the way candidates apply to jobs.
In 2017, Mr. Yurchak recognized that he had to compete for a limited number of applicants, many of whom had other choices when it came to employment. He was interested in finding out how to expand his recruiting efforts, while at the same time increasing the quality of candidate from which he had to choose. Mr. Yurchak also realized that the applicants today were very different than they were in the past.
Today’s applicants had very different expectations when it came to applying for a job, and how much “energy” they would expend in order to apply. In the past the employer drove the hiring process, while today there is a shift to the candidates driving the process.
Mr. Yurchak implemented a video-based job application as his first step in the hiring process. The video application is an interactive experience in which the candidate is in more of a traditional exchange with an online interviewer (automated).
Active recruiting happens from the very beginning and the process of completing the application is a very different experience compared to the traditional application process. In the traditional application candidates simply fills out all the questions and receives nothing in return. In an interactive video-based application, as the candidate answers a question he/she receives information based on his/her answer.
For example, if the candidate is asked how much experience he/she has and the answer is none; on a traditional application the candidate may feel at a disadvantage and not willing to complete the rest of the process. In the applicant’s mind why would the company be asking this unless they are going to use this in their decision-making process. And they might think, “if I don’t have experience maybe I won’t know how to do the job.”
Well in a video application, when the candidate answers “none” the onscreen interviewer responds to the candidate and assures them that having no experience is ok, and that they will be provided training to get them up to speed. In other words, the candidate is getting “recruited” and shown the company’s employee value proposition from the very beginning of the application process. This is a significant change from the traditional text-based, one-way application currently being used by most companies.
Mr. Yurchak is also pleased that this technology allows for recruiting way beyond job boards. The link to the application can be published to find the passive job seeker as well as on traditional job boards which only attract the active job seeker.
The system also takes care of the on-boarding process by electronically keeping track of I-9s, W-4s, and other information.
Mr. Yurchak is thrilled with the results. Fast forward one year and he has found numerous “non-traditional” applicants, and his offer to acceptance ratio has increased significantly. He also has many more applicants to choose from than he ever did in the past, combined with some of the lowest turnover in the entire System.
Mr. Yurchak realizes that over 78 million Millennials will be in the workforce within the next 10 years. They have very different expectations and demands when it comes to the hiring process, and that in order to stay ahead of the recruiting game this new technology will allow him to have the cream of the crop to choose from.
Dr. Cabot Jaffee (M.A., Ph.D.) is the President and CEO of AlignMark. He is a recognized expert in the field of recruiting and assessments, and has created effective HR Solutions used by thousands of companies.
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