Using LinkedIn as an ATS – could it improve the future of hiring?

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LinkedIn allows you to post jobs, create a company profile, let’s you reach out to prospective employees, let’s your write articles like this one, and allows you to apply for jobs directly using LinkedIn.

The process for hiring should be fairly simple:

  1. Applicant sees position after doing a search for specific positions and clicks on it for details. They see who is recruiting for the position, who the company is, and get to read the job description.
  2. They look at the job description to see if they are qualified, have the necessary experience, education, and potentially have connections with others that work in that company. If they’re a Premium member, they should be able to see how many people are applying for the same position for the sake of competition.
  3. They click the inApply button which allows you to apply using your profile.
  4. For all positions being hired by the company, it should bring the recruiter a list of people that you can vet by looking at their profile. If the person seems qualified according to their profile, the recruiter can send them an InMail expressing interest in talking with them further, and offering to interview them. Once the InMail is sent, the conversations can go back and forth without using any on the prospect’s end.
  5. Once the prospect sees the message, if they decide to accept the interview offer, their calendar can be visited and they can set a date and time. Let’s say that LinkedIn has been integrated into Outlook, the recruiter could put that appointment into their calendar and Outlook could generate an invitation to the prospect.
  6. The prospect accepts the invitation which triggers an Outlook reminder to the recruiter at the beginning of the day that the interview takes place. This reminder can be in the form of a Task with some notes for that day. Anything from where the prospect went to school to projects worked on, even to “Is willing to relocate” or “works for company with non-compete.” When you are hiring for a position and are dealing with hundreds of applications, it’s impossible to remember every detail about everyone.
  7. Prospect is interviewed by recruiter who has that LinkedIn profile open. Questions are asked, conversation is had. After they speak, if the recruiter decides not to move forward, they delete the applicant from the list. If I were the prospect, I would make the move to connect with the recruiter to thank them for the interview. If no connection is made, it’s assumed the recruiter isn’t interested.
  8. If the recruiter is interested in forwarding that person to a hiring manager for a second interview, they message the candidate stating, “I just spoke to John Smith who after hearing about you, wants to bring you in for a second interview.” Repeat step 6.
  9. On the day of interview, John Smith has the applicant in their office with their LinkedIn profile up. Questions are asked, conversation is had. Halfway through the conversation, John realizes he likes the applicant and wants to hire them and does.

LinkedIn should be able to accommodate legal paperwork and forms, but also handle anything needed by the company (social media policy, non-compete, non-disclosure, etc…). LinkedIn should also be able to email the prospect with an offer letter. Prospect clicks on a link to access the proposal via LinkedIn. If you accept, it triggers a host of actions on the part of the company.

Once the “I accept” button has been pressed and once the prospect has been hired, another button could be pressed to trigger the sending of a rejection letter. Many companies will make their job offers contingent on background checks and drug tests, so they may hold off on sending rejection letters until the new employee has met those requirements.

I see several advantages to the process above:

  • Instead of creating accounts on outdated ATS sites, your LinkedIn profile is what the recruiter works with. On the company’s end, you’d be able to tie Microsoft’s functionality into the hiring process and have interoperability.
  • Many ATS ask you for demographic information and other demographical information for the sake of reporting and for the sake of government incentives. LinkedIn profiles can be configured for the prospect to self-disclose that information and have it be sent to the recruiter during application. If that informant isn’t there, it’s assumed that the prospect declines to identify.
  • It cuts down the amount of time needed to apply for a position. The hiring process should be as simple as possible. Part of simplification involves automating some processes and condensing others. We are in a digital age and we need to start like one.
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About the author

Mike Rana

Mike Rana is one of those people who is hard to define, though he's not immune to being labeled for something. He likes to talk about many topics including technology, business, politics, education, psychology, and human behavior. In his spare time, Mike enjoys traveling, people watching, analyzing the world around him, writing about his life experiences, absorbing information from various social media channels, and trying to be the voice of reason in the political arena.