Building a Candidate-Focused Recruiting Experience with Integrated Technology

integrated techNot long ago, Humana was in aggressive acquisition mode—and I don’t mean mergers. I mean technology. Talent acquisition technology, to be exact.

Two trends were driving these acquisitions, according to Kevin Stakelum, Humana’s Director of Talent Acquisition. Trend 1: the rapid evolution of the technology itself. And Trend 2: Humana’s desire to reach candidates on a newly emerging set of channels, platforms and devices-allowing candidates access to interviews at their convenience.

Stakelum told attendees of a recent Talent Board webinar this acquisition phase is slowing. “We’ll continue to evaluate new technology as it becomes available, but we’re working on leveraging the technology we have in place to deliver a truly candidate-focused experience.”

Redesigning the Application Process

The truth is Humana has done a terrific job of delivering a candidate-focused recruiting experience for quite a while. The company is a multi-year CandE Award Winner and has never rested on its laurels where talent acquisition is concerned. But it has doubled-down on its commitment to being candidate-focused.

For instance, Humana’s ATS administrator recently took a hard look at the company’s online application process and noticed that literally thousands of candidates were dropping out of the later stages of the process, despite the considerable effort they’d put into filling out applications. Humana determined its application process contained too many steps. In addition, candidates had no real options when entering their personal information; it was a laborious manual task from start to finish.

“We realized that we’d been thinking about ourselves instead of candidates when we first designed the application process,” said Stakelum.

To fix these problems, Humana redesigned and simplified its application process. For starters, it allowed candidates to use a number of different sources to populate their personal information, including resumes and online profiles from a variety of sites. The company also reduced the number of steps required to apply for its jobs. Humana’s dropout rate was reduced as a result of these and other fixes.

Candidates weren’t the only ones who benefitted from redesigning the application process. “We also streamlined work for our recruiters and hiring mangers, eliminating steps and tasks,” Stakelum said. “Even if you’re talking about just a few clicks they have to make with each application, their work can get pretty overwhelming when it’s a few extra clicks hundreds or thousands of times a day.”

As a result of Humana’s technology acquisitions and its focus on redesigning the candidate and recruiter experiences, the company has managed to once again raise the bar on its talent acquisition.

Where Talent Tech’s Impact Is Greatest

Humana’s talent acquisition system leverages the company’s technology in four essential areas:

  1. Process automation—This refers specifically to the “front end” of the application process, when applicants are not yet true candidates. They’re making initial contact and providing basic information. Technology speeds all of this along and makes it more efficient, but it doesn’t replace recruiters’ people skills and knowledge. Stakelum believes that, no matter how good technology is, the recruiter’s role is more important than ever. “Recruiters will never be automated out of a job,” he stated.
  2. Vendor integrations—Humana works closely with its vendors to increase efficiency and drive the future design of their offerings. Again, the goal is to improve the experience for candidates while eliminating busy work for Humana’s recruiters.
  3. Mobile application—Humana has a similar focus regarding its mobile jobs application: to streamline the process for applicants while also removing the company from a “middle man” role in many mobile-related transactions.
  4. Integrated dashboard—While Humana’s recruitment dashboard contains the usual metrics (cost per hire and hires per recruiter, for example) the talent acquisition leadership team and company leaders can also see customer survey scores, diversity data and college recruiting numbers. It’s all meant to give leaders a more complete picture of the team’s progress and results, said Stakelum.

Without question, Humana’s candidate-first recruiting experience is paying off, as evidenced in part by the CandE awards it has won. However, Stakelum said that his team doesn’t rely on its internal expertise alone to keep raising its game. “We also depend on reliable outside sources, such as the Talent Board, for insights, best practices and useful data.”

Clearly, Humana’s technology investments, candidate-first focus and use of a wide range of intelligence all keep its employer brand soaring.

Talent Board is the first-ever nonprofit research organization focused on the elevation and promotion of a quality candidate experience. Each year the organization gives special awards to those companies with the highest candidate ratings per their benchmark research program.

It’s not too late to participate in the 2017 Talent Board Candidate Experience Awards and Benchmark Research! Find out how today. To learn more about how Humana transformed its candidate experience, click on the preceding link and watch the brief webinar.

Come see the 2017 North American CandE winners in Nashville on October 2!