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How To Make A Personal Connection With Job Candidates In A Digital World

Technology can sometimes prevent us from making personal connections. Let’s put the humanity back into vetting people.

How To Make A Personal Connection With Job Candidates In A Digital World
[Photo: Flickr user Ryan Tir]

Americans currently own four digital devices on average according to a recent report by Nielsen, and the average U.S. consumer spends a whopping 60 hours a week consuming content across those devices.

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In today’s always-on world, it can be difficult to maintain a personal connection with people we know, let alone job candidates we don’t. How do we begin to get to know candidates on a more personal level when aspects of our personalities are masked by the very technology we’ve come to depend on?

Type Less, Talk More

There is no denying that communicating through emails and texts has its advantages–it’s quick, efficient, and allows you to multi-task. When abused, however, it can personally disconnect you from the very people with whom you’re trying to connect.

According to The Radicati Group, Inc.’s Email Statistic Report, there are more than 190 billion emails sent and received worldwide each day. With that many emails floating around, it’s easy to see why a phone call is occasionally preferred.

If something can be said over the phone as opposed to an email, start dialing; candidates will appreciate that you took the time out of your day to make the call.

Make The Move To Video Interviewing

We live in a world that values the convenience of technology in the workplace, so why not implement technology into the hiring process? While phone interviews often act as an audition for the actual face-to-face interview, they don’t give employers an accurate sense of a candidate’s personality.

A January 2014 report by Gigaom found that 65% of communication is nonverbal. In fact, facial expressions, gestures and posture are almost more important than what is being said, yet are lost during phone interviews.

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Opting for a one-way or live video interview allows employers to analyze a candidate’s body language and facial expressions to gain a better understanding of that potential employee’s individuality. In fact, according to a 2013 Forbes article, the way communication is conveyed is astounding: 55% via face, 38% via tone of voice, and only seven percent from the actual words said.

Translation: using video interviews is a key way to establish a personal connection with candidates during the hiring process. (Plus, 66% of candidates actually prefer video interviews!)

Use Social Media To Connect In A Low Pressure Environment

Social media allows organizations to connect with candidates in a low-key, low-pressure environment. Instead of just one-way communication, candidates can interact with companies in a way that is more-give and take, asking questions and receiving answers.

Consider options like organizing a Google Hangout to discuss openings at your company and inviting potential candidates. Or start a Twitter conversation to see what questions candidates may have about the hiring process. For example, anyone can ask Dell questions on Twitter and Google+ using the hashtag #DellHangout. Dell then schedules a hangout to connect with audiences and answer questions face-to-face on everything from tech problems to questions about products.

In what ways do you forge a more personal connection with candidates? Let us know in the comments.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about how video has changed and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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