Around fifty different recruiters came together on 29th May 2018 at EDHEC’s Paris offices to see the results of the study Generation Z: how to recruit them?, which was carried out by the EDHEC NewGen Talent Center and JobTeaser. A roundtable, made up of four industry experts in recruiting students and recent graduates, took place alongside a presentation on the research, which you can download for free here.
New technologies and recruitment
The roundtable quickly focussed on one key figure from the study: for 20% of students and recent graduates, it’s either important or very important to be able to ask questions about the recruitment process or the company itself via a chatbot. Mathieu Lemonnier, founder and CEO of My RH Community, who also created Kick My Bot, a chatbot publisher for companies, brought his own expertise on the matter: “a year ago, chatbots were completely non-existent in the world of recruitment. This year, 30% of Potential Park’s top 10 players are using chatbots”.
On the question, “will chatbots replace HR teams?”, he was emphatic: “the purpose of a chatbot isn’t to replace a human being, but rather to improve integration, with the likes of LinkedIn and ATS”. He went on to add that chatbots are designed to answer the most frequently asked questions, reducing the workload of human resources staff and avoiding neglecting candidates or potential candidates.
At Sia Partners, a chatbot responds to frequently asked questions directly from their careers page. Laila Aderdour, a Talent Acquisition Specialist, emphasised the complementary nature of using human resources and chatbots alongside one another, particularly when candidates are extremely anxious or need a lot of information to feel reassured. In our recruitment research, we saw that one out of every 5 students or recent graduates considers it important to be able to speak with a chatbot to get immediate answers to their questions, something that is still underdeveloped but rapidly gaining ground.
Do we need to reinvent recruitment forums?
Déborah Penaud, HR Development Manager at Bpifrance, explained how she continues to use forums, mostly to maintain a human presence, which is an inherent part of the DNA of her company. She makes sure they stand out from the crowd on student forums in order to attract students and recent graduates, improving word-of-mouth through positive experiences. Agility is central to everything. Once a year, the results from each forum should be compared and assessed to see which should keep going, and which should be replaced. It’s also interesting to test the impact of forums across new schools and universities on the applications received.
At Sia Partners, school and university forums are a must-have for guaranteeing visibility amongst target students, but building partnerships is also a preferred plan of action on campus. “We add a real pedagogical aspect to the process by taking part in various workshops and classes”, explained Laila Aderdour. In the same way, the company organises half- and full-day workshops on its own premises, which are limited to just a few dozen attendees but are often much more effective.
It’s possible to also adopt a digital approach to forums in schools and universities. For example, Mathieu Lemonnier suggests organising live video chats to respond to questions from students and recent graduates in real time, communicating with them face to face whilst ensuring a certain level of spontaneity.
Finally, Déborah Penaud reminded everyone that forums are not just there to recruit, they’re also about building a pool of talent for further down the line. Forums are an opportunity to connect with students and help them design a proper career path and profile, which will transform these young students and recent graduates into ideal recruits in the years to come. Furthermore, forums are not necessarily doomed to be consigned to the ‘old-fashioned’ bin. New solutions are helping to sort through CVs and plan interviews downstream, helping to go paperless with CVs received for easier management beyond campus forums, and even hosting entirely virtual forums.
If you’d like to see the results of the study for yourself, including current student and recent graduate behaviour and expectations when it comes to recruitment, you can download the detailed results of the "Generation Z: how to recruit them?" study for free, with data from 1,800 European students and recent graduates.
Download the detailed results of the "Generation Z: how to recruit them?" study