Text Interviews

Journey through Talent Acquisition with Annette Carroll

Now that we’re all tech-savvy, using Apple Pay to buy Starbucks, voice recognition to turn on lights in our houses, and drive emission-free vehicles (thanks Elon) — there are some definite cringe-worthy tech moments of the past that are laughable when compared to the technology we’re consuming today. Let’s all think back to the flattering angles we took Myspace selfies with using a 2006 Nikon Coolpix, or perhaps you relish the days of keeping a separate palm pilot for work and home. Some habits die hard and we’re not judging. I make frozen waffles in the oven.

But for Annette Carroll, experienced Human Resources leader, and Director of Talent Acquisition at ProCon and XSS Hotels, what she remembers is standing in line for 20 minutes to—wait for it—FAX one resume to a client. That sounds like the talent space stone ages. And it should. Thankfully, from the fax machine graveyard rose the HR trends revolutionizing the industry, as well as the old faithfuls we refuse to live without such as email, applicant tracking systems, and LinkedIn. 

Recruiters have the opportunity to make a bigger impact on candidate experience and employee engagement than ever before. When it comes to the technology and communication shift happening right before our eyes, Carroll tells us there is some adapting to do in the talent space, but it’s only getting better.

What should recruiters keep in mind as they work to recruit the next generation of talent and also maintain existing talent? 

Recruiting is still all about building relationships. Recruiters and the people in the industry need to remember that those relationships are never about them it’s always about the candidate. We need to make a collective effort to utilize the emerging technologies that place focus on those same basic principles of truly enriching the candidate experience.

How does employment brand fit into the candidate experience?

The way you treat people is a direct reflection on your talent brand. In my experience at ProCon and even before, I developed employment brand strategies and highly tailored employee development programs. As the talent space dives straight into the communication paradigm shift surrounding us all, the key is to keep the employment brand top of mind and use the new technologies to leverage that like never before. 

With such an innovative outlook on the future of recruiting, how do you see the basic principles of recruiting playing out as new technologies (i.e. text-based interviewing) emerge?

I’m excited to see the recruiting space evolve. It’s going to allow us to reach out to more people, and I think it’s going to really enhance the talent brand. We are going to be able to put links to company videos in these [text-based] conversations, and adding those resources directly into the conversation interests me because recruiting talent, as I mentioned, really is all about enhancing your employment brand and bringing it to life for the candidate.


What do you think about bringing the shift into your own practice and focusing recruiter training on optimizing for text-based screens? 

Oh, I’m on board. I think all of the basics still apply in terms of teaching a recruiter how to close a candidate and making sure they’re doing that throughout their entire recruitment process. You have to go into a conversation with a candidate deciding what you want to get out of it.

So the basics still apply, they’re just being applied to a new wave of recruiting practices? 

Yes. These recruiting principles rang true when I was faxing resumes to hiring managers, rang true through the advent of ATS, and are still important throughout text-based screening. Now that the talent space is making innovative moves in recruiting and screening candidates via text, there’s too much talent at stake to afford to fall behind.  

I don’t like to hire the best available candidate. I want to hire the best candidate.

We have a few guesses as to how that will happen. 💥 🙌

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