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Virtual job fairs, texting and video: Nine ways recruiting has changed.

Marcie Vassallo, administrative vice president and manager of talent acquisition at M&T Bank, has been in employment recruiting for 25 years. A lot has changed since the days she would make cold calls using business cards in Rolodexes and fill drawer after drawer with paper resumes.

“It was very paper driven, very manual,” Vassallo said. “A lot was based on who they knew. You’d make 100 calls a day just to get into the right pool of candidates and one
out of 10 would be interested in the job.”

Joel Shapiro, president of JMS Technical Solutions, got into the staffing business in 2001. LinkedIn had yet to be invented and recruiters could still post to Craigslist and find quality applicants.

Now, companies such as Zappos have stopped accepting resumes altogether and have started recruiting employees using social media instead.

“The industry has changed and will continue to transform with the millennials entering the workforce and expecting a different digital experience,” Shapiro said.

[Related: Prospectus 2017: Unveiling the New Buffalo]

Here are nine other ways the employment industry has transformed.

1. Recruiters no longer have all the power., LinkedIn and traditional social media like Facebook have given job seekers much more leverage than they’ve had in the past, especially when it comes to knowing salaries and benefits in advance. Job seekers are also able to review companies and their interview processes. Bad ratings could cause potential candidates to steer clear. Job seekers have also been known to research a recruiter’s background, then use that information in the interview.

2. It’s a job seeker’s market. There’s a shortage of top candidates in certain highly skilled positions. It’s so cutthroat, in fact, some businesses regularly poach employees from other companies. That means recruiters have to be extra aggressive in attracting and retaining talent. They do that by offering attractive benefits such as higher pay, paid parental leave, more vacation and faster promotion.

3. Futuristic first impressions. Imagine you already have a job, but are looking for something better. You want to go to a job fair, but what if you see someone from work? Recruiters now offer virtual career fairs which job seekers can discreetly attend online, gathering information, asking questions and chatting with prospective employers.

4. Virtual interviews. To save time and resources, job recruiters have begun conducting video interviews. Sometimes they’ll do it via video chat, but it’s more common for an employer to provide a candidate with a list of questions, then have them answer the questions on video in their own free time. That way, staff members don’t have to expend so many hours conducting the interviews.

5. Texting is an acceptable form of communication. Recruiters often text candidates and don’t mind being contacted that way. They understand that a job seeker might be at work at their current job and have to be discreet. Often, a recruiter will text a candidate alerting them to the need to speak, then the candidate will go to a safe space and return the call.

6. Recruiters can target and vet candidates like never before. The web allows prospective employers to pinpoint good candidates and to background those who have already applied.

7. Networking is still extremely important, and recruiters see their employees as their best talent scouts. But being the manager’s nephew doesn’t have the same pull as it used to. The hiring managers make the decisions, and they make them based on a candidate’s qualifications and potential.

8. Job seekers used to send paper resumes by mail or personally hand them to recruiters, who would prioritize each resume and file it by hand. Once companies began storing resumes digitally, but before they had scanning capabilities, some recruiters would transcribe paper resumes, typing a copy into a digital file. Today, most companies accept online applications and digital resumes only. When they do receive the rare paper resume, they contact the job seeker to let them know they’ll have to reapply online.

9. The internet has made the job search global and never-ending. Recruiters have more resources than ever to locate, vet and contact job candidates. At the same time, job hunters around the world can see and reply to a recruiter’s job posting, and they can do so around the clock. That gives both job seeker and recruiter a much larger pool to choose from in a much quicker time frame.

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