Soundbites, or quick highlights from a conversation with a candidate, could be the future of recruiting. When done right, they will save hiring managers both time and money. So, what does “doing it right” look like?

If you’re a hiring manager, and you’re trying to build a quality team — and trying in a time that’s tight for a lot of industries because of COVID — one core question you need to ask yourself is this:

What are you getting from recruiters?

In a lot of cases, it’s going to be “notes” or essentially summaries of a candidate conversation. Those can be helpful on the surface, and it feels like time is being saved for you — you’re basically making the recruiter into the middle (wo)man, right? — but think about those notes for a second. How robust are they? Can someone really take good notes and ask the right follow-up questions? Was it possibly over lunch and the recruiter was eating? Was it the sixth back-to-back call your recruiter was on?

If all you’re getting is the notes summary deal from your recruiters, that’s not enough. 

What about soundbites? Just like the juicy parts of an interview, or some celebrity clip that goes viral and people enjoy, a soundbite would be a snippet of the interview where you can legit hear the candidate — their voice, intonation, passion, expertise, etc. — come through and answer a specific question, be it a technical one or one that’s important for you to understand the candidate better. 

Are you getting soundbites, which can have true value (and reduce bias), or are you getting notes that maybe don’t do the candidate justice? And if you were getting these soundbites, do you think you could hire faster? (Short answer is yes.)

Ask yourself these questions first.

The bottom line on the next few years of recruiting

We already know it’s moving to more audio and video; we’ve seen that for years, but it’s accelerating recently. So that trend is there. 

Recruiting probably won’t operate as a profit center at most places in the next decade — you can make an argument it should, but that’s for another post — so the focus will often remain on saving cost and saving time while maximizing quality. 

The problem at this intersection is that a lot of audio/video tools coming up don’t really save you that much money or time, or necessarily get you better candidates. There’s a big “one-way” market, whereby you lose the human element of conversation, and hiring managers still have to carve out time to review full interviews, not selected snippets. 

If you want recruiting and TA to “get a seat at the table” and the “war for talent” to be real aside from executive hiring and superstar engineers, you need to find ways to maximize tech, save money, and save the time of hiring managers.

Recruiter notes sure as hell ain’t doing it. So let’s move towards this audio model with soundbites and snippets that can be sorted and compared by a hiring manager in 4-5 minutes, instead of listening to the entire 45 minute discussion.

The future of recruiting is about combining tech and efficiency, which is the place recruiting has tried to get for 20 years and hasn’t yet. But it might be here now.

Action items-wise, from this post?

If you’re a hiring manager: Check out the candidate preview below, and ask your recruiters to share a few soundbites!

The future is now. Let’s go make it happen.

This is an example candidate preview, which includes soundbites from a recruiter phone screen.