What are the benefits of using a smart intranet for internal recruiting?

Traditional intranets have long been used to advertise vacancies internally, but their limitations in terms of unearthing hidden talent have made the exercise little more than just ticking boxes.

But this is changing drastically with the advent of smart intranets.

With their social media-like interfaces they allow employees to create personal profiles and list all their skills, including those not pertinent to their current position, and which the organisation may not be aware of. For example, Joe in Accounting may also be a capable public speaker, which could make him a candidate for the position of product demonstrator. Likewise, Mary in the Admin Department might be a published author in her spare time, making her suitable to fill the vacancy for a contributor, or even editor, of the house journal. These skills can also be endorsed by co-workers (think Linked-In), making it easy for recruiters to see which of the claims are genuine.

If not for the smart intranet, the HR department may remain unaware of potentially valuable capabilities within the staff complement. The benefits stretch beyond just the HR Department, though: employees may not necessarily be aware of vacancies that might fit their non-job related skills. In the past, vacancies have been advertised on traditional intranets with mixed results. One of the problems with the static nature of traditional intranets is that there is little incentive for employees to visit them on a regular basis, and as a result they might miss internally-advertised job opportunities – a chance for a horizontal move to expand their skill set, a promotion, or even an opportunity to use their “other” skills. The ever-changing nature of the new smart intranet is likely to drive enthusiastic adoption, as it becomes a portal to everything in the company rather than just a repository of information. And this makes it the perfect tool for internal advertising of vacancies.

But the smart intranet’s benefits reach further than just employees. For external recruitment, applications can be routed through the intranet, making it a “virtual meeting room” to be used by recruiting panelists, especially if they’re in different locations, to score applications, discuss candidates and create a shortlist. In this case, the panelists only need to get together to interview shortlisted candidates and make the final selection, saving the organisation both time and money. It also offers prospective candidates the convenience of being able to complete psychometric and cultural fit tests in the comfort of their own homes, making a positive impact on their perception of the organisation.

Let’s summarise some of the benefits of using a smart intranet for internal recruiting:

1. It creates internal opportunities for promotion by sharing current job openings in a place that is easily accessible.

2. Employees can endorse the skills of colleagues, increasing the number and quality of objective references submitted, ensuring the right person is appointed in the job.

3. It allows the creation of feature-rich job application forms, which dynamically pull out employee information and allow applicants to upload their resumes and cover letters.

4. It can automatically score and shortlist appropriate applicants.

The benefits of including your existing personnel in your recruitment drive are beyond dispute, and the ability to use a smart intranet to streamline the process and unlock the treasure trove of undocumented internal skills is invaluable. While in the past intranets have seen little interaction, modern smart intranets are disrupting the status quo. For HR managers who think outside the box the advantages of this new technology are truly game-changing.

Johanni C Jennings is the Lead Strategist and Chief of Staff at The human.kind Group.

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