10 trends for the application process of the future

Interview with Julia Dous, Digital Expert at Kienbaum Consulting

We have already read a lot about digital personnel recruiting and its transformation. Things went so far that experts even called it "innovation theatre." In a personal interview we talked to Julia Dous from Kienbaum Consultants, a German personnel consultancy based in Cologne. We got clear answers on how digitization affects the applicant and the personnel manager and can here provide you with 10 trends you should be aware of. 

Trend 1: Generation Y wants a changed culture of leadership, agility and New Work.

skillster: Dear Julia, you are based in the Digital Community at Kienbaum Consultants and you're deeply rooted in the HR digitization scene through your involvement in the founding team of Kienbaum's entrepreneur development center ("Unternehmerschmiede"). What are currently the main pain points you encounter?

Julia Dous: Flexibilization and individualization. The contexts are manifold. So are the challenges. Every organization has to be addressed differently. From my point of view, however, lots of things are essentially about "fluidity." How adaptable are structures, processes and corporate culture? How dynamic is the development of your own business model? Along the people organization, the question of employee potential and how to tap it quickly arises. Changed leadership culture, agility and new work concepts become relevant. New ways of recruiting personnel are required to open up new areas of expertise. This task poses challenges for traditional recruiting organizations. The search for employees becomes a bottleneck. No recruitment success without access to the relevant applicant target group. And without understanding the changed standards of the Generation Y, employee search, recruitment and retention become a pain point.

Trend 2: Companies are looking for employees as types of entrepreneurs who design innovation units as speedboats. 

skillster: What are entrepreneurs currently looking for most in recruiting talent?

Julia Dous: I am specialized in the field of digital search. I recruit entrepreneurial types who design innovation units as speedboats for large corporate structures - from product management and online marketing to data /BI specialists - at all levels up to the Chief Digital Officer.

Trend 3: Recruitment of Generation Y will increasingly take place via social media.

skillster: What is the trend in recruiting and, particularly, in addressing Generation Y?

Julia Dous: Social Media! Advertisements in daily newspapers are history. In my projects, I see less and less classic sample CVs, cover letters and templates for applications. CVs are passé - it's all about meaningful profiles in relevant networks such as LinkedIn. Contacts in online networks indicate rootedness in a community. Articles and publications represent expertise. References confirm areas of expertise and personality skills. This is more meaningful than any project list or certificates. Networks are an essential part of recruiting...and so we are back at social media.

Trend 4: Generation Y attaches great importance to lifestyle integration.

skillster: What are the core findings of the Kienbaum study "Graduates under the microscope"?

Julia Dous: Are you still working or are you already alive? Lifestyle integration is a top priority. At the same time, Generation Y is not a homogeneous concept. The expectations of graduates in 2017 reflect the increasing trend towards individualisation in the world of work.

Trend 5: The structural change in companies succeeds through specific product management focused on people.

skillster: How can the gap between established structures and the new generation of creative people who have a different sense of entitlement be closed?

Julia Dous: In theory, with a visionary, open and trusting corporate and leadership culture. In practice, this is a challenging task. The ideal way is different for every company. Perhaps with target group-specific offers, adapted to personality traits, i.e. "product management" focused on people. For some, by way of forms of organization that allow more self-organization and agility. For others with forms that have the opposite effect. With space and workspace, in which employees from diverse areas come together flexibly and promote a fluidity of knowledge and potential. Everything that allows diversity and creates trust is worth striving for. Symbiosis brings about creativity, spirit, innovation and sustainability. How else will we survive in social organizations despite all this complexity and these dynamics? Efficiency logic or no efficiency logic - as an essential basis, yes, but in the short term it does not create the space for rapid prototyping with an error management culture.

Trend 6: CVs become relics of a bygone era - career-effective social media and video applications are new technologies.

skillster: Why will "social recruiting" via Facebook, application videos and similar social media play a much bigger role in the future?

Julia Dous: Networks have always been important in recruiting. The great thing about LinkedIn, Facebook and co. is that they create transparency and access to relevant target groups. Access to people is possible one on one. For everyone who knows how to use social media "career-effectively," CVs are a relic of a bygone era. It goes without saying that relevant channels generate information with more significance. Today, video applications are acceptable and a popular channel in personnel search. Also in HR, sustainable resource management means using new technologies to reach goals more cleverly and faster.

Trend 7: Personality matching offers transparency and combines personality traits with skills.

skillster: When did you first hear about skillster and what is the decisive competitive advantage of the business model for you?

Julia Dous: We met at the Hub Conference two years ago. I found the idea of a symbiosis of competence mapping, video application and a cultural check using aptitude diagnostics interesting. If we assume that personnel managers have two minutes to gain a first impression of an applicant, then they definitely receive more information via skillster.

Your "personality search engine" enables fast and accurate decisions in the preselection phase of personnel recruiting. From a company perspective, access for applicants is essential. Arousing interest in conversations on neutral ground.

"Searchers" can be visible for employers of your choice but also in the whole network. Transparency about who is looking for whom and where your personality traits and skills fit in well, is something we work out in career consulting in a time-consuming and laborious effort. With skillster this happens at the click of a mouse. The advantage is also obvious for employers. Access and login to potential employees which could not be gained via the usual channels. This is the chance to leave an individual new "footprint" as an employer brand.

Trend 8: The preselection of employees is increasingly improved through telephone interviews or personality matching.

skillster: You have conducted countless job interviews during your 10 years in personnel consulting for various clients. What were the core challenges to which, in your opinion, the "personality search engine" skillster provides an answer?

Julia Dous: Access and efficiency in the preselection process. Haven't we all longed for an interview to end after just five minutes of gaining an impression of the applicant? This raises the question of how we can be more accurate in the preselection process. For example with the help of telephone interviews or skillster.

Trend 9: The classic application letter is replaced by the application video.

skillster: Could the application video, as interpreted and simplified by skillster, become a permanent alternative to the application letter for Generation Y? If so, what framework conditions are required?

Julia Dous: Absolutely. In my mind, the cover letter would be the application video. Both require individual preparation. Creating a video, however, is easier done for the new generation in selfie mode. Framework conditions: API, European data protection standards ... there's still quite a bit that needs to be done.

Trend 10: Personality matching reduces the risk of miscasting chequered CVs.

skillster: Keyword "chequered CVs." What challenges do you see for this target group among applicants for whom skillster offers special added value and why?

Julia Dous: Everybody's looking for the perfect attitude. We think we can find diverse requirements and sought-after personality traits in three-page CVs in black and white: without gaps, with a guiding principle, an appealing photo, matching project lists, etc. Under these criteria, some applicants fall through the cracks immediately. At a second glance, however, they might turn out to be high potentials. We would have all liked to have Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Marc Zuckerberg in our team. Alternative forms of presentation can be helpful.

Do you know which job suits you? How can you find the right job? What would the perfect application process look like for you? We are looking forward to your comments.

Take the personality test online with skillster! Just click and register. 

Read more about the graduate study by Kienbaum Consultants.