How Technology Has Changed The Recruitment Sector
In insight / By Lydia Cooper / 31 May 2017
I was recently asked about the ways in which I believe technology has changed the recruitment sector over the past 10 years; an interesting subject as it’s a sector that seems to be the focus of many tech start-ups and therefore likely to continue to transform over the coming years.
The biggest change is that the flow of information across the recruitment industry is now very open – it’s no longer just about how much data you have as a recruiter, it’s about how you bring that data together from multiple sources to find the right candidate match. The availability of information has meant that recruiters have to operate in a different way, and the industry focus has gone back to the human element of matching the right candidate to the right job.
Social media has meant that anyone can now easily access information about candidates’ previous working history online and even get updated about their preferences for moving to a new job. We no longer need to buy data because the most up to date information is the data that is managed by the candidates themselves: usually their LinkedIn profile.
And contacting candidates has got easier – there’s technology out there to guess and validate email addresses, but why would you need that when you can send them a quick message on Facebook or Twitter?
It’s now a much more open industry. However, that openness brings with it more competition; not just from existing agencies accessing the same data as you, but also from newer market entrants who can start up a business with just a phone and internet connection.
Recruitment agencies need to compete: by doing what they do better, leaner and smarter. They need to embrace new innovations to differentiate themselves from the competition; whether that’s using virtual reality, unified comms or machine learning to help them do that.
Ten years ago, agencies were heavily reliant on email and phone – but it’s now an open playing field with social media becoming the go-to place for recruiters and candidates to engage. This has created increased opportunity for collaboration across the industry – with many agencies working together and harnessing online tools to pool resources.
Web tools have also made it easier to engage with candidates – rather than getting a client to come along to your office for an interview, you can get a good feel for a candidate via a Skype video call. It reduces travel costs, takes up less time and is recordable should you want to forward on the interview to your client or provide an audit trail. It streamlines the vetting process and delivers more options – the world is opened up to a recruiter, rather than being focused on a particular region.
Big data provides recruiters with so many opportunities, yet many are not leveraging the possibilities. One of our recruitment clients actually analysed successful candidate information and found that particular personal interests and hobbies of candidates had a bearing on how long they eventually stayed in their job role. This meant that the HR team could apply analytics to their decision making when making job offers in order to reduce the risk of a staff member leaving soon after being hired. But on the flip side of the coin, there are moral and ethical questions to consider around using big data to profile candidates.
Analytics could also be used to identify when employees might be thinking about moving to a new job role. If tools could analyse how many times someone has updated their LinkedIn profile in a given month to provide recommendations that a person is likely looking for a new role, then recruiters could be more attuned to the optimum time to contact a candidate.
We touched on mobility in a previous article (Nasstar Prophecies : 2017 Recruitment Edition), looking at how recruiters are working outside of business hours to contact candidates and using mobile devices – all of which require access to company data for recruiters to do their jobs. But data needs to be managed in a secure way that won’t risk the accidental (or even purposeful) sharing of confidential data outside of your organisation.
Agencies need to focus on how they can capitalise on various security tools to lock down access to data, whilst still remaining flexible enough for recruiters to do their jobs effectively.
The number of tools available to recruiters to help them do their jobs has exploded over the past ten years. There are numerous CRM systems that we now host and deliver to our recruiter clients, across Salesforce (Jobscience and Talent Rover), Bond Adapt, Invenias, Profile and Bullhorn, and we also work closely with agencies to deliver systems for reporting, CV parsing, search, back office and workflow activities. Recruiters also have access to many web-based tools that are paid for on a monthly basis, making the barriers to entry lower than ever for new agencies, and the possibility for connecting data across tools easier. There are now cloud-based tools available to help recruiters engage with clients on social media, for tracking communication and keeping in touch with clients and managing databases.
This has automated and sped up a lot of day to day tasks for recruiters and operational staff within agencies, allowing organisations to operate with greater agility and be leaner in how they deliver services.
Despite the availability of tools, there are still many agencies who haven’t yet leveraged new technologies. It’s impossible to stay up to date if you keep doing what you did yesterday – especially if your business is to compete with innovative newer market entrants who are born in the cloud.
If you’re looking at your KPIs and seeing trends heading downwards across operational efficiencies or business development results, then it’s a sign to make a change and do things differently.
Technology is accelerating at such a fast rate that it’s tricky to maintain a lean operation by keeping IT in-house – you need to focus on what you do best: recruitment. Nasstar is one of the UK’s leading managed service providers, and we have particular expertise in the recruitment sector through our heritage in hosting for recruitment businesses, and also through our acquisition of Kamanchi (now Nasstar for Recruitment), which has deep industry expertise across application and IT delivery in the recruitment sector. All underpinned by HPE enterprise datacentre technology and hosted from our purpose-built datacentre facilities in Telford. We have the experience, expertise and accreditations to deliver a business-driven solution for your IT needs.
If you want to find out more about our recruitment services and solutions click here.
HPE and Nasstar
Nasstar is one of the UK’s leading managed IT service providers. We deliver bespoke clouds, professional services, managed IT and a range of technical products to organisations operating within four strategic industry sectors - with a particular focus on the recruitment and legal sectors. Powered by HPE enterprise technology, across HPE servers, HPE 3PAR and more.