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How many times has the recruitment agency apocalypse been predicted at this point? From the internet to job boards and LinkedIn, AI bots were all supposed to kill off the agency recruiter and recruitment technology in general by making humans redundant. But regardless of how complex your algorithms are, people know people, and people buy from people. So here we are, alive and kicking.
Did these recent technological advances force us to adapt our way of working? Absolutely. But, it didn’t kill our industry. In fact, more recently, technology has assisted recruiters in certain areas, breaking down geographical boundaries to candidates, automating menial tasks, and aiding in creating a more streamlined approach to market penetration.
A Timeline of Technology in Staffing
The global employment industry is currently worth a massive $529 billion and is expected to continue to grow in 2020. That’s the beauty of the recruitment industry: it’s constantly being threatened by the emergence of new technology but, in reality, we evolve, adapt, and overcome these threats by utilizing technology to its full potential.
Or at least most of us do.
The standard tech stack of a trainee recruitment consultant joining Sthree in 2002 consisted of a desktop computer with one system (EasyAccess), a desk phone, and a folder of org charts (if you were lucky). Dare to imagine hiring for your business today and offering that as your starter pack? The trainee would have left by the time the internet dialed up!
Looking at the standard tech stack of a trainee recruiter today is more like looking at a spy kit with systems to organize, track, source, find, and screen the ideal candidate, including a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, CRM, and a host of software. The list is practically never-ending and yet, it’s also still growing!
With an ever-changing technology landscape and demands from clients increasing, it can be hard to know where to start. But here’s a word of warning: if you’re still stuck at the “where to start” phase, just start! Because you’re almost too late.
The rate that technology is coming onto the scene is unparalleled to anything we have seen before but what’s even more alarming is the rate in which we are adopting the technology. The radio took 38 years to reach a market audience of 50 million. The television took 13 years and the iPod only took three years to reach a market audience of 50 million.
Where to Start
Your competitors are embedding and utilizing technology that is speeding up their workforce while you might still be tuning in FM 104 to make sure you catch the job ads section.
So, where do you start? How do you navigate your way through this unknown technology jungle and accurately assess what technology is actually important for your business? Ultimately, it’s dictated by you and your business needs. That may sound simple, but many businesses get caught up in the next tech trend without considering why or how that technology could be of benefit.
Here are a few things to consider when looking at improving your tech stack:
1. What am I trying to improve?
Whether it be a workflow or removing those administrative-heavy tasks from your biggest biller, make sure you address this question and keep the answer at the forefront.
2. By embedding “X”, what improvements do I expect to see?
Set your own expectations. If you’re taking the time, money, and effort to embed a new piece of technology into your business, have a clear picture of what you want the objectives to be. Nobody likes taking on a cool, innovative piece of technology that nobody actually sees the benefit in.
3. Will “X” make me more money or save me money?
These two lines are often crossed, but there is a clear difference. Some pieces of technology can help you save money, such as accounting software that can remove some payroll administrative work which could reduce the need for an extra staff member. Other pieces of technology can make you money, like Hinterview enabling your recruiters to offer premium video services to their candidates. Both saving and making money are positives when looking at your business, but it is important to know which you are trying to achieve with each piece of technology that you’re implementing into your business.
My best advice is to audit your business and be harsh on yourself. A business rarely improves by looking at all the things you do well and congratulating yourself on them, though there is a time and a place for that! Actively look for inefficiencies, gaps in processes, and sweet spots of inadequacy and then apply the above checklist to each of the areas you identify as weak. If a piece of recruitment technology can satisfy them, then it’s time to start signing contracts.
Jessica Kilkenny Roddy is the Head of Marketing & Operations at Hinterview, a leading video engagement platform working with recruitment agencies to enhance their market engagement with both clients and candidates. Before joining Hinterview, Jess spent several years in recruitment specializing within the Governance market across the Financial Services industry. Her experience spans across both enterprise and SME recruitment business’, giving her an appreciation of the challenges faced by both. Jess joined Hinterview because of a common belief in the need to bring human interaction to the forefront of recruitment technology.
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