Advances in technology are celebrated as an improvement to our everyday life. From the web to handheld devices, digital technology has changed the way many of us work today.
But has technology had the same impact on the recruitment industry? It’s such a ‘people industry’ that some parts of the recruitment process haven’t been impacted by technology. Recruiters will generally still organise face to face meetings and interviews with clients and candidates but that’s about as ‘old school’ as the recruitment industry remains. Technology has had a large impact on the way agencies are run to maximise their efficiencies in the past 10 years. Agencies that have chosen not to adopt or have been late adopters of new technology have found that they have struggled to stay competitive.
Technology levels the field
Agency size has nothing to do the adoption of technology. The cost of technology is affordable for large and small agencies. In fact, one of the biggest impacts technology has had on the industry is the levelling of the playing field. With the right technology small and medium sized agencies are able to compete with the large agencies. With social media and software programs a small agency has the same ability as a large one to find the right candidates.
Most parts of the recruitment process have been touched by technology. An agency can take a client brief and have a job advertised online in a matter of hours, no waiting for the ad to be designed ready for the next employment pages in the press to appear.
Internet job boards allow candidates to submit their application and within seconds deliver it to the agency, without the need for mailing it through the post. Resume checking software can save a recruiter hundreds of hours each month sifting through unsuitable resumes.
Project Management goes High Tech
Tasks and project management can be kept on track via online programs. Gone are the days that a meeting was needed to go through the work in progress document. Now a project can be worked on by staff in multiple offices across the globe with Google Docs and other collaboration tools. Staff don’t need to resort to scraps of paper to keep track of their tasks and to do list when they can use Trello or similar tools.
Efficiencies in Marketing
The marketing of an agency to prospective clients and candidates has undergone radical changes in the last 10 years with the introduction of digital marketing. Instead of attending a networking session that would take two hours out of the recruiter’s week to perhaps gain one strong lead those same two hours spent online can achieve hundreds of prospects being poured into a sales funnel that could produce work for the agency in the long and short term.
Social media has allowed agencies to send out regular messages to clients and prospects. With the increased number of channels and the time marketers needed to spend on social media came efficiencies with content scheduling and listening tools. By setting up a quick Google Alerts an agency can be informed if the name of its agency, client, person or industry is mentioned anywhere on thternet.
Sophisticated software like eBoss has allowed agencies to accurately trawl through millions of social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter looking for job title matches and potential candidates. Before the advent of this software, the social media accounts were an amazing untapped resource. The time needed by a recruiter to try searching social media meant it was cost and time prohibitive.
Candidate Selection Improves
Quality candidate selection has also improved with technology. Twenty years ago agency staff had to rely on a candidate’s resume and pick up the phone to do reference checks. Now recruiters can view a candidates’ internet footprint with a Google name search, a social media check, a look at their LinkedIn profile, Skype reference check meetings if they want more than a phone call. Resume checking software can save a recruiter hundreds of hours each month sifting through unsuitable resumes.
Psychometric testing has made rapid improvements in the past decade. Online programs have meant it is more cost effective to access and can be used for more jobs. Agencies can be more confident than ever that they have the right candidate for the job. Without testing years ago, they had to make their selection based partly on gut feel for a candidate but thanks to technology the hard facts and data are available to back-up their decision making process.
Return on Staff
Staff will always be required to run a recruitment agency but it’s the return on investment of each of those members of staff that will determine whether an agency is as competitive as the next. Having staff on board that are willing to embrace technology will be imperative. They need to use technology to achieve more in their day and at a higher standard than they would have otherwise been able to achieve without the use of technology.
As agencies feel the pressure from clients to reduce fees particularly in times of economic downturn it is important that they adopt every possible tool and piece of technology available to them to ensure the agency is run at its most efficient.