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How technology is shaping the recruitment industry

Robert Dagge, managing director at Dynistics

Technology is being used in almost every aspect of the recruitment process – from identifying jobs and sourcing CVs through to carrying out background checks and interviewing people. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud-based technologies have taken recruitment from a desk and paper-based activity and turned it into a dynamic and intuitive business process.

But rather than a threat to the traditional people-centric led process of hiring, technology is an opportunity to hone the process, rather than replace it. So what opportunities does technology now present in transforming the recruitment industry? Here are five every recruiter should know about.

1. Big data

Despite being twice as likely to improve recruiting efforts and three times as likely to reduce costs and gain efficiency, until recently, the adoption of big data by the recruitment industry has been relatively slow. However, tighter budgets, reductions in hiring time, and the need to rectify lost opportunities have all resulted in fierce competition to attract and hire the best candidates, changing the recruitment goalposts. Big data can offer help with everything from predicting hiring needs in real-time, to improving the quality and retention of new candidates.

2. Mobile

Sounds obvious, but today’s candidates expect the entire recruitment process to be quick, convenient and engaging. Yet, while recent ONS research found that 70% of job seekers use their smartphone to hunt for a job, just 47% of employers’ company websites and application processes are mobile optimised. Mobile technology mustn’t be ignored. It allows a candidate to not only apply for a job via a smartphone, but to take an interactive assessment, self-schedule an interview or click on a link to a video interview that can be completed online at any time, and all in a fraction of the time of the traditional recruitment process.

3. The cloud

Cloud technology has transformed the way businesses use and store data. One of the biggest advantages is the centralisation of data and ease of access – and admin-heavy departments stand to benefit the most. The traditional process of sourcing, interviewing and hiring new talent is notoriously arduous – with plenty of to and fro between departments. Giving recruiters access anywhere, anytime on any device means they can react more quickly to client requirements and ultimately increase the chances of securing revenue. A cloud-based software solution can be entirely streamlined, making it easy for managers to view candidate applications and provide feedback which not only speeds up internal operations but ensures a swift turnaround for the applicants themselves.

4. Gamification

Gamification, the concept of applying game mechanics and design in non-traditional game contexts, brings several benefits to the recruitment process. Using gamification in the job application phase means an applicant can gain a thorough understanding of the organisation, its goals and values, and assess their fit within the company and whether the role is right for them. For recruiters, candidate elimination is faster as it allows companies to test specific skills like time management, creative and innovative thinking. As a result, many organisations are adopting the values and goals of gamification to up the ante in their recruiting methods.

5. Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI can be used for performing advanced tasks like facial recognition, social interpretation and candidate screening. It also removes the prejudices inherent in humans; recruiters will naturally discriminate while technology will not. However, while there is a lot of hype and excitement surrounding AI, which also encompasses machine learning, the reality for general business use seems to be some way off. The problem is that not every recruiter has the scale or business model to benefit from this high-level form of analytics. Most companies don’t properly use the data they already have – let alone AI – and it’s putting a strain on the recruitment process.

Like it or not, technology is shaking up the recruitment industry and, while not all developments will alter the hiring process directly, recruiters need to remain competitive and up to date with the latest technological trends and their economic impact. Ultimately, technology needn’t be feared, but seen as an enabler to help recruiters focus find the best candidate for the job.

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