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Rectech: Technological disruption in recruitment

Tom Pickersgill, founder of staffing platform, Broadstone, discusses the future of technology in the recruitment industry, and the opportunities in store

Smart technology is shaking up the recruitment sector with developers, start-ups and entrepreneurs embracing machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easier and more efficient to match candidates to employers. 

We’ve seen the emergence and rapid rise of fintech and we envisage that the same will happen in the recruitment and employment sector – hence rectech. Many high street recruiters still continue the traditional system of posting temporary and permanent job adverts in shop windows, but we predict that this will disappear within the next five years as technology enables more efficient and immediate ways to announce and fill vacancies. AI, gamification and apps are leading the way in disrupting the sector and replacing traditional processes, in turn bringing immediate benefits to recruiters and job seekers.  

The industry has been somewhat slow to catch up with technological advances, but we have made it our mission to lead the disruption and bring recruitment up to date and prepare for more advances in the not too distant future. 

Empowering employees

Technology is empowering workers to find roles that suit them, work more effectively around their lifestyles, and be remunerated how and when they prefer. How job seekers are finding work now is completely different to how it was five or ten years ago. Power has shifted from the employer to the job seeker, with many individuals looking for flexibility and hours that suit their lifestyles instead of a traditional nine to five. There is also a rise in demand for supplementary jobs for additional incomes on top of regular employment. For example, people on zero hours or part-time contracts may look for additional flexible shifts at evenings or weekends to top up their income and they need a quick and easy way to find job openings and flexible roles. 

In addition, the rise of the self-employed job seeker is continuing as the workforce becomes more fluid, and the gig economy spreads into other sectors.

The robots are coming

If they haven’t already, recruitment organisations should start to implement an AI strategy into their business. Some businesses are at the adoption stage and it’s certainly gaining momentum so it’s important to test and experiment with different basic tasks to see what works best. AI can really improve business operations and enhance customer service and community management. 

AI can analyse data quickly and accurately, learn behaviours, identify trends and perform repetitive tasks much quicker than a human. It can obtain better, quicker insights, speed up back office and admin-heavy tasks and customer facing systems as well as identify fraud, irregular transactions and security intrusions. It’s often more reliable, more efficient and cheaper than humans carrying out the same tasks, plus it’s 24 / 7 so allows for quicker problem solving, lower costs and happier customers. The aim is that recruiters and employers can use it for tasks such as interview scheduling, facial recognition, candidate screening, communication and much more. 

Ahead of the gamification 

This concept of gamification uses game theory and designs to digitally engage with and motivate individuals, and can support the candidate screening and job application process. Gaming principles can enhance a person’s interest and commitment to a business and can include elements such as profile rating, employee of the month schemes, hidden tokens and prizes, behavioural quizzes, loyalty programmes and community engagement. It can help build meaningful relationships, boost employee motivation and even support training and productivity. It brings personalisation and a fun addition to the (often boring and frustrating) recruitment and employment process. 

Within recruitment, gamification can speed up the candidate elimination process – as it can test skills such as accuracy, time management, creative thinking and logic. It gives the business a point of differentiation and creates the impression that it is adopting modern strategies and technology, which is particularly relevant for youth and millennial employment both now and in the future. 

The only way is app

There has been considerable innovation within mobile apps for recruiters to attract potential candidates. Many candidates use their mobile device to find work, but employers can take this one step further by managing the whole employment process via a personalised app – including timesheet management, payroll systems etc. Apps can discreetly send push notifications that match their profile, enable messaging, and offer urgent vacancies when time is tight or for out of hours requests. This is particularly useful for temporary roles and can reduce time spent calling round and alert available workers to positions.  

Rectech in security 

Broadstone is a staffing platform that leverages AI and machine learning to match jobseekers with work opportunities at some of the largest employers in the UK. With 90 percent AI and 10 percent human interaction, Broadstone shares temporary and permanent roles to its database of fully vetted and compliant workers. 

The service provides background checks and captures accurate data upfront to verify details, reducing lead times from 12 weeks to just 15 days.  The platform features many tech innovations including a machine learning matching algorithm, facial recognition identity checks, automated invoice/payroll processing, AI-driven chatbot and a geolocation punch clock.

Demand for security jobs in the UK has increased rapidly in the past two years. Private security spend is forecast to increase by nine per cent over the next five years and the number of jobs in the industry will increase by 10 to 12 per cent. Many industry experts are putting this down to increased security requirements and safety measures in public spaces, at gigs and festivals, at events and in city centres. 

Future shock

There is a fundamental need in the sector to make recruitment and employment more flexible, reduce paperwork and time intensive timesheet and payroll systems, and to make the process work better –for recruiters, employers and job seekers. The end-to-end recruitment and employment process is becoming more digitised but greater deployment of technology within the sector is needed and can offer recruiters the opportunity to reshape their business models and operations to suit the job seeker. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, gamification systems and personalised apps are bringing disruption to the sector and can enable businesses and recruiters to manage workforces more effectively, operate more efficiently, reduce labour intensive tasks and streamline processes. In addition, they can lead to a happier, more reliable, and productive workforce. 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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