Time for agencies to take their tech seriously


When I started out in recruitment in 2005, I was new to the recruitment game in the UK. I had 12 years sales and marketing experience in other industries in NZ, but I was intrigued with recruitment.  The most variable asset on Earth – the human being. Humans are not widgets and they don’t just sit on a shelf and do as they are told before they are sold!  Changing jobs is a big deal for most of us; on a par of importance with events such as buying a house or having a child. The match is so important to both job seekers and employers. This was the challenge to me, finding the right jobs for people and the right people for jobs. I had no idea that the money was so good either!

As it transpired, you worked hard for that money! Recruitment was a tough sales job (still is!) and although I worked within a large multinational, when you stripped it back, there was really just me, my phone, a computer and copious amounts of coffee. I wrote adverts and placed them on job boards (marketing) and called candidates (resourcing) and I drummed up business building a database of prospects and a pipeline (business development). The job was multifaceted.

It was also administratively heavy and I did 12 hour days, EVERY DAY! I was the hamster on the wheel. I didn’t even notice the day go by I was so busy. Twitter hadn’t even been invented yet and LinkedIn had been going for two years but no one really even knew what it was all about!

hamsterwheelforsaleTechnology is advancing at a staggering pace and changing the way we all interact with one another on a personal scale. More powerful hardware and software is being introduced to our lives every day we are clearly hungry to consume it. People’s expectations are now so high, that they just expect life’s resources to be available for them on their smartphone. This is great for any technology provider because these advancements are making people sit up, pay attention, upgrade, change, embrace, learn and understand. But what affect has this had on recruitment?

Candidates now expect to have access to everything and be able to apply for jobs instantly or they simply click away. Instant messaging is cool; email is not. They are using new methods to search for that next job via social media, recommendation sites and company websites. They are using the net to find the right company and employers are all too aware of this. Recruiters need to be aware of these activities particularly if their attraction methods are going to succeed.

On the other side of the fence and more importantly, employers are adopting HR technologies, particularly cloud-based solutions. You might have noticed that larger corporates are building or have built in-house recruitment teams who can do the heavy lifting for them. They can place jobs on job boards and social media sites, attract candidates via their own career sites, sort, sift, call candidates and book interviews. They are starting to dump their spread sheets in favour of slick applicant tracking software. Their expectations are changing and for a period of time, they will still pay your pretty decent recruitment fees as they learn how to source and assess themselves. But soon, if not already, your fees will need to be justified through value and efficiency.
So what will you do that’s different and innovative, saves your clients money and helps them find the right people for their business. What will you do to ensure you stay on their preferred supplier list?

Every recruitment business should be looking at a strategy to future proof their business. The key initiatives here have to revolve around changing what you do. This means stuffing your service with value and finding smart solutions to help you cope with the ever increasing volumes of applicants. Both these can be addressed with the implementation of new technologies. The net result should be lower recruitment costs and higher productivity.

Recruitment technologies available today

Below is a list of technologies that are available and being used today:

  1. Recruitment Management Systems (RMS, CRM) – cloud based, mobile
  2. Testing and assessments – ability and situational judgement tests, psychometrics, coding
  3. Video interviewing – asynchronous, live
  4. CRM plugins – voice call, video call, diary invitations, SMS, geo-location tools
  5. Job boards – digital advertising, CV database search
  6. Multiposting platforms
  7. CV parsing services
  8. Social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
  9. Big data search tools – Jobs The Word
  10. Website creation – microsite, / career sites recruitment websites
  11. Timesheet processing – cloud based
  12. Employee feedback sites – Glassdoor
  13. Gamification tools


Technology is one of those things that you either embrace, or face getting left behind in the dust of others, which is not competitive. Learning something new involves investing time, and for recruiters this means detaching from core work and the dreaded KPIs – just for a moment.

The recruitment market is highly competitive one and although most desire to differentiate themselves and can see that using a new technology might achieve that, what I’ve seen is a resistance and a return to the status quo ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ rule. I’ve also witnessed the ‘luddites’ confidently sell their discomfort, influencing colleagues to revert back to the comfort zone.

The technology bell curve


The good news is, even the biggest luddites amongst us will succumb to the use of new technology, but letting them dictate the path of your business’s future will mean you are forever the ambulance chaser.  To sum it up nicely, this technology adoption bell curve above covers it for all technologies. It really hits the nail on the head for me. So… are you an innovator / early adopter or a laggard? Or somewhere in the middle?