Having a good relationship with a high-performing recruiting agency has always been key to sourcing good quality employees and reducing time to hire. However, as with every other industry, the recruitment sector has seen major changes due to the recent surge of new technology.
From chatbots and Google for Jobs to social media and programmatic ads, this article reviews the new vacancy-filling options for employers and compares their importance with that of the tried and trusted recruitment agency.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
AI and its branches (machine learning, deep learning, etc.) use a combination of advanced programming and vast amounts of data to create computer systems which can learn to become better at what they do.
One of the biggest AI-related developments in recruitment is the creation of the chatbot, a piece of software that can answer basic (and sometimes quite advanced) questions from a potential candidate. This can help with both shortlisting and administration.
One area in particular where chatbots are being used, is on company career pages in order to encourage job-seekers into applying for jobs. For example, Facebook provides an automated Messenger Chatbot that can prompt a potential candidate to sign up for job alerts, provide details from their Facebook profile, or simply answer any queries that they have about the role or company. The upside to this technology is that by engaging with candidates right from the start, employers have a much better chance of them making an application and following through with it. However, many make the mistake of thinking that a chatbot can replace the job of a traditional recruiter when in reality they’re far more effective when used to streamline the hiring process and complement the role of the recruiter.
In addition to chatbots, time-pressed agents use services such as Talify and ThisWay Global to lighten the load, freeing them up to focus on the more skilled person-to-person interactions. AI can also potentially help you with other tasks from writing job descriptions to adjusting your employee value proposition (EVP) depending on the candidate you are addressing.
JOB AGGREGATORS AND SEARCH ENGINES
The traditional job board has been largely superseded by job aggregators, systems which pull job listings from various other sources (employer listings, career sites, job boards, etc.) and display them in one place.
Some employers have also made use of search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to ensure their vacancies rank highly on the various search engines.
The latest development in this competitive space has come from Google. The search behemoth has long been rumoured to be interested in targeting recruitment and this year, they finally launched Google For Jobs in the UK.
The Google For Jobs widget automatically appears above organic search results whenever a job-related search query is made, making it even more important for employers and recruitment agents to ensure their websites are optimised.
While chatbots and job aggregators are useful tools for finding and managing active candidates, programmatic ads help employers and recruitment agents to reach passive candidates too.
Programmatic ads work on a pay-per-click basis using an automatic bidding system. Although there is a learning curve when it comes to setting up and managing a campaign, it is still much less time-consuming and more efficient than a traditional ad campaign.
SOCIAL MEDIA RECRUITING
70% of jobs are now found through social networking and social media sites like LinkedIn offer many novel ways to connect employers with potential candidates. It is no wonder that employers and recruiters alike are increasingly investing in social media to fill vacancies.
However, finding candidates via social media requires a lot of time investment. An employer will need to build up a reputation and get noticed before they can hope to stand out to job seekers.
A good recruitment agency will have already built a strong social media presence and be using it to source high-value candidates for their clients.
With all these advances, it is natural for employers to ask the question: do we still need recruitment agencies?
We say yes. Although technology can certainly take away many of the menial tasks of the recruitment process, it is unable to replace the important person-to-person interactions which enable an experienced recruitment agent to assess culture fit and other subtle attributes.
Recruitment agents are also well-connected within the industry they specialise in and can network much more skilfully than even the most advanced machine.
What’s more, with their experience in the field, recruitment agents are best-placed to select the best technological aids for their industry. Rather than trying to trawl through all of the recruitment tools and platforms trying to decide on the best option, employers would be best advised to focus on forming or maintaining a strong relationship with a good recruitment agency. That way, they get the best of both worlds with cutting-edge technology supporting experienced and talented recruiters.
A recent survey by Turner Lovell found that over 60% of hiring managers would like to ask more questions about a candidate, even after they have received a CV. This is exactly where working with a recruitment partner that conducts detailed pre-screening before submissions is critical. Furthermore, working with an agency who is a specialist within your industry means that they know how to differentiate the high-performing candidates and select relevant target companies and projects to source shortlists from. There will always be a place for recruitment agencies when recruiting or building your talent pipeline.