July 5, 2011

What would recruitment be without technology? Rewind fifteen years and we were accepting faxed and mailed resumes, posting job adverts in the paper, filing thousands of applications and manually calling applicants. Fast forward to 2011 and the rules of the game have dramatically changed for both in-house and agency recruiters alike. Same for candidates. Once upon a time they were printing off copies of their resume (or typing them!) and doing whatever they could to get them in the hands of their targeted company. The internet has changed all of that!

First came the job board to link candidates and hiring managers and then Web 2.0 took us even further. Today job seekers and recruiters alike just need to log on to start connecting. Every day we hear about a new app being created or how the power of the cloud will make the latest technology and software even more accessible.

So will these advancements actually make it easier for candidates and hiring managers to connect? Will recruitment actually benefit?

Let’s first take a look at social media. Based on research done by TNS, it is estimated that 46 per cent of the world’s population access social media sites at least once a day. In Canada or any western country, it is safe to say that this figure is even higher. Whether young or old, social media has changed the way we communicate. People are spending an increasing amount of their daily lives online and the ability for recruiters to connect with these individuals — many of whom are not actively job hunting — is essential.

The challenge for many recruiters is the sheer volume of potential candidates plus the large number of social media channels available. It is therefore important to not just use technology for technology’s sake, but to use it wisely and productively. Using a third party application like Jobcast can therefore simplify efforts and facilitate the process.

The most successful social media recruitment initiatives are those that imitate real-life scenarios. Think about how people like to connect and interact and extend that logic online. People want to see the face behind the brand and are conducting online audits of potential companies prior to and during the recruitment process. It is important to take stock and integrate your company’s digital footprint to ensure that you are presenting your desired corporate brand to potential candidates.

Another trend is the rise of the mobile app and how that is affecting the way candidates conduct their job hunt. More and more individuals are relying on mobile internet for its conveniences as well as its accessibility. The cost of mobile internet has dropped significantly in recent years and it is likely that many individuals no longer have access to a computer at home, opting for their mobile device instead. As a result, the way potential job seekers view employment opportunities at your company has changed and apps or mobile-friendly websites are on the rise. It is important to find out how job seekers are looking for your company and then make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for.

Cloud computing will also change how companies hire employees. For smaller businesses, advanced software and databases were often cost prohibitive as they did not have the budget to purchase the technology nor the onsite capabilities to manage the programs. The rise of the cloud is making it easier for companies to leverage advancements in technology and it’s likely that we’ll see many more companies harness the power in their recruitment efforts.

With so many advancements, it can be challenging to stay up-to-date, so the winners will be those who can concurrently stay ahead of the curve while also effectively and efficiently use available technology. It is about finding the business use and how it can simplify and enhance your existing program, not simply using technology for the sake of it. In so doing your recruitment program should be enhanced resulting in more efficient in-house selection or agency placements. And to the victor goes the spoils.