Digital Technology and Recruitment Agencies – RIP or Rejuvenation?

Even before “To google” became a verb, digital technology formed the pervasive backdrop for economic activity. Nowadays, even the most savvy recruiters are challenged to keep pace with the new functionality and devices that are constantly appearing in the marketplace. However, many recruitment consultancies appear to be adopting a “business as normal” approach without recognition of the tide change that digital technology brings. Companies who continue on, without addressing or integrating new technologies into their business, do so at their peril.

Bluntly, technology is producing seismic shifts in terms of how candidates and clients interface with the recruitment industry and it is critical for the recruitment sector to become proactive. If recruitment agencies don’t keep up with technology they will increasingly lose marketshare to online job boards and in house corporate recruitment departments which are more aggressive in harnessing timesaving and efficient technologies.

Looking at the impact of just one device - the Apple Ipad, which has sold in the region of 2,000,000 units since it was released in April. This one device alone has already prompted a rapid response amongst elite "switched on" recruitment agencies with the development of new recruitment apps. These apps fundamentally change traditional interaction with candidates and clients and widen the gap between digitally optimised and digitally impoverished businesses. As the chasm widens, many companies hesitate and are unsure as to how to get up to speed.

Candidates are increasingly taking ownership of their CVs. Facebook walls and LinkedIn profiles have utterly and irrevocably transformed the candidates intuition of how they can present themselves. Corporate hiring is morphing to source talent online and is taking advantage of the new methodologies in approaching and poaching candidates.

Agencies can easily become outmoded and excluded from the recruitment process if they maintain their traditional processes. This would be a great shame because ultimately agencies provide an honed expertise in placement as well as a personal, experienced and professional point of contact for both client and candidate.

Nonetheless, it is clearly time for recruiters to boldly embrace new technologies that will allow them to springboard into the future and wow clients and candidates by offering a cutting edge delivery of services. Whether it is use of online CVs with video content or real time video interviewing, agencies need to offer clients and candidates all the versatility and innovation they are coming to expect from a twenty first century recruiter.

It would appear that Laertius got it right in 535BCE when he observed that “Nothing endures but change” and the most nimble amongst the recruitment sector recognise that to stay ahead means recognising the tide change the new technology presents and turning it to professional advantage.

Views: 63

Comment by Craig Silverman on June 14, 2010 at 11:55am
I love the old school recruiters that tell us that all they need is a phone... Trouble is they don't know how to use the technology so they figure it's just a fad. Maybe everyone will go back to the way it was and forget about all this tech stuff? Not much has changed for staffing agencies in quite a while but get ready...
Comment by Bill Ward on June 14, 2010 at 2:18pm
Here is another article that stresses the point of how out of touch recruiters are with technology. Sure, there are old school recruiters that have their prejudices. But I don't believe a paradigm shift in how agencies or independent recruiters work is necessary to see significant improvements in productivity and efficiency.

Rather than blindly adopt new technology for the sake of keeping up with the herd, why not evaluate where change could have the most impact and start there? Too many people hop on the latest bandwagon for the sake of being considered "cutting edge," while not addressing the underlying processes that are in dire need of fixing. Technology alone can't fix that.
Comment by Louella Machado on June 21, 2010 at 6:35pm
I agree with you... theres no point in just going with the flow, using what is 'out there' just to show you are 'into' everything and more. Human sentiments have not changed, good recruiters will always be recognized for the intrinsic value of the service they provide to both client and candidate. Yes change is constant but the choice is yours - choose well!


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