An old proverb goes “time and tide wait for no man”. For today’s times it can be modified to “time, tide and technology wait for no man”. A glance at the world around us will show how every minute a technological advancement is taking place. Systems have moved from occupying rooms to pockets and might even disappear in thin air as ubiquitous computing gains momentum.
Recruitment technology is also undergoing transformation. There was a time when technology in recruitment was an embellishment used by a handful of organisations; today it has become a necessity to meet the cost and efficiency demands of the function. And the small world connected via social media has further transformed the landscape for recruitment technology. What next? A lot of things.
A recent mobile recruitment survey by Simply Hired (2013 Mobile Recruiting Outlook) shows 70 per cent of active job seekers are currently using their mobile devices to search for jobs. Against that a mere 7 per cent of employers have a mobile version for their career site while even less than 3 per cent have a mobile ‘direct job apply’. It is certainly time for recruitment systems/career websites to focus on a ‘mobile-first’ strategy. It is time for smart mobile apps with personalised interfaces for managers, candidates, recruiters that are as easy to use as, say, Google Maps.
Another area that would see rapid changes is social recruiting. The typical Applicant Tracking System for social recruiting and referrals, with a “post a job on a wall” button is not going to work. With the technology world moving from engineering to ease, effectiveness to engagement and efficiency to experience, solutions that leverage social media information for personalised messaging in a targeted and non-spam way would make sense. Career sites will be transformed into active talent communities as employers learn to connect with top talent on the candidate’s terms. This will include one-click applies, remote video interviewing capabilities, opportunities for two-way communication, social referrals, and more. Smart use of social media might even make the “resume” obsolete because the complete profile (including personality related details) of a candidate can be captured in a less biased environment.
These systems when used with a combination of biometric data, behavioural patterns and proprietary algorithms will predict which candidates are a likely fit. Together with other tools that support decision making, things like online skills testing and background checks will be the future screening system that would help companies manage applicant volumes.
While it is important to keep up with the technological development, sustainable advantage cannot be achieved merely on technology. The approach should be to understand candidate’s behaviour and use a combination of human intervention and technology to orchestrate the best offer. An example would be to create a candidate impression centre to make the most of the candidate’s experience in the recruitment process. It would have a typical applicant tracking system with a self-service functionality, personalised interfaces, and an integrated contact centre to help the different stakeholders during the recruitment cycle. So while the process is on every person involved will have real time information on current and future steps and activities. Such a system will not only reduce the time and cost but also increase overall user satisfaction.
To sum up, while the future of recruitment technology resides on mobility, personalisation and predictive intelligence, for sustainable business advantage a pinch of “candidate experience” will do wonders.