Are advances in technology helping us recruit better candidates?

There have been profound changes to the recruitment industry over the last decade and I for one personally believe most of these changes have been exceedingly positive, making our jobs as recruiters easier, allowing us to move faster and spend more valuable time conversing with our customers. Some of the positive changes we have seen encapsulate:  

 

  • Automated data parsing from resumes  
  • Increased use of LinkedIn by all our customers, providing us with access to more candidates than ever before 
  • Advances in search functionality to identify prospective candidates for even the most challenging roles 
  • Automated job alerts across multiple platforms notifying candidates about opportunities that might be of interest 
  • Social media marketing allowing us to connect with and reach out to our audience 
  • Seek Talent Search giving us access to more candidates  
  • Cloud-based recruitment platforms that have become more automated with better functionality, including better systems integrations. 
  • Tools like Referoo to automate the reference checking process while enabling referees to respond at a time that is suitable for them.  

 

For all the positive changes that we’ve seen, I keep coming back to one fundamental question – are all these hot new technologies and tools enabling us to recruit the best talent for our clients 

…are all these hot new technologies and tools enabling us to recruit the best talent for our clients?  

When I first started in the industry 15 years ago, there was a huge focus on identifying and accessing candidates in the “hidden market. This “hidden market” of candidates referred to quality candidates that weren’t actively looking for new opportunities and as such, were not visible to hiring managers and recruiters. We invested a lot of time and effort trying to uncover the hidden gems in the market by leveraging quality referrals and recommendations.  

Although the importance of quality referrals and recommendations hasn’t changed, the candidate market is no longer “hidden.” As recruiters, we now have access to more data, and thereby candidates, than ever before.  We can run very targeted searches using multiple platforms including our own recruitment platforms, social media, LinkedIn, Seek Talent Search and a plethora of other new AI-driven sourcing technologies. These platforms allow us to run advanced searches to identify candidates whose profiles align closely to a job. Herein lies my concern – the recruitment process is often being turned into a “box-checking” process with a goal of finding candidates with a particular set of experience that aligns with a job. Recruiting a Financial Accountant position might look like, “Big 4 experience – check, manufacturing experience – check, SAP experience – check.”  

the recruitment process is often being turned into a “box checking” process with a goal of finding candidates with a particular set of experience that aligns with a job.

I get to talk to candidates daily, who tell me the reason they missed out on a job is that someone else had more experience in a particular industry or on a particular ERP system.  As industry specialists, it is important we remember and educate our customers that finding candidates whose profile aligns to a job’s “wish list” does not mean they are the best candidate in the market for the role, it just means their profile aligns. It is more important than ever that we get behind what will ensure someone is a good performer and ways we can validate that.

It is more important than ever that we get behind what will ensure someone is a good performer and ways we can validate that. 

Personally, I have always found that identifying the core competencies required for someone to be successful in a role and then qualifying candidates against those competencies will result in a stronger, more engaged employee who will typically stay in a business much longer. I recognise that there are positions we recruit where having experience in, for example, a specific industry will be critical for someone to ultimately add value. I also contend that for many positions, there are stereotypes and biases in the recruitment process that limit some great quality candidates. Recruiting people whose experience and background isn’t a perfect fit, is not always a bad thing. It can help increase diversity in group thinking, it fosters new ideas and it can also present a candidate with a positive learning curve. This means they will be growing and developing, as a professional and as a person. These are the things that will keep them in your business. 

 

We would love for you to share your thoughts and own experiences in exploring new opportunities…

2 thoughts on “Are advances in technology helping us recruit better candidates?”

  1. I think your comments around box checking are very valid. Especially in today’s environment whereby there could be say 100 potential candidates and there has to be a way of whittling down the numbers. However that exercise can remove good candidates.

    As a potential candidate looking for work, I have found that the most progress I have made in roles i.e getting an initial interview is when there has been personal interaction with the recruiter or I have been separately recommended to the recruiter.

  2. Thanks GB,

    Agreed from a recruiter’s perspective. People who have been referred often have a lot of credibility to leverage. We still get to meet some amazing people who may have applied to a role through Seek but it just means there is that much more work to get behind their skills and capabilities. Referrals and networks have always and will continue to be the most effective channel to find new opportunities.

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