Tech essentials for the modern recruiter

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The recruitment industry is by nature fast-paced, and the unique demands of the market have fostered an open and inviting attitude towards technology. In a space where several agencies are competing for the same candidates and the same vacancies, being innovative can make all the difference. Online job boards, CRM systems, and social media have all, at various points, changed the game for the industry’s early adopters.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that, according to Bullhorn’s recent research, 86 per cent of recruiters believe their firms must embrace digital transformation to remain competitive – or that 58 per cent have declared their intention to increase their level of tech investment this year. The industry’s seemingly intractable problems, such as perennial skills shortages, increasing competition, and keeping on top of key trends in the world of work, look much less daunting with the right tools and solutions in place. 

In other words, there’s more technology than ever before, and recruiters have more opportunity for innovation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can deliver new and ever-improving insights rapidly; automation makes it easier to streamline key operations; data analytics tools can collect and interpret larger volumes of candidate and client information than ever before.

But which tools suit which purposes?

If you’re running a recruitment company in 2019, here’s what you need to know about.

Record checks

Digital fraud isn’t just a problem for companies in 2019: it’s a full-blown vocation.

Background screening technology can help you determine that your candidates are telling the truth about their credentials and their experience. Some are designed to perform comprehensive criminal record checks; others are designed to emphasise full screening and background checks. Whatever you require, it’s worth remembering that no firm ever suffered negative consequences from checking prospective hires too thoroughly. Assessing candidates is not a process that can be taken lightly, but nor is it one that can be done manually: it takes too much time, too much effort, and it diverts too much attention away from what really matters to recruiters.

To that end, it’s always valuable to employ AI-powered solutions to filter out candidates who might not make the cut before interview – those who aren’t likely to be a good fit for the role, those who aren’t likely to be interested, and those who are unlikely to progress past the first stage. The fewer unsuitable prospects you put in front of clients, the happier those clients will be.

The process of finding suitable prospects can, of course, be long and frustrating – but it doesn’t need to be. Semantic search technology makes it easy to identify the right people and match them to the right positions.

It works by examining what you’re looking for in a candidate, rather than what they write. So, if you’ve put a certain keyword and any relevant synonyms into your ad, you can turn a one-word or two-word search into a 20 or 30 word search. No more guessing at the magic passphrase that will conjure forth the right hire; you can find better people in less time.

Take TextKernel, which analyses job postings to determine which phrases mean which things in the context of specific roles. If the word CFO, for example, appears in an application, it could refer to a position, but it could also refer to someone who worked in a finance department and reported into one. The technology’s key selling point to recruiters is that it understands the difference, and won’t throw up junior candidates for a very senior role.

Communication

To be a recruiter is to have a number of unnecessary or unproductive conversations: it’s an industry where you’re potentially speaking with dozens of people every day, and many of these interactions won’t be valuable. Eliminating and streamlining these conversations should be a priority – and certain technologies can help you do just that.

Phone calls, for instance, can be significantly easier to manage with the right strategies and tools. Using pre-recorded messages, you can create a bespoke interview experience with pre-recorded messages and screening questions: allowing you to highlight top candidates rapidly before passing them on to the relevant department or HR manager. Chatbots can automate many of these conversations as well – becoming ‘smarter’ over time as they accumulate more candidate data.

Text interviewing can help too, even if assessing candidates via SMS might seem strange – it’s an easy way to quickly get the information you need to know about their experience and skills, and move them on through the process.

Marketing

Recruitment, essentially, can be distilled down to two key functions: convincing candidates to apply for roles with your clients, and convincing clients that candidates are worth their time. Both prospects can be highly complex, especially at a time when clients need more sophisticated and diverse skillsets, and suitable candidates are sparse in a number of essential fields.

In terms of reaching candidates, though, marketing technologies have taken recruitment a step forward. Social channels such as LinkedIn are potent sources of talent – even as other tools have taken on similar levels of importance – and search engine optimisation should still be a major focus for your company, especially with the advent of Google for Jobs.

But in 2019, the smartphone should be the nexus of your marketing strategy. Push notifications have gone from an annoyance to an expected part of your client’s daily tech usage – and maybe even an occasionally useful one. Equally, rich communication services, exemplified by tools such as CloudCall, bring text, IM, and voice together through a single comprehensive database that saves conversations and makes them searchable in candidate records. These services often integrate with CRM systems, making them even more useful for responsive and agile recruiters.

Posting job ads

One of the more persistent and time consuming parts of a recruiter’s day is posting listings to online job boards. Multi-posting solutions such as IGB can dramatically streamline this process, allowing you to post the same ad on as many channels and platforms as you like. This allows you to attract more quality applicants in less time.

And doing more things, completing more processes, and interacting with more stakeholders – with less investment of time and money – is the chief benefit of recruitment technology in 2019.

Recruiters should therefore not start with the question of which tools they need, but the question of which processes are most frustrating for them. When they figure it out, they’re likely to find a tool that can help.

Peter Linas, EVP Corporate Development and International, Bullhorn
Image source: Shutterstock/Trueffelpix