The age of convenience: how technology can improve candidate experience and what gap personnel have done to digitalise their recruitment strategy.
The recruitment industry is experiencing a period of growth. In an age characterised by technological breakthroughs, dubbed ’The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to consider such developments challenging to business. After all, we rely on the recruitment of people in order to keep our business afloat.
Luckily, the industry knows a thing or two about adapting, managing to prosper when many UK businesses are fighting for a space in the market (thanks, Brexit). But, as recruiters, we still find ourselves asking: is technology a help or a hindrance to the recruitment industry?
In the digital age, it can be difficult to create a business which stands out from the crowd. A recent study by Capita Resourcing found that UK recruitment firms are turning to the most up to date technology in order to deliver the best candidate journey and attract quality talent.
It is no secret that we are currently in the midst of the greatest labour shortage since the mid-1970s. Now is the time of the astute job hunter – meaning that employers and recruiters alike must stay ahead of the game in order to compete for the very best talent out there. Candidates have the freedom to seek job satisfaction from employers that goes above and beyond a reasonable salary.
But how can employers ensure their candidate attraction techniques are better than their competition?
The industry has always been open to innovation: from online job boards and the launch of LinkedIn in 2003; to the more modern social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, recruiters have never shied away from change. Mobile job search is set to be the primary source of recruiting candidates in 2019.
According to Talentnow, job searches from mobile phones currently exceeds one billion per month. Furthermore, a whopping 89% of businesses plan to recruit using social media channels throughout the course of the year.
Similarly, around 35% of organisations are now deploying chatbots to answer candidates’ questions online, essentially utilising artificial intelligence on their website as a personal assistant, guiding candidates directly to the first stage of the hiring process. A further 20% are integrating AI into their digital marketing strategies to source and advertise employment.
Capita Resourcing also found that recruitment firms are likely to increase the use of digital technologies, with 65% of recruitment and HR leaders expecting candidate experience to become the main differentiator over the next 5 years.
Brand presence is key
As well as focusing on candidate engagement, recruitment agencies must build a brand presence in order to attract the best candidates to their business – those capable of embracing inbound marketing techniques will have the competitive edge.
Following on from our branch relaunch at the end of last year, in April 2019 we unveiled our new website, making it easier than ever to attract quality candidates. Within our industry, business is won on the speed and efficiency of the process, regardless of whether it is our sales teams competing for business from clients or branches vying for candidates. Therefore, it was imperative we had a complete overhaul of our brand this past year, culminating with the website launch - which includes a nifty mobile-friendly site to boot, for those candidates who prefer to job hunt on the go.
In addition to the website launch, a significant investment has been made in switching our internal core candidate management system. Providing more intricate metrics to manage our temporary staff, it will align communications with all candidates and clients, as well as giving us access to a more powerful reporting suite with live KPI dashboards.
Alongside our new IT management platform, 99% of gap personnel group’s candidate registration process is carried out on tablets in branch via our internal portal. This system is a streamlined process that not only reduces our environmental footprint in terms of paper usage, but also reduces the candidates’ time spent registering their details.
We are conscious that in implementing new technology throughout the business, we do not alienate or distance ourselves from our candidates and clients, recognising the importance of finding a balance between digital and human interaction. We have regular contact with all parties to the recruitment process, and this continues throughout the course of our relationship – whether you’re a worker or a client.
As part of the company rebrand, we also decided to look at our mission, vision and values (which you can find in full here). Whilst digitalising many of our working practices will inevitably create a more efficient approach to our recruitment strategy, there is something to be said in having that personal presence for our candidates, employees and customers, especially as we pride ourselves on our values – and one of them is to be real. A fundamental element of our brand, it demonstrates that we are not ‘just another’ agency; we are a group a passionate individuals who live and breathe the values of gap personnel because we truly believe them. And our biggest achievement really is seeing our candidates and customers thrive alongside us.
So, with the age of convenience most definitely upon us, the implications for businesses are potentially huge, providing the opportunity to thrive and grow – so long as they know how to navigate the digital era. The real key to guarantee success is to create a balance between the more traditional recruitment strategies and recent hi-tech innovation.
And at gap personnel, we want to ensure we do exactly that.