The recruitment market is facing some serious growing pains. From increasing restrictions on the use of offshore talent to technology that can perform tasks once completed by humans, many are asking if recruitment will be able to keep pace with the increased competition for talent.
Currently, most HR technology is centered on improving efficiencies and task management. But what's next?
Can all this innovation win the war for talent?
During the 2017 Engage conference hosted by Bullhorn, around 1,000 recruitment professionals were polled about the challenges the face. The resulting report revealed that 67% of recruiting pros believe automation will actually help promote top talent by freeing them up from tasks such as scheduling and screening candidates.
The remaining 33% said they planned to replace a portion of their staff with technology to reduce administrative costs. On top of all this innovation, the rapidly expanding gig economy is providing opportunities for more than half of these recruiters to partner with digital staffing platforms, but around 43% said they view online talent platforms as counterproductive because of increased competition for the top talent.
So how can companies approach candidates in a competitive market? Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, a SaaS talent acquisition company headquartered in Los Angeles, shared with HR Dive how important it is to think of candidates like they are customers.
“Start looking at recruiting like marketing. If you want to attract the best talent, then the company must put more investment in time and money behind the effort," he said.
Recruiting in the new gig economy
With the increasing use of freelance workers instead of traditional hires, companies are shifting how they view talent in the first place. In exchange, new technologies are emerging to serve that population.
Anil Dharni, the CEO of Sense, told HR Dive that the company is focused on heading off worker churn, which he says, “is the single biggest problem staffing agencies face. Up to 15% of workers leave before a job starts, up to 20% leave before the job ends, and just 10-30% get re-deployed once a job ends.”
Dharni noted that independent workers are prime candidates for better communication technologies.
“Gig workers make up a bigger chunk of the U.S. workforce every year, but haven't been as much of the focus of new HR technologies," he said. “As this workforce continues to grow, I expect to see more HR technologies focused on their onboarding, engagement, learning and career planning[.]"
Evidence from various surveys show this is the case. The McKinsey Global Institute surveyed 8,000 adults from the USA and Europe, to find that approximately 162 million people (around 20-30% of the global working-age population) regularly perform some kind of independent work. An Intuit survey placed the percentage of gig workers closer to 34% for the U.S., mostly because of the rise of online and mobile platforms that make remote work possible. By the year 2020, Intuit predicts there will be around 7.7 million Americans freelancing (up from 4 million currently).
Thinking of recruitment technology as a sales tool
Recruitment technology that enhances the brand marketing of an organization can provide the edge that employers need to remain competitive. This applies to the gig economy too, which is made up of an “entirely different set of values and an entrepreneurial mindset," Corey Berkey, the Director of HR for JazzHR, said.
“Companies need to embrace technology tools in order to cater to the needs of Gen Y and Z candidates. These are digital natives who have certain expectations about working in a modern world,” Berkey added.
Recruiters have to face the facts that new technology and changes in the way people work are inevitable in today's economy. The companies that embrace and integrate new technology to augment current systems will be able to compete for the best talent, leaving those that refuse change in the dust.