The Role of Technology in Recruitment: A Q&A with our Lead of Search & Recruitment Operations, Matt Weston



Recruiting has come a long way from paper resumes and classified ads in the newspaper. Nowadays, technology plays an essential role in the recruitment process, helping recruiters find, screen, and select candidates more efficiently. But what are the benefits and downsides of using technology in recruitment, and how does it affect the personal relationships recruiters build with candidates and clients? In this blog post, we answer some of the most pressing questions about the role of technology in recruitment.

What stages of the recruitment process does technology become imperative, and what does it do compared to the old way of doing things?

I think Technology can be used to aid the entire recruitment process. It has definitely become imperative for the sourcing and screening of candidates. Technology helps us identify potential candidates through things like social media, job boards, and other online platforms.

In addition, video interviewing technology such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing recruiters to conduct virtual interviews. When compared to ‘the old way’, the convenience for candidates to not have to take time off and travel into the office, really drives up the engagement rates. It also means we have capacity to interview more people for any given role in a shorter time frame. A downside can be the loss of that face-to-face ‘feel’ of the interview process. However, I don’t think this is an issue for any experienced recruiter. And of course, it can always be role dependent; often face-to-face is a requirement or may be more conducive to a panel interview.

What are the current technological advances/trends you are using, and how have they helped you?

Some of the current technological advances and trends in recruitment include AI and machine learning to help with analysing applications more efficiently. More recently has integrated into other areas like:

  • Suggesting tailored interview questions for each role rather than a generic approach.
  • Writing engaging and accurate adverts based of role descriptions and company profiles.
  • Helping with the sourcing stage by providing better parameters to input into search engines.

What are the clear uncontested benefits of using technology even for a well-experienced recruiter?

The clear benefits of using technology in recruitment include increased efficiency, improved accuracy, and the ability to manage a high volume of applications. Technology can also help with reducing bias and increasing diversity in the recruitment process.

What are the disadvantages, if any?

The disadvantages I see include the potential for candidates to feel dehumanised by a more automated process, and the inherent risk of your tools simply ‘getting it wrong’ and excluding someone who might otherwise have progressed through.

Does technology assist your job with improving diversity and gender equality in workplaces?

Yes, I did touch on this before, technology can assist in improving diversity and gender equality in the workplace by eliminating bias and providing a more objective screening process. Some examples of these are things include automated removal of profile pictures, and randomisation of names. However, I feel it’s important to recognise that technology is not a substitute for creating a culture of diversity and inclusion within the organisation in the first place.

What does the future of recruitment look like regarding data analytics and artificial intelligence?

With the growing prevalence and recent advances in the ease of use for AI tools, I believe the industry is at the cusp of a big change.

The use of data analytics and AI will continue to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the recruitment process. This will include predictive analytics to identify top talent, as well as using AI to automate more and more administrative tasks.

Are you concerned that AI will ever replace recruiters?

While AI and automation will play a more significant role in recruitment in the future, it’s unlikely that they will completely replace recruiters. In-fact, with the bulk of the ‘administrative’ tasks automated I think the client and candidate experience will vastly improve. With recruiters having more time to really focus on the value-add part of the process. Human interaction and decision-making will always be a crucial aspect of the recruitment.

Does underutilising technology equal a poor recruitment process, and if so, how detrimental can it be to securing the best candidates?

Absolutely. Not effectively using technology means you’re not engaging with the right candidates, spending too much time with the wrong ones. In fact, with the highly competitive job market, you may even miss out on the best candidates you do have in process with someone else getting to offer first.

Outside of technology, how integral are personal relationships in the recruitment process?

Personal relationships are still integral to the recruitment process, even with the increased use of technology. Building and maintaining relationships with candidates and clients helps recruiters to better understand their needs and preferences, and to provide a more personalised service. Additionally, personal relationships can help with referrals and networking, which can be a valuable source of new business for recruitment firms.

In conclusion, technology has revolutionised the recruitment process in a number of ways. It has made sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates faster, more efficient, and more accurate. It has also helped to reduce bias and improve diversity in the recruitment process. However, technology is not a substitute for personal relationships and the importance of human interaction in the recruitment process. The future of recruitment is likely to involve even greater use of AI and data analytics, but human decision-making will remain a crucial aspect of the recruitment process. Therefore, recruiters need to strike a balance between utilising the latest technology and maintaining personal relationships to secure the best candidates for their clients.

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