Technology has, without a doubt, affected every aspect of our lives including the way we communicate. New forms of communication have already been developed and are now available for us to use.

In human resource, wherein communication is key, technology is changing the landscape. What used to be paper-intensive and non-changing, has now turned into an exciting fast-paced branch, especially in talent acquisition sector.

Talent acquisition is currently witnessing a major overhaul. The recruitment industry, both in-house and outside recruiters, is now making accommodations for this modern age of digital transformation.

Executives who are open to change, and understand why and how the digital transformations are affecting recruitment, are going to be in an advantageous position. You can utilize this knowledge by figuring out how you can make these changes work for you and your business, putting you ahead of your competition and strengthening your position in the industry.

In this article, we are going to discuss the 3 different periods of recruitment, and how digital transformation has impacted the recruitment industry.

3 Different Ages of Recruitment

Mat Roche, the director and founder of the Third Republic, a recruitment agency incorporating digital economy, has divided recruitment into three periods: 1) analogue period, 2) spray and pray age, and finally 3) the digital age. By having a strong foundation on the previous 2 eras of recruitment, it can help us come into grips on how digital age has affected the talent acquisition market.

Here is an infographic showing the different eras of recruitment prepared by the Third Republic.

Analogue Period

The Analogue Period of recruitment had to do with communication tools such as fax machines, telephones, and postal services; it began around 1980’s, continuing until the late 90’s.

Printed media was the main sourcing channel for recruiters and sourcing methodology was focused on getting the highly skilled talents, managing these talents, networking and promoting the company brand.

This period was associated with interpersonal relationships and was dubbed “as practiced by professionals whose work was respected”. It may have been an old-school method of talent acquisition but it was probably the era with the most actual personal interactions being formed.

The Age of Spray and Pray

It started in the 1990’s and was influenced by the emerging technology at that time—the internet and email.

With emails now possible, interpersonal relationships dwindled and were replaced with mass resume submissions in online job boards and short-term planning. This change resulted in less-skilled job seekers mass producing poorly written CV’s and sending unsolicited emails through LinkedIn.

This period can be described as “quantity over quality”. While it may not be an ideal method, recruiters were still able to find real gems among a sea of phonies. This can be a laborious task, resulting in low fill rates, and not as efficient as the next period of recruitment, but it came to be a go-to strategy for HR professionals.

The Digital Age

The second era has brought forth problems. Candidates from their generation were more interested in getting their resumes out, without putting much thought on quality. With so many resumes to go through, and only to find a few qualified candidates, recruiters’ time-to-fill rate were low, giving them a bad reputation.

Thankfully, the digital age offers solutions to these problems. It’s the comeback of the Analogue era, now combined with Spray and Pray age.

The Analogue Age was associated with building relationships and networks, but their tools were slow and outdated. The Spray and Pray era, on the other hand, had the right idea of making use of technology, but lacked the human touch Analogue Age was rich in.

In a way, digital transformation has helped reach a balance between the two previous recruitment periods. Candidates and recruiters are now meeting halfway. Digital Age has changed the way businesses find talent, and how to retain talent. Talents also have more say on what they can expect and how it works.

Job seekers now have easier ways of reaching an audience of recruiters. In-demand talents are aware that executives or HR personnels will be the ones to look for them, but in order for them to impress their audience, they have to invest on their online career profiles, or their resumes and CV.

Having a recruiter who embraces these new technological tools, who are vigilant in championing your brand online and offline to attract skilled talents, and who are able to maintain a strong relationship with both online and offline candidates, are going to bring the most results to your company in this Age of Digital Transformation.

But how exactly has digital transformation impacted the world of recruitment for both the businesses and the talents?

How Digital Transformation is Changing Recruitment

Perhaps the most obvious change in recruitment that has been brought about by digital transformation is how it made information ‘porous’. Information, in forms such as resume, recruitment queries, and video interviews, can be passed on so easily from country to country. It’s up to the search firm to gather this data and form a cohesive material that is going to help them identify the right talents.

Meeting candidates wherever they are

Meeting candidates has been made much easier in the Digital Age. Distance no longer matters. There are video call interviews, and online job postings, that are going to connect foreign candidates to their potential employees, and these can all be done through the use of mobile devices.

  • Mobile Recruitment

Candidates are now mobile-savvy. According to the Third Republic, 72% of active candidates visit companies’ site through their mobile phones to check on job opportunities, and 45% of candidates apply for a job through their mobile devices. However, it’s interesting to note that only 13% of employees are investing in their mobile recruitment capabilities, according to LinkedIn.

Anyone from anywhere in the world with access to the internet, a phone, or a computer can upload their career profiles in job boards, a task that does not take too much effort. These devices connect the scattered workforce and it’s a very convenient way for recruiters to find candidates, and candidates can visit job postings websites to look for available positions that they think are going to best fit them, just by using their handy mobile phones.

  • Video or Call Interviews

Face to face interviews are becoming obsolete, says software tools company TinyPulse. Video camming programs such as Skype and computers with built-in cameras have made online interviews much accessible that now accounts for 42% of job interviews for executive, managerial, and entry-level jobs.

Just imagine the costs and hassle of having to pay for a plane ticket, or paying for a webcam, just so you can interview the candidate. It’s especially problematic if the candidate ends up a misfit.

Video interviews are definitely cheaper and less hassle for both the candidate and the search firm recruiter. Also, it serves as a safety net – a sort of trial – for whether the candidate and the search firm agree in what they expect from each other.

  • Talent Pooling and Social Sourcing Platforms

Social media has dominated almost all of the human online interaction. Recruiters have tapped on to this and are now sourcing candidates through different social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Jobstreet. In fact, more than 70% of employers are now using social media to screen candidates, reports Career Builder Survey.

Having an exemplary resume or CV is no longer a guarantee that a candidate is going to be chosen. An online career presence makes the candidate more saleable, more investment worthy in the eyes of the recruiter. Social media also gives recruiters the chance to source both active and passive candidates, allowing them to have access to a bigger pool of talents.

Assessment validation technology

It goes without saying that a trained recruiter is cautious when reading the career profiles of a candidate. They have ways of knowing how to confirm if the information written on the online resume of the candidate is actually true.

  • Easy reference and job skill checking

It’s part of the recruiters’ job to make sure that the candidate meets the set criteria demanded by their client. Now, verifying references and jobs experiences are made easy by simply looking at the recommendations and reviews’ section of the resume – this upfront availability of cross-references makes identifying a legitimate candidate so much more efficient.

Response Time is Faster

Recruiting technology has made recruitment inquiries answerable in a short amount of time, usually with just an email or a chatbot installed on the company’s website. It has also made it possible to connect with candidates as soon as they finish the online application process.

  • Automated Recruiting and Chatbots

CEO of Dublin, Ireland-based Skillsoft Bill Donoghue says that “one of the major changes for human resources will be the introduction of automated recruitment”.

Automated recruitment can speed up the sourcing and screening processes of the massive amounts of candidates’ applications. Computer generated machines are capable of learning and in time, are going to refine the searches of candidates. Through prescriptive analytics, it can figure out who are the most fitting candidates, and whether they are going to stay in that job for long.

Chatbots are capable of answering repetitive questions from candidates, provide updates and send messages from recruiters.

Final Thoughts

Recruitment has gone through three different faces. From old school paper resumes, post mail, fax, and spamming of email resumes, it has transformed into digital data accessible online.

Businesses are always competing in landing top talents, hence the world of recruitment can be a cutthroat industry. It’s best to partner with search firms that are capable of adapting to the technological advancements so as not to get left behind.

In sum, digital transformation has allowed for the global search for talent and given recruitment flexibility in its processes, especially in areas such as where to find candidates, and how to find them.
Have a search firm in mind? Are they digitally equipped in finding the right candidates for you? Share your thoughts and write a comment down below!


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