The Role of Digital Age in Recruitment

Last updated Sep 21, 2022

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

In human resources, wherein communication is critical, and technology is changing the landscape. What used to be paper-intensive and non-changing has become an exciting, fast-paced branch, especially in the talent acquisition sector.

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

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

This article will discuss the 3 different recruitment periods 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 a digital economy, has divided recruitment into three periods:

  1. analog period,
  2. spray and pray age, and finally
  3. the digital age

Having a solid foundation in the previous two eras of recruitment can help us understand how the digital age has affected the talent acquisition market.

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

Analog Period

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

Printed media was the main sourcing channel for recruiters, and sourcing methodology was focused on getting 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 1990s and was influenced by the emerging technology of 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 recruitment period, but it has become 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 considering the quality. With so many resumes to go through and only to find a few qualified candidates, recruiters’ time-to-fill rates 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 the Spray and Pray age.

The Analogue Age was associated with building relationships and networks, but its tools were slow and outdated. On the other hand, the Spray and Pray era had the right idea of using technology but lacked the human touch in which Analog Age was rich.

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 how 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 more accessible ways of reaching an audience of recruiters. In-demand talents are aware that executives or HR personnel will be the ones to look for them but to impress their audience, they have to invest in their online career profiles or resumes and CV.

Having a recruiter who embraces these new technological tools, who is vigilant in championing your brand online and offline to attract skilled talents, and who can maintain a strong relationship with both online and offline candidates will 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 businesses and talents?

How Digital Transformation is Changing Recruitment

Perhaps the most apparent change in recruitment brought about by digital transformation is how it made information ‘porous.’ Information, such as resumes, recruitment queries, and video interviews, can be passed on quickly from country to country. It’s up to the search firm to gather this data and form cohesive material 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 will connect foreign candidates to their potential employees, and these can all be done through mobile devices.

Mobile Recruitment

Candidates are now mobile-savvy. According to the Third Republic, 72% of active candidates visit companies’ sites through their mobile phones to check 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 on job boards, a task that does not require much effort. These devices connect the scattered workforce, and it’s a very convenient way for recruiters to find candidates; candidates can visit job posting websites to look for available positions that they think will best fit them just by using their handy mobile phones.

Video or Call Interviews

According to software solutions firm TinyPulse, in-person interviews are becoming obsolete. Online interviews have grown considerably more accessible with video-camming programs such as Skype and built-in computer cameras, which now make up 42% of executive, managerial, and entry-level job interviews.

The hassle and expense of air travel or investing in a quality webcam become null when you consider video interviews. Not to mention, it’s often easier for the candidate and saves the recruiter time. It also allows for a “trial run” to ensure that both parties are on the same page with expectations.

Talent Pooling and Social Sourcing Platforms

Social media has dominated almost all human online interaction. Recruiters have tapped into this and are now sourcing candidates through 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 will be chosen. An online career presence makes the candidate more saleable and more investment-worthy in the eyes of the recruiter. Social media also allows recruiters to source active and passive candidates, allowing them access to a bigger talent pool.

Assessment validation technology

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 true.

Easy reference and job skill checking

It’s part of the recruiters’ job to ensure the candidate meets the criteria their client demands. Now, verifying references and job 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 much more efficient.

Response Time is Faster

Recruiting technology has quickly made recruitment inquiries answerable, 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, will refine the searches for candidates. Through prescriptive analytics, it can determine who are the most fitting candidates and whether they will stay in that job for a long.

Chatbots can answer 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 constantly competing to land top talents. Hence the world of recruitment can be a cutthroat industry. It’s best to partner with search firms capable of adapting to 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 finding candidates and how to find them.

Have a search firm in mind? Are they digitally equipped to find suitable candidates for you? Share your thoughts and write a comment down below!


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Undercover Recruiter. (2016). 10 Ways HR Tech Has Changed Recruiting Forever. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

Monster Hiring Resource Center. (2018). Technology’s Impact on the Recruiting Landscape | [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

Rhatigan, C. (2018). Are Video-Call Interviews Really Enough?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018]. (2018). The Digital Transformation and the Future of Recruitment | SumTotal Blog. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

Roe, D. (2018). 7 Ways Technology is Impacting Recruitment, Retention and the Workplace. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

By: Curran Daly + Associates


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