Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, seamlessly penetrating about every industry. However, a recent Trends Report by Bullhorn suggests that the recruitment industry may still be somewhat hesitant about adopting IT in its core processes. Around a third (29%) of respondents considered improving the efficiency of their core processes a key challenge for the upcoming 2019, yet only 16% prioritised automation and wider adoption of IT in the recruitment process.

Most of the issues related to introducing IT into the recruitment industry have to do with concerns about job losses. 41% of the respondents in the Bullhorn’s report indicated they feared automation may lead to job losses, and further 29% were unsure of what the effects would be. IT, however, can be crucial for the success and efficiency of the recruitment process, regardless of the industry.

Improve operational efficiency through AI

Artificial intelligence, for once, is offering innumerable opportunities for greater operational efficiency. A growing number of businesses are embracing chatbots: still rudimentary, the technology is expected to become one of the most responsive and intelligent AI advances. Chatbots can automatically deal with common enquiries of prospective candidates, and then pre-screen them to assess their suitability for a given position, saving your recruitment team a great deal of time and effort. Additionally, they can schedule meetings and calls, freeing up your time to focus on building relationships with the candidates or your clients.

Analyse larger candidate data

The same machine learning algorithms that underpin chatbots have much broader applications within the recruitment industry. They provide your business with capabilities to analyse immense amounts of data and process candidate information in real-time. As recruitment industries face tighter budgets and reductions in hiring time, attracting and hiring the best candidates has become a top 1 priority. Thanks to Big Data and machine learning algorithms, IT technologies allow recruitment agencies to create shortlists with the most qualified, capable and experienced applicants by screening CVs and applications for particular keywords (i.e. skillset or experience) while eliminating bias in the process.

Big Data also enables you to develop a working recruitment strategy. IT technologies can analyse huge chunks of data, making use of metrics with untapped potential. These metrics include things such as where your best candidates come from, or how long it takes for your company to hire an employee, as well as how many candidates tend to accept the job offers you extend. With the help of IT, you can find out the recruitment practises that work and create strategies that improve the selection process.

Remain competitive through mobile optimisation

IT is also helping the recruitment industry attract the right candidates with mobile optimisation. A whopping 85% of people in the UK own a smartphone and an increasing number of them are doing everything – from banking to job searching – on their mobile devices. In fact, the majority of prospective candidates are not only looking for jobs online but completing the entire application process on their smartphones. To remain competitive, forward-thinking recruitment agencies need to not only offer mobile-friendly applications but ensure their entire processes are optimised for smartphones – from the initial job posting to on boarding.

Data storage with cloud technology

Perhaps the most useful and thus, widely adopted IT technology, remains the cloud. Cloud technology has revolutionised the way businesses across industries handle, use and store their data, simplifying arduous processes such as sourcing, interviewing and hiring candidates. With the help of cloud technology, the recruitment industry can have access to candidates’ or application process data from any point around the globe, anytime and on any device, which makes it easier to view and process candidate applications and provide feedback. In turn, this speeds up the internal operations and also builds the company reputation as it allows your business to ensure a swift turnaround for the applicants.

Find the right candidate with gamification

Gamification, or the concept of applying game mechanics and design in non-game contexts, is growing in popularity and can offer huge benefits to the recruitment industry. Recruitment agencies are looking not only for qualified, skilled candidates but those whose values and goals align with the company’s: this ensures the applicant will become a motivated, productive employee. Using gamification in the job application process helps the candidate gain an understanding of the organisation and determine whether their values and goals fit within the company and the role in question. From a recruitment point of view, gamification allows for faster candidate elimination as it tests specific skills such as creative thinking, innovation or time management.

So, why is IT a crucial part of the recruitment process? In short, adopting IT technologies means less risk for recruitment agencies. It enables companies to find the right candidates, reducing employee turnover by avoiding bad matches in the first place. IT allows you to identify the skilled employees and discard of any unqualified resumes without having to sift through each and every one. It also makes it easier to reach out to the right candidates – whether it’s through a job board, email system or social media. With the help of Big Data and gamification, your recruitment business can identify the right candidates, and AI and machine learning technologies such as smart chatbots can conduct initial pre-screening interviews, answer common enquiries or schedule meetings and calls. In turn, this frees up time and resources you can allocate to face-to-face meetings with quality candidates that have the real potential to be an excellent match for the role.