It’s hard to believe that just 25 years ago, smartphones were something that you’d expect to see in a Bond movie. Well call me Bond, because now 81% of us in the UK own a smartphone, with a gigantic 30% increase over the last four years. Although smartphones aren’t exciting any more, they’re just the norm, there is so much excitement on its way. Jetpacks and prosthetics with a sense of touch may be just around the corner.
Technology is awesome; it’s helping make our lives easier, and soon we won’t know what we ever did without it.
How has technology affected the recruitment industry?
Can you even remember the times that you had to print off your CV and covering letter, staple them together (if you were feeling fancy), and send them off in the post to apply for a job? That really is a thing of the past; the internet has made it incredibly easy to advertise and to apply for jobs. Upload your CV to a jobsite or draft out an email and you’re good to go.
Applicants, rejoice! Recruiters, not so much.
Although it is easier for recruiters to get their job ads out there, it means being inundated with applications, forcing them to wade through thousands of applications from people just ‘taking a punt’, to find their perfect candidate.
It’s not all bad news, though. This problem has carved the way for new technologies; Applicant Tracking Systems have started to bridge the rift between candidates and recruiters. They create an environment that makes job hunting an easy and enjoyable (if not a little nerve wracking) experience and helps recruiters to efficiently manage the hiring process.
So, what’s on the horizon for recruitment technology?
Video interviewing is already a key feature in the top Applicant Tracking Systems; it allows recruiters to see a candidate’s personality, and can even be useful in identifying diversity for their workforce. It also means that the hiring process can be significantly condensed; no need to wait until next week or even next month to interview (because we all know that finding the time to travel to an interview can be a bit of a nightmare). Hopping online for a video interview takes the stress out of the process on both sides.
The recent commercialisation of Virtual Reality (VR) means exciting things for the recruitment industry. The Army are already using VR to put prospective recruits into real life situations, allowing them to assess candidates more effectively.
In the future, VR means that innovative businesses who are looking to be at the forefront of recruitment technology will be able to show candidates what’s it’s like working for their company, what the job entails, and really immersing the candidate in their company culture. This benefits both recruiters and applicants by ensuring that they are right for the job and that the job is right for them.
The possibilities for Artificial Intelligence (AI) are not only exciting, but are also a little scary, although it doesn’t mean that machines will take over the world or that Applicant Tracking Systems will (necessarily) start passing the Turing test.
For recruitment, AI will lend itself to two areas:
Want another employee just like Harry over here? Recruitment AI will use Harry’s data (qualifications, personality traits, skills, extra curricular interests, job history etc.) to find candidates who are just like Harry and are therefore likely to be just as good a fit for your role.
Predictive Analysis uses data (again: qualifications, personality traits, skills, job history etc.) to predict where this employee should be in five years’ time, how much they should be earning and what job they should be doing. This can be used to either keep current employees happy by making sure that they’re working towards their goals, or used by recruiters to point candidates in the direction of the right kinds of roles for them.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, with the rate at which technology is advancing, who knows where we’ll be in the next 25 years. The traditional office structure is already starting to become a thing of the past, with email, video conferencing and file sharing making it easy for employees to work remotely. Perhaps we’ll even find ourselves working from Mars in the not-too-distant future?