The future of recruitment technology

Plenty of office technologies have come and (pretty much) gone in my lifetime. Think fax machines, floppy disks et al. Now let’s come closer to home. What do I think the future holds for recruitment technology?

Job Boards, in my opinion are a good candidate to go the way of the Dodo. Evermore clever search engines will rule the way we hunt online for jobs. You’ll just enter the details of what you are after and they’ll trawl employers’ and agencies own websites for results. Who needs the middle man?

If you think I must be mad, just take a look at the revenues and share price of Monster since 2008. Then look at the same figures for Google. Then make up your own mind which way the wind is blowing.

The final nail in the job board coffin will be social media. They are far better adapted to today’s “people seek people” rather than “people seek vacancies” job market. I don’t agree with the statement (and nobody’s ever shown me the research that proves) that the hidden job market makes up 80% or more of the total. I find that hard to believe – not least given the open competition ethos of the public sector. However what I absolutely do believe is that networking is crucial in job search.

My next prediction: bye bye traditional ATS systems. My guess is they will be killed off by smart recruiters who adapt state-of-the-art CRM systems instead. In an age when employers are waking up to the importance of candidate experience the “create a wall for recruiters to hide behind” type of software will, I am sure, wither and die.

I also reckon video interviewing software is a “bubble” or fad. Why invest in it when you can video interview online with Skype for free? OK, perhaps you can’t record the meeting. However I think Skype (with the backing of Microsoft) could solve that in a jiffy if they ever wanted to. I certainly wouldn’t put my cash in a video interviewing software business any time soon.

In any event those “oh so smart” CRM systems will no doubt have point-to-point video conferencing built in anyway. Our colleagues over at Chiumento are about to implement exactly that sort of technology in their outplacement business. Next stop recruitment.

So where will the new technologies emerge? We’ve known for decades that the most valid tool for assessing candidates is the work sample. I reckon gamification that replicates the work environment will potentially knock a big hole in current psychometrics. The e-tray has already replaced the pencil and paper in-tray. Why not re-create a much wider range of on-job tasks using virtual reality technologies? It can only be a matter of time.

I also reckon the days of the reference are numbered. Let’s face it they usually tell you next to nothing anyway. I think we could simplify the whole pre-employment screening process with a biometric career “passport” that carries a permanent record of your career history. It could also be the perfect solution to Visa and work permit checks. It would save employers millions of pounds a year.

The great thing about technology is it creates so many possibilities. The downside is that what’s hot today can be “so last year” tomorrow. So you can never stop innovating. If you sit back and think your product is “leading edge” you can almost be certain it isn’t. Or won’t be for long.

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