Recruitment Technology - Employing the right tools is vital in today’s economy

29 June, 2012

It is hard to dispute the fact that the UK economic situation remains precariously volatile. For sure, there are some signs of improved market stability, such as the 34,000 decrease in unemployment and a 13.4 per cent drop for insolvencies in July. Only 15 recruitment companies entered administration in the second quarter of 2010, compared to 22 in the previous quarter. Additionally, REC’s July Jobs Outlook survey predicted that both temporary and permanent workforces would show net gains over the next 12 months.

But with the whopping £32 billion of government spending cuts on the horizon, plans to raise VAT to 20 per cent, and a virtual job freeze in the public sector, we are by no means out of the woods just yet.

For some agencies, the situation is improving. Anne Carter from a London-based PR consultancy Media Recruitment says they have seen a noticeable increase in both permanent and contract roles in the last three months, although a large proportion of clients choose to recruit on a temp-to-perm basis. ‘Prior to March it was very quiet. But it is beginning to feel like good candidates are getting snapped up. There is a lot more confidence in the market.’

Whatever the current status, one thing is clear: nobody in recruitment can afford to stand still. Companies must be run tightly in order to withstand any future challenges. In terms of ROI, investing in technology provides one of the best returns. Dr Graeme Codrington, a keynote speaker at the Association of Executive Recruiters’ conference in July, identified technology as one of the five major forces which would drive change in the world of work in the next decade. A recent survey by an IT company Esteem Systems found 64 per cent of companies planned to invest in IT to drive their business forward. Just six per cent said they would take a ‘wait and see’ approach to the recovery.

Choosing the right software is essential if recruitment companies are to meet high volumes of job applications while, at the same time, creating a large talent pool of highly-skilled candidates for the future. Automation of administration-intensive tasks like CV importing saves a lot of time. Consultant’s time is better spent on creating and closing opportunities through talking to clients, prospects, and applicants.

In addition, advanced software solutions can email 1000s of recipients without any supervision. All communications are tracked via full integration with your email. Today’s software solutions bring further efficiencies with a range of customisable email and letter templates. SMS is another great communication tool for staying in touch with your candidates. Adam Tallamy, MD of Chase Zander, an IT and Business Change consultancy, says ‘the software helps manage candidate relationships better which in a small marketplace can make the difference between success and failure.’

It is essential to select a technology solution that is future-proofed. Selecting software that is continuously developed will ensure that you are always equipped to meet ever-changing industry demands.

Media Recruitment realised a long time ago the importance of making their software work for them. ‘You have to have recruitment software to do this job,’ Carter says. ‘It’s still about being proactive and meeting expectations of both clients and candidates. But with the software, you can do it faster and spread a wider net.’ Tallamy’s views resonate: The right recruitment software helps save time and allows us to deliver better results faster for our clients.’

So what software features are particularly useful in the candidate-saturated market? Media Recruitment admit they had to set more stringent selection criteria.

‘Accurate, skill-based searching function is very useful. Also, mass email-out facility as mail-outs can be segmented by sectors, skills and so on to reach specific target groups.’

Despite the current economic slump, the market conditions will eventually change, and as companies feel more confident the number of vacancies will rise too. Tallamy says the company is well-equipped for a candidate-driven market. ‘Candidate service and long-term relationship building has always been a major focus of our business. By continuing that focus even in a client driven market we ensure the long-term success.’

Although technology helps recruiters to be more efficient, it will never replace core recruitment skills themselves. But without doubt, employing the right recruitment software allows consultants to spend more time proactively seeking out new opportunities, and is vital to companies’ success and growth. And while it’s not always possible to rely on predictions about the economy, you will always be able to rely on well-suited technology.

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