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  • Writer's pictureOliver Bruell

How technology is being implemented in the recruitment sector?

In 2023, the global economy faced significant challenges, leading to hardships in the recruitment and staffing sector. Should tough economic conditions persist into 2024, businesses will need to adapt in order to survive. This article will discuss the ways in which technology is being implemented within the recruitment sector and how it could potentially transform the industry’s operations.

In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, prompting a surge in adoption of AI by recruitment agencies. While a human touch remains integral to the recruitment process, day-to-day administrative tasks can now be automated. For instance, tasks such as vetting applications or drafting job descriptions can be automated, allowing consultants to dedicate more time to revenue-generating activities.

AI also holds the potential to enhance an agency’s diversity and inclusion hiring policies, both internally and for their clients. By analysing job descriptions and using more inclusive language, AI can help attract a more diverse pool of applicants while mitigating unconscious biases. Moreover, businesses can cross-reference candidate profiles with social media to assess cultural fit. These adjustments could potentially reduce staff turnover in the long term and foster deeper trust and commitment from employees towards their employers, addressing the industry's high staff attrition rate.

The use of Chatbots are also becoming commonplace throughout the world of recruitment. These bots handle common queries, schedule interviews, and manage tasks like booking meeting rooms, thereby reducing a consultant's administrative workload and allowing them to prioritise their time. Chatbots are online 24 hours a day, meaning candidates can have urgent questions answered on the weekend or after hours, which consequently improves the candidates experience. Despite these benefits, Chatbots are not without their faults. They cannot answer queries outside their programmed responses and are considered an expensive upfront cost in an industry where consultants often need regular direct interaction with candidates.

Another noticeable trend is the growing use of data analytics in the recruitment sector. Agencies are refining their processes through the use of these tools, allowing consultants to improve their efficiency and owners to strategically allocate resources. These tools measure various business activities, such as the duration of a job opening to a successful placement, as well as a consultant’s pipeline and conversion rate, facilitating a more accurate forecast. As businesses scale, management teams at times struggle to keep tabs on individual consultants. Therefore, internal reporting and systems provide an alternative avenue to evaluate their team’s performance beyond just their monthly NFI.

Businesses operating in the verticals within temporary staffing, such as light industrials, education and healthcare sectors, are now developing in house apps to improve both their client and candidate’s experience. Staffing apps are an efficient way of managing candidate background checks, timesheets and invoices. Moreover, clients can use the tech platform to book staff directly, while candidates can set their own schedules and avoid receiving calls on days they prefer not to work. This tech enabled offering will allow small teams of consultants to manage larger temp books, keeping operational costs low and therefore improving margins.

Larger entities like the US healthcare staffing firm Aya Healthcare have expanded their tech capabilities through multiple acquisitions. For instance, Aya acquired Flatwise Health in June 2023, a company that forecasts gaps in patient demand and staffing levels to assist hospitals in optimising resource allocation and cost. In July 2023, they acquired Polaris AI, a machine learning platform predicting future patient volume and staffing levels in clinical settings, leading to greater efficiency and cost savings for healthcare organisations.

Another example of this can be seen when Proman, the fourth largest staffing firm in France, announced in September 2023 that it is merging with the French digital job platform, Iziwork. This acquisition will enable Proman to integrate its traditional recruitment model with a tech platform offering candidates access to thousands of temporary jobs across Europe and North America.

To summarise, the year of 2024 will mark an uptick in tech implementation, either by acquisition, in house development or the use of third party providers. This shift will create leaner and more efficient agencies capable of enduring tough hiring markets. Looking ahead, there could be a potential risk of temporary recruiters losing out as their roles become automated due to the transactional nature of their industry. However, the market consensus indicates a continuous demand for high touch, relationship driven permanent recruiters focusing on mid to senior hires within white-collar industries.



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