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How The Digital Age Has Transformed Recruitment

20 Aug 2013

The recruitment industry has completely evolved over the past 20 years. In the past, professionals typically used traditional promotional methods to attract applications for a position, including desk based research, personal networks and placing well designed adverts into relevant media publications.

Fast forward to now and the recruitment process is fast, slick and efficient. By utilising digital tools, recruitment consultants are now able to find, connect and place candidates into roles in just a few clicks.  

However has the fundamentals of recruitment really changed and whilst digital platforms allow for a much more streamlined process, has this impacted on the quality of the service?

I was recently speaking with a long standing, well regarded recruiter who said to me “if I had the tools you have today when I started out in recruitment – I would have made millions!” It is true, recruiters have a broad arsenal of digital resources to get a job to market and attract candidates, including:

  • Job boards
  • CRM databases
  • Aggregators
  • Search engines
  • Career sites
  • Social media networks

With the rise and proliferation of sites like LinkedIn, recruitment has become much more competitive. 63% of job seekers use a search engine to find a new job, rather than reaching for the job section of a newspaper.

Recruiters are regarded as sales people, however in the digital age; they need to think more like marketers. Candidates are moving online, adding their CVs to databases and using social networks to connect and interact. This is particularly prevalent in my sector where professionals have excellent online brands.

The Future

The recruitment digital shift is more of an evolution than a revolution. Advertising is still an effective means to increase awareness; however it works best when other digital touch points are used in the candidate’s journey. For example, an offline press advert is still an effective means to pushing candidates to digital campaign pages and social media networks.

A good consultant is one that puts a strategy behind their approach. However the main priority for consultants going forward is the requirement to build relationships and network – online and offline. Over 60% of job seekers are passive, meaning they wait for recruiters to come to them, rather than conduct their own job search.

This is an exciting time for the recruitment industry; technology has provided much more ingenious ways to attract candidates. However with digital being ubiquitous, this has caused competition to rise. Whilst some build walls, it’s more important than ever to be transparent and honest.

Since the arrival of LinkedIn, many critics have announced “recruitment is dead”. They feel with online job boards and social networks like LinkedIn, businesses will be able to conduct their own recruitment campaigns. This is somewhat true for companies with a particularly strong employer brand; however recruitment is no longer a “bums on seats” industry. Businesses partner with recruiters for insight into the market, recruitment support and assistance with tapping into new networks.

Recruitment professionals need to go above and beyond the service of yester-year. Networks need to be bigger, stronger and faster than ever. Return on investment is vital and recruiters need to ensure they are efficient and cost effective, whilst delivering a premium service. Digital isn’t going to go away, which is why it’s important recruiters harness these tools, rather than view them as a burden.

Eden Scott is committed to its digital strategy. We have a dedicated Digital Marketing Manager and are set to considerably invest in our digital properties over the next 6 months. This will allow candidates to engage with consultants as well as find and apply for jobs quickly, across a variety of devices. 

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