Talent Acquisition

Recruiters: This is Why You Are Not Ready for 2018

I was honoured to attend the APSCo Awards for Excellence recently. I was doubly honoured to be shortlisted for the Affiliate of the Year – and WE WON! I did not act cool when they read Barclay Jones out… I was a proper giggly girl (and so was Wayne!)

Plus, what an honour to listen to David D’Souza from the CIPD talk about dinosaurs, “Shitzoos” and pose some questions about recruitment, technology and the future of staffing companies.

Put your Hands Up, Recruiters!

David asked two questions that made me sit straight:

  1. “Who thinks that technology will define recruitment in the next 12 months?” Everyone put their hands up.
  2. “Who is ready for this?”

About 3 people put their hands up…

Recruiters! You are So Not Ready for 2018!

I’m sorry – but you’re not ready! Everyone seems to be going a little nuts about AI. Yes, it’s here – it’s been here for a while if you trust the conspiracy theorists. YouTube is awash with how AI can be used by recruiters (actually, more often by internal recruiters of corporates).

I’m interested to see whether the recruiting industry will see this as a threat, opportunity, or distraction!  Whichever technology the recruiting sector uses in 2018, what’s key is that it is seen as a part of a wider business improvement and sustainability piece.

Every business has three core assets:

  1. People
  2. Processes
  3. Systems

I speak to recruiting leaders about their recruitment and marketing systems and too often they see these assets as separate, sometimes sentient, beings. They are so busy (and often feel disconnected from their team of “young” recruits) that they forget that systems can only do what humans tell them and if the humans haven’t a clue what they’re doing, then everything breaks down:

  • Recruiters go AWOL – over-reliance on invisible systems like LinkedIn and Job Boards
  • Marketers have no data to market with
  • Invoices are wrong
  • No MI
  • Candidates are unhappy and disloyal
  • Clients have a first past the post approach to recruitment suppliers
  • GDPR scares everyone to death!

And all the while every recruitment leader I speak to wants to scream “get on the phone” and knows that the key to successful sales is to engage with the relationship economy – and be human!

Recruitment is De-Humanised

So, why, if we want recruiters to remain HUMAN and in CONTROL, do we insist on “de-humanising” recruitment?

  • Buy another app to source from
  • Send another email / LinkedIn InMail
  • Advertise on another job board
  • See training as interrupting billing time (which is spent doing the 3 non-human things above)
  • Panic about AI and GDPR, but not about recruiter relationships and productivity

This apparent “over” trust in recruitment systems makes me nervous…

A Wise Word for Recruiters

A wise man (Gary!) once said to me: “Systems run the processes, and humans run the systems.” Hence, systems don’t totally run themselves (yet) and processes can only be replicated if they are transparent and programmed into systems (by humans).

What I often see is too much budget being spent on systems, and not enough time on process health checks and re-engineering, and recruiter adoption training.

Buying the best recruitment CRM won’t fix your adoption issues, clean your data, make your clients and talent more loyal. Buying yet another sourcing tool won’t place more candidates.

Humans are still in control of the recruiting process, and every recruiting leader I speak to prays that this will be the case for some time. But I’m still confused about how these prayers for “staying human” don’t translate into investing in humans and processes to deliver better services. The cash goes on the systems.

This is also why my mantra “CRMFirst” has become a key topic for my clients and my team. It’s not about getting back to flint and chalk – but about protecting our pipelines, using our time effectively. It’s about getting our CRM as the first recruiting system, helping recruiters generate time, speed and delivery from the only thing that the business truly owns and preparing for 2018.

Are you ready for 2018? Have you reviewed these three elements to see if they are ready for the “defence” against the automation and AI that everyone says could be the death of recruitment and staffing companies?

By Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.