How to Survive the Next Five Years as an Agency Recruiter
Paul Thompson, Voyager Software looks ahead.
Few people think that agency recruitment will be easier or will have better margins in the next five years, so what can you do today to ensure you are and remain competitive?
At the recent Recruitment Agency Expo, I spoke with many recruiters looking at technology and whilst there was talk about AI, Recruiter Chatbots, Machine Learning and other recruiter wizardry, most were not thinking too far ahead.
If I could sum up most people’s aspirations, they wanted;
A system that’s less clunky, cloud-based and that’s ‘really easy to use’
– not exactly visionary!
In fact, very few recruiters had a vision of the future that had them doing anything radically different to what they’re doing today – just the same business model with the desire to do it slightly faster, with slightly less pain, with less job-board spend.
Most desire to do ‘less’, not more.
No recruiter I spoke with was looking more than 5 years ahead when it comes to technology, and so if you can’t imagine what the recruitment landscape might look like in 5 years’ time, let me share my thoughts – a vision of the recruitment industry that’s better than today.
What will change:
- Recruiters will be educated by their CRM as it presents the best method of communication, the best time and device from which to communicate, along with a live feed into their social insights.
- ‘Active/Passive’ candidates will automatically be ranked and filtered by the CRM/ATS to ensure you’re maximising your time. Self-service and pre-screening application forms which are built into the onboarding/application processes will encourage candidate loyalty for the best jobs – especially in the temps and gig-economy workers.
- Phone apps will allow applicants to share their current situation with a pool of recruiters from multiple agencies in seconds, picking who they engage with just as quickly.
- Honesty, ethics and reviews of recruiters and their employers will pay a much greater part in who people engage with – giving much more clarity for all involved.
- Micro-niche recruitment sectors will increase their grip and rates as people pay for better data and generalist recruiters will continue to focus on volume at low margins.
Almost everyone I spoke with at the Recruitment Agency Expo felt their CRM/ATS wasn’t quite good enough. Everyone wanted it to be cheaper, easier to use and more reliable – which is great in light of what we do. However, ‘slightly better and cheaper’, isn’t going to be enough for most recruiters to stand the test of time.
We believe there are around 21 key factors that will drive change in the next 5 years and we’re working with our customers to ensure they’re at the front of the pack.
Voyager Software has onboarded more customers in the last 12 months than in the previous period, significantly more in fact, at a time when GDPR, Brexit, Trump and an increased nervousness are all around us.
Nervousness and uncertainly allow the proactive recruiters to seize the opportunity and when it comes to recruitment, change is good.
Robots won’t replace recruiters either, we’re already living in the world of AI, robots and electric cars, but for recruitment to be ‘better’ in five years there needs to be less technology overhead, and more ‘relationships’.
Recruiters won’t be replaced by robots.
Recruiters aren’t competing with robots. They’re competing for people relationships and market knowledge and so when you’re looking at the future, be sure to focus on the horizon, not your feet.
Recruitment is never about tech. It’s about people. The tech just helps the people.