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Has digital technology really disrupted recruitment?
Recently, a Pulse article was published discussing the role of recruiters and headhunters in today's increasingly digitised marketplace. This thoughtful article highlighted how traditional recruitment firms have been impacted by modern technologies and platforms like LinkedIn.
And that's right - we have been impacted. And it's a good thing.
Like many businesses in a range of industries, recruitment continues to rethink how it operates and what value if has to offer as we watch new players and platforms move into the traditional territory that was once exclusively ours. We understand that refusing to adapt and modernise is the quickest way to get left behind. So rather than complaining about the impact on our business model or perhaps worse, burying our heads in the sand, we have to embrace it.
As a large multinational organisation, it's not always easy to be nimble. Getting company-wide buy-in for a new process or initiative is difficult at the best of times, and becomes exponentially more so when you've got hundreds, or even thousands, of employees working across different locations. But with technology moving at such an incredible pace, it's crucial we learn how to be adaptable and respond to the new ways our clients and candidates are working.
We're lucky that our work involves a significant human element, and that can never be fully replaced. While the taxi industry could conceivably be replaced in its entirety by a fleet of Uber-owned self-driving cars, there will always remain a need for personal relationships and face-to-face interaction in recruitment. Where we're able to deliver value in the equation is in the experience and insights we've gained from working in this space successfully for almost 40 years across 36 countries.
As was highlighted in the Pulse piece, there is no technological replacement for human relationships. While a job seeker making an application via a job board or other online forum might struggle to understand exactly what the hirer is looking for, or to communicate all their relevant strengths effectively, a good recruiter has an understanding of what both parties are after and what they have to offer.
Rather than complaining about the impact on our business model or perhaps worse, burying our heads in the sand, we have to embrace it.
Having the market understanding of what is required to excel in these roles, along with the personal relationships and connections to bring these select individuals to the table is something that will be very difficult to completely replace with advanced technology. But that doesn't mean we're not fully aware that things have changed, and that we must change too!
At PageGroup, we're investing heavily in digital technology because we understand this is where the future lies. As a B2B and B2C company, it is crucial that we are across how to best utilise these newer digital channels and platforms to engage and source talent, and differentiate our services from other providers.
To do this, we’ve invested heavily in new web platforms that deliver an optimised digital experience, in social, search and new media such as WeChat to communicate with our audience on their terms, and in partnerships with market-leading companies like LinkedIn and Zhaopin to ensure we continue to promote the best roles on behalf of our clients and to provide our candidates with great career options.
By ensuring that we are able to provide the same level of exceptional service, advice and insight to our clients and candidates, on whichever platform they choose to engage with us, we are confident that we will not only survive the digital age, we will become a better company and be ready for the next change or development that comes along.
While digital platforms and social networks like LinkedIn have seen us reconsider how we approach business, there are aspects of recruitment that cannot be replaced by technology and where we can deliver real value to clients and candidates alike, including:
- Relationship building and the value of a personal recommendation or endorsement
- Deep understanding of market trends and demands
- Combining this knowledge with investment in digital technologies to deliver a superior service