Recruiters and their IT support teams know a thing or two about keeping up with technology. Sometimes, it seems like professionals in this industry can't take a day off without coming back to find some brand new must-have technology has launched.
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In such a fast-paced environment, it's important for both recruiters and companies to stay on the cutting edge. Such thinking is what motivated the 20-year-old recruiting industry fixture Beyond to rebrand as Nexxt and expand its service portfolio.
"The reality is that job board advertising is becoming a commodity and not where we have been experiencing the greatest growth," says Joe Weinlick, senior vice president of marketing for Nexxt. "Over the past few years, we have been evolving and developing new products and technology to meet the changing needs of our clients. Now, our brand is catching up with who we have become."
Job Boards Are So Last Year
The brand change was prompted by research that suggests job boards may no longer hold as much clout in the recruiting sector as they once did.
"We recently conducted a survey of working professionals and found that only 14 percent of people were actively searching for a job, and yet, 58 percent of people are open to new offers," Weinlick says. "We need [to help] our clients engage people who are not actively applying to jobs every week."
Instead of counting on job boards to drive applicants, recruiting firms must adapt their methods to reach broader pools of candidates.
"There are a lot of exciting things happening in recruiting, but in many ways the industry has not changed enough," Weinlick says. "Job board advertising has evolved, and today, it's fairly easy for an employer to get their job listing in front of every active and even many casual job seekers. The emphasis is often on quantity rather than quality, and the applicant tracking system experience often drives away qualified candidates."
To access the best candidates, it's important for recruiters to create pools of valuable talent instead of generating high volumes of applicants.
"One big change is the advent of widespread job aggregation, which means that several players have virtually all the jobs," Weinlick says. "The evolution to pay-for-performance advertising is also a big change, but it has been a slow one, at least partially because performance is usually defined as 'a click,' and a click often has no relation to quality."
The Most Disruptive Recruitment Technology Trends
While many new recruiting technologies arise regularly, a few have been particularly disruptive to the industry.
"Aggregation and the evolution to pay-for-performance are two disruptive trends made possible by technology that are here to stay," Weinlick says. "Big data, advanced targeting, predictive analytics – recruiting is no different than any other industry in that the best players are using technology to understand data and mine it. ... It's evolving beyond search. Google is now entering the business, and they own search. We can assume the recruitment industry has conquered job search, and if someone is actively searching for a job, they can find it."
Recruiting agencies and software developers should be focusing on the next disruptive technology if they want to be players in the industry. Weinlick refers to this next generation of solutions as "recruitment media."
"For example, connecting candidates and recruiters through text messaging; targeted ads that follow job seekers across the internet as they shop or research other things unrelated to their job search; or text and email campaigns that target a broader base of soft job seekers outside of those searching job sites," Weinlick explains. "We believe these types of campaigns, and the tools to build them, are the future of recruitment."
Maybe some of these efforts won't pan out, but one could end up being the next big thing. There are always new technologies, and staying on top of them is important.
That being said, innovation doesn't necessarily mean "new technology." Sometimes, innovation comes in the form of figuring out how to use old technologies in new ways.
You don't have to change your company's name to stay on top of these trends, but any company that chooses to ignore the advantages of innovative technology use will struggle to survive.
The job board is a valuable tool, but it's no longer the only one.