I know we all know this and are reminded on a daily basis – but yes – we live in such a fast paced environment today, and technology seems to be overtaking human interaction with the recruitment industry not being missed.

Watching a video last night they talked about how in the early 1900’s the most prized job was the “pony express rider” i.e. mail men, and that people who had this role where held in very high esteem. Now some 100+ years on does this job exist? I would go so far to say that my niece and nephew who are 11 and 15 probably do not even know what this job was.

It also talked about the car. When first invented in the late 1800’s it was said that this was just a fad and that nothing would ever replace the horse – the work horse that carried us everywhere, helped us work and provided us with vital needs.  I put this out there now, but when was the last time you rode a horse to work?

It’s no secret that both searching for a job and the way we recruit has changed tremendously in recent years. In recruitment, rapid structural shifts are changing the way we do business. Looking at the economic and demographic landscape and the distribution and availability of high-potential talent around the world – the launch of LinkedIn was born. This is just 10 years ago and now it is part of our portfolio when applying for jobs.innovation-technology

Originally when I started in recruitment to apply for a role you had to write a letter, attach to your resume and post it off to the recruiter – then we were revolutionised by receiving them by fax which sped up the process and now all we need to do is click on the “apply” button .

The actual principle of recruiting is still the same but the tools we have at our disposal now are totally cutting edge. I would say even to the point that a recruitment consultant in the next 10 years may just become a “coffee meeter”

Take for example “Video Interviewing”. As a consultant I can initially sort candidates out based on their resumes and then rather phone potential candidates (sometimes quite time consuming) I can send them a link to “video interviewing”. This is where the potential candidate logs on to a site and videos their responses to set questions. With this technology it gives the consultant the opportunity to view how they present, interact and respond to different scenarios.  At this point I have not met or even spoken to the candidates.

The heaviest users of this technology “video interviews” seem tobe the biggest employers with over 80% of those with more than 10,000 workers using or have used video interviewing.

Many employers are using the video interviews as a screening tool and then bringing the finalists in for the final meet and greet. It has even been said that video interviewing can give a potential employer a better sense of the applicant than a phone call. The old saying is that 80% is team fit and 20% is skill. This way you can see how they actually present themselves. Some great reasons behind this tool is it helps differentiate candidates faster and in this era we are all “time poor”. It also gives you a look at key attributes such as their personality and charisma , their communication skills, integrity and work ethic which cannot be picked up on resumes.

Cutting edge though seems to be “Gamification” – having been in the recruitment industry for many years this I think could be the next revolution.  Described in the news as “one of the current hot words in learning, development and marketing” I was really interested to learn what this is all about. In a nut shell instead of being interviewed in the traditional sense you play a game and depending on how you go, you get hired… “What?!” I hear you say.

Imagine this. As usual you get ready for that interview, you are well presented, you have studied your resume inside-out and you have researched the business you are heading to. Arriving at the company you are met by the consultant who leads you into an interview room were you expect to start the standard interview process. You presume this will be you talking about your skill set, behavioural questioning, background and why you are suitable for the job, but before any of this happens the consultant says ok I would like you to play this game on this computer and I’ll be back shortly. So naturally you think to yourself – is this some sort of psych test – is there a trick behind this? But you play away.

One of the games that is widely used is “wasabi waiter”. In a nutshell – this game is based on you being a waiter in a restaurant and interacting with customers and keeping them happy.

At the end of the game the consultant comes back in and congratulates you by saying that the results from your game have told them what they want to know and you have the job. Well done.

Wow – human contact here is minimal and to me quite scary. It seems that this will nearly take out the human component of interviews in the future.  I mean the recruiter will still need to have a bit of chit-chat with you in regards to things like salary, notice period and start times and this could all be done over a coffee, but the actual nuts and bolts of the interview process as we know it today can be done by a game.  Obviously this will not work with all roles but it has given me a sneak peek into the direction recruitment may be taking.

Another idea that has been bandied around in recent times is that the mobile phone will dominate recruiting in every aspect. In my humble opinion this has already been seen in general with people now surfing the net, booking flights, on line shopping and Facebook to name just a few.

So will the role of a consultant change that much? The “Pony Express Rider” was only 100 years ago. Again, my humble opinion is that technology still can’t do the sell, like getting those clients on board in the first place and a statement I read recently really resonated with me – “Selling eventually replaces sourcing as the most impactful recruiting component

The “war for top talent” will become permanent with giants like LinkedIn, Seek, Indeed and Monster changing the face of recruitment, it will be very interesting to see where we are going to be in the next 10 years.

To be successful you are going to need that edge, something that will differentiate you from the crowd. Roll on those next 10 years.

Alicia Sumich – Group Manager; Business Development

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