Technology won’t replace recruiters. Inactivity will.

Our last article certainly generated some passionate responses from many recruitment agencies worldwide. Admittedly, the title was quite (and purposefully) extreme, but it did illustrate a few key points:

  1. A lot of great recruiters are passionate about their craft;

  2. Most referred to good service as paramount to being a successful recruiter; and

  3. Many recruiters view technology as a threat to their profession.

The first two points are no great surprise. We’d hoped that the article would evoke strong opinion - it did. We predicted that many responses would refer to building strong relationships and providing great service - it did.

The third however is quite surprising, given how adaptable the recruitment industry has been with the introduction of new technology throughout the past 20 years. You would think by now that most can differentiate between which technology is trying to reduce the role of an agency recruiter, and which can be leveraged to make their jobs easier/better/more effective.

I’m going to bold this point so anyone reading this doesn’t get their wires crossed:

Not all recruitment technology is a threat to replace recruitment agencies.

Far from it. To take it a step further, technology that is created with the sole purpose of doing so will likely fail.

The reason? Technology alone cannot build relationships.

Technology alone cannot identify and alleviate the trepidation in a candidate’s voice prior to accepting the offer. Technology alone cannot spot underlying potential, or effectively propose an ideal hire before the client even recognises it. Recruitment is inherently human.

Technology alone cannot build relationships - that’s clear. BUT technology certainly does assist in providing a much larger pool of people to build these relationships with. If used correctly it also allows us to save significant time on screening and administrative tasks.

Finally, technology allows just a brief insight into your clients or candidates. It can provide context to optimize your relationship building and most importantly, it gives a recruiter a reason to pick up the phone, break through the noise, and have a conversation.

We believe the agencies that embrace and supplement their relationships with technology will be those that flourish. Those that perennially view new recruitment technology as a threat, will remain idle. If there is one thing we can agree on - an idle recruiter is very quickly a former recruiter.

That's enough from me for this week, it’s time to get on the phone and speak to a few clients!