Modern technology has shaped so many aspects of modern life that it can sometimes be a little hard to keep track. Recruitment is one of them: thanks to the hard work of developers, coders and investors, recruitment has quickly become an important area in which investment can be directed.
The rise of social media sites such as LinkedIn, which are devoted to helping people find jobs and candidates, is the most obvious example. HR tech has also changed things. There have also even been some downsides: in some cases, it’s not just new talent that has been discovered through technology but also new negative information about a candidate. This article will explore the ways that technology has transformed the modern recruitment scene.
In the eyes of most people, the term ‘social network’ conjures up images not of hunting for jobs but of photographs of avocado on toast and the occasional argument between long-lost friends! However, social networking is about much more than Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn is one of the world’s premier social networks these days, and it is designed to help connect people who are looking for jobs with people who have them to offer.
It works on a similar basis to Facebook, with each user having a profile that they can adjust to show who they are, what their experience is, where they studied, and so on. They can indicate what they are interested in career-wise, and also post updates about their work. In some ways, LinkedIn users need to be highly proactive: just like in the days prior to LinkedIn, standing out and reaching out are two surefire ways to get the attention of employers.
However, perhaps one way that this technology has changed things is that recruiters can now reach out to potential candidates much more easily: they can use advanced filtering tools, for example, which help them to find the LinkedIn profiles of the right people for the job. As an employer, the costs of signing up to one of LinkedIn’s paid-for services can often be cheaper than paying a recruiter – meaning that in many ways, the recruitment industry has had to adapt to a set of changing times.
The tech revolution in recruitment goes way beyond just LinkedIn though. In reality, there are lots of other ways that employers and recruiters can use it to their advantage – including tech software. A myriad of recruitment problems exist, and there’s now a software solution for most of them. Artificial intelligence solutions, including that developed by Censia and Joanna Riley, can save a lot of time for busy recruitment agencies, and cash in the form of fewer salaries to pay, through automation. Or take the example of bias: many employers might like to pride themselves on not being prejudiced towards applicants from certain backgrounds, but bias can exist even without intending it to. By using software that is designed to reduce the risks of this kind of bias emerging, employers can make sure that they get the right person for the job – no matter what background they are from.
The bad sides
However, technology has also had a profound impact on hiring in a negative way, primarily in the form of the internet’s inability to forget the past lives of potential employees. We currently exist in a strange, middle ground when it comes to our relationship with technology and recruitment. With social media sites now many years old and news organizations now publishing their entire archives online, it’s perfectly possible for a person who did something wrong or posted something controversial many years ago to be booted out of the hiring process by a simple Google search – even if they have changed, or if the misdemeanor was a long time ago. While such things will eventually become non-factors as more intelligent AI algorithms are developed, recruitment currently remains too human for this technology to not have an effect.
In some ways, this is a positive for recruiters as they get to screen out candidates who could cause reputational or other damage long before they actually do so. However, for most candidates, low-level past crimes or controversies from long ago are highly unlikely to affect day-to-day work in the present era. For employers who feel the need to screen out such candidates, tech can end up causing more trouble than it is worth – and can lead to employers becoming so overcautious that they find themselves losing the best candidates for their roles.
The long arm of technology has been extending for many years now, and in the modern world, nothing is immune from its advances – especially not recruitment, which has changed in lots of ways. Thanks to the rise in LinkedIn, for example, it’s now possible for employers to find and filter the best candidates in just a few moments. With many entrepreneurs devoting time and energy to developing good apps and other tools designed to help the process along, technical solutions really have changed the face of recruitment for the better.