My article last week focused on change and why it is important to embrace it. I touched on technology and how, when we enhance it, it can make processes efficient and seamless. This week I’m going to focus on how technology is changing recruitment and what is emerging to make the customer journey better than ever before.
PMP Recruitment strategies are built on the philosophy that clients and colleagues are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. We want to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, and technology can go a long way in facilitating this. However it is important to understand that technology is just a means to deliver a personalised, high-quality customer experience, we still need to understand what our customers want, when they want it and the format they prefer to receive it in.
The sophisticated technology that is now on mobile phones means that people and information are more connected than ever. There has not been one commute where I haven’t seen 99% of people’s head drooped over a glaring blue screen! Work emails, social media, entertainment, chatting to friends and family...the list goes on as to the number of content people have access to at the touch of a button.
Astonishingly, according to Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market, people in the UK check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day. And two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up...we can all say that we have been guilty of this!
The image below, from Ofcom, shows how digital dependency has changed over a decade. It’s interesting to see the technology that didn’t exist 10 years ago and the change in usage as new technology has taken over.
However, as much as these statistics look scary, this is the environment we are operating in so this is where we need to take advantage of it.
Other new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the ‘Internet of Things’ are presenting businesses with new opportunities to speak to customers at every touchpoint and meet their ever-changing expectations. The connectivity that people have with all of their devices means that they can access what they want, when they want, quicker than ever before.
So how is technology changing recruitment?
This has changed somewhat over the years as we have moved from focusing on physical job boards to online and even though it still takes some great skill in writing the copy for an effective job advert, the way in which these get in front of the eyes of potential candidates has changed.
We utilise online advertising more than ever and we are now able to filter our audiences down to get the message we want exactly to the right person. Not only can we target people based on location but we can identify certain behavioural traits and activity online, from what social media platforms they use most to what device they access these platforms on to get the right job in front of the right person.
Research from Hubspot found that 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other means of contact. This acceptance of chatbot technology means that we can solve problems and answer questions with fewer wait times and ensure that we are continuing the conversation with candidates long after they have interacted with a chatbot.
There is also technology available to help sift through CVs and shortlist the best candidates which reduce the amount of admin time needed for a human to manually look through and decide who should be selected.
Internet of Things
This relates to the connectivity between all the devices that people own. Phones, watches, TVs, virtual assistants like Alexa, and even light switches are now all wirelessly connected, allowing people to share information and control their lives more than ever before. According to data from Intel, there were an estimated 2 billion objects in 2006 and this is expected to increase to a projected 200 billion by 2020. This means that there will be around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth. Scary but exciting!
However, this influx of technology gives us access to more big data, all of which can drive our strategies on how we communicate with our customers and the service that we provide them.
On a general business, note technology allows us to connect with colleagues any time, anywhere. I am driving PMP to move away from face-to-face meetings when they are not needed and to use technology to communicate instead. The ability to use video conferencing and hangout calls means that we are reducing the need for travel, giving people the opportunity to work from home and overall reducing the cost of moving colleagues around the business. According to research from CIPD, one in four UK workers overworks by ten hours a week or more. Reducing colleague’s commute times and giving them the option to work flexibly, supported by technology, means we are able to offer people a better and happier work/life balance.
All of this technology is driving more streamlined processes and allowing us to be more efficient in our jobs whilst also speeding up the recruitment process for candidates.
I found an interesting Ted Talk the other day which explained why we should treat technology like colleagues, check it out here.
No matter the organisation there will be some reluctance to adopt new technology and different ways of working however when you take a different approach to integrate technology and treat it as a colleague - people become more interested, are keen to get to know what it can do, and then use it!
This different level of respect and understanding of technology and acknowledgement of its existence and role within the business means it is possible to truly build collaborative relationships. Just like with other colleagues, we need to work with technology and bring out the best in it, in order to make operations successful.
Great things that happen in business are done by a team of people, not just one person.