Where there used to be a few banks vying for consumer loan business there are now hundreds. Where there were half a dozen educational recruitment companies in London there are now thousands. The profile of just about every market has changed; and has got more competitive.
Companies used to be able to source talent and train people into roles. Nowadays, companies are looking for the finished article. There is less time available to get people up to speed, and wherever possible recruiters are not just looking for solid transferable skills, they are looking for experience of the exact duties of a particular role.
The evolution of the job market to its current level of maturity has put massive strain on recruitment departments, agencies and consultancies. Recruiters have responded by turning to technology in an attempt to increase their reach, better assess candidates, and ultimately be more competitive in the talent acquisition race; and rest assured it is a race, every day.
What are the technologies being adopted in recruitment offices, meeting rooms and boardrooms?
Video Conferencing Systems
Video conferencing solves many problems for the recruitment sector. Firstly, it helps break down geographical barriers when hunting for talent. Recruiters no longer have to miss out on talent because candidates can’t or aren’t willing to travel a long distance for a speculative job interview. Indeed, video conferencing can get more candidates into the recruitment cycle. Some of whom otherwise might have chosen to abstain from the search in favour of remaining where they were.
Secondly, video conferencing brings more people into the interview session, thereby saving time for all the parties involved. For example, a high profile candidate can now be interviewed by top members of management in a company without the need for everyone to be in the same room. With video conferencing solutions like Lifesize, Avaya, Cisco and Polycom everyone involved in the interview process can contribute to the session whilst following it in stunning high definition.
Video-recruitment, as Google calls it, ensures that companies don’t have to make accommodation arrangements for candidates, and don’t have to make allowances for late trains, traffic jams and so on. It also allows the interviewer to see the candidate in a more relaxed state. Interview tension largely comes from being in a completely new, stressful environment. Video interviews eliminate this huge layer of interview confusion; an impediment to effective interviewing that is sometimes impossible to overcome. This is of course not a goal of using video conferencing for recruitment but it is a nice by-product.
The standard practice of a phone interview when a candidate can’t make it to a physical location means that HR professionals have to form opinions on a candidate without seeing them. Video conferencing adds richness to the interview medium, making distance interviews possible; even effective.
Interactive whiteboards have two key functions in recruitment companies. Firstly, they simplify collaboration about candidates at screening stages. Candidate snaps and interview scores can be displayed, and notes and annotations added. Using these boards, social media profiles, and online CVs, can be analysed by 5 or more individuals in real time without any need to pass around a tablet. In a world where social sourcing on portals like Monster.com, Reed.co.uk and CVLibrary is the order of the day, an interactive whiteboard in the meeting room can make things a lot easier.
Secondly, they are a vital tool for the training of new staff, as the features allow interactive, multi-channel, multimedia training, leading to better learning outcomes.
Audio Visual, Presentation and Projection Systems
Meeting rooms are the hub of any recruitment business. They are where clients come to find out about the business, and where candidates demonstrate their skills in second and third interviews. Modern AV and projection systems mean lighting, sound and the projection screen can all be managed from one hub to facilitate a glitch free experience for everyone involved in the presentation. Clients leave with a positive impression, and processes run smoothly.
In an arena where clients are more willing than ever to visit recruitment businesses to make use of their technology a modern high tech meeting room is a must.
Let’s take a look at how several recruitment functions have adopted the new technology of recruitment.
At OfficeTeam UK hiring managers were finding it difficult to source skilled local professionals. They were therefore forced to look further afield. This brought with it problems, not least the additional time and expense required to meet and assess candidates.
By implementing a new video conferencing system it became easier for the hiring managers to conduct candidate interviews and eliminated the need to navigate long distances for the process.
The team found that candidates treated the interviews as seriously as they would treat a face to face interview, and that the richness of the medium meant they were able to achieve more placements.
EDT Global is a recruitment business covering a wide range of sectors. In the course of their activities as a leading talent provider, the company was faced with the challenge of recruiting talent for a telecommunications project in Australia. Most of the candidates were based overseas and the clients needed to see the potential candidates face to face. Without the Lifesize video conferencing unit installed by the company, the clients would have missed out on much of the best talent by default.
The new technology helped EDT Global address a big challenge and also placed them a step ahead of the competition, as their employees are now able to network and collaborate with each other across the globe. Without the use of meeting room technology EDT would have struggle in this telecommunications project, and many other projects since.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC)
PWC are an environmentally conscious company. Investments in their meeting room systems have helped them cut down air travel by over a million miles. Their student recruitment team in the UK now work more efficiently thanks to video conferencing. They spend less time travelling to events and interviews, whilst communicating with more people on a daily basis.
The recruitment sector is highly competitive and only businesses that use these new technologies can be sure of reaching out to all the top level talent they can. In a world that is being shrunk by technology it is vital that companies embrace this technology to remain competitive.