Future of Recruitment tech

Snapshot of the Innovation happening in the recruitment space
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Dheeraj Lalchandani
February 23, 2023

In our last article we discussed the flaws in the present hiring approach and briefly touched upon the innovations that will happen in recruitment tech. 

Let's discuss how innovation in recruitment tech will shape the future of the Hiring Industry. 

Recruitment Automation

Recruitment is a process-driven function having a combination of a lot of manual, mundane and repetitive steps with some steps requiring the use of skills and expertise of the recruiting team - which includes the recruiter, hiring manager and other team members.

The first innovation should automate the mundane repetitive tasks that are presently being performed manually like scheduling interviews, sending reminders, getting feedback, coordinating with candidates, resolving candidate queries etc. 

There are other tasks that require the use of technical skills and require decision-making like shortlisting candidates based on their resumes or profiles, pitching the company profile to prospective candidates, creating assessments or questions for interviews, taking interviews, providing interview feedback. 

There are two schools of thought regarding recruitment automation, the first school of thought suggests automation of mundane repetitive tasks only and leaving the remaining tasks for the recruitment team. The second school of thought suggests automation of the entire recruitment cycle from mundane tasks to decision making tasks. Both the schools of thought have their  pros and cons and it is difficult to suggest if one school of thought is better than the other. 

However, in our understanding both the schools of thought find their relevance in specific recruitment cases. For eg. while hiring highly skilled talent or filling up leadership positions (high opportunity cost, critical positions) it makes more sense for the hiring team to make decisions instead of a machine or algorithms, but while hiring in bulk for blue or semi blue collared positions like drivers, janitors, receptionists etc, judgement calls can also be outsourced to machines. 

So far innovation in recruitment tech has happened using both schools of thought. Therefore, before discussing the future of recruitment tech, it makes sense to quickly summarize the innovation that has already taken place in the recruitment tech industry. 

Innovation so far

Sourcing Candidates - Filling the top of the funnel

Majority of the innovation has focused on sourcing candidates as it is the most critical and gratifying step in the recruitment process. The recruitment tech space has evolved from 

Job boards (also acting as a database of candidates) to Social networking platforms,  particularly Linkedin. 

However, sourcing on Linkedin is not that straightforward; rather Linkedin sells itself as a professional networking website and therefore selling a database of its users goes against the very fundamentals of being a professional networking platform. LinkedIn, therefore became a stop-gap solution where recruitment happens through Linkedin inmails only (without sharing the contact details of the users). 

Unfortunately, since it is the most updated database of white collar professionals, it remains to be the most favorable platform for recruitment of professionals - no matter how cumbersome or expensive it is to source through the platform. 

The preferred platform for Semi-blue collar and blue collar jobs are traditional Job boards. New job boards are coming up in the market that cater to specific types of industries, location or jobs, but effectively they only offer a database of candidates and are not as helpful as one would want them to be (Like angel.co is for finding startup jobs etc)

Another important innovation in this category is the invention of the job search engine also known as job aggregators - Indeed is one such example of that. 

Applicant Tracking System

Applicant tracking system or ATS helps in keeping track and managing the lifecycle of jobs and their respective candidates. ATSs have existed for a long time now. Modern day ATSs have the ability to parse CVs/resumes to capture candidate information, integrate with downstream systems like assessment tools, CRM and more. They also have the capability to manage third party vendors for recruitment , capture interview feedback, generate offer letters and so on. The biggest problem with an ATS is that it is manual in nature, that means somebody has to manually update the statuses, add feedback and other information. ATS companies also highlight features that recruiters can use to search candidates from the existing database of a new job position. However these features are only helpful if the profiles in the ATS are updated.  

Companies have high expectations from an ATS, but  ATSs fail to deliver. Ideally an ATS should help in the automation of the recruitment process, collect data for analytics, manage stakeholders, manage the interview process, make the database of candidates worthy for new job openings by updating the profiles and most importantly - become the single source of truth. 

Interviews and Assessments

There has been a lot of innovation in this space. Screening candidates using automated assessments is very important as it saves a lot of time for interviewers. There are several platforms that provide the ability to conduct asynchronous tests (coding or MCQ based tests) in a proctored environment.

Asynchronous assessments are widely used in the industry to conduct coding tests, psychometric tests, aptitude tests and other skill based tests. There are new innovative companies that are creating game - based assessments to judge problem solving, decision making and behavioural skills of the candidates. 

Recently, recorded video interview platforms started gaining popularity as they help in screening candidates on soft skills and other relevant personality traits. Generally, companies use asynchronous assessments to filter out ‘junk candidates’ from the pipeline. 

Virtual live video interviews are majorly being conducted through existing virtual meeting tools -  google meet, zoom or teams. For pair programming interviews, assessment platforms are providing a video interview interface coupled with a coding environment. 

Talent Intelligence and Recruiting CRM

This is the latest innovation in the recruitment tech space. Few of the companies are providing powerful AI based talent intelligence platforms that collect and regularly update several data points of talent across the world to create a talent graph.

Enterprise companies and recruitment agencies are using these platforms to reach out to candidates that are not commonly found on job boards or other hiring platforms. 

Talent intelligence platforms are generally coupled with recruitment CRM capabilities as well. Recruitment CRM acts as a typical CRM that records the communication sent to prospective candidates across different communication channels. 

These are next generation recruiting platforms that have AI capabilities coupled with automation features that make hiring much faster and easier. 

Other Miscellaneous Innovations:

Recruitment Chatbot

Chatbots can help you with any process that you program them for. Chatbots are commonly used for collecting basic candidate information, like education or past experience, asking screening questions about candidate qualifications, and ranking candidates based on those (or other) metrics. They can also help in answering frequently asked questions. They can also be programmed to look after tasks like scheduling interviews, connecting with candidates etc. which are typically done manually by recruiters

Several companies that have a high volume of applicants use a chatbot to collect information and pre-screen candidates. The recruitment tech market is essentially flooded with chatbot based solutions.

Interview Scheduling Tools

According to a survey, 60% of recruiters say that they regularly lose candidates before they are able to schedule an interview. With the rapidly changing global hiring needs, scheduling interviews & coordinating common available time for interviews remains one of the biggest operational challenges for the recruitment team. Back-and-forth calendar coordination, rescheduling or cancelling interviews & working with multiple stakeholders in different time zones can become a serious administrative burden for recruiters. 

Tools have emerged that automate and streamline the interview scheduling process. These tools help save a lot of effort and time. However the penetration of these tools is very low. Because of the fragment nature of recruitment tech and limitation of data flow from one system to another, these solutions rarely fit in to the hiring stack of the companies. 

Future innovations in Recruitment Tech

Although recruitment tech has witnessed significant innovations, these tools and solutions still remain fragmented in nature - catering to specific segments of the recruitment process. 

Due to its fragmented nature, connecting these solutions together for a complete streamlined hiring experience is still in fancy. There are platforms that provide integrated end- to-end solutions but clients feel stuck with these platforms as they feel they don't have the option to choose the type of solution for each of the segments. 

We strongly feel that there is a requirement for an orchestration and automation solution that can bind these segments together. 

Below is the list of innovative solutions that we believe will govern the recruitment tech industry:

Recruitment Orchestration and Automation Solution

ATS was born to manage the lifecycle of jobs and candidates in the organization. However, an ATS doesn’t efficiently take care of the management of Hiring processes and automation related to the processes. As the hiring process is not properly managed through a tech powered tool or platform, the necessary automation required in the process can only be done through a tool that manages Hiring processes of the organization. A Recruitment orchestration platform will do the following tasks :

a) Process Management and Automation Tool

Defining the hiring process is the first step after the job description is created. Once the process is defined, all applicants/candidates have to go through each stage of the hiring process. Presently the hiring processes are defined in static forms - that means either on a word document or static forms on ATS. The next set of tech innovations will help in creating  platforms that will coordinate and manage the entire hiring process. These tools will also automate several repetitive tasks that are presently being done manually. For eg- updating ATS for candidate status, sending reminders and feedback, creating automation rule engines for moving candidates from one stage to another, automation of interview scheduling and much more. 

b) Data Management

The process management tool will be measuring the finer data points of each candidate who goes through any stage of the hiring process. It also captures data on the number of candidates in each stage of each job. This data will be very useful in creating reports that can help in analyzing and optimizing the hiring process. 

c) Stakeholder Management and Automation

The hiring process is a multi stakeholder function involving a Hiring manager, Recruiters, Interviewer, external agencies, external interviewers and other third party vendors. Management of each and every stakeholder vis-à-vis each hiring stage is a daunting task, which is currently managed by recruiters manually. This management will be taken care of by the platform and most of its tasks will be automated. For example, each interviewer can see his/her interview schedules and can reschedule (if needed) by himself through the platform, external agencies can access the status of their candidates in real-time etc. 

d) Interview and Assessment Management and Automation

The hiring process management tool will also help in creating interview structures and will capture the interviewers feedback in real-time. The platform will also have the power to set up rule- based automation based on the interviewer’s feedback and ratings. The platform should also have the technology to conduct any type of automated assessments - MCQ based assessments, coding assessments & video based one-way interviews. It is necessary to point out that the technology for conducting automated assessments already exists in a fragmented manner but this platform will bring all types of async assessments at one place and that will be well integrated in the hiring process. The assessment and interview module will seamlessly fit in the entire hiring process. 

d) Candidate Experience

The platform will provide a great candidate experience by providing power and flexibility to candidates. They can schedule/reschedule their interviews as per their convenience, and can check the status of their application. They can also raise queries, ask questions and get feedback etc.

e) Reporting and Analytics

The data that was captured in the entire hiring process over the platform will be used to create reports. The flexibility to generate reports for a certain stage or for organization level-hiring will become possible and will help in analyzing and figuring out areas for improvement.

Outreach - scalability with personalization

Another important tech innovation will be on the outreach side. New tools will emerge that will help in scaling the outreach efforts through automation but at the same time have enough hooks for personalization. We are already seeing some of these tools in the market. But we feel that there is a lot of scope for innovation that in this sector. 

Interviewers on demand

Another important service that will become mainstream in the future years is having interviewers on demand. At present, precious time of the team is used in interviewing the candidates. Interviewing bandwidth has been identified as one of the main bottlenecks in scaling the hiring efforts. Services like interviewers on demand will definitely help in solving this problem. It will also help in creating a structure and conducting interviews in a non biassed fashion. 

Artificial intelligence on ATS data

A lot of large companies have huge candidate data stored in their ATS systems. However, that data is not used in identifying talent for new job positions (we will talk about reasons for this later). Innovation will happen where third party tools will either connect to ATS systems or will extract the data from ATS systems, then use artificial intelligence to get updated information of the candidates and efficient matchmaking algorithms to identify talent for new job openings.