Apr 10

Technology & Recruitment: Friends or Foes?

The recruiting industry has suffered a love/hate relationship with technology since the tech boom began decades ago. Today, many rave how technology connects recruiters with a significantly larger and juicier talent pool, increasing the likelihood of having a successful job placement. On the down side, some say many of the so-called advancements have become more of a distraction than a job aid.

Is then technology helping or hurting the recruitment process? In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of some of the twenty-first century’s most widely used pieces of technology for recruitment, as well as delve into some cutting edge strategies that just might take recruitment to the next level. Hold on tight.

‘Recruitment Friendly’ Technology

From syncing calendars to candidate tracking tools, there are a number of technologies out there that have been developed specifically for the recruitment industry.:

linkedinBy far a technology tool that has revolutionised recruitment altogether, transforming the way head hunters and recruiters do their job.These days, people can be found within a matter of seconds. Connections, networking, and arranging interviews all in the scope of a single day. Really there are so many pros to LinkedIn it’s hard to list them all.But LinkedIn is probably also the most over-relied on recruitment tool on the market. It’s the go-to place for recruiters, and often overshadows other traditional recruiting methodologies that could be useful to paint a fuller picture of the market. Not everyone lists themselves on LinkedIn, or always updates their profile right away. You may be able to find the right candidates, but could there be any better? If it’s the recruiters job to get a full detailed analysis of the market, that won’t happen with LinkedIn alone.

Social Media:
Whether Facebook, or even Instagram, social media is now being used for a variety of purposes, with one of the most exceptional ways being for hiring and recruitment. Social media comes with a swarm of benefits: it’s cost effective (free in most cases), gives you complete brand control, allows for online engagement with potential employees, and drives a large number of referrals.
But before you jump on the social media wagon, there are a couple of cons to consider. First, checking out the profile of a job candidate can leave you wide open to discrimination and violation of private data charges. Another caution is that using social media can force your brand’s voice to be drowned out or lost among everything else on that site. If you do choose to go the social media route, do so only with a firm plan in place that will protect you while helping you build your brand and staff.

Psychometric Testing:
Psychometric testing has been heralded as the ultimate tool in helping determine whether or not a particular candidate is suitable for the job. As a benefit, these tests define an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, giving a recruiter insight into the individual and the chance to take a more in depth look into areas of opportunity or concern. However, these tests are only as valid as their administrators and creators, meaning that a poorly explained or configured test can deliver inaccurate or irrelevant responses and results. Knowing the credentials and qualifications of your service provider can help you better define whether this tool is right for you.
Ultimately, it’s an additional assessment tool and we believe should be used in conjunction with a blended interview process.

When Mobile Took Recruitment by Storm

Stroll down any street in any city and you’ll undoubtedly come across people tapping on, scrolling through, or talking into their mobile device. No doubt many jobseekers depend on the high speed access of their phones to get the latest updates, responses and access to the jobs they are looking for. As such, tech-savvy recruiters have plugged themselves into their smartphones and PDAs nearly 24/7 and use a variety of tools on these devices to seek, connect, and ultimately hook the best talent up with the most qualified organizations and job roles.

On the plus side, recruiters get real-time data; instant connections twenty-four hours a day via social media, text, and phone; and a global reach.

On the down side, there’s a limited functionality and a lack of personal connection.

Mobile is great, and it’s done wonders to the way recruitment and job searching has affected society. But perhaps the next question to ask is how is mobile recruitment shaping the industry? For one, it’s allowed recruiters to play along with the fast pacing changes of technology and the global influence of consumerism. If you shy away from market trends you lose the market. Point blank. Mobile technology has taken over the communication space at large and is a key influencer on how to stay connected. There are some interesting recruiting tools out there, but recruiters are also looking after their basic needs to attract talent and connect with key players in the market. Mobile technology has made communication and information readily available, enjoyable and fast.

The Rise of Video Interviews

Given how the Internet has vastly broadened the talent pool spectrum, there has been an increase in video interviews being used to determine whether that individual thousands of miles away is suitable for the job. This includes paid services like Webex and Lifesize, and the ever popular Skype.


Video technology is growing rampant in the recruiting world. A great cost saving replacement for continental or international flights, giving interviews quick, easy and accessible alternatives through video conferencing for key hires.

But while video conferencing may help recruiters speed up and save on delivery, video technology can also be prone to the occasional technical nightmare. Recruiters, assistants and interviewees who are working alone, without an IT support team to oversee the connection, may luck out of a smooth running video call. Internet delays, lagging, glitches, poor lighting and the like, may cause minor to sometimes major interruptions in the interview process. So if someone is not especially technically savvy, they may just stumble through. And a simple incident of not finding the un-mute button can spill disaster.


And what about the ‘’camera shy’’ candidate? Already the interview process can be nerve wrecking for some, coming on video may feel restrictive in the personalized engagement that live interviews can offer, preventing candidates from revealing their true personality.

We truly believe that video conferencing is an excellent visual component to long distance interviewing, but note that you could miss out at what would be a good candidate if they would have come across better in a traditional interview setting.

Are Windows to the Soul the Ultimate Solution?

eye-technology-2Each of the above recruitment methods leaves a certain amount of room for misinterpretation which can easily distract any attempt at hiring the right employee. As such, scientists (for a few years) are now lauding the ‘windows to the soul’, or rather, the patterns in the iris of an individual’s eye, to be the ultimate solution for job candidate screening.

Scientists in Sweden’s Orebro University compared the eyes of 428 individuals with their personality traits and discovered that the structure of the eye could define these traits. People who were warm-hearted and trusting had lines and furrows of one kind, while those who were impulsive and neurotic had a completely different eye structure that was similar to those within that personality group. Could this be used to aide in recruitment moving forward? More on this study can be found here and here

The Bottom Line

There’s no question that technology has dramatically changed the recruitment landscape, and for the better on the whole. At no other time in history have recruiters had access to such a diverse pool of suitable candidates that can fill voids and vacancies in organizations worldwide.

While as much as technology may be pushing the industry forward and taking on tasks that bogged down the recruiters of the past, recruiters are always faced to remember the core function of their job: to perform due process and ensure that the most compatible candidate is placed in the right job with the right company every time. But with the digital age surrounding even the basic drives and necessities of individuals in society, technology just can’t be ignored. Recruitment like any other thing needs to adapt in order to survive and thrive.

While we certainly have our favourite technologies, the greatest invention is found within the very capability and strength of the recruiter, their brilliant mind, their common sense, their inquisitive nature to solve problems and not be content with the easiest formulas, their intuition to sense a most promising candidate, their persistence and hard work, and above all their innate ability to be human and to celebrate this extraordinary connection in a fast paced industry. Technology has brought speed and ease upon the recruitment industry, but the human capacity to think, connect and help each other fulfill our dreams will always be a saving grace.

Got a love for technology? Or do you prefer traditional methods to connect with the recruiting world? Let us know in the comments below.

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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