How can technology help mitigate the recruitment crisis?

Bruce Penson, managing director at business IT support provider Pro Drive IT, discusses the current recruitment crisis and how companies can leverage advanced technology to help close the skills gap.

Currently, one of the greatest challenges companies face nationwide is the recruitment crisis — and the pressures it creates.

According to The Office for National Statistics, there are currently 1.2 million vacancies in the UK. And as the gap between unfilled job roles and a seemingly unattainable workforce grows, British businesses face some of the biggest recruitment challenges to date.

With this challenge also lies the need for businesses to not only fill roles, but to provide a working environment that is appealing in being technically attractive to new hires. Of course, it’s clear that digital transformation is starting to impact businesses across various industries and could lead to significant opportunities over the coming years — partly driven by the need for organisations to provide remote working and provide more flexibility in their workforces.

But whilst businesses invest in emerging technologies and shape their tech-savvy teams, any company with outdated IT and underperforming software is bound to fall behind and suffer the consequences of appearing behind in their tech adoption.

So, as graduates are leaving university more skilled and tech-minded than ever, it’s essential your business is ready and waiting with open arms and the technology to back it up — and here’s how…

Embracing automation

The case for automation appears straightforward — helping businesses get more work done with fewer people.

But across various industries, organisations are hesitant to implement these technologies, worried that artificial intelligence (AI) may take over their roles and reduce employment opportunities.

However, when used correctly, AI and automation can help fill skills gaps and accelerate the productivity of existing teams — helping companies make the most of scarce resources during recruitment difficulty.

For example, across the legal sector, automation has become helpful for applications such as document reading and input, finding privileged information in documents and automating contract reviews. In accounting, this technology is helping make documents and ledger items easy to categorise, name and store safely — which makes finding them a breeze!

By deploying automation tools to execute manual administrative tasks, teams with minimal resources can free up more time to spend elsewhere.

What’s more, tapping into AI’s capabilities can also help businesses fill gaps and promote from within through intelligent skills mapping software.

Skills mapping encourages companies to rethink roles by identifying skills that could be combined to create new positions and eliminate redundancies. So, instead of struggling to find new hires, you can utilise your current staff to spread skills across departments to cover lacking areas.

And not only can AI software optimise your current workforce, but it can also accelerate several other processes within your business — including onboarding…

Digitalising processes

Recruitment has always been a time-consuming process. But with the right technology, it can be streamlined to benefit you and your potential employees.

Naturally, you want to attract high performers to your business, and online candidate screening tests can assess applicants for basic skills, attitude and cultural fit — before you commit the time to interview for technical skills. For skill-based industries such as accounting and finance, this step can help whittle down your number of CVs and give you direct access to the top candidates.

Having video conferencing tools in your arsenal will also be helpful in your efforts to overcome the recruitment crisis by providing access to a wider pool of candidates. Remote recruitment is an effective way to verify potential employees’ qualifications and allows for a more time and cost-efficient process.

It’s also important to remember that these days, employees are keen on working from home. With cloud solutions now the norm across most industries, workers are no longer confined to a specific desk, phone or computer screen — all they need is a device and a secure internet connection.

However, for remote applications to work successfully for your business, yet again, it is essential to ensure you have the appropriate technology and software in place.

And this is key. The highest-performing candidates will want to work with firms using the latest technology — so to make your business stand out, make the most of online employee review services such as Glassdoor (along with your social media platforms) to shout about your progressive use of emerging software and show the world how great your firm is to work for. And it’s always a good idea to survey your employees (clue: include a tech question!) so you can publish positive feedback that will attract candidates.

Engaging employees

Recruiting the right people to form a robust workforce has never been easy. But now, the landscape is more competitive than ever, and retaining staff is a constant challenge. So, using technology to encourage staff engagement just makes sense…

We touched on it above but a good place to start is measuring staff engagement. Of course, employers can struggle to check in on staff regularly, and annual surveys don’t come around often enough to identify and remedy staff concerns before they jump ship.

So, leveraging engagement systems such as OfficeVibe or TINYPulse means you can gather regular, anonymous feedback and stay updated with developments.

Plus, for businesses within the medical, legal or accounting sectors, modern practice management systems help employers to track critical metrics such as client satisfaction, staff development and revenue-based KPIs to ensure staff engagement efforts create a positive outcome.

Keeping your staff is one thing — but closing the skills gap by investing in their training is another. Though this can be difficult when budgets are being cut, training staff can stimulate company growth and minimise the cost of recruitment going forwards, and emerging technologies can help.

For example, learning management system software provides a central place for trainers to organise educational content and automate aspects of the training process.

Microlearning, based on small bits of information learners can access as needed, is perfect for employees who simply need to learn the basics to get started in a new job (or refresh their knowledge).

Technology’s no magic bullet when it comes to closing the skills gap and strengthening your team. But the current climate presents a significant opportunity to gain a competitive edge by adopting advanced technology, and no business wants to get left behind.

So, how will your organisation move forward with these advancing technologies? Be sure not to waste the opportunities available and be ready to take the next steps to improving you business’ tech strategy for recruitment.


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