THE FUTURE OF RECRUITMENT TECHNOLOGY: HOW LONG UNTIL YOU’RE SITTING NEXT TO A ROBOT COLLEAGUE?
Worried about your job becoming obsolete because of technology? Fear not, recruitment will always need the human touch, and technology only stands to benefit both recruiters and job seekers alike.
In this article, Access Group, looks at how the industry needs to adapt to the changes being brought about by technology.
The recruitment industry is growing, and is now worth over £35 billion to the UK economy. So, the industry knows how to adapt, and manages to thrive when other parts of the UK economy are struggling. But, having said this, technology is disrupting the world of recruitment. Naturally, one focus for recruiters is to maintain growth, and to do so, they need to look ahead and understand technology’s inevitable influence.
Once upon a time, recruiters had to sit at their desks looking through paper CVs, and today, it’s not that different. Applications may be online and digital, but recruiters still tend to have to read batches of CVs in order to shortlist applicants.
At the moment, the recruitment sector is very much focused on cloud-based platforms that aim to centralise activity and improve efficiency. You can use software to manage your entire recruitment process from start to finish in one place. The majority of recruiters use a central recruitment client and candidate relationship database to manage assignments. Recruiters who use software spend less time on admin and more time placing candidates, or adapting to the latest industry digital trend. For many recruitment businesses, it’s easy to get left behind in this digital world. We don’t need to tell you how competitive, fast-moving and dynamic the industry can be.
So what is likely to happen?
Well, the obvious impact is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to disrupt industries across the globe, offering new technological opportunities for companies everywhere and putting at risk manual, labour-intensive roles. In this scenario, called the “New Economy” current jobs can be displaced and new jobs can quickly be created.
New and emerging technologies are not new, big brands and agencies are at the cutting edge of recruitment tech. For example, a couple of years ago Unilever ditched resumes in favour of AI and algorithmic matching for a portion of their graduate hiring. Using a tool, they shifted an entire segment of their university hiring away from the traditional on-campus model towards a new approach based on AI assessments. The results were significant, and to summarise…
- Applications doubled over the first 90 days
- Time to fill was reduced from four months to four weeks
- Unilever hired its most diverse class to date
- The hiring class was also much more socio-economically diverse, with many hires coming from schools they did not typically visit and recruit
The benefits are there to see… and it’s likely that technologies will only get better or improve.
Even in some cases, the robots are coming! In March 2019, the very first robot to conduct unbiased job interviews was tested out by Swedish recruiters. Her name is Tengai. Measuring 41cm (16in) tall and weighing 3.5kg (7.7lbs) she’s at eye level as she sits on top of a table directly across from the candidate she’s about to interview. Time will tell if this really is the future, but it’s not likely to replace the need to interview. However, Robot Vera is an AI service which finds candidates, conduct interviews, and screens resumes. This is the latest new way to interview, and it is said that this approach offers results that are up to 10 times faster than traditional human interaction. The firm only started two years ago but already boasts big-name clients such as PepsiCo and L’Oreal.
Hold on, will robots take my job?
When technology, AI, and robot trends like this begin to emerge, people are quick to sensationalise the potential job losses involved. But the truth is that it’s highly unlikely, and even more so in recruitment.
Machines are great for helping with admin and automating processes, but they’ll find it tough to sell to a candidate. They can’t build relationships and they won’t have the emotional judgement that is so often needed in the recruitment industry.
You should embrace AI, use video interviewing, explore the latest support platforms and more! There will be new ways to deliver efficiency and quality. With reporting and recruiting software, employee data, and social media at our fingertips, recruiters have a world of possibilities to explore. While these developments are already in full swing, 2020 will be a period of rapid development as companies devise and implement new strategies.
Such a dynamic market is likely to create situations where agencies with less agility or expertise could see their customer relationships disrupted or lost to agencies that respond better to the changes. So, in short, recruiters need to stay on top of technological advancements.
All this change, that will inevitably come, got the team at Access Group thinking about how and when the recruitment industry started, how far it has come, and what the future holds? From Ancient Egypt through to robot hiring managers, we’ve created a timeline that highlights recruitment tech through the years, with information and data to highlight each milestone.
How to identify the signs that your IT department need restructuring
Eric Lefebvre, Chief Technology Officer at Sovos
For firms to execute transformations and meet their overall vision, it is crucial that their CIOs are able to recognise the signs that their department is in need of some internal change. In the current economic climate, CIOs working to fulfil their organisation’s priorities and meet business goals might hesitate to acknowledge that their IT department needs restructuring, never mind be able to identify the signs.
However, these problems rarely fix themselves and organisational restructuring requires conviction and determination from leadership for it to occur successfully. So, what are some of the key signs that CIOs should look out for?
Struggling to keep up with industry demands
CIOs unsurprisingly are working in an extremely demanding environment at the moment. Meeting these evolving demands is crucial for companies. When demands are not met and not handled properly, this can have a lasting impact on organisational goals and objectives, and even impact the way in which transformations are put into effect.
Depending on the organisation’s structure, the way in which being unable to keep up with demands manifests itself can differ. Despite double digit reductions across the industry, the search for talent across the tech world continues, project costs continue to rise as the cost of labour has increased and schedules have been disrupted by significant attrition. Many companies will also find business costs, such as that of third-party software, are higher than planned and technology debt continues to pile up faster than it can be sunset.
Whilst leadership teams might dedicate their department’s attention on the factors discussed above, they may find that their team will fall short when it comes to timely deliverables and helping maintain your organisation’s tech stack and guide its business transformations. Looking beyond the immediate problems of high costs and considering an internal reshuffle may be the solution for many IT departments.
Internal conflict within the team
Organisational designs with underlying issues can cause constant friction, especially when they go unacknowledged. An IT department that lives in conflict will certainly be reflected in results and less than successful tech transformations. CIOs will find that by adopting an organisational design which works through staffing issues, will better innovate, especially if they can all work together.
Department leads should have a strong understanding of their team’s work environment and guide them through any long-term or potential problems. When an individual is working in a demanding or complex industry, working well with your team shouldn’t be the main impediment to innovation. By acting quickly to eliminate internal conflict, CIOs can better lead and ensure their team’s focus is entirely on producing more optimal outcomes.
Delays are commonplace
When a large amount of your team’s time is spent setting objectives, budgets and timelines for the projects they are working on, it is vital that they are met. When delays are coming from the IT department, they will inevitably hinder the development of any business transformation, especially if it prompts teams to spend excessive amounts of time rearranging budgets and timelines and therefore hindering innovation.
IT departments are a crucial aspect in many different parts of a company’s transformations, so remaining on track when it comes to timelines and innovation is critical to operational plans. If delays have become commonplace in an IT team, and external factors are impacting projects, CIOs should look at restructuring an IT department to solve these issues.
The strongest team relationships do not happen by accident and are the result of good planning, strong leadership and a motivated team. CIOs can ensure this by providing vision and long-term strategy with clear goals and objectives to produce high levels of quality output.
When internal issues are noticed in an IT department, and are noticeably impacting team morale or productivity, this should indicate the need for departmental restructuring. Be that due to an inability to meet market demands, issues with productivity and meeting deadlines or internal conflict, these issues all risk a department’s functionality and an organisation’s ability to achieve its goals. In short, don’t overlook the warning signs!
The need for simpler cross-border payments must be a priority for all banks
Mushegh Tovmasyan – Founder of Zenus Bank
Despite the transformative changes we have seen in the banking sector over the last decade, there remains a considerable disparity in accessing financial services from country to country and even vital day-to-day services such as cross-border payments or funds transfers.
A strong emphasis on banking personalization has driven us towards bigger and better digital experiences. Meanwhile, continuous globalization and the requirement to engage across borders means the need for global financial inclusion where individual customers, as well as businesses, have the same sort of access to useful and affordable financial services across transactions, payments, and savings, through digital banking is more apparent than ever.
The rise of challenger and neo banks, as well as fintech providers, has transformed the capabilities of the banking sector, which can now offer a vast array of services to customers. These include new interactive service models, from cryptocurrencies, Buy Now Pay Later products and embedded financial lending services from companies across various sectors – ranging from supermarkets to global sports companies – outside of the banking industry. Meanwhile, the pandemic exacerbated the trend towards completely digital companies that operate remotely and need to be able to provide cross-border services instantly to work with other globally-orientated partners, pay staff anywhere across the world and expand global supply chains into new geographic markets.
One area that is growing rapidly is Latin America, where fintech investment has accelerated significantly. The region saw growth of nearly four times, rising from $4.1 billion in 2020 to $15.7 billion in 2021. Latin America serves as a perfect breeding ground for fintech start-ups. Primarily because banks across the region have, historically, only served affluent individuals due to a lack of competition and stringent credit requirements. A large portion of the overall population is still underbanked, ranging from 30 percent to 50 percent in major countries. Even for those with credit cards or bank accounts with local banks, the user experience is generally poor, while many banks have failed to invest in technological infrastructure and improve the digital experience.
Clearly, across the region, there is significant demand for access to a global secure bank account for a range of needs. For employees in developing economies working for companies who currently wait weeks to be paid through local banks. For small businesses looking to access and collaborate with new markets, and to provide access to a strong currency – the U.S. dollar – for those in developing countries with less stable economies, transforming the capabilities of international digital banking. This trend has only accelerated as remote working has become the new norm and companies employ staff all over the world. We at Zenus, therefore, believe offering a secure, transparent and scalable international bank will be vital for banks to provide financial inclusion to millions of people, businesses and organizations still without these essential products.
Consequently, the banking sector is now investing heavily in products that can offer secure, transparent and scalable international payment services that will be vital for providing financial inclusion to millions of people, businesses and organizations operating in developing economies. Cross-border banking, for example, and the ability to transfer money across bank accounts from different countries, provide a unique challenge that many banks are looking to address. While money has always been transferred across borders, the increase in cross-border flows of both capital and citizens in today’s world has resulted in more financial organizations looking to provide this service instantaneously.
In response, international banking licenses – the concept of globally-focused banks running on the same technology infrastructure across each country under one global license – are now being repurposed by banks to not just service High Net-worth and ultra wealthy customers but for anybody, anywhere in the world, especially in emerging countries where the need exists the most.
Banking accounts can be opened remotely and accessed from anywhere, providing customers with a global footprint, constant access to their funds and providing access to a global account for those in developing countries with less stable economies.
At Zenus, we believe this growing trend will be one of the defining changes across the global banking sector – helping to address the recurring problem of transferring money overseas from a complex, expensive and time-consuming process to an instant routine task – and is the main area we are investing and working with strategic partners to help scale these services for customers across the globe. By also offering our banking infrastructure via API’s and White Label services, we enable prominent Brands and fintech providers to expand their global reach and explore new revenue verticals. UK fintechs, for example, could service US clients or Latin American clients helping cross-border banking to become accessible everywhere.
These changes will also help complement the rise of embedded finance services such as Banking as a Service (BaaS), providing financial services to any company, no matter the sector, that is looking to adopt and implement these products on a global scale. The concept also has the potential to transform and democratize in developing nations, where it can take a few weeks for people to be paid through local banking channels.
That is our mission at Zenus – to make it easier and safe for clients to access, send, receive and store money in the U.S. from anywhere globally. Our international license gives customers constant access to their funds without requiring U.S. residency or citizenship.
The demand for simple and seamless cross-border payments could help transform the global banking system. Not only by providing new standards for the global banking sector but by ensuring customers can have access to an international bank instantly and no matter where they are based.
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