Technology has been rewriting traditional recruitment processes the past few years.

Word recognition software that automatically scans resumes for key words is just the start.

Chat-bots, video-conferencing, internet and computer-based assessments are moving in. Technologies like AI, machine learning and blockchain are enabling recruiters to locate, apply criteria weighting and even reach out to talent, send out customised emails to candidates, and prepare reports to keep track of the all important data within its respective business.

Recruiting software such as Job Adder, Bamboo HR, Breezy, Hiremii and Zoho Recruit are hitting the market, prompting more traditional market players such as Hays, Robert Half and Randstad to integrate tech into their systems and processes.

They say the growing use of technology saves both time and money, and reduces the potential for human error in the selection and recruitment process.

Perhaps the size and scale of the growth is best evidenced in the massive growth experienced by newly ASX listed platform, Hiremii.

The platform enjoyed a huge growth surge during COVID-19.

In fact, the Australian business recently reported unaudited revenue of $5.8 million for the 10 months ending 30 April 2021, representing an increase of 12.3 per cent on the same period in the previous financial year.

Hiremii uses machine learning and AI capability on search functionality to include semantic matching and candidate relevance weighting, as well as Machine Learning Training Automation.

The technology business has two core business components: Hiremii Recruitment, a fixed fee recruitment business; and Oncontractor, a recruitment and full-service labour hire business that provides digitised employee onboarding and labour hire services.

The company says that the Hiremii approach allows the platform to better adapt to the changing recruitment landscape, where emerging roles, new jobs and ever-evolving career trajectories make it difficult to structurally organise roles.

The talent search

Recruitment firm Hays also applies digital technology and data science to its processes, managing director Nick Deligiannis says.

Some job ads can elicit hundreds of job applications, many of which many be unsuitable, but all need to be screened to identify the best candidates to then engage with in person, he says.

“This is a time-consuming process that’s not always reliable, but it has been improved drastically with the aid of technology to screen applications,” he says.

It’s been a game-changing transformation. “With technology continuing to evolve, recruitment will continue to evolve with it. It’s the way of the future,” he says.

“Hays can now reach deep into candidate pools and examine large amounts of data to prepare shortlists of the most suitable active and passive job seekers, extrapolate meaningful patterns and gauge how open to new job opportunities a potential candidate is,” Deligiannis says.

Another advantage of tech is the ability to reach beyond just those active candidates who happen to be looking for a role at that particular point in time.

“With technology, we can build deep talent pools, then with data analytics, we can combine many signals and inputs to measure a candidate’s appetite to move jobs. Technology allows us to do this at scale,” Deligiannis says.

Robert Half has also integrated a number of different technology tools into its recruitment process, including utilising job boards and social media to engage with potential job seekers, integrating a CRM system into database management and data analytics to make the shortlisting process more efficient.

“Technology has had a hugely positive impact on Robert Half hiring and recruitment processes, assisting consultants to understand the labour market, connect with a wider talent pool and evolve their existing relationships through a greater level of detail and efficiency,” director Nicole Gorton says.

Recruitment companies are constantly searching for new, innovative technology initiatives to find the best match for every position, which is crucial given the competitive hiring environment.

Data analytics, AI and machine learning present a host of opportunities to make the recruitment process more efficient and offset some of the manual components of the hiring process, she says.

The human touch

But technology augments, rather than replaces human relationships, Deligiannis says.

“Once suitable candidates are identified, the skills, expertise and personal engagement of a recruiter come into play, with one-to-one personalised advice, communication and relationships important for a successful outcome for both sides.

“For example, with skilled professionals in short supply, taking the time to understand a candidate’s career journey and how a particular role fits with their aspirations allows us to help them see the appeal of an opportunity and tailor an offer,” he says.

Gorton agrees that there’s no substitute for real-world interaction and human judgements when seeking talent.

“One of the biggest risks of an over-reliance on technology in the recruitment process is that it can reduce the assessment criteria for a role to technical expertise alone,” she says.

This can overlook the importance of cultural alignment and can’t adequately assess soft skills like lateral thought and time management, she says.

“In a competitive skill-short market as we are in, businesses need to be hiring candidates on their potential to grow into a role long-term, rather than waiting for a perfect technical pedigree that may not even be available in the market.

While it’s hard to know what the future holds, a report online suggests that bots may one day be able to give candidates personal feedback on how to improve their resumes.

Bots might even be able to match the candidate with a better-suited role based on their skillset.

These improvements would make the technology far more palatable to candidates, opening up the potential for a more profitable two-sided marketplace.