Is this the future of the recruitment industry? Although applicant tracking systems and the cloud are not new concepts, it is only in the last two years that software has advanced to a point where recruitment consultants and line managers are comfortable and/or informed enough to use them effectively. As a consequence, the recruitment industry is changing. Not surprisingly, these technologies are most frequently used by large corporates and the public sector. At present, the NSW Government is undertaking a process to implement Field glass across all departments.
These software tools enable a centralised recruitment team to distribute and manage vacancies across the organisation. The cloud has meant that third party suppliers, such as recruitment agencies can be incorporated into the ‘ecosystem’. This sounds excellent on at first glance, but what happens is that the recruitment consultant is restricted in their ability to communicate with line managers and human resources / internal recruitment teams. In addition, the vacancies are listed with multiple suppliers at the press of a button. In effect, the inability to communicate and the fact that vacancies are listed with multiple agencies at one time, commodities the service of the recruitment consultant.
The human aspect to recruitment is removed entirely. Rather than debate the merits of this trend in the market, I thought I would spend some time in this post exploring what are the consequences for recruitment consultants. Speed has always been important in recruitment, but without the ability to communicate with your hiring manager/client, then recruiters are reduced to who is the quickest to send the CV. Some corporates include in their terms that any dispute regarding the ownership of candidates will be decided by the time and date stamp of the CV in their applicant tracking system (ATS).
So if you are a recruiter who is keen to ensure your candidates secure the role from your competitor, you must send the CV first. Unscrupulous agencies will simply conduct a search and send who they have without first confirming the candidate is interested. As a candidate/job seeker, how do you feel about your CV being ‘flicked’ around town without your knowledge or consent? If however, you as a recruiter waits to speak with a candidate to discuss the pros and cons of the position and your competitor sends the CV first, then does this mean that the agency with integrity loses? In most cases they then retain the ‘ownership’ of this candidate in the client’s internal system for 12 months! So it’s a ‘quick draw McGraw’ situation!
Does it mean the recruitment consultant with the quickest fingers wins? I am not sure this is the best outcome for either the hiring manager who is recruiting, the job seeker, or the recruitment agency.