How has technology impacted recruitment? Survey results

Written by
Changeboard Team

04 Sep 2013

04 Sep 2013 • by Changeboard Team

Job seekers embracing technology

Over the last few years, developments in technology have changed how, when and where we recruit and HR professionals have been adapting to these changes. We surveyed more than 1,500 job seekers who were taking part in our outplacement services and recruiters in August 2012 to find out about their experiences in the job market. When comparing the results from this year and the survey from 2010, while some of the fundamentals have remained consistent, it’s clear that the role of technology is set to increase over the next five years.   

One of the most striking differences highlighted by the research is the contrast between how job seekers find employment and how recruiters search for candidates. The data showed that whilst 36.3% of recruiters had placed advertisements in newspapers or periodicals, only 4% of candidates had found work in this way. It's clear that job seekers are turning away from this traditional method of recruitment and it is up to HR professionals to mirror this change.

Traditional media still prominent

The industry is undeniably starting to rely on technology more and more in the recruitment process from finding candidates to checking out their references online. The 2012 survey shows that traditional recruitment methods are still being used with almost 80% of recruiters advertising on the company website. Yet this wasn’t the only way the internet was used, just over 60% of those surveyed this year said that they had posted on job boards and 27.5% had searched through CVs on these job boards.

Employers are no longer just posting adverts on the Internet they are using more proactive methods of searching for candidates. However, this process is more one sided than it seems with only 21% of job seekers using internet job boards. This doesn’t mean that they have abandoned new technology. 

The impact of social media - rise of Google+

Social and professional networks have taken off in the last five years and HR professionals have quickly discovered the possibilities for recruitment. In fact, our recent survey showed that 91% of recruiters said LinkedIn was the most useful networking site for sourcing people.

LinkedIn was one of the few sites equally used by recruiters and candidates this year with 80% of job seekers using the site in their job search. While this is the most important professional network for recruitment currently, it isn’t necessarily going to stay that way. Google + which has only been launched recently has been growing steadily with 10% of job seekers surveyed using it to search for jobs. 

Telephone interviews on the rise

The rise in social networks isn’t the only change in recruitment in the last few years. If we compare the latest results with the 2010 survey, it’s clear that there have been some changes. The survey shows that far more employers are conducting phone interviews. In 2010 only 37% of recruiters interviewed candidates by phone which has risen to 69% in the last two years. Being able to conduct interviews remotely is a skill employers and job seekers need to embrace and be fully prepared for. 

The data also shows the next technological development we can expect in recruitment is a rise in the use of video and webcam interviews. For the last few years, these kind of interviews have been touted as the ‘next best thing’ but our survey shows that this process hasn’t fully caught on yet. There was only a 4% rise in video interviews since the 2010 survey whereas 87.2% have had face to face interviews and 50% have had telephone interviews.

However, when we asked people about the future of recruitment in the next three years, 67% of HR professionals said they expected to receive more video CVs. More than half of respondents expect to conduct more interviews by video or webcam. 

Top tips for success

The data shows that candidates and employers’ interactions with technology during the recruitment process have changed significantly in the last two years. This provides both opportunities and a few pitfalls for HR and for job seekers. Based on our research and insight from working with both HR professionals and job seekers, here are our top tips to help HR professionals use technology to recruit more effectively: 

  • Source candidates by making sure adverts are posted on key social media networking sites as these are taking over from traditional recruitment processes
  • Advertise on company websites which social media platforms you use to direct job seekers
  • Sift CVs in a digital world by using key word searches 
  • In a global job market, be prepared to offer video and webcam interviews to candidates to speed up the recruitment process
  • Look beyond sector experience to find talented individuals with critical transferable skills