Automation and the recruitment industry

Bullhorn’s 2018 Recruitment Trends Report for the UK has highlighted that although recruitment agencies seem convinced that automation will benefit efficiency and engagement levels, they are still not fully embracing it. The automation and acceleration of the recruitment and placement process is a concern for the industry, with 29% of agencies rating it within the top three 2018 challenges. But only 16% actually plan to implement automation as a top-three priority.


The report states that up to 40% of agencies do not use automation during the prospecting stage or the client engagement stage, while over 30% of agencies admitted they don’t use automation at any stage in the recruitment process, and 22% of respondents said they were unsure of the value of automation.


Ambivalence towards automation


At present, the recruitment industry is in the very early stage of adopting the technology for automation. There is still very little uptake for real-time email responses to job applications or online application sorting. Bullhorn concludes that the reason for this ambivalence towards automation is that there is a fear that it will threaten employment prospects for recruiters, with 41% of respondents believing that automation is likely to result in job losses.


Increased automation will be a key to driving efficiencies and engagement, so it will definitely have a large part to play within the employment agency business model.


Likely opportunities for automation


Recruitment agencies handle large volumes of administrative work, especially within invoicing, and although these tasks may be menial, they are critical to the ongoing success of the agency. Automating these types of jobs will prove beneficial. Other areas that could easily be handled by automated systems include the prospecting and sourcing of candidates, responding to applicants, meeting organisation, and entering details and data into the CRM system. Automating these time-consuming tasks within agencies will help free up recruiters so they can spend more of their energies on strategic and constructive tasks.


Recruitment agencies should look to all the benefits offered by automation and set goals and targets for their organisation to achieve. Automation will prove an enhancement to staff productivity and will help place a greater focus on building great relationships with clients and candidates.


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