To blog or not to blog...


03 Jan 2017

recruitment, technology, 2017, Penna, HR

Julie Towers looks ahead into 2017 and how the digital landscape continues to evolve and impact recruitment

As we storm into 2017 and after sitting in a futurology session at The Adecco Conference in Amsterdam just before Christmas, I was forced to think about all things futuristic and specifically of the increasing influence and role of technology in our world. I’m a big fan of big data and online access, I’m still amazed by how much Google has to offer and that you can find most things at the click of a button, and yet recruitment which is all about the imparting of information to match a proposition with a customer (candidate) is still (fortunately) not yet a click away, but it’s getting closer.

Yes - you can now click on an app and book a temp, you can click on an app and send a brief, you can click and upload a job posting, you can click and view jobs all over the world. But then the clicking stops and there is a need  (fortunately) for human intervention. I’m obviously glad about this, as otherwise we’d be out of business, but I’m intrigued to know what the future might hold for recruitment with all the technological advances that are made every day.

A year ago we didn’t have a programmatic media desk at Penna, we now have a very buoyant and thriving one – clients for both recruitment and student marketing have made the transition to promoting their vacancies and university places in front of a target audience at the click of many buttons. Skype, FaceTime and video interviews/uploads are already standard tools in interviewing and selection and online psychometrics mean that hypothetically the whole recruitment process could be done by a blend of technology processes, robots or AI in the future.

But the judgement needed to identify and assess talent, cultural fit, chemistry and potential are only informed by information and technology. Until they make a robot that can make sound judgements, think and analyse behaviour and have human reactions to behaviours and style I believe we recruiters are pretty safe…… although we should never take this  for granted and ensure we continue to add value throughout the recruitment experience for both the candidate and client.

The recruitment process being more automated, rightly makes you recognise that your USP as a recruiter has to be the added value you bring – managing a selection process is not in itself enough – but creating an attraction strategy, targeting search and creating an immersive recruitment experience that delivers strong EVP and brand equity and supports candidates and clients with what is still a highly emotional experience, takes personality, passion and flair. Human to human connections make the difference in hiring and in retention of talent – so recruiters need not worry about robots taking their jobs if we are truly providing that added value.

Indeed we should embrace all that technology has to offer in supporting an effective recruitment process – but don’t put process over personality is my advice – nobody ever got inspired by a process (perhaps one or two Prince 2 practitioners?)!!


Julie Towers is the Managing Director of Penna  -