Recruitment Firm in the Digital Era: Is There a Need to Still Outsource Your Recruitment Process?

The Recruitment industry has evolved in many ways. For earlier generations, the process was as simple as advertising job vacancies in newspapers and job boards, and then waiting for responses from interested applicants. The advent of computer technology gave us tools and systems to make recruiting faster and more efficient. Today, we have platforms like Linkedin, Monster, as well as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and company websites that instantly connect job seekers to hiring companies. The advancements do not stop there; recruiting automation tools have become more sophisticated that sourcing and screening applicants could be done by artificial intelligence (AI) based on specific algorithms, ultimately performing end-to-end recruitment. This, in turn, poses the threat of cutting out the middleman – the recruitment agents, whose purpose is to streamline company operations by doing the sourcing and selection themselves. If automation tools can do the job, is there still a need for companies to outsource recruitment?

According to a recent study conducted by Statista, an online statistics and business intelligence portal, the Recruitment industry revenue in 2008 was around $350 billion. It rose to $428 billion in 2016 and is predicted to yield around $464 billion this 2018. The rising revenue tells us one thing: the recruitment industry is not becoming obsolete. Companies continue to hire third party recruiters because of their added value. You may ask, what can recruitment specialists offer that advanced technology and AI cannot?

The answer is simple: human element. At the heart of it, recruitment is a people business. Effective recruiters have a personal investment in the process of matching candidates and clients. They spend time marketing roles to candidates they deem qualified. In the case of passive candidates who are not looking to move jobs, the challenge is in persuading them that doing so would be a good career move. Indeed, this is best done through human interaction. While recruiting automation can cut down the time spent sourcing and screening applications, it is not able to foster relationships that lead to better understanding of what motivates a candidate and how culturally fit they are with a company.

Recruitment firms today are seen as business partners, fronting the crucial aspect of matching the skills and long-term needs of a candidate with the long-term goals and objectives of their clients. In this regard, AI tools are meant to enhance their work, not replace them. They can leverage these tools to gain deeper insights on their candidates, develop a multi-sourcing channel strategy, understand better where and how to source candidates, reduce time-consuming activities like manually screening resumes, and create social networks that will facilitate better interaction with candidates.

The rise of technological advancements should not give cause for concern for third party recruiters’ obsolescence. One thing is certain: the recruitment industry evolves and keeps up with the times. If we are to look at the statistical data, it is evolving as a converging point for humans and technology to bring a more personalized experience and deliver better business success.