Problem with Recruitment Technology

The problem with recruitment technology

The hype – both negative and positive – around recruitment tech is staggering.

Recruitment has faced a sustained series of changes driven by technological innovation. As far back as 2020, nearly a fifth of companies were using AI for recruitment, according to Gartner. Fast forward three short years and analysts are predicting a $3.2bn market in applicant tracking systems, 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use bot job application filters (approximately 83 percent across all businesses) and 68% of recruiters say that investing in new recruitment tech is the best way to improve hiring performance.

But there is one rather big problem.
None of this seems to be working.

It is not working for employers:

  • According to a Monster global report, 9 out of 10 employers are struggling to fill jobs. And Monster has also found that recruiter confidence in finding the right candidate has fallen from 95% in 2020 to 91% in 2022
  • Upwork has found that 52% of teams have had to delay or cancel projects due to the lack of available talent
  • Cubiks (now called Talogy) report that 90% of recruiters have rejected candidates due to a poor cultural fit
  • CareerBuilder found that three-quarters of employers said they’ve hired the wrong person for some roles

And It is not working for candidates:

  • According to G2, 60% of applicants have given up on an online application because it was too long or too complicated
  • Small Biz reported that 73% of job seekers say the process of looking for a job is one of the most stressful events in life

Of course, the argument could be made that it is not the technology at fault here. Except it is.

Despite the massive development of CV scanning software more than half (52%) of recruitment leaders say the most challenging aspect of recruitment is screening candidates from a large pool of applicants, according to Ideal. The impact of so much tech has been to completely rip out the human connection that is critical for successful recruitment. Stand Out CV reported that hiring managers and recruiters spend just 6-8 seconds looking at a CV. And that is even before we get to the fact that technology cannot communicate critical aspects such as shared values that job seekers continually cite as vital factors.
Conversely, old fashioned human approaches seem to address a lot of these issues.

TalentLyft found that around half of businesses still commend employee referrals as their top channel for new hires, with 88% saying that they’re the best method for above-average applicants – and referred roles are 55% faster to hire than other means.

We mention this barrage of numbers because it backs up our experience.

An over-reliance on technology has left senior technology recruitment unfit for purpose. By comparison, we defined and fulfilled an IT director role in less than a fortnight. We sourced twenty senior architects in less than two weeks. We found a head of analytics in a week, for a client that had been searching for two months. We have found and placed a Service Desk Manager in 36 hours. All without the recruitment tech that was pushed as a panacea.

Furthermore, this approach has shown a reduced staff churn and enabled businesses to retain critical IP. This is a natural outcome of cultural fit being at the core of recruitment – an innately human approach rather than automated skills tick boxing. And the main outcome is a massively increase in the value of recruitment.

So, does recruitment really need so much tech? Has human expertise, insight and connection been sacrificed on an altar of short term gain, that now seems to be running out?