I’ve been working in HR and recruitment with mid to large corporations to improve their recruitment function and hiring capabilities for close to 25 years. In this time, the recruitment and hiring function has undergone significant changes since the days of the humble fax machine, Mainframes DOS screens and no mobile phones. Importantly, the pace of change seems to be accelerating with the growth of Robot Recruitment and focus on Big Data and analytics.

For most HR Managers and Recruiters – this can present challenges as all this technology is moving way too fast to keep up, or you may not even be across the emerging technologies. With such a pace of change, how do you choose which tools, platforms and systems to adopt and implement? As a Recruiter or HR Manager in charge of talent acquisition you need to be ahead of your competition – so read on, I’ve done the research for you and below is a list of some key themes, new tools and websites to be aware of to help you leverage Robot Recruitment and Big Data. Here are five new trends:

1. Connectivity

We can certainly connect a lot faster and with far more reach than ever before. Recruiters like no other profession have seized the opportunities presented by social media, especially LinkedIn as one big global candidate database.  Most recruiters now use this to source candidates and to advertise vacancies. Companies are now running job adverts also on Facebook, and even Instagram.

Fact – LinkedIn is the biggest professional network globally. It currently grows at 2 new members worldwide per second. Launched in 2003 (yes just 13 years ago) with relatively slow growth until 2010, members worldwide have now grown to 433 million. In Australia alone it has a membership over 5 million. With a population of 24 million, and 17 million voters, if you discount retirees and school age people – most white collar workers are on here. What a candidate database!

Tip – If you’re not on LinkedIn you really should be.

“75% of people are using LinkedIn to research people or companies before they engage with them.” – Forbes, 2015.

Your company should also have its own separate LinkedIn profile page too, that gives potential employees insight to your organisation (why work there?) and allows followers. It also allows you to build your Employer Brand. A profile page is free. Many companies also purchase a “Recruitment account” with LinkedIn, which enables you greater access to search for candidates and post adverts right to your target audience.  You can also leverage referrals and get current employees to post job adverts etc. to their network.

However, as with any social media, this needs to be actively managed. Most large organisations with large recruitment teams will have a person or teams just dedicated to managing social media. Most recruitment agencies now pay to use LinkedIn this way – it’s their primary database and could be yours too.

2. Automation

There has been a massive boom in Candidate Management Systems (CMS) and cloud based HR Information Systems (HRIS) which now also seem to contain a recruitment (CRM) and onboarding, learning management and performance appraisal modules and are relatively cheap to purchase or even free.

Gone are the days of waiting for a big integrated system like SAP many HRIS Systems and tools are beginning to talk to each other (now easier systems integrations) with something called “system ecosystems” evolving. So you can keep the products and tools you love and just get them transferring data to each other.

Some old favourites like Page Up and Taleo, continue to evolve and new ones are emerging all the time. Some other interesting recruitment and HRIS related tools I have come across include:

Jobscience.com, fastcompany.com, TheSearchparty.com, JobX.com.au, Peerbriefers.com (Crowdsourcing from your own professional community), also check out JobAdder.com, and recruitmenow.com.au.

As an ex Recruitment Manager – the time a CMS can save you is amazing. Automated sign offs, application forms, job postings to multiple job boards, electronic offer letters, onboarding, database search facilities.

Fact – If you haven’t already automated your HR or recruitment function – you really need to right now! The cost of these systems is far cheaper than before and much cheaper than the HR Manager’s hourly rate of doing it manually.

Top tip – if and when you automate the function, make sure the surrounding Change Management exercise is done well. A poor change management process can derail an implementation and severely impact uptake and support within the organization.  I know several organisations that can help you with this important part of the process (so drop me a line).

3. Algorithms & Web Spiders and Apps

Those clever, self-learning programs are getting better and aim to be better than human recruiters (apparently) at analyzing vast amounts of data gleaned from application forms, CV’s or resumes and social media platforms. No longer just a key word search.

Not only can they see if candidate credentials match the basic requirements of the job description, they can identify personality traits from the very way candidates express themselves on paper or online. These algorithms try to automate the 20 to 50 things the best recruiters do “consciously or unconsciously” when shortlisting candidates says Jon Bischke, Chief Executive of Entelo, a Recruitment tech firm (Source: BBC online article, June 2016).

“the goal is not to tell you who to hire” he says, but it might tell you “which five people to bring into the interview”.

Before the advent of powerful computers and data science, recruiters “would spend a lot of time doing manual research on applicants, Googling them, looking for details about work they’ve done in the past, seeing if they would be a good cultural fit,” says Sheerov Desai the CEO of Gild another recruitment logarithm tech firm. He says that a machine which has been fed hundreds of millions of CV’s is going to outperform him and do much better at spotting trends or key individual’s hidden skills (Source: BBC Online, June 2016).

Another advantage of these computers is that they are free from racial or gender prejudice.

To avoid bias in recruitment new apps are also being developed by the likes of Stephanie Lampkin.  Blendoor she says is a “Tinder for Jobs”, but it also hides the applicant’s race, age, name and gender and matches them on skills and education alone.

4. Talent Networks Vs Job Boards

Let’s take, Livehire. At first glance I thought – “Oh no not another job board – how is this different from Monster”? However, on closer inspection Livehire   is the latest thing in Australia. It aims to solve recruitment problems for businesses and even specific industries such as Health – by helping businesses build their own niche Livehire Talent Community, which enables them to have access to the talent pools they need on-demand.

For example – if 5 hospitals are looking for nurses why not combine your efforts, develop a Talent Community, and know who’s available, on what days of the week and for what pay rate. This can save heaps of time and phone calls if you can all share the same pool, seeing not only those with the skills you need, but also those individuals actually interested in you with their availability. No need to send out heaps of rejection letters – just contact the ones that match.

At a meeting with Nick Bailey, Head of Talent Solutions, LiveHire he explained to me that they aim to deliver a best practice “human-to-human candidate experience”, while reducing the time to hire. “Bringing quality human connection back to HR and recruitment through rich live data and user experience”.

It also has (potentially) some neat key data features that could help HR Directors with key issues such as diversity, aging workforce, skills shortages, and can also be applied to developing your own internal Talent Community. How powerful is that? When your own HRIS doesn’t have the capability to see skills, experience and availability. This would certainly help many in HR with workforce planning and career development.

That is why organisations such as BUPA, KPMG, EY and Michael Hill are embracing this new platform.

5. Video Interviewing

Those clever people at Vieple have also come up with video interviewing. Again a great time saving device and giving the ability to screen and see large numbers of candidates quickly, at a time that best suits the hiring manager. With room for feedback, comments from hiring managers plus HR can still have oversight and be involved with input and questions design.

Developed here in Australia by a team of HR specialists with decades of industry experience. Their goal was to design a complete, hosted, remote cloud video interviewing system that would allow HR specialists to conduct video interviews with multiple candidates at once.

Also some companies are already trying “blind CV’s”, again to reduce prejudice and unconscious bias of, age, surname or location.

So what are the risks of relying so heavily on computers for recruitment purposes? Well that’s the subject of my next article – when I’ll tell you my views on this and some top tips to stay ahead of the game – but also keep the technology revolution in perspective.

I liken it to giving a very hungry man a tin of baked beans with no can opener…..things can get damaged and messy quiet quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. Not only do you need to know and purchase the right tools for your organisation, but also know how to use them effectively, and take the hiring managers on the journey with you.

A purchase alone is not enough. Change management and systems integration plus training and communication are also key elements and need to be factored into any implementation.

All these options and new developments can be daunting and this creates resistance.

If this is new for you and your organisation, and you’re thinking of automating or purchasing tools to aid recruitment, speak to us first. Hill Consulting HRS is a boutique HR consulting firm. We are Recruitment and Recruitment process experts. We can review your current recruitment practices and provide advice on best practice, strategy and the right tools for your function (and budget). We take a holistic approach, looking at 16 different aspects of the Recruitment lifecycle, in a Recruitment Audit, not just the technology.

Importantly, we are neutral and independent. We do not recruit, nor are we aligned with any technology or recruitment providers. Meeting your specific needs will always be our focus.


If you’d like to chat and see how we can possibly help, I’m Rachel Hill founder and Managing Director of Hill Consulting HRS, you can call me on 0403 899083 or contact me via email at [email protected] Or visit our website at www.hillconsultinghrs.com.au


I would love to know if you found this article of interest and of use?

Copyright 2016: Rachel Hill (CAHRI)

Manager Director, Hill Consulting HRS

Rachel Hill is a Recruitment Expert, a world class authority, speaker and author on Recruitment Best Practices for organisations wishing to attract and retain the best talent within their industry. She helps organisations review their current practices improving time, cost and quality of their hires.