Recruitment Technology

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution.” This wisdom applies perfectly to the world of recruitment technology. Too often, organisations jump to action before they’ve defined the problems they’re trying to solve. This action-first approach can lead to mismatched initiatives that waste resources and leave crucial needs unmet.

Solutions are vital for business growth - the right technology, implemented thoughtfully, can be transformative. But solutions for solutions' sake might hide the problem instead of fixing the underlying issues. To truly leverage the power of recruitment tech, you need to start by deeply understanding your unique challenges.

Let's explore why a problem-first mindset is so important when adopting recruitment technology, along with tips for identifying your organisation’s real roadblocks.

The siren song of shiny tech

In the quest for agility and desire to gain a first-mover advantage, firms often feel pressured to adopt the latest recruitment tech. Lured by promises of AI-powered candidate matching that can predict job performance, virtual reality assessments that simulate on-the-job scenarios and neuroscience-based games that claim to reveal a candidate's true potential, it's easy to get swept up by the hype.

But rushing into action without clearly understanding your problems is a recipe for disappointment. As Mike Daley, PageGroup’s Global Director of Technology, warns, “Magic fixes are easy to market because who doesn’t want a quick fix? The trouble is, they sidestep the complex, underlying issues that often have a greater impact.”

Urgency, shortcuts and workarounds can lead to poor decisions at every stage. Executives push for flashy new tools without considering how they fit the overall talent strategy. Procurement focuses on short-term cost savings rather than long-term value. IT teams raise red flags about integration and data compatibility, warning that a new system may create more problems than it solves.

"A solution you can't integrate becomes a problem in itself,” notes Mike Daley. “When your talent teams are asked to spend their lives copy-and-pasting crucial data, and any hope of reporting on the process as a whole is lost in the technical challenge of reconciling incompatible systems."

Meanwhile, legal departments may stall projects entirely due to security concerns. The result? A patchwork of technologies that don't play well together and fail to address your most pressing talent acquisition difficulties. It's a recipe for frustration and wasted potential.

Failed technology implementations can leave lasting scars on an organisation. Tools introduced without a clear purpose or stakeholder support will likely meet resistance or indifference. This produces a vicious cycle: low adoption, wasted resources and deep scepticism that hurts future innovation efforts.

Collaborating to find the root issues

How can organisations avoid the pitfalls of prioritising quick fixes over problems? The answer lies in collaborative problem definition. This involves bringing together key stakeholders throughout your company to thoroughly examine your true challenges.

Listen to your hiring managers — they're on the frontlines of the hiring process and can pinpoint bottlenecks and inefficiencies. However, ensure they’re open to fresh approaches and not solely focused on doing what they know rather than doing what is needed. 

Engage procurement, legal and IT teams early on. They’ll give you vital insights into feasibility and potential risks. They’re partners, not roadblocks, and they can pave the way for the smooth implementation of your recruitment technology.

Collaboration doesn’t stop there. Think about the other people in your company who have a significant impact on attracting talent. Who owns your employee value proposition? Who champions candidate experience? Bringing these voices into the conversation gives you a more comprehensive picture of the hurdles you’re facing. 

Rush Corp vs. Strategic Inc.: a tale of two approaches

That’s the theory, anyway. However, not every business has the resources or even the inclination to put it into practice.

Take two companies, Rush Corp and Strategic Inc., both struggling with a slow hiring process. Rush Corp leaps into action. Assuming the problem is that there are too many unqualified applicants, they invest in cutting-edge resume screening tools to reduce recruiter workload.

As a quick fix, it works. Time-to-hire goes down, and recruiters spend less time sifting through resumes. But metrics like quality-of-hire and turnover rate start going in the wrong direction. The core issues, which turn out to be poorly written job descriptions and inconsistent interviewing, remain unaddressed.

Strategic Inc. takes a different approach. They work with a strategic partner (like Page Outsourcing) to dig deep into their talent acquisition process, analysing data across the hiring journey to pinpoint the real problems. Together, they uncover issues with job descriptions and interviewing that are hampering hiring quality and candidate experience.

Armed with these insights, Strategic Inc. and their partner get to work. They collaborate with hiring managers to rewrite job descriptions, focusing on the skills and experiences that really matter for each role. They create structured interview guides to ensure consistency and fairness. They implement a candidate relationship management system to keep candidates engaged and gather feedback for continuous improvement.

The result? Strategic Inc. doesn't just see improvements in time-to-hire. They build a hiring process that attracts better-fit candidates, provides a great candidate experience and ultimately drives quality of hire and retention.

The lesson here isn't that Rush Corp. was wrong to seek a quick improvement or that every company needs to have the same resources as Strategic Inc. It's that truly solving talent acquisition challenges requires a willingness to look beneath the surface and ask the right questions to find the right answers unique to your situation. 

Never mind the buzzwords: focus on practical innovation

Press coverage over the past 18 months can leave the impression that this is ChatGPT’s world, and we’re just living in it. But as Mike Daley points out, there’s much more to AI than large language models. “Not everything labelled ‘AI’ is revolutionary or necessary for solving your organisation’s specific problems. It’s also about machine learning and all those brute-force statistical models we’ve had for some time. Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to find a problem to which your technology can be applied.”

When considering recruitment technologies, focus on practical applications that solve real problems for your organisation and your candidates. New AI-powered tools can help you connect with candidates at scale and at speed, providing a better experience than rigid, rule-based chatbots of the past. By automating initial outreach and screening, these sophisticated systems allow your recruiters to focus their time and expertise where it matters most — building relationships with promising candidates.

Embracing a problem-first mindset doesn't mean shying away from risk and innovation. As Einstein also said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” The trick is to approach new technologies with a discerning eye, cutting through the hype to find practical solutions. Confront real issues, use data for smarter decisions and keep your people at the heart of everything you do. That’s the recipe for a recruitment process that moves your business forward.

Page Outsourcing: your partner in cutting through the hype

Ready to look past the buzzwords and find recruitment technology that actually solves your problems? Page Outsourcing can help. Our experts partner with you to pinpoint your unique challenges and tailor solutions that deliver real results. Reach out to us today.

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