The Ultimate Challenge For Any In-House Recruitment Strategy
- Jan 16, 2017

Over the last 10 years, I have reviewed hundreds of different recruitment technology solutions and continue to do so.

I have seen unique and innovative tools that solve specific problems and I have reviewed many complete end to end systems that attempt to provide a complete solution.

What I am yet to experience though,  is the ultimate Recruitment System that genuinely caters for the unique and diverse range of needs and objectives, posed by each different company.

Even our own highly advanced, modular recruitment platform, that was designed to adapt to each clients’ own specific needs, still occasionally falls short of what the customer ideally wants it to do.


Talent attraction



There are two main reasons why I believe that this challenge exists and why we are unlikely to ever be able to offer customers exactly what they want straight off the shelf.

Firstly, most systems are not designed to be adaptable and flexible enough to comply with the varying needs of each set of users in the first place. It makes the development of the recruitment platform significantly more complex if it is built so that each feature or section of the system can be tweaked and adapted by the client (a bit like a CMS) and secondly (and most importantly) because the system itself, can only ever provide half of the solution anyway.

And that is the main point of this article. The second half of the solution comes down to the processes deployed by each user in order to maximise the efficiency and potential outcomes that the system is itself able to support.

I believe that the biggest challenge that companies face when acquiring a recruitment system, is that they are influenced more by the range of features (that hold the promise of solving your biggest recruitment challenges) rather than judging them on their ability to assist in delivering successful outcomes. (Note: Over 50% of all companies surveyed expressed frustration and disappointment with their newly acquired recruitment technology).

Imagine the frustration you might feel after buying into the virtues of video technology for example, and how it could transform your candidate selection process, only to find that most applicants refuse to complete the video profile questions?

Or how frustrated you might feel when discovering that your shiny new ATS and career site (that cost a fortune) is losing more than 50% of all applicants at the very first stage in the application process. (Mostly the best ones too).

I may be stating the obvious, but if candidates did exactly what we wanted them to do, in the way that we wanted them to do it when we wanted to do it, we could probably fully automate the entire recruitment process. The challenge is of course, that over 90% of ‘potential applicants’ are just passively browsing jobs online and are far from committed to finding a new role. This majority demographic won’t just do what we want them to do unless we apply the right strategic approach.

Extensive research and analysis of candidate trends and behaviours; most specifically those of the more passive variety, prove beyond doubt that we are a long way from fully automating the recruitment process and that by adopting a blind faith and unrealistic belief that the Recruitment System that you just purchased is going to solve all your Recruitment frustrations, speed up the process, attract more of the right candidates and drive down costs without putting in the leg work themselves, are I am afraid quite frankly, delusional.

If I was presented with the challenge to upgrade or purchase some new recruitment technology right now I would be looking for a cost-effective cloud-based service that placed as much emphasis on supporting the recruitment processes that drive better outcomes from their technology as I would from the system itself. (If you are currently looking at acquiring new recruitment technology, I recommend that you read that line again)

Most ATS and HR system Recruitment plug-ins are not only counter-productive to effective Direct Hire Strategy, struggle with adoption and cost an absolute fortune, they also apply virtually no emphasis on the different and adaptable processes required by the user in order to be successful.

I run various free webinars on a range of recruiting subjects, including one specifically on selecting Recruitment technology. It is a very frank presentation on how to go about selecting the best recruitment technology for you and talks about the relationship between the recruitment system and the provider, that will help the user to apply the right processes, in order to get the outcomes that they desire.

So the Ultimate Recruitment Challenge facing in house recruitment teams today, is I believe selecting the right blend of systems and processes and the right partnerships, particularly with their recruitment system provider.

There is a relatively new term of phrase; ‘Human computation’. This is the blend of technology automation that helps to reduce mechanical and repetitive tasks combined with effective data and research-driven solutions delivered cognitively by human beings. The immediate future for recruiters is not so much about doing less recruitment activity, but you should end up doing less of the wrong things and less of those mechanical, administrative tasks that are so frustrating and that take up so much valuable time.


Smart Recruit Online offers a low-cost multi-award winning online recruitment service with a 98% independent customer satisfaction rating and the highest direct-hire fill rate in the UK.

To book a demo with us and learn more about how our technology can transform your recruiting process, click here.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the HR & Recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. A previous winner of the prestigious Chambers – Innovation in Business award, Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, CareersPage Ltd, The HR Resource Library and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 7 national and international awards in the last 18 months for recruitment innovation. Mark has dedicated his time since 2007 researching the online HR & Recruitment sector from a user, technology, and candidate behaviour perspective, and is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications for his research and personal opinions.

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