17th April 2015 · Kevin Howes
None of us know with any real certainty exactly what the future holds. But an educated guess would be to state the inevitable; technology will continue to rapidly expand, therefore thrusting us in to a new and more challenging era of locating talent, and of great talent locating us! Of course, other trends will also impact recruitment; namely changing demography and increased globalisation, but the ever – evolving technological revolution will take paramount, affecting not just what we recruit for at IT talent but also the way in which we recruit.
Technology is turning in to a source of competitive edge on the market in general. Acknowledging the shift in such movements is what will separate the successful agencies to the unsuccessful. Indeed, as Charles Darwin (1809) said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Moreover, such evolutionary recognition would mean the inclusion of Generation Y; who we will be recruiting for in the future. Generation Y or “millennials” will be entering the job market in coming years and will soon make up the largest percentage of the workforce. Employers are swiftly learning that these individuals have different expectations about the hiring process than past generations. To be effective, recruiters will need to engage these candidates in new ways, and this is especially true of more passive candidates; those who aren’t necessarily on the quest for a new role, but would be open to hear about new opportunities.
The recruitment world has already transformed so much in the last decade, having developed things that we now couldn’t imagine not relying on. From a single, mega – sized computer to computers that fit in the palm of your hand, technology has become faster, smaller and more affordable over time. Ten years ago, it was a world without iPhones, mobile apps, job boards, applicant tracking systems and social networking sites. Key recruitment tool, LinkedIn, was only founded in 2003, although not really stemming in to popular usage for recruitment until around 2006/2007. 2003 was also the year in which Google was still private, and Facebook and Twitter were not in sight. It is important to note that even as more people latched on to LinkedIn and similar internet networking tools, the way in which they have been used has additionally altered over time. For example, when LinkedIn and online job applications first began to gain traction, they were seen as supplements to the traditional paper CV and in – person interview. Today, recruiting is far more, if not almost totally, digital.
Back then, CRM/ERP, Security, Enterprise Applications, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence and Storage and Data Warehousing were all hot technologies, whereas today’s demanding sectors consist of Mobile Apps, Gaming, Big Data, Consumer Internet, Cybersecurity and Social Media. This reflects how quickly the industry can change over such a short time frame and the proactive approach one must employ as a consequence, to ultimately keep up in the race for business.
There are huge opportunities for recruiters whom specialise in a particular industry who are willing to engage with candidates through the ever – ripening range of digital channels available. The ability to source, publish, distil and interpret content will reign king, and recruiters spanning the IT industry in particular ought to be innovative to remain fiercely competitive.
So, what can we predict the high – tech industry will look like over the next ten years? How will technology aid our work? What projects will we be recruiting for? Here’s just a few estimations, of many:
Apps and smartphones will continue to emerge. Currently, we essentially accomplish everything from our smartphones, like a remote control for life. Apps already allow for you to book a taxi, holiday or restaurant, check the weather, consult the different times across the world, receive breaking global news, wire money, trade your stocks, rent a car, research property and get in touch with a long lost school peer. This accessibility will continue to spread, meaning that apps will replace the need to visit a doctor when unwell and will welcome reality recognition; the idea, fuelled by reality tagging and advanced image recognition, that you could point your iPhone at a tree/building/landscape you haven’t seen before and instantly load a Wikipedia page about it.
Furthermore, by 2016, it is expected that there’ll be more smartphones than people in the world. At present, there are over 6 million mobile subscriptions, which is equal to 87% of the world’s population, outnumbering landlines 5 to 1. The implications of this are already becoming apparent; in 2014, we saw a 69% increase in global mobile data traffic and more than 70% of active job hunters currently use their mobile devices to search for jobs, and this proportion will only accelerate as more of Generation Y proceed in to employment.
If job hunters are embracing mobile technology, it logically follows that recruiters should, too. Given that the majority of people have their mobile to hand all day, differing from the laptop or home computer, this essentially means that by properly utilising and integrating to mobile technology, you can now connect with people 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It is no recent discovery that a host of recruitment agencies actively and frequently use social media platforms to source appropriate talent and qualification. Why on earth wouldn’t they, considering that it works and is mostly free? According to research by Sky Broadband, social media is used by 39million people in the UK aged 16 or older; a number that’s only set to grow stronger as a generation of children weaned on digital technology become adults.
As such, social networking will only increase and morph in to other forms as new technologies unfold. But supposedly, it is argued that the technology doesn’t as such change; people’s behaviour does, and that’s where social media advances.
Social media was born from sites not trying to change the way we behave or to provide us with extra information; it was just to assist our behaviour. Facebook helps us to do the things we always have and wanted to more easily, such as sharing information or finding new friends. Similarly, the creators of Twitter have said that it isn’t a feat of technology; it’s a feat of human interest. The content is defined by the user and more and more we are now seeing the user become the developer. The social media sites that take off are the ones defined by the user.
Another probable scenario is the advancement of blending. Social networks are in constant evolution. They try not to get stuck due to some of their features, and they keep note of their rivals’ strong points, to the extent that some adapt these points to their own features. For instance, Facebook Places (now forgotten in favour of Foursquare). But what’s finally happening is that these functionalities get integrated in each other, so for instance you can connect on Foursquare but concurrently publish it on Facebook at the same time.
Again, a key theme for the future is accessibility. Just as mobile devices were created to relieve us from having to accomplish everything from a stationary computer, this ideology is being extended to more practical devices. In 2014, wearable devices accounted for 65% of the $9.2 billion market value for internet of things, and the hype surrounding the launch of the Apple Watch recently is enough to clarify its popularity. Do you find a mobile heavy, irritating and chunky to carry around? Why not wear a device that keeps you connected? If people remain connected even on jogs or quick errand – runs, that makes your job as a recruiter that little bit easier.
Big Data and Cloud Technology
Big data is going to herald a major shift in how we think about recruiting. “Big data” is the mass of information that is available on the Web; numbers, forum threads, Facebook profiles, blogs, pictures and videos. The challenge over the next few years will be to harness that data and analyse it, so that recruiters can quickly and easily locate the best people for the job.
The process has already begun, as we’ve seen, with recruiters’ increased use of social media to research candidates. Analytics that fully interpret big data haven’t arrived yet, but there is much more that can be done with the tools that we already have, and with the data already sitting in most businesses’ databases. Smart organizations are using technology to carefully track the media that prompted the start of the candidate journey, the steps they took, the pages they viewed and the jobs they applied for. And then, once hired, their performance and results are captured, too. Google Analytics started the measurement revolution when providing summary insight into the performance of advertisements.
In this way, it’s exhausting and inefficient to manually sift through profiles and data. The next big thing won’t just source social and mobile recruiting data but actually apply intelligence to summarizing the most important information. The ability to leverage this data and quickly determine intent and fit will be critical to the success of any new recruiting technologies, otherwise there can only be incremental improvement to legacy systems.
Likewise, cloud computing will also change how companies hire employees. For smaller businesses, advanced software and databases are often cost prohibitive as they commonly do not have the budget to purchase the technology nor the onsite capabilities to manage the programs. The rise of the cloud is making it easier for companies to leverage advancements in technology and it’s likely that we’ll see many more companies harness this power in their recruitment efforts.
It’s coming! And it’ll transform everything about the way that we live within a matter of years. Technology could be entering a brave new world with the advent and adoption of 3D printers; machines that are highly versatile with their uses only really limited by our own creativity.
Whilst most of us have heard about 3D printing and its potential to improve medical treatments and manufacturing processes, affecting the supply chain for many companies, 3D printing is predicted to be far more than a niche tool. It doesn’t only entail changes for the obvious sectors, such as manufacturing and engineering. Indeed, it is likely that we will have a 3D printer at home for our own personal uses within the foreseeable future.
Supposedly, we’re going to see desktop manufacturing in the same way that we saw desktop publishing and information transfer, meaning that we can actually transfer physical products to other people who can print it at the other end, just like we would propel an email or a video. Not only will businesses adopt such measures to improve the value and immediacy of our services, but such a renovation will be something in which we also recruit for, as an IT – based agency. The internet is an important part of our business, and 3D printing, whilst we can’t see exactly how it might manifest itself, will undoubtedly change everything that we do from just simple operations to the spaces we work in and further unforeseeable things.
The “Internet of Things” was first coined by a British visionary called Kevin Ashton. Back in 1999, before the dotcom bubble began to burst, he first used it to describe how internet – connected devices would change our lives. Ashton forecast a futuristic world of seamlessly united devices that would save us both time and money. Fast forward 15 years and this once – sweeping idea has manifested in to a mainstream reality.
For some, it suggests an impending Internet takeover that will eventually penetrate every area of our ordinary lives. Others claim that it is already upon us. Whether you’re aware of it or not, the Internet of Things has certainly surfaced to a large degree and your organisation’s ability to capitalise on it may well determine how effectively you can reach the next generation of consumers.
One significant way that the Internet of Things will increase productivity and efficiency is by making location tracking much simpler and seamless. As currently done in hospitals, internet – connected equipment and devices will all be geographically tagged, which will save workers time hunting things down and save money by reducing the loss rate. The Internet of Things will also be the next big thing in your daily commute, including travelling to prospective job interviews. The interconnectivity of mobile devices, cars (which in themselves will very soon be self – driving and automated) and the road you drive on will help reduce travel time, thus enabling you get to work faster or run errands in record time. Or, in our case, it means that people will be able to attend interviews with ease!
Imagery and Video/Online Video Hiring:
The sphere in which interviews take place will also proceed to alter. We already have pretty average video – communication facilities such as Skype, of course, but location and distance will truly be faded dilemmas as immediate technologies such as holographic imagery develop, serving as a real – time ‘face to face’ interview. This advanced video – type interview will make a huge difference to the time, cost and quality of hire in the recruitment process, as well as the appeal.
So, the main arguments for why recruitment will evolve alongside technology are apparent; accessibility, immediacy, efficiency, productivity, familiarity and practicality included. The aforementioned “Millennial” generation differs drastically from older generations, and understanding this will be crucial for recruiting success in the future. Furthermore, if we delve in to such technology trends, not only will our lives as recruiters become much more flexible and accomplished, but we will also have a much clearer and current understanding of the sorts of jobs that we cater for; after all, such IT developments are created with the knowledge and wealth of experience of the sort of candidates that we place here at IT Talent.
Having said that, old – fashioned communication cannot be rivalled in many circumstances. Technology has a sovereign place in recruiting but it cannot entirely replace human interaction. While digital tools will never fully replace the human instinct necessary for identifying the right candidates, staying on top of tech trends could be recruiters’ advantage going forward.
Another protest is that as more of our lives transfer to the online world, the potential risks to valuable information and safety increase. We are swiftly becoming acutely aware of how IT hacking and online threats of destroying or stealing data affect businesses. Should we rely on something that isn’t totally secure too much?
Nevertheless, technology will continue to enable quick and cost – effective recruiting through applicant tracking, screening, evaluating and communicating. Smart hiring managers will use technology to their benefit but recognise the need for in – person meetings and phone calls to discover who the candidate behind the computer is.
The victory is in finding the business use of a technology trend and how it can simplify and enhance your existing program, not simply using technology for the sake of it. In essence, greater engagement generates greater trust; a key facet in the success of the recruiter – candidate relationship. The engagement is still absolutely crucial; just the method of engagement may alter slightly.
We believe that high – tech advancements will remain strong well beyond the next 10 year stretch because of improved and continuous connectivity and we are excited to continue to be in the middle of it all.