A simple explanation for ‘recruitment’ is the process of searching and obtaining candidates with the potential to take on empty positions in companies and organizations. To be selected, candidates must possess the required skills, knowledge, and experience.
Fundamentally, the recruitment process begins with the identification of talent pools, which then leads to a shortlist. From here, various processes, including interviews and reference checks, are conducted as part of the hiring process.
However, this was not always the case. As with any well-honed processes and skills, specialized recruitment methods - which emerged during the analog era as one of the main drivers of a company’s growth - have evolved with both time and technology.
Today, the world is in the digital information age, and recruitment remains extremely crucial for industries across the board.
To understand the history of talent acquisition, how it has evolved, and the direction it will move towards in the near future, let’s take a journey through the past, the present, and the future of recruitment
Let’s start by winding back to the early 1990s, when recruitment was mostly executed offline. Offices across industries had just started to get used to implementing computers into their work systems. The email was yet to be one of the main information exchanging channels. ‘Social networks’ did not exist. Forget about recruiting through LinkedIn. Reaching out and establishing relationships with candidates needed to be done face-to-face.
Businesses that were facing staff recruiting and retention issues began to adjust and broaden their requirements to attract more candidates. This strategy gave inexperienced candidates opportunities to develop their skills to add more value to their companies.
By the mid-90s, the Internet was launched in the public domain and became the turning point for industries around the globe. The recruitment industry then quickly took this opportunity to pioneer its online job advertisement. As the internet became one of the main communication channels, the job section in physical printing started to become less relevant.
In 1995, online recruitment reached its milestone as six major newspaper firms including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, and The Washington Post joined forces to establish an online job listing service called ‘CareerPath.com.’ From that point on, recruitment started to fully turn its compass towards the digital realm.
The recruitment process was quite tricky and challenging for both recruiters and candidates.
In the early 90s, open jobs would mainly be advertised on bulletin boards, newspapers, or magazines. Interested job-seekers would send physical CVs to the advertising company via mail. Recruiters would then manually manage, sort, store those CVs in their physical database. After completing the screening process, recruiters would contact each of the possible new hires via telephone and set up interviews with them.
Both job seekers and recruiters needed to flow through the process with physical documents. However, recruiters at the time had help from technologies like OCR software that helped them scan physical CVs and input them into their digital database.
To apply for positions in companies back then, job seekers mailed physical CVs with the hope that their documents would be delivered on time. And then, they had to wait to be called for an interview.
Candidates who were lucky enough to be selected for the interview had to answer questionnaires or take tests for certain positions. This, of course, had to be done in person. After the interviews and tests, candidates had to - once more - be sitting in front of telephones, crossing their fingers for confirmation calls.
When it comes to managing the recruitment from end-to-end, 90s recruiters drew a bit more sweat than today. At the beginning of the 1990s, recruitment agencies mainly relied on publishing firms for job advertisements. While establishing relationships with candidates and customers needed to be done face-to-face. Therefore, recruiters back then spent most of their time outside of the office rather than inside.
After the advertisements were published and distributed, recruitment agencies would expect candidates’ physical CVs to be delivered to their post boxes. Then, agencies needed to manually sort the applicants and manage the list of candidates. The next step would be determining candidates and identifying the ones who are likely to fit the opening jobs and setting up interviews with them.
When the mid-90s came, recruiters were performing their tasks a bit more efficiently with the help of computers and digital technology. Applicants, candidate lists, and interview schedules can be sorted and managed with Microsoft Excel.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: From Legacy Systems to AI-Powered Recruitment – Three Drivers of Change
Evolving to our modern, digital era, talent acquisition has come a long way. Recruitment is now mission-critical for every company, especially those entering the high-growth stage. And thanks to digitalization, the internet, and the dominance of the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, candidate management can be executed more conveniently and efficiently.
Although the classifieds section for jobs is still alive on the pages of newspapers, the majority of today’s job seekers are relying on online platforms. Therefore, online channels are now default channels in the recruitment industry. In the past year, 79% of job seekers have relied on social media networking to find jobs, while 73% of millennials succeeded in finding work directly through social media platforms. This trend has driven most companies and recruiting agencies around the globe to invest in online advertising and digital tools.
If we take a big leap back in time when recruitment was still analog, any mention of computer programs that are able to think and learn by themselves would earn you more than a couple of raised eyebrows and funny looks. However, in just the past 10 years, technology and human competence have combined to raise the bar for recruitment - the age of artificial intelligence (AI) would emerge to galvanize recruitment practices globally.
We are now at the point where industries have embraced AI technology as the backbone of operations. Many AI-based solutions have revolutionized the recruitment process with their ability to efficiently and accurately sort candidates.
An AI-based digital tool - such as ATS - became popular amongst companies and recruiting agencies when it comes to acquiring talents. Emerging from the digital realm at the same time the global industries have embraced computers into their working system, ATS allows recruiters to orderly store CVs and conveniently manage the list of potential candidates.
Due to its increasing demand, many ATS software are now competitively advancing into the market and displaying their distinctive features that are designed to help companies acquire the right talent.
One of the digital solution providers like Manatal offers an efficient ATS that is able to help organizations and recruiting agencies save time and money. Manatal’s product has the capability of streamlining processes and elevating your recruitment game with many features including centralizing job boards and applications, applicants and candidates managing, job sharing via online social media channels, mass emailing, etc.
With the internet, job advertisements can now be published easily and reach more people via online channels such as websites and social media. Companies and recruitment agencies no longer need to rely on newspapers or magazines heavily. They can put their focus and efforts into attracting high-quality applicants with eye-catching online advertisements.
The popularity of social media and professional networking channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn makes it even easier for companies or agencies to simply create application forms and drop them as links in selected and niche community groups that are relevant to their target audience. Moreover, an online site dedicated to job searching and recruiting like LinkedIn further helps recruiters to broaden their talent pool while keeping candidates in close connection.
As competitive as the recruitment industry is today, companies are focusing more on candidates' experience and trying to present their businesses as positive workplaces. To attract quality candidates, It is vital for organizations around the globe to prioritize the implementation of equity, diversity, and inclusion in company culture.
On the other end of the spectrum, post offices are now no longer relevant when it comes to sending CVs to companies. Once recruiting agencies have created campaigns for opening jobs and published them via online channels, applicants can simply send their CVs out in one click as attachments via several online platforms such as email or websites.
No matter how many CVs recruiters are receiving, they will never have to break a sweat and scream in misery while managing the stacking documents like in the good old days anymore. Once the CVs are delivered to the inbox, recruiters can manage CVs, screen candidates, and create candidates lists with digital solutions like ATS.
Top applicants who possess all or most of the requirements for opening positions will not have to face the anxiety of waiting for a call in front of a telephone anymore.
Today, advanced technologies have brought convenience to the interview process to both recruiters and candidates. Job interviews can now be executed via online platforms. Recruiters and candidates can interact with each other and establish relationships from anywhere.
With the current global pandemic where people are restricted to staying in their own homes, online meetings are the knights in shining armor that enable all concerned parties to safely and efficiently complete the candidate selection process without the risk of exposure to the virus.
Candidates for certain positions that require personality or skills tests are also able to simply go through such assessments online and get the results in a blink of an eye.
The advancement of technology today offers many conveniences to candidates. Job seekers no longer rely on newspapers or bulletin boards when it comes to searching for work opportunities. The rise of the internet and social media allows them to conveniently search for job openings via several websites or companies’ social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn.
They can even specifically look for their desired positions or companies by utilizing online job posting platforms. Essentially, candidates nowadays have more opportunities and more options.
Social media channels also enable candidates to present themselves as quality workers to recruiters and companies. Candidates would attract recruiters by adding their summaries, personalities, educational and work experience, personal activities, etc.
To apply for jobs, candidates can simply submit their CVs online. No more printing out physical CVs, putting them in envelopes, stamping, and running to the post office. With the help of technologies today, plenty of free software out there allows candidates to design and create unique digital CVs that stand out above other old-fashioned CVs.
Qualified candidates who are selected for the interview can save time and travel costs as they have an option to establish relationships with recruiters and present themselves as go-getters via online meetings. Candidates who apply for positions that require specific tests or personality tests are also able to perform such assessments online and receive the results immediately.
Moreover, candidates don’t need to be nervously waiting for job confirmation or rejections in front of telephones. They will be notified quickly via email whether they are succeeding in filling the empty positions or not.
Recruiters are now able to broaden their talent pool and access candidate data. With social media channels becoming the predominant sites that candidates use to find job opportunities, recruiters are able to seek and reach out to more talent and get to know them better from their profiles.
Spreading out recruitment campaigns is also more efficient and convenient than ever. Rather than relying on newspapers and magazines, recruiting agencies can now push out campaigns on several online sites and reach even more targets via mass email. They can create application forms and convert them into links to post on their customers’ social media channels, making sure the advertisements are reaching as many job seekers as possible. This helps recruiters to increase the chances of finding hidden talents.
With the help of digital tools like the Applicant Tracking System, recruiters no longer need to manually sort applicants and create candidate lists. No matter how many CVs are flooding in, ATS is able to organize the documents and allow recruiters to efficiently pick the right candidates. Identifying qualified candidates, scheduling interviews, contacting candidates, and so on can be done more efficiently in less time. With the whole process now streamlined, recruiting agencies are able to invest their time into other important tasks like passive recruitment.
POPULAR: How ATS Optimizes Your Recruitment Management
It is easy to predict that in the coming days more manual tasks like backlogging will be taken care of by automated tools. Jumping to the recruitment field, what would it be like? Can it be more convenient than now? Let’s find out.
Firstly, let’s take a look at one of the most significant trends that would likely be the future of all types of businesses around the world; digitalization, computerization, and robotics. With artificial intelligence taking a larger space in the recruitment process, the human workforce will likely handle fewer tasks, especially simple repetitive ones.
With the help of automation tools and a more advanced AI processing system, recruitment professionals will be set up to give more focus on candidate management tasks like identifying, interviewing, and selecting new hires from the shortlist faster and more efficiently.
Talent acquisition in the future will likely be more data-driven as predictive and prescriptive analytics will be utilized to select possible candidates. Predictive and prescriptive analytics will assist companies in making better decisions when it comes to picking the right talents for specific positions.
Candidate selection will be fast-tracked with predictive and prescriptive analytics, as it can go through applicants’ data and automatically put the most qualified candidates with skills and experiences on top of the list. With this augmentation, the recruitment industry will be even more competitive.
It has been widely discussed that social media marketing will form one of the main recruitment outreach strategies in the near future as organizations invest even more in social media and social recruiting.
At the same time, the rise of Metaverse will see more recruitment activities occurring inside the virtual world. So do not be surprised if job interviews or relationship establishment between recruitment agencies and candidates are happening inside the digital space instead of video calls in near future.
With digitalization, computerization, and robotics, the recruitment process will be elevated to the next level. A decade from now, candidates may no longer need to fill out application forms or CVs in the near future as all of the information can be consolidated and easily accessed via a new type of smart device.
This will be even more convenient for both job seekers and companies. Instead of waiting for CVs to arrive, recruitment agencies will simply and quickly look for candidates with mentioned devices.
READ MORE: How to start a staffing agency
We might not know for certain how the future will pan out when it comes to recruitment, but considering how we are constantly evolving while technologies are rapidly advancing at the same pace, it is fair to say that the years to come will be quite exciting.
While looking forward to the future, you can now set up a firm foundation and be ready for the years to come by optimizing your recruitment process with Manatal. Start your 14-day Free Trial today and discover Manatal’s many more interesting and useful features that could help improve your recruitment.