Competition in the recruitment market has been heating up in recent years as more companies turn to agencies to fill vacancies.
For years, various critical industries - especially those in which data analysis, cybersecurity, and software development skills are in demand - have faced talent shortages. The challenge of filling vacancies in these areas have been well documented for even the most well-known tech companies.
Additionally, several months of employees quitting their jobs since the pandemic - defined as “The Great Resignation” in the United States - has contributed to record high turnover and a large number of vacancies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, reported that there were 4.3 million voluntary job separations in December 2021 alone, only a slight decrease from the previous month. Stats about the recruitment market also reflect companies’ acute hiring needs. Since 2017, the global HR and recruitment services industry has grown at an annualized rate of 2% to address the competition for talent, with a 4.8% growth expected this year alone.
For professionals with sought-after skills, it is indeed a “buyer’s market” and more options are available to them. Online job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn have exposed them to listings they may not have seen otherwise, which has widened the pool of professionals applying for jobs. Job seekers can be more selective in their search and accept offers from companies that align with their values and lifestyle. Offering hybrid or fully remote roles is one way that companies are attempting to attract top talent beyond their local offices.
With more companies competing for the same candidates and more channels to identify them, they can’t afford to make the wrong hire. An applicant tracking system (ATS) offers recruitment agencies a more effective, streamlined way to keep pace with companies’ hiring needs and connect the right candidate with the right job. Implementing an ATS eliminates the complexity of managing thousands of candidates for multiple job listings and organizes teams throughout the recruitment process.
How does an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) work?
You may have already heard that the purpose of an ATS is to aid in the sourcing and management of candidates. This technology is a significant enhancement for agencies currently conducting these activities manually. Rather than revisit the various elements of an ATS, let’s focus on how implementing this technology can make a difference to agency processes in the current environment. You can read a more detailed explanation of ATS here.
Before, it was possible to review each application for a job. Now, listings receive thousands of applications that recruiters must sift through to find the most qualified candidates. The average time-to-hire can vary depending on the industry, size of the company, and even the number of professionals seeking career changes.
LinkedIn found that the average time-to-hire for an IT job is 44 days but only 33 days for administrative jobs. Longer time frames to hire a candidate can translate to higher cost-per-hire and contribute to companies losing out on qualified candidates. This makes it incredibly important to have an ATS that automates the process of screening and matches candidates to the right jobs.
Recruiters also carry heavier workloads with multiple listings or clients. Managing these responsibilities manually is both inefficient and time-consuming. Recruiters risk losing track of or overlooking qualified candidates for jobs, and listings become more difficult to manage. With a cloud-based ATS, recruiters have a centralized platform to post listings on multiple channels in a few clicks. Identifying, tracking, and managing candidates is simpler since profiles can be uploaded in bulk and are saved in the system as candidates apply for jobs. This allows recruiters to quickly find the best match for a position based on automated screening and scoring features.
An ATS with a recruitment CRM also allows agency leaders to manage client relationships more efficiently than manual processes. With all sales and recruitment operations centralized in one location, agencies are empowered to convert more prospects into clients and efficiently manage relationships supported by data-driven insights.
As competition in the recruitment market intensifies, an all-in-one ATS with a CRM tool is indispensable for any agency. Learn more about the benefits of a recruitment CRM here.
Benefits of ATS-backed recruitment
Whether you are just getting your headhunting firm off the ground or are looking to expand your business, adopting an ATS is a prudent move to manage large volumes of candidate and client information, successfully scale operations, and outperform your competitors. To get a closer look at how an ATS benefits agencies, let’s focus on the following areas: recruitment activities, client relationships, analytics, and reporting.
1. Recruitment activities, simplified.
Storing candidate, lead, and client information in a central location reduces the time that recruiters spend manually updating and referencing separate databases. Help your team keep up with daily tasks and events in an integrated calendar and manage their progress. In a few clicks, candidates are matched with the relevant listings. Your teams can then manage candidates easily and move through the recruitment process faster. Manatal also includes a LinkedIn integration that imports candidate profiles into the system to make finding qualified candidates easier. More efficient operations can free your teams to focus on identifying new prospects and converting them to clients.
2. Fill vacancies faster for clients.
Companies benefit from selecting a recruitment agency partner that can fill job vacancies quickly with candidates who have the right experience for a given role and are an overall good fit for the organization. Worse than a position remaining open for a long period is a bad hire. Both scenarios are costly for companies and can weaken the agency’s relationship. As soon as a client has a new job to fill, the clock is ticking for your team. An ATS allows teams to post jobs across free and premium channels including Indeed, Monster, and specialized job boards in a few short steps. Since candidates are automatically identified and screened in an ATS, your teams can proceed with applicants with the most relevant qualifications and send resumes for clients to consider within minutes. An ATS also streamlines collaboration with internal teams and clients, empowering agencies to maintain consistent communication about recruitment progress.
3. More intelligent recruitment efforts
Artificial intelligence is finding useful applications in several industries with high volume, repetitive tasks. In recruitment, it is automating candidate screening and scoring, and saving teams valuable time. As more applicants are added to the platform, the AI becomes smarter and better at scoring candidates. Compared to manual screening, which can take several hours to identify a potential hire, using AI-powered technology to filter resumes and narrow down searches is an incredibly valuable asset to recruitment teams. Your teams will have more time to focus on the soft skills and personality of candidates to ensure that they are more than just a good fit on paper.
4. Fine-tune recruiter performance
The upside to technology adoption is the vast amount of data it generates. A company’s success and competitive advantage are defined by how well they glean insights from it and use that knowledge. Implementing an ATS enables you to assess and learn from how job postings performed as well as your team. With Manatal, customized dashboards based on your key performance indicators allow you to track important activities at once and create powerful reports.
Browse through our collection of ready-to-use job description templates to get you started on your hiring process.
The future of recruitment will be tech-enabled
In recent years, we have seen how technology solutions - from simple collaboration tools to advanced software using AI and machine learning - are fundamentally changing business operations. In the battle for competitive advantage, companies in several industries are adopting technology to improve profitability.
A critical element of digitalization is hiring employees who can be easily trained to use it or who are experienced users. Without proficient users, the power of tech solutions - and the data it generates - is restricted. It is for this reason that making the most of your technology can mean the difference between survival and failure in the market.
The recruitment industry is no different, especially in terms of the advantages created by adopting tech solutions to improve business operations and outcomes. Recruitment technology has evolved to help professionals extend the reach of their efforts as online recruitment expands and companies embrace hybrid and remote models. The ability to quickly parse through thousands of applications and identify strong applicants efficiently will be an increasingly important attribute for agencies in the coming years to address these trends.
With substantial changes to the way people work, caused by the pandemic, and exacerbated talent shortages for high-skilled roles - most notably in data analytics - digitalization is necessary for recruitment agencies to survive and thrive. Recruitment agencies have the capabilities to ease the hiring process considerably and facilitate more connections to reduce companies’ average time-to-hire as they grapple with these challenges. Adopting an ATS with a recruitment CRM can augment and support these agency strengths over the coming years.
How AI is transforming recruitment today
An area where significant advancements are taking place is the umbrella field of artificial intelligence (AI), which includes machine learning and deep learning. It is no longer just a plot element for movies like Weird Science – or more recently Her. AI applications are elevating business operations to new levels of productivity – and profitability - on the digital transformation journey.
This wide field of computer science is creating machines with the ability to take on tasks that were previously thought to only be possible for humans. AI can not only perform the tasks of humans, it completes the tasks more accurately and in a fraction of the time. Imagine what else teams can accomplish when these tasks are automated.
AI has evolved over time from simply classifying information and identifying patterns to making predictions based on historical data. The more data AI engines receive, the more intelligent it becomes. There are few areas of business where the effects of AI applications are not being felt. Today, AI can be classified into four categories:
1) Reactive: This entry-level form of AI responds predictably to the input it receives. It does not learn or remember prior input. Examples of this include IBM’s chess playing computer Deep Blue and Google’s AlphaGo, which were programmed to beat masters of these games.
2) Limited memory: This next level builds on reactive AI. It involves learning from historical data and acquiring new data over time to solve problems. It can’t consider factors that it has not been taught. Self-driving cars, chatbots and virtual assistants are great examples of this form of AI.
3) Theory of Mind: This form of AI is much more advanced in that it interprets the world and people around it. This requires an understanding of human behaviors, emotions, and intentions. It is still in the development phase, though AI researchers are continually making progress in this area.
4) Self-Awareness: This conceptual form of AI expands on Theory of Mind by building machines with its own consciousness. This form of AI is a long way from real-world application that will make the development of self-aware machines possible.
These general applications have its own sub-categories, and the field continues to expand as more research is devoted to it. The important thing to understand is that machines have powerful capabilities to handle tasks we may not have considered possible before.
As mentioned above, AI today is executing repetitive tasks faster than humans and learning to make decisions from data it receives. In retail, for example, businesses are utilizing AI – in the form of chatbots and other tools - to guide shoppers on their purchase journey and handle customer service inquiries. Popular streaming services like Netflix are also using AI to hone in on human activities to intelligently predict content selections.
Even our news is filtered and presented to us based on algorithms. AI played its most notable and critical role in the global public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recruitment, AI can serve equally important purposes. At the candidate sourcing stage, recruiters can identify the best candidates faster from keywords in their resume or based on specific skills, work experience, or academic backgrounds. It significantly reduces errors and the ingrained biases associated with human decision-making.
These advantages help companies beat out competition for the best talent and supports their commitments to creating diverse workplaces. When hiring for high-skilled roles with persistent talent shortages, these features can be a huge difference-maker.
With AI-powered recruitment technology like Manatal, agencies can match candidates in their database to open positions in minutes instead of hours or days. Users can also customize the recommendation engine to align with their current and future needs. All of this contributes to a shorter talent acquisition process and better matches to open positions overall. Consider the possibilities for recruiting as AI matures and the more advanced applications outlined above become a reality.
Prepare your business today for the future of recruitment
Market analysts only expect the competition for talent in industries such as tech and engineering to intensify as talent shortages remain and the preferences of job seekers shift in response to the pandemic. Recruitment agencies that act now to implement an ATS to support their market strategy will stand out from those that do not adopt a system.
The cost and time-saving benefits of reducing time spent manually inputting data, screening candidates, and creating reports are real for agencies and their clients. If your goal is to adopt a convenient all-in-one tool to help your teams recruit more efficiently and profitably, ATS with a recruitment CRM is that solution.
As Manatal CEO Jeremy Fichet has said, “There’s no shortage of talent. There’s only a broken recruitment system.”
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