When was the last time you went to a bookshop, or into a bank? For many people the answer will be that those avenues are still in the mix but that they tend to use their computer, smartphone or tablet first. Smart technology means they'll get a more tailored, bespoke offering anyway.
And yet many people in recruitment, a fast-moving industry, still expect their job candidates and clients to behave in the old-school way. Just as the financial industry has been transformed by so-called ‘fintech', we believe that the recruitment industry is about to be disrupted by recruitment technology - or ‘rectech'.
However, the high street still attracts a lot of people putting their job vacancies in shop windows, often the windows of agencies charging them a high premium for the privilege. This will inevitably disappear as the candidates' eyes are drawn away and into more engaging content, which they are finding on the screen of their choice rather than in a traditional retail premises.
There will be three main technological drivers: artificial intelligence (AI), gamification and apps. It's not particularly revolutionary to suggest this; it's a trend that's clearly visible in other markets. More than that, however, the candidate is evolving.
The change is partly because the dynamic of the market has shifted. Finding a job used to be a buyer's market: there were fixed places to go and look for employment (outside trudging the street approaching every possible employer) and the recruitment agency was prime among these.
Until the candidate evolved.
The modern candidate, for even the most basic jobs, is likely to have a smartphone and/or tablet. He or she will be accustomed to using that device as their window onto the world of services and a great deal of retail. They have no incentive to switch back to the bricks and mortar world when it comes to finding a job - in fact, they are likely to hold it against an employer if it won't come to them on their own terms.
Global tech giant Google has responded, launching a new job search experience in the UK in July - Google For Jobs. Instead of trawling through different links on the search engine, there will now be a search box at the top of the page to deliver the most relevant postings for a job seeker's query. This is particularly important as people become more complex in their searches.
There are individuals looking for flexibility and hours that suit their lifestyles instead of a traditional nine-to-five. There is also a rise in demand for supplementary jobs for additional incomes on top of regular employment. For example, people on zero hours or part time contracts may look for additional flexible shifts at evenings or weekends to top up their income and they need a quick and easy way to find job openings and flexible roles.
In short, anybody offering a job that doesn't address the existing candidate rather than pretend it's still the 1990s is going to suffer; and as already mentioned, the technology is changing too. The good news for recruiters is that this makes their job cheaper and more efficient.
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