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Recap: In-house Recruitment LIVE! London 2017

I’m writing this post sitting on a flight back to San Francisco after a very successful (albeit non-stop) work trip, incorporating a week in Berlin and a week in London.

Looking down at what I can only assume is the southern tip of the North Pole far below, I’ve been reflecting on my trip, although the person sitting next to me probably thinks that I’ve just been staring out the window!

I drank countless cups of fresh mint tea while meeting with dozens of people, including potential alliance partners, prospective clients, and some amazing recruiters. But my own personal highlight was being part of the speaker line-up at In-house Recruitment LIVE! 2017.

In his welcome message to the delegates, Mark Lennox, Cofounder of the In-House Recruitment Network wrote, “… the competition and demand for talent is placing unprecedented pressure on in-house teams to continuously innovate and strengthen their proposition. In turn, these demands are evolving the in-house recruitment function as we know it. There are a number of challenges being faced, led by demands from job seekers and hiring managers, but by staying on top of the trends and future technology, you can be ahead of the curve”.

Walking around the exhibition hall in the London Business Design Centre, I met with representatives from some really cool recruitment and HR tech companies demonstrating their latest products and services. But I also attended some terrific sessions from some great presenters.

I shared a copy of my own presentation – How to Really Add Value as an In-House Recruiter in a previous post, but I also wanted to share a few of my learnings from some of the other sessions I attended on the day.

91% of online applicants already have jobs

This statistic isn’t only relevant to in-house recruiters. It’s just as important to external agency recruiters and independent recruitment consultants too.

Personally I wouldn’t have thought the percentage would be that high. But assuming it is, as a recruiter operating in an age of transparency, what are you doing to fight for a candidate’s attention?

Apparently 156 million job related emails are being sent every minute and the email you are sending to a potential candidate is just one of those.

Candidates are becoming increasingly unresponsive to all the noise – to the barrage of (what for the most part are) templated emails promoting an opportunity – often one of many opportunities being thrown in front of a candidate on the same day or at least in the same week.

Remember you are trying to connect to a human being – yes even through automated emails. You need to look like someone worth talking to.

Artificial intelligence will not replace recruiters

It will enable them.

I was relieved to hear this at a conference in London – the city that for me will always be synonymous with the birthplace of recruitment.

I have always been a believer that recruitment is about people placing people for people (a bit of a mouthful I know!) and that technology will never actually replace the recruiter (internal, external, or independent). However any recruiter that fails to keep up with the all the technological developments impacting our space will be left way behind.

Artificial intelligence can make recruiters faster and more effective at their jobs.

So don’t bury your head in the sand. Embrace all the tools that are out there.

The importance of a killer candidate experience

Another interesting statistic that I immediately jotted down is that 80% of candidates surveyed who accepted a new job offer had received a response to their initial application within 48 hours.

I appreciate that this figure is based on research conducted in the UK, but I’m pretty confident there would be a similar result if a survey was conducted in the USA, Australia, or across APAC or EMEA.

How quickly are you responding to candidate applications? Do you even have this metric on your radar?

I’ve written about the importance of a positive candidate experience before and slow (or non-existent) recruiter response times has always been high on the list of candidate complaints.

So, too, has a convoluted application process.

Another UK-based survey revealed that 60% of job seekers have quit (self-ejected from) their application because the process was too complex.

When did you last experience your application process? Could you submit an application while sitting on the bus or on a park bench during your lunch break? How many clicks are involved? Are you asking candidates to respond to a crazy number of questions before they even upload their resume?

Talent pipelines can cut the hiring time by 50%

Many of the speakers at the conference (including me) talked about the importance of talent pipelines.

Building a talent pipeline should be high on the roadmap for any organisation looking to shift from a reactive recruitment model to a more proactive talent acquisition model.

I like to think I have a pretty solid understanding of this topic having been in this game for nearly 25 years. But to be honest, during my presentation I promoted another fellow Australian startup doing amazing things in this space. So rather than me rambling on, check out LiveHire right now.

How will Block-Chain technology impact the recruitment process?

During one of the panel Q&A sessions, one of the delegates asked about Blockchain technology and how it will impact the recruitment process.

I could immediately tell from the amount of fidgeting and murmuring around the room that I definitely wasn’t the only person wondering what Blockchain technology was. Could it be the new Bitcoin?

Fortunately I now understand that there is a fear that a technology that has successfully been applied to the supply chain process could have a huge impact on the recruitment process.

In the same way that many of the speakers were adamant that A.I will not replace recruiters, the panelists all agreed that Blockchain technology could certainly help speed up certain parts of the recruitment process. Given that internal recruiters typically want cheaper and faster solutions to help them fill their countless requisitions, this should no doubt be seen as a positive impact.

In response to the question one of the speakers simply responded “#behuman”!

In wrapping up this post, I wanted to thank Mark Lennox and the entire In-House Recruitment Network team for including me in such a terrific event.

See you next time, London!

Paul Slezak

Cofounder at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years. Follow me @paul_slezak.

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