finger touching blue toned screen on tablet-pcThe technological trends of recent years have caused the recruitment industry to shift dramatically (and it’s about time too!). It’s a whole new world out there, and if traditional recruiters want to survive they will need to reinvent themselves and promote an entirely new suite of offerings to both their clients. Whether you believe that LinkedIn is eating the recruitment industry or that other ‘disruptive’ technologies or recruiting models are making it impossible for traditional recruiters to survive, you can’t bury your head in the sand and ignore the fact that employers are now demanding more value and transparency from an external recruiter.

The above are the thoughts of Paul Slezak, co-founder and head of Service at RecruitLoop, a platform for employers to automate and outsource recruitment on-demand. When offering his perspective on the future of recruitment, Slezak notes that it is vital for recruiters to embrace the changes that are not only currently occurring, but those which will continue to take place in the near future.

He further explains:

Employers are leading the charge for the democratization of the industry and recruiters need to embrace and support the change or they will be left by the side of the road.

Who knows how many more tech advancements there will be in 2014? Technology around ad writing, job posting, reference checking, social sourcing, video interviewing, etc. already exists. What’s next? In order for recruiters to survive, they will have to keep up with each and every advancement. But the key to their success will be to ensure that they continue to add value and become trusted advisors to all their clients. After all employers can access the same technology too!

One crucial component of embracing the changes in recruitment’s future is recruitment advertising. Slezak also offers his viewpoint on this area:

Whether we talk about organizations advertising their own roles or recruiters advertising for positions on behalf of their clients, from a ‘tech trend’ standpoint, the number of online recruitment advertisements is at an all-time high. But look closely and it becomes pretty clear that just because the number of ads is growing exponentially, it does not mean that the number of vacancies is necessarily growing at the same rate. Employers and recruiters alike are embracing technology to speed up the process of writing, posting, and reposting job ads. Services such as Recruit Write Now are used by recruiters (who don’t have time to write creatively) to get the ads up and out as quickly as possible.

Yet, even though online job postings may be increasing, Slezak explains why quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. He says:

With such a focus on speed to reach potential candidates, unfortunately the quality of recruitment ads is dropping. Job seekers are being repeatedly bombarded by ‘potential’ opportunities but many are unsure of which positions are genuine, and which are being broadcasted as part of a talent pool or database building exercise. There will always be a place for a well crafted recruitment advertisement. Remember that the first impression a candidate has of a recruiter or of their next potential employer lies within the job ad. Putting all tech trends aside, any recruitment advertisement will always need to grab the candidate’s attention and leave a lasting impression. Why else would a candidate apply?

If we look past the technological advancements for a moment, Slezak notes that recruitment advertisement still must grab a candidate’s attention and create a lasting impression. But besides now making job postings accessible online, how can recruiters successfully accomplish this?

Well, Michael Wright, Head of Talent Acquisition, APAC at GroupM (a WPP company), has a solution—but he says it’s not technical.

Wright explains:

Recruitment advertising doesn’t have a technology problem; it has an imagination problem. What we have is a scenario where job postings haven’t evolved much beyond help-wanted ads in the classified columns of newspapers. They are usually 2D, static blocks of text which are dull and focus on the requirements of the employer first and foremost, rather than the reader. In 2014 it would be nice to see employers embrace the visual web and produce rich media, which demonstrates more awareness of the needs of the audience. What that means is creating content that should be informative, authentic, even entertaining – and arouses curiosity to discover more about the hiring company.

An example of this is what GroupM did in China, where we created a reality show, 24-Hour Pitch, to showcase what media agency life is really like—with all the tension, laughter and tears that goes with it. With China’s ad staff turnover estimated at 40-50 percent, the show is designed to get Chinese graduates excited about a career at GroupM and help the company attract and retain young, talented workers.

GroupM’s 2012 “The Apprentice”-style micro-series resulted in 5 times the amount of corporate web traffic and more than 15,000 potential hires sent in contact numbers. With the current boom of reality TV and all things visual, it’s pretty obvious to see not only the impact but the benefits of ensuring your recruitment advertisement is evolving.

This story is a part of’s 2014 Recruiting Technology Trends series.

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