The Future of Digital Recruitment: Emerging Trends and Strategies

9 minutes

In recent years, the use of digital recruitment strategies has grown exponentially. This is perhaps unsurprising given the widespread buzz surrounding artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality-empowered technologies—with the global AI market valued at $95.9 billion at the close of 2022.

It’s clear that these emerging trends and strategies are here to stay, but how can businesses take advantage of them to ensure that they’re connecting with the right candidates, plugging their skills gaps, and reducing the time and cost per hire? 

In this article, we’ll explore five examples of emerging recruitment technology, from tools to automate aspects of the hiring process to equipment which is helping to streamline learning and development initiatives. We'll also discuss some digital recruitment strategies businesses can implement to ensure they remain competitive and continue attracting expert candidates.

Innovative Recruitment Technology: Cutting Time and Cost Per Hire

Digital recruitment tools are helping to save businesses money by streamlining the hiring process—reducing the time it takes to source candidates and the average cost per hire. Research conducted by Forrester on behalf of Phenom highlighted a 449% ROI over three years for organisations utilising an automated recruiting platform, whilst studies have shown that using an ATS can reduce the time recruiters spend on the hiring process by 20%. But what are some of these tools and emerging technologies, how do they work, and who are they ideal for? 

Assessment Automation Tools

The Overview

Assessing candidates’ skills can be a time-consuming process. You need to gather expert opinions on crucial competencies to test for, soft skills to measure, and reach a consensus on qualities which illustrate candidates’ cultural fit—and this is before you’ve begun testing potential hires and analysing the data which is returned to form a holistic picture of the talent pool. 

Tools such as Pymetrics, however, aim to speed up this process. They offer business leaders and hiring managers the ability to make data-driven insights and create tailored AI algorithms to identify candidates with the right skills. Whether it’s numerical or logical reasoning, communication ability, or even teamwork and collaboration, assessment automation technologies make it easier for companies to shortlist candidates and match them with the right talent.

Perfect For

Assessment automation technologies are ideal for businesses that need to be certain that the candidates they’re connecting with have the competencies listed on their CVs. From tech to sales, and the life sciences to accounting, tools such as Pymetrics help hiring managers ensure that the candidates they place can hit the ground running.

Conversational AI Chatbots

The Overview

As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced and the data sets that these technologies are trained on continue to grow, AI chatbots are increasingly handling candidate enquiries, responding to frequently asked questions, and providing details on vacancies. 

Paradox, the developer of a mobile-first ATS and AI-empowered chatbot named Olivia, shows the potential of conversational AI to create dynamic and engaging candidate experiences. 

Their chatbot can converse with job-seekers via text message, answering complex queries alongside assessing skills, competencies and professional experience to provide tailored recommendations for roles to apply for. Alongside this, the chatbot can also schedule interviews and screening calls, and securely forward offer and employment documentation to successful candidates.

Perfect For

AI chatbots are excellent for organisations looking to expand into new markets—fielding candidate questions and scheduling interviews when hiring managers may be out of the office. With a mobile-first approach, many chatbots are also helping organisations connect with younger candidates, a crucial consideration given that Gen Z and Millennials represent 38% of the global workforce.

Document Verification Tools

The Overview

Verifying candidates’ identities and qualifications is a crucial aspect of the recruitment process, especially when it comes to reducing your business’s exposure to risk. Ensuring employees have the right skills and competencies is vital for many fields, particularly life sciences and financial services recruitment. 

That’s where tools like Dock and Klippa come in. This technology is designed to make documents fraud-proof through the use of the Blockchain, allowing hiring managers to quickly confirm the authenticity of academic and professional certificates, health and safety documentation, and employee credentials. By assigning each document a unique and non-fungible token, Dock, Klippa, and other services like them can help to ensure that candidates are who they say they are. 

Perfect For

Document verification tools are rapidly reducing the length of time it takes to verify a candidate’s identity, with many platforms utilising AI to analyse provided images and information for evidence of fraudulent activity. As a result, they’re ideal for organisations in fields where confirming credentials is an important part of governance and compliance—such as in the health and social care sector, engineering, and the financial services industry.

Inclusive Digital Recruitment Technologies

The Overview

Addressing unconscious bias in our language can be an incredibly difficult task. For instance, gender researchers have identified a divide between “agentic” and communal” conversation—with phrases such as “highly competitive” and “winning candidate” much less likely to attract female job-seekers. It can be challenging for hiring managers with masculine or white backgrounds to recognise that their language isn’t as inclusive as it could be, often through no fault of their own. 

Technologies such as Textio aim to make this an easier task, helping them to recognise the unconscious biases in their job descriptions, person specifications, and feedback. Depending on the demographic that an employer is aiming to include in the conversation, these tools can help business leaders to target men or women, or older or younger candidates—and using machine learning, it will compare writing to tens of thousands of other examples, ensuring that all text is being received well.

Perfect For

With DEI initiatives often dictating business profitability—to the tune of a 33% increase in pre-tax earnings—and global efforts to encourage change and improve inclusivity, inclusive digital recruitment technologies that are helping to attract more diversity of background and thought to organisations are valuable for employers across all sectors and industries.

Training and E-Learning Technologies

The Overview

Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) devices have gone from science fiction to being increasingly within reach of the average consumer. As a result, businesses can now access training and e-learning environments that offer candidates engaging and valuable opportunities to develop their skills in building rapport with customers, public speaking, and negotiation. 

Technologies such as VirtualSpeech offer companies a way to train their staff in a risk-free environment, reducing the likelihood that they’ll harm their employer’s professional reputation through training with existing clients. VirtualSpeech and other AR/VR training technologies can track the duration of conversations, the average volume of speech, the number of filler words, and eye contact—helping to hone the real-world skills of sales professionals, for instance.

Perfect For

Augmented and virtual reality training and e-learning technologies are ideal for organisations looking to improve their employees' soft skills and assess candidates’ competencies, particularly in the sales process. As a form of “active” learning, employers can be certain that new techniques and best practices are picked up quickly, and candidates receive immediate feedback on their performance.

10 Digital Recruitment Strategies to Take Advantage of in 2023

Developing tailored digital recruitment strategies can help better align your team's efforts with the demands of your market sector and the candidates you’re trying to attract, not to mention helping you stand out amongst competitors. Whilst we’ve all become familiar with the need to have a social media presence over the last few years, where you’re able to share valuable content with followers and can build your brand authority—as well as let the world know when you’re recruiting—it can’t be the only digital recruitment strategy you implement in 2023. With the emerging technologies discussed in our last section at your disposal, it’s never been easier to produce a multi-channel digital recruitment strategy that can drive your talent acquisition and retention efforts.

1. Utilise the sites that your candidates use.

The employees you’re looking for aren’t just spending their time on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. With over 2.56 billion monthly active watchers, YouTube presents an opportunity for your business to share office tours, informative video content, and insights into your culture—all of which can become part of a well-rounded digital recruitment strategy.  

2. Keep candidates engaged, and you’ve already won half of the battle.

AI-empowered chatbots can help to easily automate the process of engaging candidates and get them excited to work for your company by answering FAQs, sharing videos which offer more information on vacant roles and your products, and scheduling interviews. Offer candidates a seamless experience to increase the likelihood that they’ll upload a CV or request a call.

3. Take part in online events to expand your available talent pool.

Whether you’re encouraging your current employees to share their skills via online seminars or lunch-and-learn activities, or you’re helping other business founders to understand the challenges behind scaling up, sharing knowledge in this way helps you to make connections with other organisations and establish your presence as a thought leader within your field.

4. Hybridise your assessment process.

Using video interviewing platforms and AI-empowered screening technologies, you can encourage candidates to apply in their own time and space—not only highlighting your commitment to work-life balance and respecting the demands for flexibility amongst talented job seekers but also increasing the quality of hires as candidates spend more time honing their applications and evidencing their competencies.

5. Facilitate communication between internal departments.

Collaborative hiring platforms can help the managers of different teams to offer feedback on interviews and assessments, or more easily take part in panel interviews despite geographical distance or remote work. The more senior a hire is, the more important it is to get the buy-in of different employees—particularly where a candidate may provide leadership for an entire division.

6. Streamline the onboarding process.

Getting your recruits up to speed quickly is an important part of any hiring exercise. Leveraging digital tools to provide a way for candidates to access their employment documentation and collect necessary signatures can help to save time which can be better spent on training or mentorship for new hires.

7. Personalised recruitment makes an impact.

Regular contact with your talent pool is vital, but reaching out to them with a blanket e-mail or instant message will often see your efforts go to waste. Instead, utilise the data you’ve gathered on them during their unsuccessful hiring exercises to provide them with valuable information: relevant company news and industry insights, tailored job opportunities, and local or online events in their time zone.

8. Encourage your employees to become brand advocates.

Business leaders are bound to be positive—but allowing candidates to speak to your employees can give an authentic insight into your work, culture, and opportunities for internal mobility. Give your employees the time, resources, and incentives they need to share their positive experiences and engage with jobseekers on LinkedIn or other platforms, and they can also help to assess candidates for cultural fit.

9. Collect and analyse data from the entire recruitment process.

Feedback from successful and unsuccessful candidates has never been easier to gather or parse through using AI-empowered technologies. This information can provide valuable insights to improve candidate experience, enhance their interactions with your organisation, and ensure they’re likely to return for future hiring exercises, reducing overall attrition during recruitment.

10. Listen to the conversations about your business.

Social media listening and sentiment analysis tools provide the opportunity to track brand mentions and gain a real-time overview of how their organisation is being perceived by candidates, giving business leaders more fine-grained control over how they manage their reputation and deliver targeted messaging.

Of course, it’s likely that any successful digital recruitment strategy will require a blend of some—or even all—of the above suggestions based on your specific context and the candidates you’re trying to attract. It’s always important to set clear goals and objectives for any recruitment exercise since it will ensure that you can attract the right candidates the first time. With the cost of a poor hire in 2023 hovering around 20-30% of that employee’s first-year wage, it’s a mistake few businesses can afford to make. 

Once you’ve decided on your digital recruitment approach, you need to be certain that you’ve made the right choice. The answer will be found through robust testing, and implementing your strategy on a small scale before a business-wide roll-out. Monitoring the performance and pivoting based on key metrics set out at the start of the digital recruitment process can help you to remain competitive and adapt to the changing market.

Supporting Your Hiring Needs with Digital Recruitment Expertise

No matter how complex your needs are—or how many roles you need to fill—the consultants at McGregor Boyall are here to help you attract and retain the sector specialists that will lead your business to greater success. Contact us today to explore your requirements and learn about how we can support your digital recruitment needs.