How Do New Technologies Impact Recruitment?

  • 21 Jul 2016
  • Michael O'Sullivan

Summer Interview: Leo Marty

In our second summer interview Leo Marty, a recruiter for a renowned executive search company, tells us how the digital revolution impacted recruitment and talent acquisition. We caught up with him to explore how technology and innovation are shaping the workplace of tomorrow.

You work for a recruitment company. Tell us a bit about what you do and your specific role.

I work for an executive search company and am a recruiter for C-level roles, meaning senior executives. Our clients are medium sized businesses as well as big multinational corporations. However, I personally have a passion for start-up ecosystems and that’s why I specifically enjoy working with entrepreneurs from the EPFL Innovation Park .

How do new technologies impact recruitment? Can you give us a few examples?

The rise of social networks has completely changed the way we search for talent. LinkedIn, Xing and Viadeo are absolute game-changers.

They make direct contact between the candidate and the recruiter much easier and bring people closer together. It’s easy to reach out to people you don’t know on LinkedIn. What is more, employers and candidates alike can use the platform to learn more about each other.

On the other hand, about 80% of profiles on LinkedIn are dormant. Basically, people who have a job and aren’t actively looking to change positions do not go on LinkedIn. From a recruiter’s perspective this means that you can loose a lot of time on the platform.

And of course, social networks can’t replace actual human contact. You can’t ask the same questions online as in face-to-face conversations. You can address people more openly when you talk to them directly. In addition, they are more engaged and less likely to oversell their experience and credentials.

How do you think this trend will evolve in the future?

The trend to digitalise recruitment will definitely continue. Companies and brands are actively trying to build an online profile to attract talent. Platforms like glassdoor are reinforcing this trend. This also leads to people reviewing job opportunities and companies more quickly.

But paradoxically, there is fewer human contact between the recruiter and the candidate. 95% of applicants don’t ever speak to another person throughout the recruitment process.

But the algorithms are evolving. Especially big data could help to better match employers and candidates and lead to so called ‘perfect matches.’ This might go as far as to predict when a person is going to be on the job market by monitoring their behaviour and then adapt the messages and job portals to their current life situation.

What are some recruitment challenges companies are facing today?

The biggest challenge recruiters are facing is volume – the sheer number of incoming applications is overwhelming. So recruiters are using machines to scan the applications.

But this also makes recruitment very specialised. In Europe, it is very difficult to move between industries or completely change roles because candidate profiles need to match 95% of the job description. However, if you are looking for real talent and personalities you can’t just have machines scanning profiles. If you are looking for roles that are expected to disrupt business and really drive change you need to have personal interaction. That’s where an internal or external recruiter ads value – we are assessing personalities for businesses that are looking for disruptive talent.

And finally, what is your recommendation to our readers for this summer? A book to read? A special type of food? Something fun to do?

I think a good motto to adopt for your summer break is ‘carpe diem.’ Make the most of the free time you have and disconnect – switch off your phone and stop reading the news. Instead grab a good book – I highly recommend ‘Sapiens.’ It’s a brief history of humankind and despite the fact that I generally don’t read much I got hooked immediately. And then of course, I recommend to eat good food – Italian and French cuisine are my absolute favourites during the hot summer months.

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