Matching Technology Will Drive Recruitment Change

Most of those working in the recruitment sector would agree with Bill Boorman when he says that current recruitment methods and tools are generating too many applicants resulting in both poor candidate and recruiter experience.

Bill’s incredibly thought provoking talks at the recent In House Recruitment Expo: A Blueprint for Modern Talent Acquisition and Disruption, destruction, innovation and death, drove home so much of what we have been saying about the future of the recruitment industry.


The uncertainty around exactly when employees will leave a company means there is usually an element of surprise with recruiters suddenly finding themselves with an urgent need to hire someone. Under such pressure comes the danger of choosing the wrong people.

“In an ideal world we would be inviting one candidate to apply for a job they are perfectly matched to and hiring them.”

declares Bill. So it appears that Bill has a great blueprint: Pre-build – through carefully targeted marketing – ‘an ecosystem of suitable candidates’ (talent pipeline), and only invite a small number of applicants to apply for jobs.

But the question is how?

Bill’s claim that a great deal of the jobs posted on job boards are not real, purely designed to capture people data, has been found to be true. This out-dated type of recruitment process relies on data submissions – filling in forms, uploading CVs, etc – but now means the jobs that are real attract too many applicants; worse still up to 95% are unsuitable or unqualified.

“Candidate experience is appalling simply because of the volume.”

exclaims Bill, “This results in 90 percent of applicants suffering from a poor recruiter experience, which in turn creates a bad candidate experience.”

There can be absolutely no doubt in any recruiter’s mind that the transactional volume model is flawed. Bill believes a far more beneficial solution would be to align any recruitment practice with today’s world of relationship formation.

“Candidates and applicants are two different things.”

Bill explains. “Candidates are people in the pipeline; applicants are the people you invite to apply for jobs. The time from the job opening to presenting applicants to hiring managers should happen within seven days. Recruiters can’t easily influence other delays in the hiring process.”

The primary factor, therefore, is the need to understand exactly what you want your applicants look like; this will enable you to build your personalised ecosystem of candidates.

So who are you interacting with?

Are you customising your messages to ensure you capture the interest of a specific individual, ie, “an audience of one”? JobsTheWord has copious evidence that if your message is customised to an individual, it is less likely to be rejected.

We also have to consider DataSift’s founder, Nick Halstead, belief that there is a potentially explosive cocktail ahead of us, which may result in 2015 becoming the year when online privacy and trust come to a head globally. However, if we

use data for good, rather than for evil

those targeted will see the real benefit – in fact subconsciously we already do in the ease of so many everyday transactions brought to us by retailers, for example, as a result of big data.

So it follows that matching technology will drive recruitment change. Aggregation of jobs from employers’ career sites and matching them to candidates already exists and allows recruiters to pinpoint the individuals they want to apply for their jobs using artificial intelligence. Bill’s recommendation that organisations should

“Test practice, not just use best practice”

and look for new ways rather than simply following tomorrow’s “museum pieces of talent acquisition” makes sense, but people are often reluctant to be pioneers in trying innovation; they prefer to remain in their comfort zones, secure in the knowledge current practice will bring a result, even if it is not the most valuable result for the organisation.

Relationship building is the future king

When tracking the source of hire for one client, Bill said he discovered 80% had begun their relationship through the employer’s career site, and had been connected on average for seven months. Interestingly, only three percent of hires had come from social media channels, evidence that for some roles both social recruitment and traditional recruitment methods are being superseded by aspirational candidates, who are already engaging directly with companies they want to join in the future.

So the message to employers is simple, instead of paying for paid for job advertising – job boards, social media, etc, which should be consigned to the dustbin of recruitment, Bill suggests investing in your brand. Combining brand influence with aggregation and matching technology would allow employers to build the ecosytem Bill talks about in his blueprint, and then develop relationships which is what recruiters should really spending their precious time doing.

We agree with Bill that this is most definitely the blueprint for the future. Promoting brand alongside aggregation will cut out all the paid for advertising and intermediate channel agencies; if companies build a quality ecosystem, they can take full control and save a great deal of time and money.

Bill’s Top Tips For Creating A Quality Hiring Ecosystem

  1. Turn your big data into simple pictorial decisions to inform future hiring and retention.
  2. Create a user-friendly, informative career site to drive perfect candidates to engage with your brand. Create a picture of what it would look like to work with your company.
  3. Connect candidates with employees as your helpful brand ambassadors to begin and develop a meaningful relationship; attracting the best is not about a blind date.
  4. Initially look at matching role requirements against internal employees.
  5. Search the CRM for previous employees that may match your requirements.
  6. Only look externally for new roles created within the business.
  7. Use data-led campaigns for new roles, specifically targeted to where applicants are likely to be. Be nice – say thank you personally when they apply.
  8. Introduce psychometric and other tests much earlier in the process.
  9. Employee referral – It is not only about employer brand, but employee brand; what are your people saying about ‘their’ brand?
  10. Social referral – The weak link referral, whereby someone hears of your position and passes it on.

Bill’s ultimate scenario marries with that of, BBC Worldwide’s Head of Recruitment, Jonathan Campbell’s utopia, to only have to deal with candidates already in your ecosystem, those who fit your organisation’s culture and want to work for you. Absolute perfection would be to only invite the few, or better still invite just the one applicant who gets hired. Imagine just how much waste this would eliminate!

You can find out more about Bill Boorman, the hat wearing founder of #Tru here. Or better still I would highly recommend you go and listen to the man himself. Next stop City Hotel, London on 27 February, tickets going fast!

Get in touch:

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Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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