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How to Transform Your Recruitment Agency Into the Next Uber

Clare Hopping

uber_in_beijingUber’s disruption-focused business model has revolutionised the way companies view their use of technology in the digital age. The question now is, what will it take for the recruitment world to catch up?

With over eight million users across 50 different countries, Uber has taken the transportation sector by storm. Through a technology that not only improves the taxi experience, but also disrupts its core principles, the American company has opened the door to new ways of thinking about business and technology.

Recruitment, on the other hand, has done little to innovate in recent times – the practices that have been in place for decades are still mostly used today, and that’s because many HR professionals hold onto an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” attitude. However, as recruiters come under increasing pressure brought on by the growing skills gap, this philosophy is quickly becoming unsustainable.

A Digital Revolution

One common concern with current recruitment models is they’re mostly financially inefficient. Oxford Economics reports that replacing staff members costs employers an average of £30,614 per employee, the two main cost centers being lost output and the logistics of training a new hire, according to HR Review. Moreover, research from Robert Half showed that 35% of CFOs believe bad hires greatly harm company morale – further reducing productivity and, in turn, ROI.

Yet, instead of rethinking and reinventing these outdated and ineffective HR methods, recruiters often spend too much time and money on only marginally improving them by incorporating new technology. This is equivalent to oiling the cogs inside an ancient, run-down machine that would be better left to the trash heap.

Instead, digital technology needs to be embraced in a way that transforms the entire recruitment process. The result could be a cost-effective, efficient system that always places the right people in the right jobs, in as little time as possible.

The Forms of Change

Where Uber has succeeded – and the recruitment industry is lagging behind – is in creating an economic model that keeps everyone happy, from the boardroom to the customer. While news of Uber’s proposed valuation at $50 billion surprised everyone, including Forbes, 71% of Uber drivers have reported better incomes, and customer satisfaction levels have remained high, according to Uber.

Recruitment agencies need to strive for something similar. How? Uber uses their app service to empower drivers and customers to directly engage with each other. Similarly, recruitment agencies can work to empower clients and candidates by using marketplace economics, efficient digital screening processes, high-power data collection, and thorough analysis. This serves to increase the visibility of both parties, and ensures that any connection made is an effective one.

Where existing recruitment models fail to allure passive candidates (decreasing the available pool of talent), new systems can be implemented that make use of things like LinkedIn Recruiter – among other social media and digital platforms – to market jobs to the best of all possible candidates.

As a result, further vetting is only necessary of a shortlist of the best of the best – all before the interview even begins. The more information you have about candidates, the less time you spend weeding out the bad ones.

The Next Step

These new practices should, of course, be carried out by trusted team members. But, by digitising as much of the process as possible, you can improve efficiency and save money across multiple sectors. These systems may have to be implemented slowly, as is natural with major changes.

Regardless, by switching from traditional methods to an Uber-inspired, innovative recruitment strategy, you can push your hiring standards to the next level.

As Uber has definitively shown, it’s always possible to challenge the core assumptions of any industry. Recruitment is no exception, and, as such, technology must be harnessed in a way that changes the whole game. Don’t let your agency become mired in obsolete and inefficient HR methods – seek the changes that will propel your company forward over the coming decades.

(Image credits: Matthias Ripp/flickrbfishadow/flickr)

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.