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Talent and Tech lunch

Balancing tech and talent

How can recruiters optimise the talent and tech they have – or need – to grow more profitably, and why should they be outsourcing more strategy and delivery?

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How are recruiters optimising tech and data for more profitable growth?
AI is creating the need for new skills and roles in recruitment.
Recruiters are having to balance investment in talent and tech.

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In a challenging trading environment, recruiters are faced with a tough decision about whether to invest in talent or tech. Either way, if people aren’t optimising the technology – and solutions aren’t integrated – it’s a waste of both.

On 9th November, TALiNT Partners brought together 30 staffing and talent solutions leaders from its network to host a luxurious Lunch & Learn at the Beaumont Hotel to explore talent and tech strategies for recruiters.

TALiNT Partners MD Alex Evans set the scene with some industry stats and an observation on the challenge and opportunity facing recruiters. “There has been so much speculation about the impact of AI in recruitment – the roles it will replace and create, what it can enable now and in the future, how it will enhance the perception of recruitment as well as the quality of service offered.

“Our TIARA finalists and winners over the last few years have demonstrated the impact of automation to improve effectiveness and humanise at scale, but those going beyond understand the importance of getting your data house in order to unlock the potential of AI.”

A panel of TALiNT Partners members and industry experts from Lorien, Keystream, Integrella, Liquid Friday, Mercury and SourceWhale shared tips and tactics for enhancing the human element in recruitment and predictions on the evolution of recruitment.

By leveraging AI, recruiters can dramatically reduce time to first CV submission, leading to increased win rates and enhanced overall efficiency.

Daniel Fox, Marketing Director at Mercury, kicked off a panel on how recruiters can optimise tech and data for more profitable growth by urging recruiters to see AI as both a co-pilot AND (where appropriate) as an auto-pilot, not just reducing admin but extracting crucial information from data and conversations and allowing recruiters to focus on more strategic aspects. “By leveraging AI, recruiters can dramatically reduce time to first CV submission, leading to increased win rates and enhanced overall efficiency.”

After a period of ‘inch-wide, mile deep’ data strategy to profile candidates, Daniel stressed the importance of accessing larger data sets for trend-spotting and market insights.

This point was echoed by Khyati Pal, Marketing Director at Keystream, who has led a major CRM implementation and data strategy to enable better use of analytics.

Explaining how she has been supported at board level to drive this transformation, Khyati said: “There is a more enlightened view of marketing as research not just promotion, and its role in driving the right behaviour to ensure quality data goes in so quality insight comes out. By sharing this vision with everyone in the business they understand their accountability but also the commercial opportunity to be valued as strategic advisors who should be consulted earlier in the recruitment process for clients.”

The impact of AI and Automation is a growing demand for new skills in recruitment. Dougie Loan, CRO at SourceWhale, emphasised the increasing importance of storytelling to bring insight to life for clients and candidates. “Access to more data is valuable, but the key lies in analysing and applying insights effectively,” he explained. “We’re getting ever-closer to data-driven decisions becoming seamlessly integrated into recruitment processes with consultants actually valued as consultants.”

The impact of AI and Automation is a growing demand for new skills in recruitment.

David Gettins, MD at Lorien, explained how its data and analytics services have provided a real competitive advantage in recent years. “The value of real-time data and analytics is turning it into actionable insights and providing customers with context to make informed decisions. Consultants will comprise only half of the workforce solutions businesses of the future, with the other half made of data scientists and marketing specialists to provide insight and the story to support recommendations.”

Like any tech or data strategy, it lives or dies on the people using it – or not as is often the case. Shahriar Haque, COO of Integrella, which has been working with Robert Walters on a major tech transformation to integrate its data and solutions, summed up this challenge: “The only thing more important than people in recruitment is data – and people who can combine data, gossip, and context to offer meaningful, strategic advice.”

Shahriar urged businesses to think beyond interfaces and consider how data availability internally and externally can be treated as a product. Acknowledging the growing interest in bespoke tech solutions in recruitment, he cautioned on the complexity and cost associated with in-house development. “Everyone needs to bespoke some element of their delivery, but integrating the right off the shelf solutions enables recruiters to offer top quartile solutions for a fraction of the cost.”

Rounding off the debate with his perspective on the growing importance of strategic partners in enabling recruiters to do more with less – but with the right expertise and scale – Joe Taffurelli, COO if Liquid Friday, highlighted the need to solve the right problems.

There is a huge opportunity in contingent services for employers who want more flexible workforce solutions.

“There is a huge opportunity in contingent services for employers who want more flexible workforce solutions. The top priorities for contractors are being paid on time (or the same day), being re-deployed quickly, and being communicated with in the right way at the right time – and specialist partners can help you optimise specialist tech,” he explained.

“Tech is enabling a range of solutions around Pay & Bill, Onboarding and Assessment, but there is still a need for a human-centric approach in contrast to relying solely on data and chatbots. Liquid Friday’s integrated platform uses data to facilitate better communication between agencies and contractors, unlocking the potential for enhanced contractor satisfaction and agency efficiency.”

In conclusion, balancing talent and tech is a key priority for recruiters but the big question is who owns the vision and responsibility for it when marketing, tech and finance leaders are all involved in paying for it, measuring it and making sure it’s optimised?

TALiNT Partners recently launched its Forum series for select groups of finance, tech and marketing leaders to explore this important question and the evolving role of these leaders in recruitment – so watch this space.

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