What Does the Future Look Like for Recruitment Tech?


Prominence, New Zealand’s first recruitment marketing agency was founded out of the desire to help those in the recruitment sector respond to changes in consumer behaviour, namely the shift towards digital and social media. Director of Prominence, Chris South is the first person recruiters speak to when trying to get a handle on their marketing activity. Today Chris shares his thoughts on the future of recruitment technology.

A great part of our role as recruitment marketing partners is that we work closely with lots of different recruitment businesses. As a result, we see the issues that many recruiters struggle with from a technology perspective. We also hear their concerns about the tech that’s changing our sector from the outside. Whilst there are lots of different opinions on what’s good and bad, there are a lot of reoccurring themes.

Cloud Everything

The number of agencies running server-based technology for any of their core systems is declining rapidly. This includes databases, payroll, accounting, emails, and document management. There are a few exceptions for agencies that need highly bespoke solutions to uncommon problems, but these are rare. We’re seeing a lot of previously dominant tech providers failing to adapt and scrambling to maintain business, whilst newer tech organisations are trying to enter the market with payment plans that are close to recruiters’ hearts—no setup costs and low monthly fees. But there’s a big risk with these.

Due to the lower up-front investment, recruiters are spending less time on due diligence. We’ve seen several businesses fall into this trap recently, only to then either have to go through an expensive divorce or struggle with a solution that isn’t fit for purpose. If you’re looking to get your system onto the cloud, do your research and select one that can adapt to your needs as your business grows whilst being able to keep up with the future of recruitment tech changes.

New Agency Solutions

We’re seeing an era where new tech aimed at recruitment agencies is being released every few weeks, often providing solutions to problems that we didn’t even know we had! These tech companies are snapping up funding from the recruitment sector itself and some are even being founded by agencies as side projects. There’s a bubble feeling to it, but I don’t expect it to slow down for a while. There’s simply too much excitement and plenty of well-off recruiters supporting it. It’s a good idea to pay attention to these new products and experiment to find the best solution for your agency. However, anything invested should be carefully monitored for ROI.

New External Solutions

This is the bit that drives most recruiters mad. New solutions that have the potential to threaten our very existence. Most new products or companies are now wise enough not to promote themselves as a tool that’s going to kill recruitment. It hasn’t happened so far and is unlikely to. That said, our sector is definitely still very open to disruption with many elements changing rapidly before our eyes. Who are the people coming up with these solutions? Well, again they’re often side projects for recruitment agencies, ex-recruiters with funding, or more recently some of the already-dominant recruitment sector suppliers who are looking to diversify their offerings in order to stay relevant.

Is all of this change good or bad? It depends on who you ask, but I think most agree it’s incredibly important at the moment to be aware of where opportunities and threats may come from. Also, be wary of the high number of places where cash can quickly be wasted in hope of the “next big thing”. In order to remain competitive, keep track of both local and international competitors, in particular, what their back office is doing. We’re also beginning to see tech consultants entering the recruitment industry. These people have a wealth of knowledge, which is often available for free or at a comparatively low cost, especially when compared to the cost of making a wrong tech decision.

It’s an exciting time for our sector. My advice to agency owners is to spend more time getting to know your peers. The community is surprisingly close and helpful. There’s no need to have to learn everything through trial and error. Instead, get involved with the sector, network, and tap into their knowledge so your business can avoid similar mistakes.

Interested in learning more about recruitment trends? Check out this article, Recruitment Trends by the Numbers

About Chris South

As Director of Prominence, Chris is the first-person recruiters speak to when trying to get a handle on their marketing activity. He is also highly involved in the day to day delivery on all client accounts, but is slowly learning to let his fantastic team take care of business and to only interfere when needed!

Based in Auckland, Chris travels to Australia monthly, meaning he has a lot of air miles and has also seen every newly released film. However, he is the first to tell you that the life of a frequent traveller isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems!

Chris regularly contributes to the Prominence Blog.

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