This year’s Global Recruitment Industry & Data (GRID) report of Bullhorn points towards exciting developments in recruitment and the adoption of digital transformation across many agencies. This year’s report suggests a promising rebound after a challenging few years following the COVID-19 pandemic, where clients are no longer the top priority and where candidates take charge.
To help you gain the most comprehensive overview of how technology and digitisation are changing the recruitment sphere, we’ve compiled this in-depth summary of this year’s GRID report, including the recruitment industry outlook, technology and digital transformation outcomes. So, if you want to know more, keep reading!
Before discussing the individual technology and digital transformation outcomes, it’s important we discuss what the report states for the recruitment industry as a whole. COVID-19 brought in challenges to the recruitment industry, with 2 out of 5 agencies reporting sizable revenue losses, but 2021 proved fruitful with three out of five agencies proclaiming revenue gains for the first time in a year. For understandable reasons, the IT/Technology recruitment firms experienced the strongest growth in 2021 as more people relied on technological means to get by, causing a boom in the technology industry.
Other industry news consists of agencies taking large strides in adopting more digital transformation, with this figure doubling for the second year in a row. This points towards exciting developments for the digital industry!
The outlook for 2022 is mostly about picking up the slack on the candidate front. The talent shortage as a result of 2020’s challenges is proving to be the top priority, overtaking client relationships. In fact, 46% of agencies reported that talent shortage was their biggest priority, well above COVID-19’s impact and reskilling staff. Below, we can see the top priorities for this year:
We can, however, reassure agencies that firms who embrace digital transformation can improve their acquisition challenges, as firms with existing digital transformation strategies reported strong numbers for 2021, with 2022 determined to be no exception based on current trends.
Digital transformation and technology outcomes
Before discussing the digital transformation outcomes for 2021, let’s first revisit what digital transformation is. Digital transformation refers to the use of automated and digitized strategies that revolutionized the operations of a business.
Eventually, digital transformation wishes to introduce AI to automate many business functions, therefore increasing efficiency, productivity and allowing professionals to focus on development. It’s important for businesses to jump on the digital transformation train as quickly as they can, as companies with a pre-existing strategy proved more resilient in bouncing back from 2020’s challenges, with reported gains and projected revenue growth in 2022.
Overall, most agencies are slightly more likely to increase their operations budget and technology investments budget in 2022 to help pick up the pace from the last two years. Below, we’ve included the breakdown of this:
This isn’t a surprise when you consider that on a cross-industry scale, 73% of companies want to invest more in recruitment technology this year to cope with labor shortages and possible job losses.
The last two years have proved especially prosperous for digital transformation, with industry adoption increasing over 90%. For context, just two years ago, only 25% of firms disclosed that they had plans for implementing a digital transformation strategy. This is a testament to the fact that digital transformation proves most useful in times of challenge.
Based on the results of the report, we can see below what kinds of business operations that firms are currently automating:
- Sourcing: 48%
- Screening: 45%
- Candidate submittal: 44%
- Calendaring: 44%
- Payrolling: 29%
- VMS: 22%
As we can see below, firms are using digital transformation to address some of their key lifecycle challenges to face in 2022.
Although the growth numbers for a digitalised approach are staggering, there are still overwhelming amounts of firms that refuse to embrace digital transformation. There are several reasons why firms may elect not to develop their own strategies such as lack of resources and resistance to change their operations.
It’s understandable why some firms may be resistant because adopting a digital approach means abandoning many of the learned principles and operations which may overwhelm or prove risky to some firms. For others, they may feel as if they’ve missed the boat and now the direction of their company and their industry has changed. Another reason can include the inability to make a plan.
While these are completely acceptable reasons to delay adopting a digital approach, the clear and present benefits of digitalisation surely outweigh the transition. For example, firms repeatedly report increased productivity and the ability to save time whilst you’re still working as a clear benefit of digital transformation. So, if this sounds like something your firm struggles with, you may wish to reconsider your position on digital transformation.
If you wish to implement a more technological approach, we’ve compiled a guide to recruitment technology, with 10 features to consider before purchasing. Make sure you check this out before making any decisions.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest benefits that respondents have reported since adopting more automated strategies into their daily operations:
- Heightened productivity in both recruiters and office administrators
- The ability to focus on other areas of development across a business
- Seamless job requisitions
- Quicker responses from both clients and candidates
We know that adopting more digitized strategies is not new, especially in recruitment. After all, many agencies rely on algorithms and AI to select the very best candidates for particular roles to great effect. If you’d like to gain a more comprehensive understanding of why algorithms and automation can be successful for recruitment agencies, read our guide to algorithms for talent acquisition.
That concludes our quick guide to this year’s GRID report. Hopefully, you’ll have gathered that investing in digital mechanisms is a great way to support the recruitment process, so make sure you consider implementing some transformation strategies if you haven’t already done so!