Review a Recruiter

Technology is no longer just a “nice to have.” If you’re serious about growing your recruiting agency in 2022 and beyond, it needs to be a priority.

That said, just buying a bunch of technology isn’t going to make a difference. The key is to:

  • Know what gaps exist in your organization
  • Select the tools that fill those gaps
  • Change your processes to maximize that technology

A great example of a company putting this into practice is Aplin

Aplin is one of Canada’s largest and most trusted recruiting firms—and we recently listed them as a top-rated staffing firm. 

Recently our CXO, Adam Conrad, sat down with Nikki Palmer, Aplin’s director of technology enablement, to discuss her journey of technology innovation and renovation with Aplin. Specifically, she talked about how Aplin leveraged technology, automation, and experience management to fuel a decade of growth. Recruiters, to fuel a decade of growth.

Why technology is critical for thriving agencies

The technological developments in the recruiting sector have skyrocketed over just the last five years. Modern agencies like Aplin have chosen to see this as an opportunity, not a liability. 

Recruiters are increasingly relying on technology to streamline their processes:

The pandemic certainly changed the trajectory of technology in the industry, with work-from-home requiring more cloud-based systems and software to keep operations running as before. 

Palmer stressed the importance of adaptability and agility in the face of new technologies. “Our executive team has recognized that technology is just going to keep getting better,” she said. “We’ve always tried to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to what’s out there, and then use it to magnify and optimize our efforts.” 

The fundamental question that the Aplin team asks is: “Are we really set up for success? Do we have the right tools? It’s hard to admit if you’re not on the right path. You get really invested in your partners, processes, and systems, and it’s daunting to think about starting over.” 

But refusing to adapt in the modern economy, although it may spare headaches in the short term, does nothing to set your recruiting agency up for long-term success.

How to find technology that fits your organizational needs

With an exploding variety of technology available on the market, deciding which tools will work best for your organization can be overwhelming. But it’s an important process to go through—after all, you don’t want to overspend on tools and systems that you never use! 

“I was tasked with surveying cohorts within our organization,” said Palmer. “We looked at every role type and dissected what we use today, and which of those tools are important. Basically, we asked, ‘What can’t you live without?’”

This process helped leadership at Aplin avoid a top-down, dictatorial approach. Instead, Palmer actively works to promote a sense of empowerment and involvement for all people at all levels. 

This method had the added benefit of helping Palmer identify and avoid her own blind spots. “I only know what I know. It really allowed us to work at things more holistically and understand different viewpoints. The more people we got involved, the more ‘aha’ moments we had.”

How to vet technology vendors

Once you have a clear idea of the types of technology your organization needs, you need to make sure you’re investing your dollars in high quality technology that will help, not hinder, your efforts. 

Again, according to Palmer, the most important part is knowing what to solve for and which tools and features fulfill those needs. Once that information became clear, “We demoed, and demoed, and asked questions, and demoed again.” The Aplin team wanted to make sure that the tools they were potentially reviewing would meet their core functions. 

Additionally, just as recruiter reputation plays a powerful role in a candidate’s decision to work with you, your technology vendors will have a reputation as well. Look for reviews on Capterra, G2, and other reputable sources to see whether these are the providers you would want to work with.

Technology’s greatest advantage: enhancing human-to-human connections

At the end of the day, recruiting is a human industry. Technology will never replace the human-to-human connection. On the contrary, technology’s greatest benefit to the industry is that it enhances the human experience.

Think about it. If your recruiters are spending all their time doing manual data entry, copying and pasting emails to send out, and completing monotonous admin tasks, what are they not doing? 

That’s right: they’re not talking to and connecting with people. 

Technology and automation are powerful because they free up the human recruiter from the monotony, so they can engage in the thing they’re best at—meaningful, human interactions. 

“There are a lot of logistical things that automation can solve for,” said Palmer. “I feel it allows us to be a lot more efficient. But recruiting isn’t just about a person’s technical capabilities. It’s about having direct relationships, leveraging your natural network, asking for referrals, and reading unspoken cues. Technology enables our team to focus their efforts on those high value touch points.” 

At the end of the day, recruiting is a human, personal industry. It’s about building relationships, making connections, and helping people in one of the most important areas of their lives—their work and career. Technology is only beneficial when it helps toward that goal.