How to harness tech in student recruitment

Aug 29, 2019 | Attraction & marketing

Ben Hutchins of Amberjack explains how student recruiters can harness digital disruption.

There is no question that our future will be heavily influenced by technology. According to Gartner, its impact on organisational structures, jobs and the workplace in the coming years is set to be disruptive.

  • By 2021 half of large industrial companies will use digital twins, resulting in a 10% improvement in effectiveness for those organisations.
  • By 2022 more than 50% of people collaborating in Industry 4.0 ecosystems will use virtual assistants or intelligent agents to interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people.
  • By 2022 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed them to production.

The common thread that links all these technological innovations is the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

According to the World Economic Forum, “the first Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production. The second used electric power to create mass production. The third used electronics and information technology to automate production. [The] fourth Industrial Revolution is … characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

The evidence of this dramatic change is happening all around us from mobile supercomputing, intelligent robots, to self-driving cars. But because it’s happening at exponential speed it’s affecting the traditional way we do things and causes the need for re-evaluation and action.

What’s certain is that digital disruption is affecting every industry, from hospitality to healthcare, financial services to retail. There is no aspect of the economy that is shielded from the transformative effect of this change and the demand for new skills needed by the workforce of the future.

While some industries will be altered quicker than others, eventually all will face change. But in many ways, this is an old story retold: the rise of technology. But now, it’s happening at a faster pace than anything that has gone before.


Student recruitment

In student recruitment we’re seeing different digital approaches emerge. Traditional ways of recruiting are being challenged by increased automation, AI and new engaging tech that’s impacting all areas of the recruitment lifecycle.

There isn’t a blueprint to manage this disruption. We all face a set of unique challenges impacting our businesses. These depend on our internal culture, the external environment, and attitudes towards agility and transformation. This means that digital disruption is a journey for all of us to one degree or another.

But against the backdrop of pressurised budgets, increasing hiring volumes and static team resources, employers that do nothing risk being overtaken in the market by those that can transform the quickest and most effectively. Therefore, to truly harness digital disruption, we need to think of it as an opportunity not a threat.


Embrace digital disruption

By embracing digital disruption, new ideas and tech will improve the effectiveness, efficiency and engagement of our campaigns. The one thing we can all be certain of is that digitisation in business and in our lives will increase, but the opportunity for us all to create and shape the workforce of the future remains greater than ever before.

To share valuable insight about the impact of digital disruption on student recruitment we brought together a distinguished employer panel at the ISE conference. Atkins, EY, GSK, PwC, Liberty Global Virgin Media and Amberjack shared their experience, advice, and expert know-how on harnessing digital disruption in key areas of recruitment.

As you will see from watching the videos mentioned below, the key theme that emerges from the panel and the interactive polls is not just how technology is transforming recruitment. It’s also the continued importance of ‘the human touch’ to provide the engaging experience candidates demand at every step of the recruitment journey.


In practice

The potential for disruptive technologies to transform the way we engage and attract the talent of the future is huge. Improved use of data and analytics will create better informed and targeted attraction campaigns that engage and nurture candidates more effectively. Watch our video about how PwC and GSK are evolving their attraction strategies.

It’s crucial that the tech you trust in speaks the language of today’s digital natives and keeps them engaged. Harnessing disruption in the context of candidate experience is about bringing the right levels of automation to the recruitment process while maintaining the ‘human touch’. It’s clear that to be able to do this student employers need to be measuring the experience candidates receive throughout the recruitment journey. Learn about the steps Liberty Global, Virgin Media and Atkins have taken to transform the levels of engagement their candidates receive in our video.

The advent of automation and digital assessment combined with the increasing influence the modern consumer experience has on candidate expectations, means that strategies that worked in the past to assess and select the very best talent are no longer effective or competitive. This means technology is more important than ever before. It’s not just about keeping up with the competition; it’s about ensuring we meet the demanding expectations of candidates today and that we measure the behaviours that will drive future success in our organisations. Watch our video on what PwC and EY are doing to improve the assessment and selection of their candidates.

Given the large candidate volumes and fragmented processes today (multiple tools/integrations/suppliers) implementation needs to be front-of-mind when selecting tech to ensure efficient and smooth integration. Find out the lessons EY and Amberjack have learned and hear advice about making technology adoption and integration more successful in our video.

It’s clear that the pace of technological, political and economic change means that student recruitment faces a more unpredictable future. Digital disruption is the new norm. But new technologies and processes will only be as effective as the people who use them.

For the brave there is no doubt that embracing disruption offers a tremendous opportunity to benefit from true ROI – improved time-to-hire, candidate fit, candidate engagement, and differentiating your brand in a competitive marketspace.

You can watch more information and best practice videos throughout the practice section of our Knowledge hub.

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