6th April 2021

Is HR holding back digital transformation in recruitment?


Technology continues to revolutionise every part of our lives, but sometimes professional processes are much slower to change than personal behaviour. And new research shows it might not be agencies holding back digital transformation in recruitment – but the HR teams in your clients’ businesses.

So how can recruiters work with HR personnel to demonstrate the value of digital technologies in the hiring process? And what should you be doing within your own business to speed up digital transformation? The answer lies in being strategically focussed, and finding a recruitment technology stack that can take care of all back office tasks.

HR isn’t ready to drive transformation

The average person is pretty technology savvy in their everyday life, but there’s still a gap between our digital fluency at home and the ways we operate at work. A new study launched in partnership with Alan Brown, Professor in Digital Economy at the University of Exeter Business School, has revealed that HR could be the stumbling block for tech adoption in recruitment.

Research among 350 senior executives across Europe concluded that while 9 in 10 companies believe digital transformation is a business priority, limited understanding of digital technologies and procedures in HR departments is holding back progress. HR might be employing people to drive new digital initiatives, but they are being given insufficient technical infrastructure and training to practice what they preach.

As a recruiter, strong relationships with HR staff are critical to building your client base. And while you can’t control how companies spend their internal budgets, you can help HR personnel to see the advantages of digital transformation – so they can take compelling business cases back to senior colleagues.

Small swaps can make major progress

Digital transformation is an ambitious term, but it can start small. Simple changes still make a big difference. So think about what easy, logical improvements your recruitment agency can make to improve the lives of your clients’ HR teams.

For example, something as straightforward as an online contract signing service cuts down on paperwork demands and the postage costs that your clients need to manage.

Better still, managing the whole process through an online onboarding portal – uploading compliance documents and new starter documents centrally, to get your candidates role-ready – significantly reduces HR’s admin burden. 

Change comes from within

It’s not just client-facing interactions that will benefit from a technical upgrade, either. Digital transformation is enabling recruiters to manage your back office operations much more effectively, so you can dedicate more time and energy to client relationships.

Many recruiters have significantly reduced the resources spent on administration by digitising everyday operations. A classic example of this is timesheets – particularly if you’re dealing with a lot of temporary and contract staff, who are always on the clock.

Traditionally, timesheets are submitted in spreadsheet, email or paper format, or a combination of all three. This makes them disparate to manage, often formatted differently, and in usually need of duplication onto a master sheet to get data in a single place.

Online timesheet software centralises and standardises timesheet submissions, to save your team hours of rekeying, and ensuring data is accurately captured. Even better, information can be converted into invoices in less than a minute – with automatic reminders sent to your client when payment is due. 

Time to prioritise digital transformation

When you’re working in the fast-paced world of recruitment, it’s hard to step out of the day-to-day and think about wider initiatives like digital transformation. But it’s important that agencies set examples for your clients, by looking at ways you can run a smart, efficient operation that puts the focus on strong relationships.

Finding the right recruitment tech stack is a major step towards running a digitally fluent business, where admin demands are kept to an absolute minimum. And who knows: the tools and services you share with your clients’ HR teams could help them to make the case for their own education and investment.

ETZ’s recruitment tech stack takes care of back office, timesheet and payroll, to cut agency costs by up to 85%. Book a free demo to find out more.

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