25th September 2018

Is the recruitment industry about to have an ‘Uber’ moment?


If you asked a hundred people to name an industry-disrupting company, Uber would be top of many people’s list. The ridesharing brand has not only grown from a start-up to a multi-billion global force in less than 10 years; it’s completely changed the face of travel.
Most business owners would give anything to replicate this success, and the interesting thing about Uber is that its principles can translate to other sectors. Already, brands like Deliveroo and Purplebricks have cut out the middle man to create a different way of eating-in and selling property respectively. Could the recruitment industry be next in line for an ‘Uber’ moment?
ETZ’s CEO, Nick Woodward, offered his opinion in a recent future of recruitment technology webcast. Here are his thoughts…

Uber is a leader because it optimises logistics

The reason Uber has been so transformative to the travel industry is because it focuses on making life easier for the customer. As a platform, it connects people with the service they want, and the payment they need to make, in a way that is quick and convenient.
“It’s fair to say that most people prefer the Uber experience – where they deal directly with the driver to secure their booking, and don’t have to worry about having their cash or card ready to make a payment – than the black cab experience,” says Nick.
In fact, he believes that the payment side in particular has made Uber into an industry gamechanger. “Making a payment might only take one or two minutes for the customer, but if you think about the number of taxi journeys that take place in a day, that’s a lot of time wasted for the driver.”

Successful businesses improve inefficient processes

While Uber is making waves in the travel and transport industry, its principle value of making life quicker for the customer – and therefore the business – can be adapted to any sector.
“If you think about Uber’s example, it doesn’t matter whether its competitor is a minicab firm with 10-20 cars dispatched from a centralised point, or a big company like Addison Lee,” Nick adds. “The individual relationship with the driver, and if you can improve the way that driver interacts with the business, that change is scalable.”
Translating this approach for recruitment, one of the major areas in which agencies can improve their customer experience is by improving back-office management. Many companies currently struggle with operational inefficiencies, which make processing timesheets and invoices incredibly time consuming. It also affects the speed at which their business and their contractors get paid.
ETZ is helping recruitment industry leaders to solve this issue through automation technology. “The principle is the same for recruitment agencies as it is for Uber – identify the challenges and find the right technology to solve those problems in a scalable manner,” Nick urges.
“That ‘Uber moment’ in which someone completely changes the way the recruitment industry works might not happen in the next year, but it will happen.”

Recruiters can learn from Uber and focus on customer acquisition

Ultimately, the reason that Uber has been so disruptive to convenience travel is that it focuses on customer acquisition. To out-perform the competition, recruitment agencies need to focus on the same goal – and improving operational efficiency means they can spend more time focusing on building customer relationships.
“Whatever industry you are in, customer acquisition is key,” concludes Woodward. “It’s about how quickly you can get a resource to the customer and secure payment process quicker. And that’s something we’re working on at ETZ currently.”
However quick the pace of change, one thing is certain: back-office technology will prove critical to helping recruitment agencies reduce their admin burden and focus on the client-facing side of their business. And with more time and resource for creative thinking, the door is open for industry front-runners to disrupt the way things are currently being done.
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