From ATM to ASS to ATS: how technology affects recruitment

When was the last time you took money out of an ATM?  Most of you have probably done so in the last week. An ATM is a great example of technology that really changed behaviour. Strange to think that before them, we used to all have to queue up in the bank to withdraw cash.  Yet an ATM is simply a machine that does what humans used to do, more efficiently and quickly. It’s much the same with recruitment.

There have been lots of developments in recruitment technology over the last 10-15 years:

  • Online talent nurturing
  • Improved ease of communication via social media
  • Increased use of video profiles
  • Video interviewing
  • Online assessment

In truth, there is not much that is really new, just that technology is taking over processes we have (nearly) always had and making them easier.

Very few people working in recruitment today are old enough to remember the ASS ‘technology’ that once underpinned the industry.  The Advanced Shoebox System worked well enough in its day, but thankfully it’s long been superseded by more modern technology.

Initially, most recruitment agencies began to use a CRM to allow them to engage with clients, then the development of the ATS (aka a Recruitment CRM) allowed agencies and in-house to work online with candidates as well. Today, around 75% of recruitment agencies use an ATS, amongst other recruitment technologies. 

The more recent development of ATS technology reflects the changes in the work of HR, with its changing agenda now demanding fairness, non-discrimination, removal of subconscious bias and also a strategy to develop a high-quality candidate database that, since May this year, has to be GDPR compliant.

As a result, recruitment software developers have created tools to improve:

  • Personalisation and contextualisation - tailoring the process and the engagement to the candidate
  • Democratisation - using technology to improve fairness and remove bias
  • Re-engagement - which uses technology, usually Google’s remarketing software, to continue to engage with potential candidates who have left your recruitment pages

Overall, there is no doubt that, as with any technological improvement, recruitment tech has brought about huge changes in the way recruiters go about their work. However, that’s not to say that it’s all been good or useful…

Check out our next article on The problems with recruitment technology.

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We are a search, recruitment and employer brand consultancy that specialises in commercial marketing, sales & digital opportunities. If you'd like to find out more, call us on 0131 554 6191 or email connect@denholmassociates.com.