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Should recruitment embrace digital – Q&A with Managing Director Jo Sellick

by Jo Sellick | 18 June 2018

How has the recruitment sector changed since you started your career?

Throughout my career I have witnessed how the recruitment industry has developed and how drastically the role of a recruitment consultant has changed over the years.

When I started my career recruiters relied on the yellow pages, an address book and a diary to recruit. Placing job adverts in the local newspaper used to be an effective means of sourcing high-calibre candidates, but nowadays they are all but obsolete. Newspaper adverts, albeit expensive, were the go-to solution for attracting candidates, but would often result in the office being inundated with calls, rather than your inbox being flooded with emails.  

It is incredible how quickly things have changed in such a short space of time and how ‘retro’ some of our old techniques now seem. Traditional methods of sourcing candidates have been replaced by modern approaches which are on the whole far more effective. However it is essential that recruitment professionals maintain the personal element of the role that has worked for decades, rather than allowing technology to do all the work.

The recruitment sector today is led by digital and technological advancements such as social media, email communications and in some instances artificial intelligence, and for many recruiters ‘old-fashioned’ approaches are fast becoming a thing of the past. Recruitment agencies now rely on online job boards and platforms such as LinkedIn to secure high-calibre candidates, with placements often being made without picking up a phone. I welcome this shift towards technology, but would argue that balance is key and it must be used alongside traditional recruitment methods in order to build solid relationships and ensure success long-term.

Do you think the recruitment sector is benefitting from digital transformation?

Everything has to be considered in moderation, and digital is no exception. Sellick Partnership is successful because I ensure that we do not forget traditional methods which helped me become a successful recruitment professional in the first place. In my opinion human interaction is crucial and is the basis of being a truly successful recruiter. Each and every one of my employees at Sellick Partnership utilise my experience and as a result build up strong and long-lasting relationships with both their clients and candidates. I fear that if recruiters start to rely too heavily on digital this important skill may be lost. At Sellick Partnership we utilise digital tools and technological advancements to enhance our offering rather than depending on them which in my opinion is the best way forward.

What do you think the future holds for recruitment and digital?

Anything is possible which is both exciting and a little bit scary! I regularly have conversations with industry professionals who inform me of new tools and technology, from updated CRM systems and lead generation software to specialist job boards and video conferencing there is always something new and innovative for recruitment leaders to consider. As a result I feel that the sector will continue to become even more competitive. Because of this firms are going to have to work smarter and find new ways or attracting candidates and clients in order to remain competitive. This is where digital may not be as useful. In my opinion the recruiters that will continue to be successful are those that have managed to establish solid and long-standing relationships and that have a strong personal brand and presence in their chosen market. It is this that will set the good from the great as competition increases. 

What would be your advice be to recruiters that want to be successful in the digital era?

As I have previously said, I believe it is crucial for recruitment professionals to firstly build strong and trusting relationships with both clients and candidates. The only way to do this is by them throughout their careers and not just when they are looking for a role or have a vacancy that needs to be filled. People ‘buy’ people, and if you stay in constant contact with your core clients and candidates, assist them with legislation changes, offer advice on things like GDPR and keep yourself in their minds you are more likely to be their first point of contact when they require assistance.

Secondly, I feel recruiters need to ensure they are specialists within their market and that they keep themselves well informed of the latest trends in their markets. They should ensure they attend sector specific events, utilise social media platforms and stay up-to-date with anything that is going on within the sector. That way they will be able to have meaningful conversations with both clients and candidates, will be knowledgeable enough to offer advice and they will be seen as a more credible and trustworthy partner when it comes to their recruitment needs in the future.

Do you think recruitment should be embracing digital? Please give me your thoughts by emailing me on jo.sellick@sellickpartnership.co.uk. Alternatively you can check more blogs from our power of digital campiagn using the link below.