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How Will Voice Search Impact Recruitment?

For our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment Industry and Technology trends eBook, we asked survey recipients a few key questions regarding the performance of their agency’s website and if they are aware of upcoming changes with Google searches. For any recruitment agency, their website acts as the shop window to both candidates and clients alike, so the importance of their website’s performance in relevant internet searches continues to be a business priority.

Did you know that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches?

Voice search was a major headline in the tech news of 2017. With the growth in popularity of voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search is changing the way that people interact with the internet and their search queries.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search uses speech recognition technology to allow users to make voice commands to a portable device such as a mobile, tablet or voice assistant. It is undoubtedly interlinked with mobile search, with 19% of people already using Apple’s Siri every day. Significantly, currently 78% of millenials use a mobile device to search for jobs.

With voice search gradually becoming a part of our everyday life, it will be on the radar of many industries. It is already having a profound impact on many sectors such as ecommerce, with studies showing that 1 in 4 people in the US used a voice assistant for shopping over the holiday season. But what will be the impact of voice search on the recruitment industry as a whole and what can you do ensure you stay at the top of Google?

Statistics about voice search

Voice Search And Content

As voice search becomes more prominent, a noteworthy change in the way that internet searches will operate will be focused around semantics. Technology has had to adapt its natural language processing systems to understand search queries being communicated in a much more conversational, human manner. As a result of this, search engines are now much more adept at understanding the more complex (also known as long tailed keywords or search terms) queries which dominate voice search.

As these long tail search terms become used more frequently, recruitment agencies may need to consider the language that they are using in their job adverts and blog content to reflect these changes in terminology. For instance, this would be the difference between:

“Part time waiter jobs East London” (short tail keyword)

verses

“What part time waiter jobs are there in East London?” (long tail keyword)

Long tail queries beginning with question words such as with ‘who, what, where, when, how’ which are indicators of the intent of the candidate, which can be used to your advantage in any content being produced. By understanding the kinds of questions which your potential candidates are asking, you can create content which is structured around these questions. This utilises the way that voice search results work as well as reassuring the candidate that you can answer their queries.

Research has been conducted which shows that 48% of people would like to receive personalised tips and information with their voice assistance queries. By writing FAQs and useful content that addresses your target audience’s (i.e. candidates) “pain points” you can appear in more Google searches and attract candidates earlier in their job search.

In addition to creating job adverts that are written with voice search in mind, this approach also demonstrates how effective content marketing and blogging can be if it is well executed. To find out more about inbound marketing, download our Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies eBook here.

Voice Search And Location-Based Results

When voice searches are performed on mobile devices, they are embedded with geographic information that isn’t always enabled on desktop devices. This means that if a candidate were to search for jobs using a particular job title, the GPS on the device they are using will be able to add this location information to their query. These location-specific web pages are more likely to appear first in the search engine results pages of Google and Bing.

By ensuring that your job adverts are clearly listed with their location, recruitment agencies can avoid missing any of the location based search traffic which is increasingly coming from voice search.

Voice Search and SEO

For the location-based results to work, local SEO for recruitment agencies is essential. Your listings may be ranking satisfactorily on desktop for generic searches, but it can be another story in the results for a voice search. As mentioned previously, SEO must be a vital element of your strategy in order to reap the rewards of voice searches.

Your SEO strategy doesn’t stop there, however. The rise in voice search has also accelerated a rise in the importance of featured snippets. A featured snippet (also known as an answer box) is the result which occasionally comes up in Google searches for specific queries.

How To Write A Great CV

These featured snippets take up more “real estate” on search engine results pages, often appearing before the Number 1 position on Google, and are of specific interest with regards to voice search results.

If a candidate were to use a voice assistant such as the Google Home Mini or Amazon Alexa, the featured snippet will be the first result that is read out. Recruitment agencies can use this to their advantage by optimising content such as industry-related blogs with answer box status in mind. Gaining an answer box is not an exact science, but ensuring that your content is written with your audience in mind is best practice for search engine visibility, regardless. If you’d like to learn more about the tactics that you can use for featured snippet status, have a look at this blog from Moz.

What Impact Will Voice Search Have On Recruitment?

Since Apple introduced Siri in 2011, the use of voice search has steadily grown. Considering the huge investments made by rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon in 2017 things don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

It seems likely that voice search will be heavily linked to search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. The more candidates and clients who opt to use voice search in their everyday lives, the more important SEO and your content marketing strategy will become in attracting potential visitors to your website and increasing your brand awareness.

To find out the other predictions and insights for the UK and Ireland recruitment industry in 2018 download our free eBook below.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

The Top 4 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Trends For 2018

The recruitment industry, and technology, as a whole is constantly evolving. The new year provides a natural opportunity to take stock of the year we’ve left behind and to speculate about the year ahead. In November 2017 we conducted an online survey targeting recruitment professionals across the UK and Ireland to seek their thoughts, predictions and insights regarding the landscape of the recruitment industry and technology for 2018.

Below are 4 trends taken from our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Landscape eBook.

1. 2018 A Year For Growth

Despite the ongoing brexit progression and the upcoming GDPR legislation, there is still a remarkably positive attitude across the employment and recruitment sector. In fact, the Office of National Statistics recently reported that unemployment in the UK has dropped to 1.44 million, a four decade low.

This is reflected in our survey, where 94.9% of recruitment agencies are predicting growth in 2018. This is primarily due to current sector demand according to 57.1% of surveyed participants. ONS statistician David Freeman confirms the prediction of recruitment professional in the UK & Ireland commenting, “Demand for workers clearly remain[s] strong.”

2. Finding Top Talent Remains Top Challenge

Although this is very positive for the recruitment industry in the UK, with a low unemployment rate and a strong demand for workers, it seems inevitable that this will perpetuate the skills shortage conundrum, making finding top talent the pressing challenge for recruiters. Almost three quarters (74.6%) of recruitment agencies predicted that this will remain true for 2018.

Recruitment agencies will need to rely on their skills of nurturing lasting relationships with passive candidates to build a pipeline of talent to place candidates in their clients’ hard-to-fill roles.

3. AI & Machine Learning Yet To See Investment

The development of new technology making a huge impact on the recruitment sector is not a new thing. If you cast your mind back only 10 years, LinkedIn Recruiter didn’t exist, recruitment software was in its infancy and social media wasn’t the widespread business tool that we know it is today. Last year saw a lot of hype surrounding the birth and implementation of AI and machine learning and you may have heard stats similar to:

By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.”

Having witnessed all of this, it doesn’t seem that UK & Ireland recruitment agencies are completely convinced about how this emerging technology can help their agency improve on a daily basis in 2018. Only 5.6% of recruitment professionals are considering AI & machine learning as a potential investment this year. There seems to be a much greater appetite for investment in tried and tested technologies with recruitment software (77.8%) and the website (55.6%) proving the most popular.

4. Social Media Remains Key To Candidate & Client Engagement

Social media has grown in importance over the last decade and it seems that this is unlikely to change in 2018. In fact, surveyed agencies predict that it may even have a larger part to play this year. Over half of recruitment agencies (50.8%) identified it as the technology predicted to have the biggest impact in the recruitment industry in 2018 and 89.8% recognised it as an key channel for their agency.

What is fascinating is the wide variety of tasks that recruiters now rely on social media for:

Social Media Trends Recruitment 2018

For a complete picture of 2018 Recruitment Industry and Technology Trends in the UK & Ireland, download our free eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Chatbots in Recruitment: Pros and Cons

Chatbots have been a common buzzword in the news in recent years; but what exactly is a chatbot? Chatbots or ‘automated conversational agents’ are computer programs which use natural language processing to simulate human conversations. They have been around since the 1960s, with Eliza being one of the earliest. Created by Joseph Weizenbaum, Eliza parodies a Rogerian therapist, largely by rephrasing many of the patient’s statements as questions and posing them to the patient.

The evolution of chatbot intelligence, with increasing use of conversational interfaces powered by AI, are allowing companies to see the true potential of automated conversation at scale. In some industries, chatbots are beginning to take over from the more traditional communication of email, SMS and push notifications with customers. However, they are not meant to replace humans, but simply bridge the gap between companies and customers.

It’s easy to see the success that B2C companies such as Starbucks and Dominos have had with chatbots, but how do these success stories translate in the recruitment and staffing industry? Let’s see how recruitment agencies or talent acquisition functions could utilise chatbots to increase the candidate experience and maximise efficiencies.

What Are The Benefits Of Chatbots In Recruitment?

1. Increased Candidate Experience

The use of chatbots in messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp (when released in 2018) or text provides 24/7 support to candidates due to the ‘instant’ nature of a chatbot. Studies have shown that 74% of candidates do not complete the full application process, so consider the benefits of a recruitment chatbot that will nudge or remind the candidate that they have not yet completed their application. Once an application is submitted, 43% of candidates reported they never hear back from a company after one touch-point, which can be a challenge for recruitment agencies or staffing functions facilitating volume recruitment.

The advances made in natural language processing means that it is possible for a chatbot to give ‘human’ responses to questions, improving the candidate experience. You can see this in the software developed by companies such as Mya, who have already developed a chatbot specifically for recruitment.

what is chatbot in recruitmentImage credit: Hire Mya

2. Processing High Volume Administrative Or Repetitive Tasks

From eCommerce to professional services to recruitment, the time-saving benefits of using chatbots for customer engagement is tenfold. Chatbots are able to automate high volume administrative or repetitive tasks that would ordinarily take up a significant amount of time, leaving recruiters with more time to connect with candidates on other aspects of the recruitment process.

In a survey conducted by Allegis, 58% of candidates were comfortable interacting with AI and chatbots in the early stages of the application process. An even larger percentage – 66% – were comfortable with AI and chatbots taking care of interview scheduling and preparation.

Chatbots are currently being used by recruitment agencies or talent acquisition functions for:

  • Reminding candidates when an application has not been finished, or if it has been incorrectly completed.
  • Ranking candidate applications/CVs.
  • Clarifying a candidate’s experience or qualifications for an applied job.
  • Answering FAQs about an applied job or the application process.
  • Scheduling interviews.

It is, however, important to note that while the above features could certainly streamline recruitment processes in ways that have not been possible before, this does not dictate that chatbots will replace recruiters themselves.

What Are The Challenges For Chatbots In Recruitment?

It’s clear to see the benefits that using a chatbot for recruitment could bring, but what challenges can the recruitment industry expect to face when developing a chatbot?

1. A Lack Of Humanness

Due to the limitations of a chatbot only processing and generating questions and answers, there are still improvements to be made in how seamlessly they can interact with real people.

While candidates may be happy to interact with chatbots as part of the application process, a chatbot should not be used where ‘human empathy or questioning’ within the recruitment process is required.

2. Standardisation Of Language

Even in day-to-day written communication between a recruiter and candidate, the ‘standardisation of language’ is required to ensure the information being provided is professional and will be understood by both parties,

Because we all have different ways of texting (including slang, short form or emoji), a chatbot will utilise its knowledge gained from previous interactions or refer the conversation over to a recruiter when it gets stuck.

3. Problem Solving Capability

Chatbots are programmed to ‘learn’ responses based on previous interactions, which naturally means that they are not capable of solving new problems as they arise. A candidate’s reaction to the technology will likely largely depend on how well the chatbot tried to answer the question, or when they refer the conversation to a recruiter to answer or solve.

As you can see, using a chatbot powered by AI can certainly be a valuable way to automate high volume and repetitive tasks within the recruitment process, especially during the application/candidate qualification stages, whilst providing a round-the-clock service to candidates.

However, as with any new technology, chatbots will continue to evolve with the power of AI as it becomes more sophisticated with overcoming some of the challenges outlined above. In fact, our recent survey of recruitment professionals found that only 5.6% of UK & Ireland agencies are considering investing in AI/machine learning in 2018. The question is, could there be no better time to start investing in chatbots, especially where basic administrative tasks and candidate engagement could be easily handled by a chatbot?

Learn more in our free UK and Ireland recruitment industry and technology trends for 2018 eBook.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Google’s Mobile First Index: How Recruitment Agencies Can Prepare

Google’s mission statement since 1998 has been to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Since mobile search overtook desktop search in 2015, Google has been wrestling with the conundrum that, to make information universally accessible to the majority of its users, therefore, it should be categorising, or ranking, websites based on their mobile experience.

But let’s go back a few steps, what is Google’s mobile first index and what does it mean for your recruitment agency?

What Is Google’s Mobile First Index?

Historically, Google categorised or indexed pages of your website by primarily crawling the desktop version of your website and ranking it based on the content it found. Google’s mobile first index was launched in 2018, and ranks priority based on the content that appears on the mobile version of your website. This means that, if your website is not mobile friendly, it could well have an impact on your overall ranking in search engines.

What Is A Mobile Friendly Website?

A mobile friendly, or mobile responsive, website is fundamentally a website that offers a positive user experience on a mobile device. Arguably the most popular way of achieving this is by offering identical content across both desktop and mobile that responds and adapts to the size of the screen it is being viewed on (see images below).

Eclipse Web MobileEclipse Website Desktop

The majority of websites built in the last three years, for example WordPress websites, have a mobile responsive theme which adapts your desktop version to your mobile version so it all sits on one website.

What Does Google’s Mobile First Index Mean For Your Recruitment Agency?

To give you an idea of how Google’s mobile first index works, let’s look at a worst case scenario:

Your recruitment agency Talent+ Solutions had a website developed five years ago, offering a first class desktop experience; fast, accessible, easy to use with lots of relevant content for your target audience. However, when it was built, the developer didn’t make the website mobile friendly so it only displays the website in desktop form even when viewed on mobile. This means that the mobile users leave the site disappointed, do not find what they want and can’t read any of the content on the blog.

Despite having a terrible mobile experience, until Google’s mobile first index was launched, the website had been performing well, attracting a healthy amount of organic traffic* on desktop and receiving lots of client and candidate enquiries.

But since Google “now” indexes and ranks Talent+ Solutions by crawling its mobile website and categorising it in this way, just like the user, Google cannot easily identify what it is that Talent+ Solutions does and therefore penalises the overall website by ranking its pages lower in its search results. Consequently, three months later, Talent+ Solutions’ competitors outrank it for all relevant search terms, traffic across the site drops dramatically and online enquiries have all dried up.

This is an extreme example but entirely plausible. Currently, Google have not confirmed exactly how they are going to penalise websites but it is clear that, in the not too distant future, websites that ignore their mobile users will become subordinate to websites who have a navigable mobile experience. To avoid Google’s inevitable penalisation, here’s what you can do to prepare.

*Organic traffic is web traffic that comes from search engines, such as Google.

How To Prepare For Google’s Mobile First Index?

Back to reality – Google have made it clear that you have lots of time to make the necessary changes to your website before they roll out the mobile first index. They have also stipulated that:

“If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving website where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.”

But if you are unsure about whether your website will be impacted by the mobile first index, you can:

  1. Check whether your website is mobile friendly using this tool.
  2. Check to see if you have structured data on your website using this tool. (Learn more about the importance of structured data in our blog).
  3. Check the speed of your website using this tool.

If you have any concerns, flag these with your web developer to make sure your website is prepared.

Google’s mobile first index should be viewed as an opportunity for you to overtake your competitors by providing a slick mobile experience that will attract more traffic from mobile users via Google and convert them into clients and candidates.

To learn how to make your website a lead generating machine, try inbound marketing. Download our free guide and get started today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

Clients vs Candidates – Who Does Your Website Attract?

As a recruitment agency, your website is the bedrock and foundation from which your online brand to new clients and candidates is built on. It acts as your shop window, so that website visitors can review and decide, from the outset, whether you provide the services that they need.

But how can you tell if your website is candidate or client focused? And, furthermore, which one is more important?

Does Your Website Attract Clients Or Candidates?

There are a number of ways that you can identify whether your website is more client or candidate focused and in the majority of cases, you should have a pretty good idea already. A quick acid test is take a look at the primary pages on your website and count how many you have designed for clients vs candidates. Ask yourself questions such as:

Do you have more pages providing advice for candidates searching for their next job?
Are you more focused on how to help businesses attract, recruit and retain staff?
What imagery and language do you utilise on page and who does it appeal to?

You may think that the difference isn’t that significant, but, if 70% of website pages are job orientated, it stands to reason that the majority of your traffic will be from candidates.

Now that you have a basic theory, you can use the Google Analytics data from your website to back it up. If you haven’t already added Google Analytics to your website, have a read of this guide from Moz to explain the basics and how to install it. Once added, it typically takes two weeks (minimum) before you can collect enough data and make any useful insights. The more data you have collected in Google Analytics, the more accurately you can identify who your engaged audience are.

By having a look at the demographics of the visitors to your website, such as age, gender and geographic location, as well as what your most popular pages are, you’ll should begin to build a much more comprehensive picture of who your website really attracts.

NB: Set the date range to cover at least 3 months or as much time as you have set up Google Analytics for.

Go to Audience > Demographics > Overview

Google Analytics Demographics

There are many more elements that will help you identify whether you are more focused on clients or candidates. For instance, by having a look at what the most popular landing pages are, you can gauge what your audience is most attracted to and what this says about your website. If your most popular landing page is a blog post about “How GDPR will impact recruitment agencies” you can draw the conclusion that a good chunk of visitors are, in fact potential clients.

Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages

GA Eclipse 2

 

By exploring your website and Google Analytics, you should have a much clearer picture of who your website attracts. If this was not the answer you expected, do not fear. In the next section, you’ll find out how to attract more clients or candidates to your website.

How Do You attract More Clients To Your Website?

The raison d’etre for any recruitment agency website is to attract visitors and convert them into active clients or candidates. This is a simple concept but it should always be referred back to, even when making minor changes to your website. Ask yourself:

Will this attract or convert more visitors into clients or candidates?

If not, is it a valuable use of your time?

Three ways you can improve your website for clients are:

1. Make Your Service Pages Stand Out
Service pages are the pages on your website that inform the visitor of who you are, what service you provide, what expertise you have and how the visitor can contact you for more information. They can often be the difference between a potential client contacting you or one of your competitors. However, in some cases, these web pages can lack authenticity, brand personality and a clear next step.

Your service pages should:

  • Clearly state your expertise and the geographical location you primarily operate in, without ambiguity.
  • Explain why you stand out from your competitors and what makes you the right agency for them.
  • Direct them to contact you for further information either through a short online form or by calling you directly.

By using the same language that your target audience uses and showing your brand personality, you will have a better chance of making a connection with your website visitors and convincing them to take the next step.

2. Create Targeted Blog Content Addressing Your Client’s Problems
The power of creating blog posts lies in attracting website visitors through search engines and social media. To attract these visitors, you simply need to create content that they want to read and that resonates with them. To do this you must:

  • Know what your potential clients look like.
  • Identify their business pain points, challenges and goals.
  • Write content that answers their questions, provides a solution to their challenges or helps them towards achieving their goals.

By writing content that they will find valuable, you will not only attract more potential clients to your website, you will also be solving their recruitment problems and therefore much more likely to be remembered by them in the future.

Learn more about the benefits of writing blogs here.

3. Create A Clear Path To Conversion
In this instance, a website conversion is defined as turning an unknown website visitor into an identifiable lead or prospect. Creating a clear path to conversion means every page needs to have an obvious next step, with the precise aim of collecting web visitors’ information. By collecting web visitors’ information, you can identify who they are and what services they might be looking for. This will make it easier for your business development team to qualify website leads and decide whether they are worth following up.

For example, a typical client journey might be searching Google for: “What are the best questions to ask a candidate during an interview?”. They may then visit a blog on your website which answers this question and gives them exactly what they are looking for.

The most relevant next step might be to direct these visitors to a downloadable guide “5 Steps to Conducting A Successful Interview”. By putting this download behind a form on your website, you can harvest lead information whilst also providing your target audience with even more valuable information.

How Do You Attract More Candidates To Your Website?

The strategy for attracting more candidates to your website is very similar to attracting more clients but, instead of focusing on client service pages, you will need to optimise the pages that attract candidates.

Optimise Your Job Adverts
Your job adverts should always achieve two goals; be clear and engaging to the candidates who it is aimed at; be clear to Google and other search engines what content is on-page.

Recruiters are often guilty of writing “one-size-fits-all” job adverts which consist of complicated and ambiguous terminology and fail to create a clear representation of what the job will be like. By clarifying the role, what candidates will be expected to do on a daily basis and giving some insight into the employer, you stand a better chance of attracting candidates and converting them into applications.

Learn more about optimising your website’s job ads in our blog.

Create Targeted Content For Candidates
As for your clients, you need to know what your typical candidates look like and more importantly what they search Google for and engage with on social media. By identifying their interests, problems, goals and challenges, you can begin to write content that will attract candidates. However, this content will entirely depend on who you’re targeting because, as you can imagine, recruiters targeting graduates will need to write entirely different content to agencies who are targeting finance directors.

For example, if you are targeting graduates, you might want to write a blog post entitled:

7 Expert Tips For Your First Interview

Whereas, when targeting finance directors, you might want to write a blog post entitled:

7 Finance Trends That Will Impact 2018

Create A Clear Candidate Journey
Creating a clear candidate journey which gives every opportunity for candidates to get in touch or apply for roles is essential to making your website a success. As with clients, by making the next step as relevant as possible, you are more likely to capture lead information and identify who your content is attracting.

Who Should Your Website Attract?

This will completely depend on your business. You may have enough clients, but not enough candidates to fill the vacancies you’re recruiting for. On the other hand, you may have a healthy talent pool of active and passive candidates but not a dedicated client base.

For the majority of agencies, you will want to optimise your website to attract both candidates and clients and you can do this at the same time. By devoting time to focusing on the key pages of your website and writing blog posts that your audience want to read, you can attract and convert both candidates and clients simultaneously.

Want your website to become a lead generating machine. Learn how you can implement inbound marketing into your recruitment agency by downloading our free guide.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

5 Intermediate Boolean Search Operators For Recruiters

Every year, there are new, innovative developments within recruitment, whether it’s Google For Jobs, AI in recruitment or how to leverage the new social media platform to find better candidates. Consequently, it is very easy to become inundated with ideas about the “next big thing” and never actually implement new tactics to improve your day-to-day sourcing activity.

Boolean search has been around for a long time for a reason. By learning how to build relevant search strings, you can leverage your recruitment CRM software, and most search engines, to find skilled and qualified candidates quickly.

If you are are new to boolean search, get up to speed with boolean search in recruitment and learn the basic boolean search operators.

To supplement the basics of boolean search, here’s our guide to 5 intermediate boolean search operators that can help you optimise your search strings for even better candidate resourcing results.

1. Tilde (~)

The tilde (~) is perhaps one of the most underrated boolean search operators but it can be incredibly useful to either expand or reduce your search results, depending on how your choose to use it.

In essence, the tilde (~) will include synonyms of the keyword used with it. For example a search such as ~jobs would include phrases such as jobs, roles, vacancies, openings etc. Or a search for ~CV would include CV, Curriculum Vitae, Resume, Portfolio.

It can also be used to reduce search results when used in conjunction with the NOT function or (-). For example:

~CV “Software Developer” -Jobs -Template

Boolean search Tilde
This search includes any synonyms of the word CV with the exact phrase Software Developer, and excludes the terms Jobs and Template.

Result: Three out of top four results were candidate CVs.

2. NEAR

The near function is better known as a proximity search operator and allows you to search for related terms that appear near to each other i.e. within 1-10 words and in any order. For example, if you wanted to find results for administration that appeared near finance, you could search:

~CV Finance NEAR Admin* -Jobs -template

Boolean search NEAR

This will produce results of synonyms relating to CV with the words Finance within 1-10 words of Admin*, excluding jobs and template.

3. Filetype:

Specifying the filetype: in a search will often narrow down your search results considerably but can be a quick fire method of finding those elusive CV documents you’re looking for. For example:

~CV finance AND Manager Filetype: pdf -Template

Filetype 1

This search, although quite broad, did return four CVs on the first page of Google’s results. By having a look at what format your candidates give you their CVs, you can determine what filetype would be a valuable search for you. Some examples include:
pdf
doc
rtf
xls
txt

4. & 5.  Site: & Inurl:

The site: and Inurl: search operators, also known as an x-ray search, allows you to search for particular skills within a specific site or URL. This is particularly useful for more niche websites such as github and stackoverflow for software developers, for example.

site:github.com developer AND London

Boolean Search Site and Inurl

The key to x-ray search is to know which sites your candidates will appear on specifically.

To get valuable results from Boolean search takes a little bit of trial and error but by practicing with different search operators and using the most relevant search terms, you can build specific search strings for every job vacancy.

Are you in need of a comprehensive guide to buying recruitment software? Download our free eBook and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.
The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Recruitment – An Overview

We are making strides toward a more digital business landscape, with mobile, social media, cloud computing and “big data” transforming the way we work. Since humans have a tendency to resist change, there’s been a lot of scaremongering when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in recruitment. Should we fear machines, or should we instead be embracing this technology? Let’s take a look at what AI means for recruiters, and how it can be leveraged to gain an effective advantage.

What Is Artificial Intelligence In Recruitment?

AI helps to enhance the recruitment process through the automation of certain tasks, particularly those that are laborious or repetitive. For instance, machine learning software – which has the ability to ‘teach’ itself – can be used to auto-screen candidates and rank applications. Mya claims to save recruiters 75% of their time through automating sourcing, screening and scheduling interviews, leaving recruiters the time to focus on qualified candidates and converting hires.

Ultimately, AI can be integrated within any process that involves distinct inputs and outputs, from initial sourcing through to post-offer acceptance engagement/FAQ such as Chatbots.

The Benefits

AI has the potential to accelerate hiring, reduce arduous tasks and boost recruiter productivity. Let’s look at some of the benefits in more detail:

Time Saving
Manual CV screening, particularly volume orientated recruitment, is undoubtedly one of the most time-consuming recruitment tasks. Automation streamlines processes and reduces time-to-hire. By handing over repetitive duties to a machine, recruiters free up valuable time to focus on the needs of their candidates and clients. Of course, reducing time-to-hire will equate to cost savings for your business.

Improve Responsiveness
Workology advised that over half of UK candidates don’t receive any communication from a company after applying for a job. AI can be used to facilitate candidate engagement and improve responsiveness; whether it is reviewing candidate applications/CV’s and ranking them automatically, or using Chatbots (conversational interfaces powered by AI) to communicate with candidates via text message or messaging platforms to confirm or clarify their CV or application.

Attract Top Talent
By improving responsiveness, you are improving the candidate experience, meaning you’re more likely to attract and retain top talent.

At the same time, AI can improve your quality of hire by utilising data to standardise the pairing of candidates’ skills, experience and knowledge with the job requirements. If AI can act as the first line of defence in sifting and matching CVs, your recruiters can focus their time on ensuring selected candidates are the right cultural fit, In theory, you should be able to provide a more reliable service to your clients by better suited candidates; both in soft and hard skills.

The Challenges

Technology is disruptive and always takes time to mature, so we can expect AI to pose a number of challenges that recruiters will need to overcome, such as:

  • AI requires a lot of accurate data to be as effective as its human counterpart, particularly if machine learning is used within the CV/application screening process.
  • Recruiters may be reluctant to utilise the technology, especially if they feel as if they are doing an adequate job of hiring candidates themselves.
  • Machine learning can learn human error, for instance, if bias exists within your recruitment process AI may analyse it as a typical behaviour pattern.
  • There may be concerns that the technology is in its early stages and isn’t yet fully developed, or isn’t particularly user-friendly.

The Impact

There’s no doubt that AI is going to shake-up the industry. Recruiters will need to be more technologically literate but, as a result, will be able to conduct more informed and efficient hiring processes. They will find themselves with more time to spend with candidates, ensuring they select candidates that possess the necessary skills, experience and cultural fit for the roles their are applying for.

AI doesn’t take away from the recruiter – it supports and enhances their role. Artificial intelligence isn’t stealing jobs, it is tool for improving efficiency to better serve your clients’ hiring strategy.

Is your business in the best position to react to new technology? If you thinking about updating your recruitment software, download our 3 step guide.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

 

What Is Boolean Search In Recruitment?

Boolean search in recruitment is not a modern concept. In fact, as a recruiter, it is probably something you use everyday without even realising it. The laws of Boolean search were invented by English Mathematician George Boole in The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847) and have become a fundamental building block for all digital devices. It is an astonishing thought but, without his laws, Google would never have existed in the way we know it today. That is why Google paid its own special tribute in 2015 to mark Boole’s 200th birthday, demonstrating how his laws work:

Google Boolean Animation

But before losing yourself in the never ending animation, let’s explain what Boolean search is in recruitment and how it is used effectively.

What Is Boolean Search In Recruitment?

Boolean search in recruitment is the act of leveraging large databases, such as your recruitment CRM, LinkedIn, Indeed, or for Google to perform specific searches in order to find relevant candidates quickly. Using Boole’s laws, recruiters can refine their search results in a number of ways which can be particularly effective for finding a range of active and passive candidates for your open vacancies.

Once you have exhausted your standard CV and profile searches, conducting more specific Boolean searches can be a dynamic alternative that may unearth hidden talent that isn’t easily accessible through common search function.

Boolean literate recruiters can perform incredibly complicated search strings to meet your every job requirement. Below is a real life example of a search string constructed to search for a Senior Financial Analyst:

Analy* NEAR Financ* AND (Retail* OR e-commerce OR ecommerce) AND budget* AND Plan* AND forecast* AND risk* AND Excel AND (PowerPoint OR “Power Point” OR Tableau OR SAP) AND (Access OR SQL OR “BO” OR “Business Objects”)

Although this looks complicated, by breaking it down into its individual operators, it only utilises the 6 basic operators in a Boolean search. So what are they?

The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators For Recruiters

1. AND

The AND operator is used when you want to include two (or multiple) criteria in your Boolean search. The AND operator is generally used to narrow your search results. By inputting a search for Recruitment AND Manager, you are requesting results with both Recruitment and Manager in it.

2. OR

With the OR operator, you are requesting the search you want to see multiple entries in the results, and used to expand your Boolean search results.  So a search for Recruitment OR Manager will return any results containing Recruitment and any results containing Manager. It can be useful when different words to say the same thing, for example, Recruitment AND (Manager OR Consultant OR Agent OR Advisor)

3. NOT

As you can probably estimate, the NOT operator is used to exclude specific requirements. You can also use the minus symbol followed by your unwanted term (without leaving a space between both). An example is:
(Recruitment AND Manager) NOT Consultant
(Recruitment AND Manager) -Consultant

4. Brackets ()

Brackets are used in a very similar way to the rules of the BODMAS acronym that you might still remember from your high school maths lesson. The important rule being that the calculation inside the brackets always comes first. In Boolean search, it is similar in that, the section inside the brackets always takes priority over the other elements.

For example; when you enter Recruitment AND Manager OR Consultant, are you asking the search to prioritise Recruitment AND Manager or Manager OR Consultant? By using brackets, you can easily explain to the search engine how you want the search string to be read. So the search becomes: Recruitment AND (Manager OR Consultant). This search string will return any results with Recruitment Manager and any results with Recruitment Consultant.

5. Quotations “”

Quotations are used to search for an exact phrase. By adding quotations around two or more words, you are telling the search to treat it as one keyword. Therefore a search including “Recruitment Manager” would only return results with that exact phrase in the body of the text. Quotations are only used if you are 100% certain of the exact phrase you’re looking for.

6. Asterisk *

The asterisk function is usually used to widen your search. For example if you wanted to do a search for anything related to Admin, use admin* and the search will return results like; administrator, administration, administer, administered. By inputting the stem of the word with an asterisk afterwards, you’re telling the search to include all words related to that stem.

How To Apply The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators 

Why not now try and create your own Boolean searches within your recruitment CRM, LinkedIn, job boards like Indeed and Monster or in Google. By practicing and becoming Boolean literate and combining the basic rules of Boolean search, you can perform searches that would otherwise seem impossible, saving you time in searching through thousands of CVs and providing you with more targeted and relevant results.

Now that you know the basics of Boolean search, learn 5 intermediate Boolean search operators to build even better search strings.

 

Are you thinking of investing in new recruitment software for your recruitment agency? Download our free step-by-step buying guide today.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Google For Jobs & 4 SEO Tips For Recruitment Agencies

Google’s mission statement is, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And I think we can all agree, it has done a pretty good job so far. It currently handles at least two trillion searches per year and despite Microsoft recently offering to pay people to use Bing, Google is by far the most popular search engine.

And now Google are launching its new jobs search engine, Google for Jobs.

What Is Google For Jobs?

  • Google for Jobs, announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in Mountain View, CA, will use machine learning to collect and organize millions of job postings from across the internet to better connect employers and job seekers.
  • CEO Sundar Pichai explained that “while job seekers may be looking for openings right next door – there’s a big disconnect.” Google for Jobs aims to resolve this.
  • Candidates will be able to refine their search by job title, category or type, full or part-time, location and date posted.
  • Google for Jobs will use machine learning and AI to group related job listings so a search for “sales assistant” will return results including retail associate, thus, making it a more efficient candidate experience.
  • There will be a “one click to apply” option so candidates will be able to apply directly on the platform.
  • Rather than competing, Google for Jobs will initially partner with LinkedIn, Facebook, Careerbuilder, Monster, Glassdoor, and other services.
  • The search result will appear at the top of the page as a rich snippet, as shown in the example below:

Google for Jobs Test Sample

At the moment there is a lot of speculation surrounding how much the new search feature will impact the recruitment industry but two things are clear:

  1. The search volume i.e. the need is there – 30% of all Google searches are job related (that’s a huge 300bn a year)
  2. Google has the resources to make this a resounding success

So, while traditional job boards are anxiously waiting to see what the full impact of Google for Jobs will be, recruitment agencies can safely assume that if search engine optimisation (SEO) wasn’t already a priority for their own websites/job boards, it is now.

Whether Google for Jobs reaches its full potential or not, having an optimised website and, in particular, job pages is imperative. Here’s 4 SEO tips to make sure you’re making it easy for Google and, therefore, your candidates to find your website and posted job ads:

The Top 4 Recruitment Agency Website SEO Tips

1. Speed

The speed of your website is crucial to your overall ranking on Google and this will affect everything from blog pages to job listings. If you want to get a clear picture of how your website is performing on desktop and mobile, use Google’s free to use online tool, PageSpeed Insights. By inserting your website URL (e.g. http://www.recruitmentcompany.co.uk), PageSpeed Insights performs a basic analysis of how fast your website is, and returns a neat score out of 100 and gives you recommendations to resolve these issues.

If your website scores below 80/100, you should give these recommendations to your web developer to improve your website as soon as possible. By doing so, you will almost certainly see an increase in organic traffic and you’ll be prepared for when Google for Jobs impacts the market.

NB: Organic traffic is visitors who come to your website via a search engine. So this won’t include paid advertising, social media, direct or any other method.

2. Content

Content for search engines

Google has become adept at recognising what topic a piece of content is about and just like Google for Jobs is proposing, it uses machine learning to group together related searches to better answer a search query. However, it still relies heavily on keywords so make sure your content, including your job post listings, includes appropriate keywords in the URL, title, heading and body of the content to clearly indicate to Google what this content is addressing.

To rank more highly, think about the exact phrase or “longtail keyword” that your candidates will use when searching for jobs or job advice. Although the search volume will be lower for exact phrases, the intent will also be higher, giving it a higher chance of converting into an application.

Content for users

Having said this, your content also needs to be user friendly so packing it full of keywords is not the answer. To have a successful job advert that people apply to, it needs to be engaging as well as hitting keywords. If you do manage to create job adverts that earn backlinks from credible sources, this will send another indicator to Google that your job listings are valuable and this should affect your ranking.

NB: Backlinks are when another website directly links to your website. The more credible the website, the more seriously Google will consider the backlink.

3. Optimise For Mobile

We all recognise the importance of mobile for recruitment and no doubt we’ve seen the statistics to back it up. What you may not realise is that Google will actively penalise websites for not being optimised for mobile. By having a look at the score and recommendations on Google Pagespeed Insights for mobile, you can see the major pitfalls of how Google views your website’s mobile experience.

This may be another job for your web developer but, with the growing millennial workforce, a mobile first strategy is something to take advantage of sooner rather than later.

4. Job Advert Schema

We cannot be certain how Google for Jobs will rank job listings but, as with its normal search function, it is likely to reward content that is structured and detailed for search engines. Schema is the code that allows Google to easily categorise the context of information primarily surrounding people, locations, events etc. For example, you can tell Google that Central Manchester relates to the job you’re advertising for – not just a location in the North of England.

 

Google for Jobs could revolutionise the way in which candidates search, view and apply for jobs so it’s time to make sure your website is optimised and indicating to Google, at every opportunity, that you have a trusted and valuable website. By adapting to new technology quickly, your recruitment agency can gain the competitive advantage.

With new technology on the rise, it might be time to invest in new recruitment software. But, before you make that decision, download our 3 step guide.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

Is Business Intelligence (BI) Essential For Recruitment Agencies?

Hans Luhn’s 1958 publication for IBM first popularised the importance of Business Intelligence (BI) defining it as, “an automatic system…developed to disseminate information to the various sections of any… organization.” However, it was not until this century that the supporting technology to implement his theories became cost effective to the wider business community.

As we can see from the Google Trends graph (below), global interest in “big data” has only grown drastically in the last five years and the Business Intelligence industry has seen a dramatic growth because of this. In fact, it is projected to be worth $19Bn (£15.3Bn) by 2019.

G Trends

Given this recent rise in demand, let’s look at how BI has evolved, how that transpires practically and whether it’s fundamental for your recruitment agency.

What Does Business Intelligence Mean Today?

The heart of Business Intelligence still remains consistent with Luhn’s original definition, however, to build upon that from a modern perspective: BI is the practice of using smart software to analyse data to better inform you of the status of your business processes to enable you to make data-driven, strategic decisions more efficiently.

Moreover, Business Intelligence platforms like Tableau are used across multiple platforms including mobile to give you and your employees live, visual statistics that can be understood, by even the least tech-savvy employee, to provide regular, informative insights.

Modern BI platforms are equipped primarily to:

  • Analyse customer and client behaviour, buying patterns and sales trends
  • Measure, track and predict sales and financial performance
  • Track marketing performance and individual campaigns
  • Streamline processes and operations
  • Manage customer relationships
  • Analyse risk

Are There Business Intelligence Platforms Specifically for Recruitment Agencies?

The success of BI platforms in recent years has witnessed a rise in industry specific platforms such as Cube 19 which, “provides recruitment-specific analytics, business intelligence, reporting, and gamification to help recruitment companies increase revenue, scale efficiently, improve data quality, and motivate teams.”

Specifically, the functions that can help your recruitment agencies include:

  • Identifying key drivers of success
  • Managing your recruiters more effectively to create a uniform culture
  • Enabling real-time data-driven decision making throughout the entire company
  • Demonstrating your success metrics to a client

Does Your Recruitment Agency Need Business Intelligence?

There is no doubt that your recruitment agency can benefit from Business Intelligence, the insights are invaluable and rather than estimating trends and process success, you can visualise it in real-time. The decision on purchasing a Business Intelligence platform to integrate with your recruitment CRM is purely based on how important ‘big data’ is for your agency and the cost of purchasing and configuring the platform for your business requirements.

Having visibility and access to data does not always mean investing in a separate platform or software. Within our recruitment CRM, our Management Reporting and Analysis Suite provides management reporting and analysis tools enabling you to have visibility across your business including:

  • Client, candidate, vacancy, timesheet and invoice activity
  • Vacancies by status, predicted revenue, actual revenue and lost revenue
  • Vacancy fill rates and revenue by consultant, client, industry/discipline and geographical regions
  • Recruitment Consultant KPI and recruitment activity
  • AWR clock assignment
  • Temporary worker compliance and right to work document expiry and management
  • Interaction log activity

We opened up the conversation with key clients regarding what makes a successful recruitment agency? To learn more download our free eBook.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

Optimise Your Job Ads and Social Media Strategy

The ability to search and find information online plays a huge part of our daily life, and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing provide the technology to make this happen. With Google currently dominating 78% of the global search market, the question is, how you do recruitment agencies maximise their online candidate acquisition and social media strategies to attract more suitable candidates?

Google has the ability to crawl and build an index of about 50 million web pages in less than one minute and processes on average 40,000 search queries every second. It has been reported that up to 30% of search queries can be employment related, so it’s painfully obvious that candidates are out there, but knowing how to get in front of active and passive candidates online, however isn’t so obvious.

To assist you, we have compiled some practical tips to help you optimise your online jobs ads and engagement on social media.

Your Website’s Job Board

Posting job ads on your own website is a cost effective way to advertise your open jobs whilst building your brand within the market.

Compared to the wide range of paid job boards in the market like Monster, Jobsite, Indeed and LinkedIn, your own website’s job board gives you more freedom, flexibility and control to format and promote job ads to assist with attracting quality candidates. The only downside is that your job board probably doesn’t have the same visibility or online reach that major paid jobs boards possess. So how exactly can you hope to compete in an online paid job site oligopoly?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Keywords

Simply put, one of the ways Google (or any other search engine) determines relevance when listing web pages in a search result is through keywords. A website page that is well optimised for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords that help connect searchers to your web page.

The importance of keywords and SEO, is often overlooked by recruiters when writing a job ad, so we have a few simple tips to follow.

For job searches most candidates will type in something like this:

“Operations Manager job based in Central London”

Phrases like these are effectively the “target keywords”. In order to be even ranked for these page search results you need to make sure that these keywords are included in the right sections of your website’s job advert page structure. These sections are:

  • URL structure
    • recruitmentagency.com/job/operations-manager-based-in-central-london/
  • Title (page headline)
    • Operations Manager based in Central London
  • Job Information (page copy)
    • Job details
    • Requirements
    • Contact details and call to action

These are the main sections Google will look for when determining a pages relevance for certain phrases.

Make sure you’re using natural phrases and terminology that your target candidates actually use, and most importantly don’t overpopulate your job ad with the same keyword. Google notices when pages and posts have been “stuffed” with keywords, when it identifies this it will penalise this page and lower its rankings.

Structured Data Markup

Google is great at reading page text and content, what it often struggles with is the context around particular pieces of information. While Google might recognise that “Central London” is address orientated, it won’t understand whether that address is a location for a job ad. While this might sound overly technical (most web developers should be able to get their heads around this) you can deploy specific code on your job advert pages that clearly signposts to Google that all of the information on this page pertains to a job advert.

A Responsive Website (Mobile Friendly) 

Your website pages needs to look good and be responsive when viewed on a mobile device for two very important reasons.

  1. According to Glassdoor, 68% of job seekers use a mobile device to perform job searches once a week or more. While potential candidates may use a desktop computer to send their CV and cover letter, the bulk of their searches and research is going to be done in their spare time or while they’re on the go.
  2. Google has introduced guidelines for websites that it thinks aren’t mobile friendly when presenting search results on a mobile device. If candidates have to pinch and zoom to read your job ads, then you must upgrade your website if mobile visits are important to you. If you’re unsure if your website is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes, you can use Google’s free tool which will give you a simple “Yes this page is mobile-friendly” mark if it is.

Optimise Your Job Ads and Social Media Strategy

Increase Job Ad Visibility & Engagement on Social Media

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

Posting job ads, blogs, news articles and company updates to social media can be quite an effective way to get in front of both active and passive candidates, but wasting efforts on the wrong social media platforms is all too easy to do.

You may know which social networks your candidates are on as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are rife with job ads across a myriad of sectors. Perhaps try different social media channels, for example, if you’re recruiting for design and creative jobs try posting your job ads in Instagram and Behance. If you’re constantly posting to all of these social networks, how do you know which social media platforms to spend the majority of your time on?

By checking the data, you’ll know you’re wasting time on certain social media platforms if the metrics you’re seeing don’t justify the amount of effort you’ve put in. Checking your companies Facebook Page Insights, Twitter Analytics or LinkedIn Page Analytics and seeing low numbers of engagement is a decent indicator that either your candidates aren’t on that network or they’re not being enticed to interact with your job ad posts, new articles or updates.

Posting Times

If you’re creating your social media posts directly to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and clicking “publish” straight away there’s a very good chance you’re posts aren’t getting seen. Create your posts and schedule them for when your audience (candidates) are actually online. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts throughout the day, evening or weekend so that your posts don’t get pushed down in feeds when your audience is not online. For example your audience might be on LinkedIn during office hours and more on Facebook and Twitter outside of office hours.

Speaking of which, audience analysis tools like Audiense and Followerwonk will measure and show you when potential candidates are actually on social media and highlight the best times to schedule your postings to social media.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising is a model that Facebook and LinkedIn offer in which you pay when your post is viewed. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your web page, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

There is a large debate on the effectiveness of PPC advertising but it does allows you to granularly target demographics to the point where only the best candidates fit for your posts will actually see them. You can target by interests, education, current job role and geographic location so that attracting quality candidates is effortless.

 

Optimising your job ads and social media strategy is an effective way to maximise your online presence. Why not take the next step and introduce inbound marketing as part of your recruitment agencies marketing strategy? Download our free guide today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

Cloud vs Desktop in Recruitment Software

Even outside of the realm of recruitment software, there are a number of misconceptions about what it means to be ‘in the cloud’ and the advantages that may come with such a lofty position.

“In the Cloud” “Cloud Software” “Cloud Solutions” “The Cloud might be the single most misunderstood technical-term-cum-marketing-buzzword of this decade. Before we can have any kind of sensible comparison between Cloud and Desktop based recruitment systems, we need to clarify what being “in the cloud” actually means… and what it doesn’t.

#1 Cloud as a Platform

There is a common misconception that “Cloud-based” software refers to browser-based software, and the Cloud vs Desktop debate often transforms into a debate over the relative merits of desktop applications versus increasingly popular in-browser apps.  This is an interesting debate in its own right, however, at its heart is the misconception that –

Browser based software = cloud
Desktop based software = not on the cloud

THIS IS FALSE

Both browser based and native desktop recruitment applications are equally capable of interacting with a cloud-based infrastructure in much the same way that you could argue that both are equally capable of being hosted on your own on premise IT infrastructure.  There’s absolutely no reason you have to sacrifice the benefits of desktop recruitment software in order to take advantage of ‘the cloud’.  The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

In fact, using a desktop application has many advantages over browser based recruitment software – desktop applications are often faster, more powerful and more stable than in-browser apps, which have to render your management interface through a different application like Chrome or Internet Explorer.  For similar reasons, desktop applications tend to be more secure, which is a key consideration if you’re routinely processing the sensitive sort of personal data related to the recruitment process.

That’s not to say that there is no advantage to browser-based recruitment apps.  In general, you can expect a browser based solution to ‘just work’ (don’t quote us on that) without having to install and configure the application on each workstation.  This means that browser based recruitment software has the potential to save the IT department a lot of installation headaches, it often makes licensing a bit easier to manage, and gives you a bit more flexibility to work from anywhere without too much messing around.

It’s also worth mentioning that – while there’s no technical reason for this to be the case – browser based recruitment software is often a lot more modern-looking and attractive than a typical desktop solution – probably because the UI can be built up in a similar fashion to a webpage.  The modern looking appearance can be seductive, luring many companies to choose inferior browser-based apps over more suitable desktop recruitment software solutions.

#2 Cloud as a Licensing Model

Another popular tangent that creeps into the Cloud vs Desktop debate is:

Cloud = Subscription
Desktop = One off cost

FALSE AGAIN

Again, this is a crucial misconception – more than that, this is a false dichotomy that assumes that Cloud and Desktop sit in opposition to each other, which we have just established is not the case.  In general, you can expect to see software which is hosted “in the cloud” to use a SAAS subscription model, but this is equally applicable to both desktop and so-called “web-based” software.  Many recruitment manager packages and CRM solutions deploy a desktop application provided on a rental basis.  This licensing model is not exclusive to browser-based packages.

#3 Cloud as Hosting Location

The premise here is:

Cloud = The IT infrastructure, database and backups are hosted by an external provider in a remote datacentre (in the cloud)

In-house = Your IT department installs, administrates and maintains the hardware to host your databases, manage your backups, compliance and security.

TRUE

What characterises a recruitment management solution as being “cloud based” is the use of remote datacentres, as opposed to purchasing, installing, maintaining your own breezy roomful of whirring servers.

So, with that in mind, let’s explore the pros and cons of these two different approaches.

 

internal-hosting-recruitment

Cloud Hosted Recruitment Management Software

Pros

Cloud recruitment software is initially cheaper than hosting in-house. Rather than paying a lump sum up front (and ongoing salary for the IT staff), you’re typically paying monthly costs, which is a great solution for those with a smaller budget or waiting for the new financial year.

If you’re expecting your company to grow and you’re looking for flexibility, a cloud solution allows you to scale with relative ease.

If time is of the essence for your company, cloud software can be helpful. Installation is quick and IT services are managed externally, meaning you can get on with your work without anyone interrupting to update or maintain the software – great for companies with few employees who lack the knowledge or struggle to find time to do this.

A cloud solution also means that you’ve outsourced having to worry about local storage data, backup and recovery services, and data protection regulation and compliance is someone else’s problem.

Cons

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows behind the cloud, though. If you opt for a cloud-based solution, extra subscriptions for when your business grows will induce extra costs.   You can often find yourself locked in to lengthy contracts where you end up ultimately paying many multiples of the equivalent one-time fee.  If your provider decides to up their fees on a whim – they can.  You’ll always be dependent on the cloud provider.

Cloud software may also have its disadvantages if your company deals with incredibly sensitive data. It may be more secure to store your data on a less, ‘publicly accessible’ network. There are also some legal nuances here if you are storing data concerning EU nationals on servers outside of the EU, so check with your legal advisors before taking the plunge.

Remember, if you’re also paying for your desktop or browser-based application in a SAAS-type model, cloud hosting is often a separate consideration and a separate bill.

Recruitment Software Hosted On Premise

Pros

In theory this usually a onetime investment (IT staff, on-going hardware maintenance, hardware upgrades, software licensing and data protection compliance notwithstanding).

You also have full control; over the restrictions, monitoring, integration, managing your data, customising the development – the full works! The ball is entirely in your court here.  If something goes wrong with your network connection, you aren’t stuck behind support tickets trying to get an answer, you can speak to the relevant IT staff  and find out what’s going on.

If you’re in a company that handles incredibly sensitive data, then self-hosting might be ideal for you as security is potentially greater than cloud. There’s less of a danger and less worry of breaching data protection laws.  That said, the onus for security and data protection is on you.

In the event that your in house hardware is in the same location as your recruitment team, you’re able to access the system without an internet connection. If you’re hard at work and the internet temporarily stops, you’re still able to continue working.

Cons

Although a onetime investment is convenient in some respects, its upfront cost is often more than a cloud software subscription as aspects like hardware, installation etc. may also be considered.

Additionally, you’ll need IT staff or outsourced IT suppliers that are skilled and knowledgeable enough that they can maintain and manage your in house infrastructure.

What’s the verdict?

Ultimately, the choice is entirely yours. It really depends on what your business priorities are, what your short and long term requirements are, and how a cloud or desktop solution will support your business growth.

Download our free eBook below and discover the 7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies.

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