Digitising your recruitment journey: key focus areas for 2023

Digitising your recruitment journey: key focus areas for 2023

2023 is shaping up to be something of an unknown quantity, with the start of the year continuing 2022’s economic uncertainty and global political upheaval.

As living costs at the end of 2022 rocketed, the employment market responded. According to a survey conducted by CV-Library, 75.1% of UK professionals have considered looking to change jobs because of rising costs, while Deloitte report that 42% of Gen Zs and 39% of millennials have taken on a side hustle to make ends meet.

At the same time, industries are struggling to fill vacancies as salary expectations, which have soared to keep up with rising living costs, are outpricing what employers can offer, while higher overheads are stretching businesses across sectors.

In economically uncertain times, investing in talent is important, and attracting and retaining talent requires a resilient, adaptable, fast, and secure recruitment model.

Incorporating digital technologies into the recruitment process ensures that hiring is faster, fairer, and safer, and allows for more flexible processes overall. But in 2023, where in the recruitment process should employers be focussing their energies and integrating more digital technologies?

Here are our suggestions.

Digital Referencing

In a competitive market, where vacancies outnumber candidates, speed is of the essence in hiring. With an increased emphasis being placed on salary and expenses, it’s important to ensure candidates are selected and new employees are screened and onboarded quickly, before a competitor can swoop in with a better deal and turn your favoured candidate’s head.

Additionally, faster employment models, such as gig economy jobs where candidates are expected to begin work almost immediately for a short time before moving onto the next role, are driving up expectations of quick and seamless recruitment processes.

Add to this the business benefits of ensuring a faster recruitment process via reduced costs and minimised time with a reduced team while a replacement is sought, and there’s a strong case for focussing your attentions on speed.

Research conducted by Reed Screening showed that 65% of employers said that referencing was the most time consuming part of the hiring process.

We ran a survey of over 100,000 employment references and found that just 61% were ever returned, and only about half of these were processed without any issues.

To improve this process, Konfir, in collaboration with Reed, have assembled a team of technical experts to build a solution using payroll and open banking data. The vast majority of UK adults have their key employment data confined within either their monthly pay checks, or their financial transactions. Konfir's consent-driven process allows users to share this data on a single-use basis. That data is then used to determine when and where they worked and can be shared instantly with any party privy to their employment verification. This API-driven solution returns data that used to take days to be surfaced, in seconds.

In 2022, we invited our candidates to Konfir to measure the effectiveness of the system, and the high-level results were a resounding success: 43% of requests completed within three hours and 70% were done within a day.

In 2023, this sort of acceleration in the recruitment process is a smart focus area.

Using AI to streamline operations

AI can accelerate the process significantly, by streamlining time consuming, manual tasks, such as sifting applications, scheduling interviews, and managing communication with candidates.

Any use of AI, however, comes with a caveat, particularly when being used to sift applications. Depending on the algorithm it is working to, it can overlook applicants whose experience or qualifications are non-standard, or treat candidates with more complex situations unfairly.

However, AI can also remove unconscious bias from the sifting process, as all applications are dealt with in exactly the same way as dictated by the machine learning programming.

Therefore, in terms of accelerating the recruitment process and ensuring candidates experience a fast and smooth process, as well as saving your business time and money, implementing AI to handle often time consuming tasks is a great focus point, as long as its shortcomings are understood and mitigated.

Flexibility via remote hiring

In 2023, candidates are looking for roles that offer flexibility in terms of how they work. Some may want a role that allows them to work remotely to remove the burden of commuting and allow them to effectively manage their work/life balance, while others might prefer an office environment to boost focus, and allow them to save on heating and energy costs at home. If your business offers flexible working to employees, it’s important to ensure that your hiring and onboarding process reflects that too.

While 2020 brought widespread remote hiring practices, the sudden necessity for this meant that many processes were hurriedly cobbled together. However, as restrictions enforced in response to the pandemic were eased, the appetite from both candidates and employers for flexible and remote hiring processes only grew.

After campaigning and lobbying by numerous groups, including Reed, the temporary measures for checking right to work status remotely have been made permanent, with the introduction of specialist systems that leverage AI to verify the authenticity of ID documentation and the identity of the candidate.

As this technology is further developed, employers can see significant benefits from adopting it. With candidates seeking roles that offer flexibility and financial security, being able to offer remote hiring and working processes means that employers can appeal to more candidates, including those who are based further afield or overseas. It also means that recruitment teams can work remotely, too, allowing for a smoother, less prescriptive hiring process.

The technology is also designed to provide a faster, fairer and safer onboarding process, meaning both candidates and employers benefit through a quicker onboarding process, and improved accuracy in verification.

How can Reed Screening help?

With over 60 years of experience in recruitment, and over 12 years’ experience as screening specialists, Reed Screening is ideally placed to advise your organisation on the best way to ensure that your digital recruitment processes are beneficial to your company’s performance.

At Reed Screening, we’re dedicated to making the recruitment journey as smooth as possible for both employers and candidates, to help our clients source and retain the talent they need. Speak to our team today to find out how we can streamline and enhance your recruitment journey and boost performance in 2023.