REC Account Director Adam Bolton reports from the recent Recruitment Agency EXPO, which took place in Birmingham earlier this month.
As a new recruit to the REC and therefore an EXPO novice, this was something of a voyage of discovery for me. Billed as the ‘UK’s number 1 recruitment industry event’ the EXPO was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in the sector, to hear from industry experts about all the issues that are keeping recruiters awake at night and, of course, to meet some REC members face to face. Here’s what I took away from the two-day event.
Recruiters are struggling to keep up with the pace of change…
In Neil Carberry’s seminar, he discussed how recruiters are facing disruption in four key areas: changing markets, technological development, political change and social expectations, and people development.
All of these areas represent opportunities for recruiters, but keeping up with the pace of change is a real challenge. Neil quoted Greg Savage when he said “the question is no longer, ‘Is recruitment changing?’ The big question is simply ‘Are YOU evolving fast enough to stay relevant?’”
…and late adoptors will get left behind…
Many other speakers at the show picked up on the theme of new digital technologies, and reflected on the opportunities and challenges involved.
Some of the more thought-provoking sessions focused on the cost of late adoption when it comes to embracing innovative technology. Recruiters must navigate a rapidly-changing landscape in relation to automation and the role of AI and bots.
Speakers also considered the impact of technology more generally, looking at the potential for AI to replace human tasks and jobs, and how this would change the skills that organisations need in their people.
…but how can you mitigate the risk?
With technology identified as the biggest disruptor in recruitment, it was no surprise that the bulk of exhibiters at the event were tech solutions, from web design companies, to outsourced back office services, online candidate sourcing and applicant tracking, finance and payroll solutions, jobs boards, video based interviewing solutions and CRM suppliers.
With so much on offer, it can’t be easy for recruiters to decide how to prioritise their tech strategy and stack.
The REC is trying to help members understand how recruitment is changing, so that you can prepare for the future. We’ve recently launched a whitepaper follow up to our Future of jobs report, which focusses on the changes we anticipate will affect the industry up to 2025.
I’m keen to hear from members about the specific challenges you’re facing around tech disruption, to help inform the REC’s work to provide support to our members. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org