Adopting New Recruitment Technology in Asia-Pacific: three rules for success

video interviewsRecruiters in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are using technology with increasing success. According to Bullhorn’s 2015 APAC Recruitment Trends Report, more than 28% of firms (compared to 13% in 2014) used vendor management systems (VMS) to process 50% or more of their jobs in 2015. They’re also using customer relationship management (CRM) software more effectively than their US and UK counterparts, with a higher rate (53%) of successful placements made using this technology.

The correct implementation and use of technology in the recruitment industry has numerous business benefits that can increase productivity and profit. Routine tasks are streamlined and simplified, diminishing an administrative overload and creating more time to focus on customer relationships with both candidates and clients. The right software system can improve communication internally between colleagues, as well as externally with clients and candidates, by managing and tracking all interactions for ease of reference. CRM technology that automatically collects, stores, and analyzes data gives recruiters the proactive relationship insights they need to successfully nurture prospective clients and candidates, close deals, and identify new business opportunities.

That said, implementing new technology can be a daunting prospect – one that is often met with resistance from staff who are comfortable with what they already know. A slow adoption rate can be costly, but is more easily avoided by implementing an effective change management process that incorporates these three rules.

1. Manage your staff’s expectations. Before making any purchases, make sure that the CRM system you have shortlisted is relevant to your business objectives, and capable of helping your staff work better. Take into account all your employees’ needs and how they might differ from one department to the next. Assess each person’s familiarity with enterprise-level technology; competency levels will inevitably vary,so make sure the system you choose is as user-friendly as possible.

Plan comprehensive training for all prospective users, and insist that they attend and complete the programme by making it a part of their KPIs. By providing the right support from the outset you’ll avoid overwhelming your staff and warranting any unnecessary mistakes.

Successful adoption of new technology is best achieved when leaders are upfront and transparent about what they hope to gain for the business – while also providing staff with an open forum to share any ideas or concerns. Involve your staff from the get-go;take-up will be swifter and results will be seen faster.

2. Control the impact on your existing systems. Are you looking to completely replace, or simply update, your existing infrastructure? If the latter, choose technology that is flexible enough to integrate with your existing systems, as this will alleviate the burden of managing more significant change.

If staff are used to using, for example, a specific email system, don’t remove it outright. Rather, provide add-ons for those with more advanced needs.

3. Measure your progress. Successful implementation is only half of the journey. To ensure long-term success, you need to track and review progress at regular intervals, once again including your staff at every step.

Some staff will adapt to the new systems faster than others, but most will need refresher training courses from time to time. Be upfront, ask your employees what they do and don’t like about the new technology. By proactively surveying your company you can respond to any issues before they arise and package the training to address the areas in need.

Always keep the reason why you invested in the technology in the first place front of mind: to help you meet your long-term business goals. The only way to assess the efficacy of a new system is to continuously monitor and measure its impact on your business performance. By staying vigilant and setting targets, you’ll generate insights that will help you stay on-track, allowing you to reap the most reward from your investment.

Technology should never be adopted just to tick a box on a list of things you think you think you need to run a successful recruitment business. By choosing the right CRM software and following a dedicated implementation plan, new technology should make the everyday work of your recruiters quicker and easier – an advantage well worth the time and money.

Peter Markland

Peter Markland
Peterk Markland is APAC regional director, Bullhorn.

Peter Markland

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