#WorkTrends: The Biggest Challenges Recruiters Face

If you think recruiting has gotten more difficult, you’re not alone. What factors have made it more challenging? Is HR tech helping or hurting?

This week on #WorkTrends, we’re talking to Jack Coapman. He’s worked in the HR tech space for many years and is currently chief strategy officer at the recruiting tech company gr8 People, which is sponsoring today’s episode. Coapman joined gr8 People back in 2014 to strengthen the company’s presence in the RPO community and determine how to take its solution — a combination of candidate-relationship management, recruiting, marketing and applicant tracking — to a global audience.

You can listen to the full episode below or keep reading for this week’s topic. Share your thoughts with us using the hashtag #WorkTrends.

In our conversation, Coapman identifies three challenges facing recruiters today.

External Market Pressures

“I recently learned that the number of job openings was greater than the number of unemployed job-seekers. So this was really a punch in the gut, that quite honestly, we should have seen coming,” Coapman says. However, recruiters don’t always have time to look at some of the external market sources that are changing the recruiting process.

“It’s the first time we have a market in which recruiters are responsible for looking at five different types of generations — and all of them have different expectations,” Coapman says. And the more recent generations are expecting a much richer, consumerlike recruiting experience. Recruiters have to know when and how to shift gears to be successful with candidates from each generation.

The Changing Role of the Recruiter

Coapman believes the recruiter is one of the fastest-changing roles in corporate America today. And the expectations continue to expand.

“They still need to deal with the minutia of the recruiting process, they still need to deal with those emails and the follow ups and chasing hiring managers and getting approvals,” he says. However, Coapman says recruiters are also tasked with developing talent pipelines, managing the recruiting brand, delivering a strong candidate experience and making sense of analytics.

They need to be able to not only understand what a KPI is — they need to understand what it means to the organization and what they need to do to improve it.

“And so, it takes a broader thinking and a more strategic level of thinking to look at and interpret those KPIs and turn them into actionable change within the organization,” Coapman says.

The stakes of hiring are much higher in larger organizations, and this is reflected in the many new and different titles out there. “You see recruitment brand managers, recruitment market specialists, sourcers, recruiters, college recruiting specialists, coordinators,” Coapman says. “All of a sudden, we’re getting into this delineation of the different parts of the recruiting process and whether somebody can really be a true, full-cycle recruiter, able to do everything from sourcing to nurturing and hiring and managing pipelines and onboarding and everything out there.”

Misconceptions about HR Tech

Companies don’t just want the ATS capability that comes along with their HCM. Coapman says they’re demanding (and deserving of) platforms specifically for recruiting and related functions. They need a platform that is 100 percent focused on the art of discovering talent, engaging talent and bringing it into the organization. There are a lot of shiny new toys out there, but organizations must focus on how they’re integrating all of these components.

Coapman believes there needs to be a greater understanding of what an API is, and companies also need to understand that an easy-to-use UI may not be able to support more complex requirements. “So many times, we find that organizations may make a very quick decision on the nicest-looking platform, and a year later, when the company has grown and changed, that platform is not able to keep up with those complex requirements.” He advises organizations to really understand what’s happening in their company, and then find the technologies that make the most sense.

In addition, Coapman says technology will never replace the value of a one-on-one conversation. “Recruiters need to quantify the value of the organization and sell that person on the opportunity to join that company.”

Continue the conversation. Join us on Twitter (#WorkTrends) for our weekly chat on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Pacific or anywhere in the world you are joining from to discuss this topic and more.

This episode of #WorkTrends is sponsored by gr8 People.