For two days, all the leading recruitment players and all the biggest names descended on Birmingham’s NEC for the Recruitment Agency Expo. No other UK event unites so many recruitment industry professionals in one place.
It facilitated a seemingly infinite number of relationships critical to the future of businesses and individual careers. When it comes to expanding professional networks, you’d have to go a long way to find a better event.
The team at PitchMe saw some familiar faces and got acquainted with some brand new ones – it was great to share the same space with so many leading professionals and exchange experiences from the past and ideas for the future.
The floor was populated by titans of the recruitment ecosystem, including Access, JobAdder and Bullhorn. The action-packed programme included incredibly insightful talks. A particular favourite was a discussion about benefits of automating job ads, using AI search techniques to source more talent, and the importance of radical diversity in recruitment.
Naturally, as a company that does all of the above, we were all ears. The articulate speakers all brought their topics to life to illustrate a comprehensive image of how recruitment will look in the near future.
Our takeaways from the Recruitment Agency Expo
There were many salient themes from both days of this fantastic event. But here are our handpicked takeaways all companies will need moving forwards:
Automation is being adopted across the board
Every recruiter we met at the expo had experience with an ATS or CRM. And their primary motivation for being there was to explore more emerging technologies to further streamline their recruitment processes.
Agencies in attendance included anything from startups with two employees to large recruiters with 400 plus employees. Regardless of size, every company had experience of automation technologies and were veritable fountains of interesting and valuable insights as a result.
From their individual and unique perspectives, a broad yet detailed picture emerged of how greenhouse integration is solving the problems of recruiters, large and small. And there was plenty of conversation regarding what didn’t work, too.
In short, recruiters are wasting too much time sourcing and trying to find the details of potential candidates.
Automation is empowering recruiters, rather than replacing them
The introduction and application of automation in the workplace can be met with a degree of scepticism. This is due to the sense that it’s there to replace the work of a human. Whilst that may be true of other industries, it’s not the case with recruitment.
The importance of automation was reflected in every conversation we had with recruiters at the expo. There is wide scale recognition that automation empowers recruiters. By taking care of the repetitive tasks, automation enables recruiters to function as such.
With the admin tasks on autopilot, recruiters can be more targeted about who they consider for a role, who they call, and they can direct more focus on building strong relationships with their talent. And that’s the true value of a recruiter.
This is something the industry clearly recognises. As recent data from Bullhorn shows, recruitment agencies that embrace automation enjoy a 64% higher placement rate, submit 33% more candidates per recruiter, and were 55% more likely to report major revenue gains.
Identity document validation technology (IDVT) is huge
We spoke to numerous identity service provider organisations such as Amiqus that provide ID validation and background checks who have grown exponentially in the last 12 months.
This has largely been down to changes in government legislation regarding right to work and the validation of workers’ documents. From 1st October, one of the three approved methods of validating documents is via an accredited digital identity service provider (IDSP), who, like Amiqus, use app-based technology to do the check.
Seeing as it’s often more convenient to automate checks rather than doing it the old-fashioned way – manually and in person – and faster than using the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service, it’s plain to see why these businesses are thriving, and why they will become more and more relevant in recruitment moving forward.
In-person events will always be hugely relevant
I know we talk at length about the benefits of technology in recruitment (how could we not?!), but events of this nature will always facilitate relationships that drive industries forward in a way that technology cannot.
From a purely selfish perspective, it’s hugely beneficial for emerging brands such as PitchMe to attend these events and grow their presence. They are hugely beneficial in terms of visibility.
Further to that, it was great to showcase our technology and demonstrate the bountiful benefits it can bring to recruiters. Attendees commented on the palpable sense that the PitchMe solution can enable them to hire faster and cut costs – something of even greater significance with a potential recession looming.
And from a less introspective perspective, in-person events are fantastic for reminding us of the benefits of working together. The general atmosphere at the expo was one of collaboration, not competition.
“As someone who has only been in the recruitment industry for 3 weeks, I was completely unsure of what to expect at Rec Expo. Engaging in collaborative and thought-provoking conversations was a really productive way for me to learn more about this industry, and I look forward to future events.” – Ara Shikhalislami, Business Development Manager, PitchMe.
The event definitely provided the space for us to exchange ideas and pave the way for collaboration in the future as we caught up with the likes of OLAS.
The bottom line is that the Recruitment Agency Expo was a fantastic opportunity to get in a room and interact with brilliant people from across the industry and indeed from across the world.
Attendees came from as far afield as Ireland, Italy, Belgium and Ukraine, to share insights and discuss how innovation is taking us forward. We’re certainly looking forward to the next event.
We’re attending UNLEASH World in Paris on 12th and 13th October. Billed as the “most influential HR Conference and Exhibition in the World will showcase the next wave of breakthrough technologies and global innovators changing the future of work”, it’s another meeting of the recruitment minds where professionals can come together to plan for the future, and build productive and mutually beneficial relationships for their businesses.
Look out for our posts across all streams in the lead-up to and during the event. And if you’re going, don’t forget to come over and catch up on the future of recruitment.
Find out more about recruitment automation!