Technology is now a part of the everyday world, influencing the way millions of people live and work. The hiring of managers and recruiters in the fashion industry is also working differently, thanks to technology which has impacted many processes in a number of ways.
Why the Shift to Digital?
Since the job of recruiting has existed, it has mainly been technology-free. The reason for the shift to what is now largely digital recruiting is simply because technology has continued to develop as time has gone on. Now, the decisions recruiters have to make are data-driven, as they are in sales and marketing departments, which have been using analytics and data for years.
Those looking for a career in the fashion industry now have a variety of online systems at their disposal. They can visit job search websites to look for work and are able to modify their searches according to location and salary. They can also post their resumes on these job sites, allowing potential employers to find them.
The worldwide reach that applicants now have means a higher number of responses that recruiters and hiring managers need to deal with. Fashion recruiters can now track applicants, and the resumes resulting from job ads can be handled by software to make the task easier.
Of course, as advanced as tracking and resume sorting systems are, no one system is perfect. Qualified candidates can still fall through the cracks in favor of those who fit within the parameters followed by fashion recruitment agency software. However, as technology continues its advance, these systems are becoming increasingly intuitive.
How Digital Is Changing Recruiting
Recruiters have had several tasks to complete, including interviewing, assessing candidates, job matching, and resume screening. All of these aspects of their roles are now largely handled by technology in one way or another. However, this is by no means indicative of the recruiting position itself becoming obsolete.
Apps, Software, and Websites Now Assess Candidates
Another prior job of recruiters was to assess several aspects of candidates, including their skill levels, fit, and interest. Thanks to software development, online assessment tools have now become more sophisticated, taking a much broader approach to candidate assessment. This approach includes providing candidates with VR simulation, contests, games, and real-life problems to solve.
The Coming Irrelevancy of Sourcing
The internet has led to the creation of social media outlets, which are now being accessed by the handheld devices we all carry. It is because of all of this that fashion recruiters now have very little issue with finding virtually any kind of candidate. No longer will candidate sourcing rely on being able to cold call or use traditional search methods of finding talent.
Job Matching Takes a Digital Turn
Software now does the task of job matching because it can do so more quickly and affordably, not to mention far more accurately than humans can do. Although not implemented as yet, software is being developed which will allow e-commerce recruiters in NYC to match the right job with the right candidate.
Recruiters No Longer Required at Interviews
Thanks to technology, job interviews are now able to be held remotely. Although fashion recruiters can be present at these interviews, they no longer have to be. All that needs to be done is to record interviews, which the recruiters can review when their schedules allow.
Recording the interview also keeps everyone honest, eliminating the possibility of unacceptable questions being asked or of false information being given.
No More Screening of Resumes by Recruiters
It’s finally been proven that software is better at resume scanning than humans are. Why is this? Because software is now capable of screening via contextual search, but can also verify skills and credentials by searching the internet.
A Selling Role
Today, the fashion recruiting role consists mainly of selling.
This is good news for fashion recruiters because the selling and influencing skill set is one that technology is not able to replace. Because anyone who only hires intermittently doesn’t always excel at sales, the advice of recruiters on selling will continue to be sought.
What kind of selling will a fashion recruiter be expected to do? Not only will recruiters need to sell prospects on the idea of working for a particular company, they will also need to sell hiring managers on prospective candidates, as well as convince those who may not think they can apply to do so.
Selling also includes the encouragement by recruiters of existing employees to provide positive comments on the company so that new talent can be attracted.
Big Data Requires Recruiters to Take Care
One thing to consider is that, although an increasing amount of data is being produced, it must be made use of. If recruiters aren’t sure what to do with the data they receive, that data will be worth very little and can even be detrimental to companies unless that data is placed into the right hands.
Confusion and Complexity
Big data can cause much confusion. Because there’s so much of it, focus on the big picture can be lost in favor of small details that may not matter. This can cause the existing issues with recruiting to go unresolved.
Not only that but, as technology continues to develop and systems become increasingly sophisticated, they also become more difficult to maintain, requiring the specialized skills of analysts or data scientists to handle properly.
The subject of bias in terms of digital fashion recruiting has a couple of sides. It is true that technology can eliminate bias by removing identifying information like race and gender from applications. Software’s ability to do this can mean big benefits to companies due to the fact that it increases workplace diversity.
Not only that, but existing technology can also assist companies with ensuring their recruitment ads contain no questionable words or phrases. As long as algorithms used by systems don’t contain any biases, they will surpass the ability of e-commerce recruitment to be bias-free.
However, there is also the fact that today’s software used in fashion recruiting will introduce bias, albeit unconsciously. One example is if a company needs to target a specific demographic in their ads due to a lack of diversity with their current staff. A company in this situation would need to ensure their ads contain wording that targets the needed demographic.
Implementation Without Overwhelming
Change is a scary thing for many. The fact that fashion is being overtaken by digital processes may invoke a strong distaste for change, although it is inevitable. That being said, it’s important for companies shifting to digital fashion recruiting to employ the same strategy that other companies have found to be successful.
This strategy does involve making changes, but on an incremental basis as they continue to approach business in the usual manner. Those companies wishing to do more than simply survive the shift to the digital world will need to consider a more aggressive strategy.
This strategy will require a re-imagining of the business, where complacency and contentedness do not have a place. These businesses have developed a point of view that things can always be improved.
They know that change is occurring rapidly, and that business can be disrupted more easily than ever. Therefore, they understand that what’s needed is to clearly define the key capabilities required in all departments to inform their job advertising.
Fashion Recruiting as a Long-Term Objective
Those who have decided to remain with a fashion recruitment agency for the long-term will need to re-imagine themselves. Due to the fact that most of the candidate assessment, job matching, screening, and sourcing is now being done by software, current recruiters will need to shift their own learning to the sales platform.
Shifting to sales may be difficult due to a current lack of information about how to sell in the recruiting realm. However, with the increasing speed at which technology is developing, this lack of information is very likely to be short-lived.
For the past 16+ years, The Fashion Network has served New York’s fashion and retail industries, helping them locate ideal candidates with top talent. Learn more about how we save companies both time and money; email David@thefashionetwork.com.