As the recruitment sector embraces the gig economy approach to employment, and as technology takes over, will traditional high street recruitment agencies be gone in five years?
Rectech in security
Smart technology is shaking up recruitment in the private security sector with developers, start-ups and entrepreneurs embracing machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easier and more efficient to match candidates to employers.
We’ve seen the emergence and rapid rise of fintech and we envisage that the same will happen in the recruitment and employment sector – hence rectech. AI, machine learning, gamification and apps are leading the way in disrupting the sector and replacing traditional recruitment processes, bringing immediate benefits to security companies, HR departments, recruiters and job seekers.
Technology is empowering security personnel to find roles that suit them, allow them to work more effectively around their lifestyles, and be remunerated how and when they prefer. How job seekers are finding work in the private security sector now is completely different to how it was five or ten years ago. Power has shifted from the employer to the job seeker, with many individuals looking for flexibility and hours that suit their lifestyles instead of a traditional nine to five. There is also a rise in demand for temporary and supplementary jobs for additional incomes on top of regular employment.
For example, people on zero hours or part-time contracts may look for additional flexible shifts at evenings or weekends to top up their income and they need a quick and easy way to find job openings and flexible roles.
In addition, the rise of the self-employed job seeker is continuing as the workforce becomes more fluid, and the gig economy spreads into other sectors.
The robots are coming
If they haven’t already, security organisations should start to implement an AI strategy into their business, especially for recruitment. Some businesses are at the adoption stage and it’s certainly gaining momentum, so it’s important to test and experiment with different basic tasks to see what works best. AI can really improve business operations and enhance customer service and community management.
AI can analyse data quickly and accurately, learn behaviours, identify trends and perform repetitive tasks more quickly than a human. It can obtain better, quicker insights, speed up back office and admin-heavy tasks and customer facing systems as well as identify fraud, irregular transactions and security intrusions. It’s often more reliable, more efficient and cheaper than humans carrying out the same tasks, plus it’s 24 / 7 so allows for quicker problem solving, lower costs and happier customers. The aim is that HR and recruitment departments can use it for tasks such as interview scheduling, facial recognition, candidate screening, communication and much more.
Ahead of the gamification
The concept of gamification uses game theory and designs to digitally engage with and motivate individuals, and can support the candidate screening and job application process. Gaming principles can enhance a person’s interest and commitment to a business and can include elements such as profile rating, employee of the month schemes, hidden tokens and prizes, behavioural quizzes, loyalty programmes and community engagement. It can help build meaningful relationships, boost employee motivation and even support training and productivity. It brings personalisation and a fun addition to the (often boring and frustrating) recruitment and employment process.
Within recruitment, gamification can speed up the candidate elimination process, as it can test skills such as accuracy, time management, creative thinking and logic. It gives the business a point of differentiation and shows that it is adopting modern strategies and technology, which is particularly relevant for youth and millennial employment both now and in the future.
The only way is app
There has been considerable innovation within mobile apps for security recruiters to attract potential candidates. Many job seekers use their mobile device to find work but employers can take this one step further by managing the whole employment process via a personalised app – including timesheet management, payroll systems etc. Apps can discreetly send push notifications that match their profile, enable messaging, and offer urgent vacancies when time is tight or for out-of-hours requests. This is particularly useful for temporary roles and can reduce time spent calling round and alert available workers to positions.
Demand for security jobs in the UK has increased rapidly in the past two years. Private security spend is forecast to increase by nine per cent over the next five years and the number of jobs in the industry will increase by ten to twelve per cent. Many industry experts are putting this down to increased security requirements and safety measures in public spaces, at gigs and festivals, at events and in city centres.
There is a fundamental need in the private security sector to make recruitment and employment more flexible, reduce paperwork and time-intensive timesheet and payroll systems, and to make the process work better – for recruiters, employers and job seekers. The end-to-end recruitment and employment process is becoming more digitised but greater deployment of technology within the sector is needed and can offer businesses the opportunity to reshape their operations and processes to suit the job seeker.
New technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, gamification systems and personalised apps are bringing disruption to the sector and can enable private security organisations to manage workforces more effectively, operate more efficiently, reduce labour-intensive tasks and streamline processes. In addition, they can lead to a happier, more reliable and productive workforce.
Tom Pickersgill founder of Broadstone