The event kicked off with a welcome speech by Rene, who took the audience on a trip down memory lane, sharing the very first message he received from OnRecruit founder, Rob Nijssen, 8 years ago, inviting him to be a part of the team. Fast forward to today, OnRecruit hosted their very first annual conference, featuring some important names in the industry who shared their views about the future of technology and recruitment. The conference was aptly kicked off with the team’s self-created music video, “Gold Mine”. This video and the conference were a celebration of OnRecruit’s 2018 innovation, as well as the amount that the business has grown and team success we’ve achieved thus far.

Hung Lee got the ball rolling. His presentation focused on how recruitment is changing in the context of new technology available to us today. He claimed that recruitment is like a game, and he invented the acronym SMASH – Sourcing, Messaging, Assessment, Scheduling, Hiring. “In recruitment, we SMASH it.” Today, there are so many tools that help recruiters in every stage of SMASH. Technology will help many recruiters to free up so much of their time. But, the key question was: What to do with all that free time? His recommendation is that recruiters should shift their focus to more value-adding activities, practically changing their roles: Building an audience, becoming storytellers, being candidate champions. Technology equips recruiters to now build better human connection with candidates and be more visible. “Visibility is one of the key success factors in the future”.

This was followed by Loraine Nijhuis, a digital and technology expert at Green Orange. Loraine drew comparisons between recruiters and marketers, and how the candidate journey is very much alike to the customer journey, except for a difference in input and output. Ultimately, she claims that the combination of data and human touch are the key to success.

300 hires per year and no recruiters? One of OnRecruit’s star customers and the talent acquisition manager at Fabory, Arjan Spies, brought this dream to reality, inspiring the audience with his success story. Taking a relatable approach, Arjan shared not only the shiny celebrations, but also the challenges and pitfalls he faced along the way and how he overcame them. Collecting data and looking at how it can be used has helped Fabory eliminate their need for internal recruiters and help from third parties, speeding up their time to hire, and hiring 80% of their candidates using their own channels.

Bringing black fedora hats back in style, Bill Boorman made his way to the stage defining “A new kind of good”. Interpreting data from the past may induce a biased view on what used to be good: Using old and biased data, you would probably find that ‘most qualified’ applicants are highly educated white men. “Organizations have been built on biases. Use data to build a new matching selection machine based on something different, that would give us new outputs”. Boorman also challenged the well-established importance of employer branding: Candidates are now shifting their focus from employer brand towards job brand. Candidates are choosing towards specific roles and what they entail, and only once they find an interesting role, does employer branding come into play.

The speaker lineup ended on a high note with Dirk Meeuws, OnRecruit’s CTO and COO, with his very personal talk. Dirk earned his degree in aerospace engineering from TU Delft. With his background, he made the seemingly unlikely connection between rocket science and recruitment: both involve the combination of data, making people’s life easier, and providing business intelligence. He then went on to explain how OnRecruit, as a recruitment enablement platform, has taken on these learnings in its product and service offering that can, and will, help you and others improve recruitment.

Ultimately, technology will not wipe out the role of recruiters, but it does lead to a change of skillset that recruiters need to adopt. There are things that any type of technology, AI or automation cannot replace perfectly: Human touch.

The conference was completed with a graceful rhythmic gymnastics’ performance. The gymnasts from RGC Eleganza are coached by OnRecruit’s very own Barbara van Ravesteijn Ors, customer success manager. No conference would be complete without an entertaining and gezellige ‘borrel’, allowing the guests to mingle, catch up and network with old and new friends, as well as strengthening and forge business relationships.

Make sure to watch the speakers’ full talk on our YouTube channel

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