Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is 'robotic process automation' taking recruiters jobs?
Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is ‘Robotic Process Automation’ taking recruiters’ jobs? If you’ve worked in shared services, you’ve likely heard of RPA.


But what exactly is Robotic Process Automation? RPA refers to a growing trend across shared service centres all over the world whereby we now have robots that can perform more and more intelligent tasks. Whilst automation has been around for a while, thanks to the rate at which technology is changing we now have intelligent software systems that can process and data quickly and more efficiently than their human counterparts.


RPA is like a software robot, or artificial intelligence, that can perform human tasks and is designed specifically to perform a vast range of repetitive functions and communicate between other systems, in much the same way that humans do.


Once implemented, this software is a cheaper, more accurate and more efficient option for many businesses. Robots don’t sleep so they can work through the night, they won’t call in sick or be late on Monday morning and you don’t have the expense of having to provide them with benefits.


In some areas headcount can be reduced by more than double land with human error eliminated, it’s a no-brainer for most onshore…


More than 50% of shared service centres have plans to implement RPA in the future. But why? The main purpose of companies creating SSC’s, is to eliminate costs and improve efficiencies. Robots perform better than humans once rapidly trained, so it’s no wonder the stats are so high.



Some of the benefits of RPA include:

  • Reduced costs – between 30% and 80% savings
  • Improved efficiency
  • 24×7 work
  • Agility
  • Increases customer and employee satisfaction
  • Improved compliance
  • Human error eliminated


Robotic process automation will be the future of Shared Services. It will eliminate manual processing, reduce errors and inevitably saved time & costs. It will also provide a better service; software robots act in the same way as human beings and are trained extremely quickly to process data in a certain way, although they don’t make errors. Over time this software becomes more intelligent as it is self-learning and identifies trends, meaning that any unusual information that may have previously gone unnoticed will be flagged up by the robot.


RPA won’t work in everyone’s favour. It reduces headcount within a SSC, meaning redundancies for some, and initially, these transformation projects will be a big cost for businesses. Also, because of the complexities of changing existing systems, they don’t always work. There needs to be a solid strategy behind it with all stakeholders engaged in the project, as most transformation can fail if not implemented correctly. This is something that we’ve previously highlighted in these blogs ( &


Not all suppliers are in favour either, as sending invoices electronically may cause issues to supplies current accounting processes.


Some examples of how RPA is used.


Finance & Procurement

  • 3-way matching.
  • Invoice processing.
  • Cash allocation.
  • Credit status
  • Parsing



  • Processing starters and leavers
  • Applicant screening
  • Recruitment feedback/rejection emails
  • Data management
  • Saving on recruitment costs



  • New starters/leavers
  • Contractual changes
  • Attendance/absence records
  • Holiday records
  • Deductions such a pension, salary sacrifice etc.
  • Expenses


What are your experiences with robotic process automation? Has your business benefited from new technology, or has it caused problems in your workplace? To discuss you can email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Interview prep: Questions you must ask at your next interview (and some you should steer clear of!)

Interview prep
Interview prep: Questions you must ask at your next interview (and some you should steer clear of!)

Interview prep:  One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in an interview is to not ask any questions.

Seriously… Changing jobs is one of the most life-altering decisions that you can make, along with moving house and having children (and trust me I have done a few of these recently!)

So, you can understand how strange it might be for an employer knowing this to get to the end of an interview and find that (before making that life-changing decision) – that the interviewee doesn’t want to ask you anything.

Let’s be clear…

Many hiring managers will reject a candidate for not asking relevant questions, and do you know what, I don’t blame them! The logic behind this goes a bit like this:

  • If a candidate was genuinely interested in the role they would want to find out more about it (and us – the hirer/leadership team).
  • If the candidate has listened and understands the requirements of the position, then they will likely want more information about the specific requirements of the role. This is called secondary and tertiary questioning… more on that later…
  • I want to hire people that will be engaging. Engaging people tend to ask good questions.
  • I want to hire someone who can challenge the status quo, and also bring people along on the journey. They probably need to understand where people are coming from first before making their decisions, and guess what, you need to ask probing questions to do this…

That’s why interview prep is so important. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to asking questions during an interview:

  • “What’s in it for me” type questions. These are a big no, especially during the first stage of the interview process, as this isn’t what the employer wants you to ask. These questions can come across as very self-centred, so save these for after the interview if you get asked back for a second stage.
  • Probing questions. These are business-related and are your what’s, how’s, if’s, but’s… these can be more challenging but as long as you ensure that they are relevant to what has been discussed or your observations about the role, then ask away.
  • Secondary and Tertiary questioning. Getting them to go into more detail about particular aspects of the role that you might want explaining. These types of questions show that you’ve been active and engaged during the interview process, and taken on board what the interviewer has said.
  • Long-term questions about business growth, culture, future plans. These questions indicate your commitment to the role and your future loyalty to the company.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

GDPR and recruitment – will it put a stop to lazy recruiters?

GDPR and recruitment
GDPR and recruitment

GDPR and recruitment – you’ve most likely heard this year’s industry buzzword, GDPR.


GDPR refers to the new regulation that will be enforced on the 25th May and will require company and site owners to be transparent about how they collect, use and share personal data. But what does this mean for recruiters?


Recruiters have been using different tactics for years when competing against other agencies. Sending your CV without permission, adding responsibilities to your CV to make the hiring manager want to interview you, or even putting you forward for a role that you don’t necessarily want to go for. Many recruiters do this to hit their KPI’s as some recruitment companies are now holding back bonus payments when KPI’s haven’t been hit, making employees use sneaky tactics just for tick-box exercises.


Imagine your top client approaching you about a role and asking for your best 2 CV’s that fit the criteria, and reiterating that they want to see no more than 2. Some recruiters will still send over their best 2 CV’s, along with another 3 people that they’re hoping will secure interviews, using tactics they learnt on the “power of persuasion” training session they did when joined the company.


One of the biggest frustrations that I encounter when speaking to candidates and clients about recruiters, in general, is their inability to listen. Whilst a recruiter needs to provide advice, consult, and manage a candidate’s expectations, this needs to be done at the initial stages, and not when they are delivering a shortlist (or long;list in some cases!)


In my opinion, recruitment doesn’t (and shouldn’t) work like that. Too many people see recruitment as an equation nowadays, the more calls you make, CVs you send, candidate interviews you conduct = more money. Don’t get me wrong, speaking with many different candidates and clients can increase market knowledge and build relationships, however, it’s quality over quantity.


I recently took on a recruitment assignment with a company that I hadn’t worked with before, and as this was a new client I was competing against some of their current suppliers in a bid to prove myself. In this assignment I’d spoken to and met with a handful of new candidates, one in particular being a young lady who hadn’t got a great deal of working experience and was fairly new to a ‘recruitment process’.


She was excited by the role and showed lots of enthusiasm when I’d engaged with her. I felt that she was more than capable performing well within this role so I submitted her details, prior to meeting with the client. The candidate was then sent some online tests and psychometric profiling, which she completed, followed by a telephone interview.


I met with the client the next day to discuss the role in further detail and brought with me some feedback directly from this candidate regarding the profiling. The telephone interview was successful, and the candidate’s profiling had come back and the feedback from the client was positive.


The client then said that another agency had submitted her CV to their business that same day. As this role was very niche and included specific language skills, I was pretty sure that this other agency hadn’t spoken to my candidate as she would have mentioned how she had already been put forward for this role by myself.


I asked my client if this was a particular agency that I knew of who had a reputation for doing this time and time again, and lo and behold, it was. After the meeting I’d called my candidate to give her the positive feedback and had briefly mentioned this scenario to her. I wasn’t surprised when she’d told me she’d never heard of the agency, let alone spoken with them.


It turns out the agency had found her CV on an online job board and submitted it to the client without permission. The candidate was shocked by this practice, to say the least, and the client had said it wasn’t the first time this agency had been known to do this. Fortunately, on this occasion I’d beaten the agency in question to the draw.


There have been many instances where a client will interview a candidate based on who has sent a CV over first, and not who has had permission from the candidate, which can be incredibly frustrating. Especially after the time and effort that goes into meeting with the candidate, talking them through a role, and selling your client to them, only for a lazy recruiter to pick their CV off a job board, fling it over to the client and hope for the best.


Hopefully, with GDPR coming into force this May, this will stop shoddy recruiters from sending CVs without a candidate’s permission to potential clients.


What are your thoughts on GDPR and recruitment? How has your experience been with recruiters? Do you feel some cut corners, and don’t provide the levels of service they are supposed to? You can email me at 

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.