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Digitalization in Europe? Wrong!

Although millions of dollars are invested by governments in digitalization programs, in majority of European SMEs digitalization is still in the early stage of development. About one billion Euros is being wasted in the HR departments of German-speaking DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) alone, due to a lack of digitized processes, as a new study by jacando has shown.


The digital potential is not being used, or: This was not meant with “digitalization”!

Despite the wide range of possibilities such as one-click applications, social recruiting or various mobile recruiting forms, old structures still predominate in all the countries examined. Applications reach 34% of European SMEs by mail and 52% via e-mail. And although many companies now wish to receive e-mails instead of applications by post, this does not mean that they are also managed digitally. In most cases, a so-called applicant management system, which allows for efficient management of applicants, is missing: only 14% of all SMEs surveyed receive applications efficiently via a system. This means that e-mail applications are nevertheless still managed inefficiently and manually in most cases. Even the look at other efficient application channels, such as the one-click application with the social media profile or mobile recruiting, does not promise good. With 10% (one-click) and 6% (mobile recruiting), these two forms are almost non-existent.

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Investing in digital recruitment is worthwhile!

The process around an application via e-mail takes more than three times as long as the one by mail, and even five times as long as via a modern e-recruiting system. However, by refraining from innovative recruitment measures, not only an unbelievably big amount of time is wasted, but it also comes at a great cost. A projection has shown that about 1 billion Euro are wasted annually – not globally, but solely in the DACH region.

However, it would be so easy to save costs. The solution is called an applicant management system and has a positive effect after only a few months, as a second study shows.
For an SME with around 250 employees, the costs for the investment in an application management system are covered within less than 3 months! The expenditure on recruiting can thus be reduced to a fraction, thanks to an innovative software, within a very short time.

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Digitalization starts beforehand

Already 79% of Europeans surf the Internet with a smartphone, and they are not only checking social media or reading the daily news –job search gets also done on the move.

In order to receive online applications from the numerous mobile users, a digital basis must be ensured which means that not only websites of the companies, but also open vacancies have to be prepared for mobile use.

Sounds logical, but is not implemented by many companies! Only 66% of the SMEs surveyed have optimized their websites to mobile screen formats. And a cross-country comparison has shown: The Scandinavian websites are most mobile-friendly. The DACH region is slightly below the average with 62% and the south is 57%. With these results, it is not surprising that mobile apps for recruitment are only used in a few exceptional cases.

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A question of knowledge or will?

The status quo analysis clearly showed that the companies under investigation will not be digitized technically for a long time, where they should be due to the many possibilities. Whether the desire for digitalization or knowledge is lacking, however, could not be found due to the size and depth of detail of the investigation.

To find out more about the background and causes of the hesitant digitalization, a further, larger study is needed. This will be carried out in the spring of 2017 by jacando and with the aid of various partners.

About the analysis

In addition to the Swiss study, the websites of 100 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs, 50-499 employees) from each of the following countries were examined by jacando: Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. As a comparison, 100 large companies (500+ employees) were also included in the analysis.

The results of the status quo analysis can be downloaded free of charge here.

Published in[:de]Digitalisierung[:en]Digitalization[:de]E-Recruiting[:en]E-Recruiting[:de]HR Trends[:en]HR Trends[:de]HR Wissen[:en]HR Know-howAllgemeinStudien I Studies