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The impact of IT Downtime in the recruitment industry

IT Downtime - RecruitmentWe’ve seen some pretty high profile examples of IT downtime across all industries over the past 12 months, from system failures to hacking attacks such as the recent Talk Talk network breach. Many businesses take the attitude that they are neither important or high profile enough to become a target but everyone’s data has value. And all businesses are vulnerable to IT issues, whether or not malicious forces are involved. In the recruitment industry, an IT disaster can have a big impact. Business downtime in such a fast moving sector can hit a company hard – and in ways that you may not have anticipated.

Staff issues

We are so reliant on databases and networks these days that an IT disaster can completely deny access so that staff are sitting twiddling their thumbs. There will be no access to candidate data that is necessary for meetings or phone calls and staff will also be unable to get into their email accounts to keep up with communication.

Slow response times

An on the ball recruiter needs to be able to move quickly when urgent vacancies appear but this simply isn’t possible during an IT disaster. Any urgent vacancies that are sent in will simply sit, unactioned, which can damage both client and contractor relationships.

Missing deadlines

One of the knock on effects of an IT disaster is staff being unable to create candidate shortlists for jobs and potentially missing submission dates. Again, this can have a serious knock on effect on the trust that is built up between clients and recruiters, as well as applicants.

Internal systems

An IT disaster can affect anything that is network based, including running payroll for contractors and temps and receiving time sheets. This understandably does not go down well with those who are waiting to get paid and can be particularly damaging if it happens repeatedly.

Workforce damage

If systems are repeatedly affected then businesses risk losing consultants to other companies more willing to invest in their IT – and to protect it.

Reputational issues

All businesses could be affected by an IT disaster but those that never cope risk being labeled as inefficient, out of date and slow. Swift disaster recovery to retrieve maliciously deleted data and emails and rapidly recover systems to minimise downtime ensure that business continuity is not affected sufficiently to damage reputation.