The recruitment industry has responded to significant changes in recent years:

  • A changing job market in an increasingly globalised world, with a flexible workforce more prone to switching jobs
  • The industry has become increasingly professionalised and competitive
  • Recruiters typically need to move at pace, searching for talent from all the right places
  • Recruiters act like agents, mediating between employer and potential employee
  • Growth of the temporary or contract market
  • Challenges and opportunities in the post-Brexit recruitment industry.

Attracting candidates

Most recruiters expect strong competition for talent. The majority say that their biggest challenge in hiring quality talent is the lack of skilled or qualified workers. The consensus appears to be that today’s job market is increasingly facing a professional deficit when it comes to specialised professions like healthcare, construction, or even IT.

The majority of recruitment agencies are reporting an increase in demand for temporary or contract roles. One by-product of this is a market increasingly saturated with candidates possessing a similar level of skills and experience, making it increasingly hard to differentiate to find the best candidates.

The sheer number and variety of recruitment agencies make it harder for each to stand out, so a clear understanding of the USPs of each becomes increasingly important when selecting a recruitment partner or partners.

In response to this agencies need to focus on creating a good customer experience throughout the process, from website to interview, to help attract high-quality candidates – whether specialists with a more recognised value, or casual workers with a better sense of service.

Candidate preparation

With the choice of both roles and agencies on offer today, candidates can be less committed to single jobs or careers, and as such to a single agency. As a result, they can be less prepared for a specific role which in turn can prove both ineffective for both recruiters and agencies alike.

Most agencies provide coaching prior to the interview to improve candidate success rates. Recruiters also promote awareness of the client brand as part of any screening process to maximise the fit during the interview process.

Such support can reassure candidates throughout the employment search process and increase their engagement with the agency.

Candidate retention

While the interview is an important part of the process, it is really the mid-point for the recruiter. Once successful, the focus needs to turn to the induction period and retention. So ideally candidates need to be supported through the first few weeks of the job, adapting to the brand and culture of the new workplace. Recruiters should keep a watchful eye on how candidates settle into a role, continuing to coach and support.

Many organisations already operate in a high turnover environment. So with falling candidate commitment and a higher rate of job-hopping, retention has become a key issue for recruiters, and a potential USP when engaging with agencies.

This type of support should equally apply to the flexible, contract market as improving retention rates will have a likely knock-on effect on improved client relationships, and in turn helping the recruitment process.

Recruitment Process

In 2017 recruiters are under increased pressure to find candidates quicker. Two aspects can help with this challenge; improved agency/recruiter understanding of requirements driving faster candidate filtering and feedback, and better use of technology in areas such as candidate tracking.

Finding skilled candidates that match the recruiter’s criteria can be a challenge in itself, so it’s important not to delay feedback or drag out the process such that they go elsewhere. Good agency account management can help, alongside candidate coaching and effective recruitment processes in a competitive market.

Equally effective administration and a good recruitment management system can help. Such systems can not only help to speed up the recruitment process, but also improve the candidate experience and thus engagement.

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Article by Steve Stiles