The need to re-engineer the recruitment process is more important than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated major shifts in recruitment that forced many organisations to rethink their traditional hiring practices. Organisations and recruiters must evolve with the changing talent landscape to remain competitive for top talent. This entails embracing data-driven, candidate-centred design and virtual ways without losing sight of the human connection that paves the way for a positive candidate experience.
The future of work requires a holistic approach to recruitment, no matter the industry. In the future of work, recruiters are agents of positive change across the talent landscape who enable the recruitment process to benefit all candidates, regardless of whether they’ve been hired.
Candidates today are also more conscious of their expectations from recruiters and organisations. The Covid-19 pandemic made them realise the level of support they need to thrive in an ever-changing job market amidst uncertain times. Candidates ask recruiters questions about job stability, purposes and ethics, transparency, career mobility, leadership programs and digital upskilling/reskilling. Instead of free coffee, snacks, a resting lounge and pizza Fridays, candidates demand sustainable growth.
In response, HR leaders and talent acquisition teams rethink their recruitment process and employee value proposition or EVP. They are ramping up strategies to meet growing demands within their organisations and from candidates and customers. In driving positive change, recruiters must assess candidate expectations and come up with solutions to attract and retain top talent for long-term benefits.
Workforce shaping is one of the biggest challenges for the entire HR function today, in which recruitment plays a leading role in delivering. To succeed, recruiters must hire the right people with the right skillsets and ensure diversity representation to strengthen the workforce. It’s not about filling vacancies or replacing roles but acquiring employees who can bring more value to the organisation.
For Recruiters, job seekers and employees, the shortening shelf life of skills is increasing pressure. The evolution and dispersion of skills resulted in conventional recruitment strategies proving ineffective, even obsolete.
According to a 2021 research by Gartner, hiring managers are increasingly concerned about the low percentage of new hires with the right skills for their current and future roles. Consultative strategies that are aligned with skills acquisition are necessary to source and attract top talent and make way for sustainable growth.
In 2019, LinkedIn published an article predicting how recruitment will change in 2025. One prediction is the idea of using “better” recruitment technology and tools to boost performance among hiring teams. We are seeing that reality today. Will’s Stefanie Cross-Wilson, President and COO of ChapmanCG, says, “Leveraging technology in this space to uncover, communicate with, attract and retain new pools of talent will be key.”
One of the most drastic changes in recruitment amidst the pandemic is the need to move online. Virtual recruiting is here to stay, and that applies to sourcing, interviews, assessments and onboarding.
At Will, we attest to artificial intelligence’s power, enabling talent acquisition teams to identify and qualify more candidates in a shorter amount of time without sacrificing quality. Will has invested extensively in AI and automation technology and the required change management in upgrading skills, processes and ways of working.
The increasing interest within the recruitment industry to use AI in talent sourcing also requires consciously managing issues such as unconscious bias, which surface when technology is used exclusively in the recruitment process. However, when combined with human intervention, technology undeniably empowers recruiters to make better hires. It frees them up to focus on other higher impact candidate and hiring manager communication and relationship activities. That is putting the human on critical human tasks.
In recruitment, technology vastly enhances the capabilities of hiring managers and recruiters. However, it is essential to remember that digital connection is still secondary to human contact. Hiring managers and recruiters are still the top accelerators in strengthening the recruitment process to bring more value to the experience.
Job seekers can no longer tolerate poor candidate experiences in the same way organisations must minimise making poor hiring decisions. Not getting updates on a job application, lack of communication among interviewees, and misalignment of candidates and roles are a few examples. Another is ineffective talent sourcing because recruiters focus on speed of hire. Candidates go through interviews without being thoroughly evaluated for the position. Sourcing is a crucial part of recruitment that significantly influences candidate experience and the quality of hire. Candidate experience executed poorly results in a high turnover rate, poor retention, revenue loss and a negative impact on company culture and engagement. An organisation’s candidate experience extends beyond the application and interview process, covering all touchpoints up until the candidate’s onboarding.
In contrast, a compelling candidate experience brings value to candidates in many ways. Jobseekers benefit from feedback on opportunities they are better suited for and roles that may not be right. They gain insights from recruiters who are well-informed about the current developments in their industry. Through these insights, they can also identify in-demand skills to acquire to remain competitive.
Equally, positive candidate experiences strengthen organisations’ employer brand and reputation. Companies who care about their candidate experience have a better edge over competitors in winning the talent they seek and convert applicants into brand ambassadors in the process. A practical candidate experience is a memorable one because it gives measurable value to candidates, no matter the result of their application. It’s not just about engaging the candidates; it’s about empowering them as well.
“By providing value to candidates, they will appreciate the care factor you invested in them. Candidates may forget who got them the job or what advice they received, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” says Philip Divilly, Managing Director of Will’s Quay Appointments.
Will believes that recruitment should help people and organisations progress. This is not just about matching people to jobs and filling up job vacancies. It is about assisting people in securing fulfilling work that enables them to grow personally and professionally. As well as recover from the decline of the pandemic and position them well for the future of work. Equally, recruitment should enable organisations to transform and achieve sustainable growth – now and into the future.
Recruitment excellence is a critical factor in achieving sustainable growth. Finding top talent is a big challenge; retaining them is an even bigger one. For Will’s next article, we will discuss employee retention and its material importance for organisations moving forward.
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