Recruiting for the future

At our recent breakfast roundtable, we sat down with senior HR and recruitment experts from a range of industries, including retail, charity, telecommunications, education and professional services to discuss the future of recruitment.

It’s fair to say that it’s a difficult time for recruitment right now. EU immigration is at its lowest level since 2013, resulting in fewer candidates and greater competition to attract the best talent, with further restrictions set for 2021.

Technology is disrupting the entire industry, as we stand on the verge of the 4th industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). People’s expectations of all digital interactions are much higher as the technology available to them in their own homes and day-to-day lives increases in sophistication. And we’re seeing huge shifts in the employer-employee relationship.

These days it’s a candidate’s market and they want more than a salary; with seven dimensions of job quality, employers now need to offer potential candidates a much more holistic package, such as flexible working arrangements, clear progression and health and wellbeing programmes. In an increasingly tough and competitive market, how can businesses cost effectively and efficiently attract and retain the right talent?

The candidate experience

We know customers are no longer willing to accept below-par experiences and interactions with brands. Businesses that invest in their customer experience (CX) not only create a clear point of differentiation from their competitors, but also see a 17% increase in customer loyalty and 11% increase in revenue.

Candidates are customers too and so if recruitment teams want to build a strong employer brand, attract the best talent, increase efficiencies and reduce cost per hire the same CX principles need to be applied to the candidate experience. With that in mind, we have outlined five key building blocks in order to create a more efficient and future-proof recruitment strategy.

1. Candidate - get to know them, really know them

In order to attract the right people for your business and provide the best candidate experience, you need to take the time to really understand your audience. Who you are trying to attract? What are their behaviours? What motivates them? What are their influences?

Through the creation of experience-maps, personas and user journeys you’re able to create a roadmap for all recruitment activity; ensuring a joined-up and optimised experience for candidates and setting yourself apart from competitors.

2. Content - give them the content they need, when they need it.

Once you understand your audience you can create content that’s tailored to them, rather than generic one-size-fits-all messaging. Content needs to match a candidate’s needs and motivations, delivered in the right formats through the right channels, whilst aligning to a consistent brand narrative.

A candidate’s recruitment journey won’t be a simple and linear A to B. So rather than trying to force candidates down a specific route, each channel needs to work harder. Creating clusters of small experiences across each channel, that generate awareness, engage and convert candidates, allows candidates to engage with your business in the way that best suits them.

3. Onboarding - don’t stop at day one. Keep recruiting for the first 90 days.

According to a recent survey from Jobvite 29% of workers have at left a job within the first 90 days. This part of the recruitment journey can often be overlooked as candidates make the transition to employee, but with the average cost per hire in the UK around £3,000 it’s a costly mistake to make.

To ensure a successful journey you need to set candidates up for success and continue to engage from application until they’re successfully embedded within the company. Prior to starting that means giving them a realistic idea of what their job will be, who they’ll be working with and the culture of the business. Once they’ve started this means continued support for the first 90 days to allow them to embed properly and become an engaged member of their team.

4. Technology - use it to enhance, not replace.

Whilst technology is often associated with being impersonal, when used correctly it allows you to add a more human element to your candidate experience, at a scale that is hard to achieve without huge teams and resource.

We’re now seeing an influx of new technologies disrupting recruitment and whilst some are still in the early stages, AI, machine learning and automation will only become more prevalent and sophisticated recruitment tools in the next few years. Rather than view this as a threat to HR teams however, technology should be seen as an enabler; providing the opportunity to create efficiencies and allowing recruiters to focus on the more strategic and human elements of their role.

5. Teams - don’t let them be the blocker.

With the introduction of new technology, come new challenges. To implement an effective candidate experience successfully, teams need to adopt an agile approach and be willing to adapt; learning new skills, new processes and rethink existing hiring strategies. Don’t wait for perfect. See this as an ongoing process of discovery; start small and have clear, measurable goals.

To find out how we can help you implement a digital-first recruitment strategy get in touch.