In an ever-changing world where rules in the workplace continue to fluctuate, the talent acquisition industry must learn to adapt faster to stay ahead of the game…
With the ongoing transition to a more digital world, followed by the aftermath of Brexit and COVID-19, recruiters in 2021 have a tough time. They’re continually having to change the hiring process to accommodate an increase in candidates alongside a quicker way of life. Now, companies are not only having to replenish capacity, but they’re also having to add new talent into the mix.
This increase in pressure on recruiters to fit large quotas has led to a decrease in time pooling potential candidates. This has subsequently led to fewer roles being filled based on quality and suitability.
Another casualty of the current recruitment shake-up is that basic employment law obligations are in danger of being neglected in favour of placing candidates quickly. After all, are companies being shown a vast enough pool of candidates when the person heading up the hiring process is pressured for time and inundated with applications? Clearly, things need an overhaul…
Where Has the Recruitment Industry Gone Wrong?
Job Descriptions Have Become Vaguer
To find the candidate for the job, recruiters must ensure that their client’s job description is as detailed as possible.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see a job advertisement that details little of what the job entails. This can be frustrating for candidates as it gives them no clear indication of what they’re applying for, or if their experience fits the bill.
Similarly, there has been an increase in companies withholding the job’s salary. The term ‘competitive’ has become commonplace over listing an actual figure. It can be incredibly difficult for a candidate to figure out the entry-level of the job and can deter them from applying having assumed the role is beneath or above their experience.
Recruiters must take time in checking job seekers ’ CVs against the job description and follow this up with thorough outreach to gain a clear understanding of the candidate’s background and expertise.
To speed up the hiring process, recruitment companies have introduced a ‘one-click’ application method. As a candidate, it can be an alluring offer, particularly if the deadline is fast approaching, or you’re unsure whether you want the job or not.
But, here are where the problems arise. Why would recruiters want a candidate who isn’t keen enough to write a covering letter, or attempt to tailor their CV to the role? What happens instead is that recruiters become inundated with applicants that aren’t suitable for the position.
It’s often not a great method for the candidate, either. One-click applications have slow success rates and, although it may seem like an easier way to apply for jobs, it can be a difficult route to landing one.
Lack of Relationship Building
Recruiters are rushed to deliver short-term results with little long-term gains. Relationship building should be prioritised so that recruiters can build up their talent pools and gain a clearer understanding of the sector they’re recruiting in.
There must be several conversations between the two parties before an informed decision can be made on whether the role is right for the candidate. It could be that the candidate isn’t suitable for a current role but would be perfect for another. Energy needs to be exerted into understanding a candidate’s needs to reap the long-term benefits.
In that same vein, feedback is imperative to achieving success. An individual must learn from their mistakes to better themselves moving forward and, once a relationship has been formed, you can continue to work with the candidate to find suitable opportunities.
Success Should be Measured Qualitatively and Quantitatively
Because of how busy the recruitment agencies are, success is often based on a recruiter’s KPIs. Ultimately, recruitment lies within the sales industry so there’s bound to be a degree of quantitative evaluation. But, this fixation on numbers is going to cause problems.
A shift towards more qualitative measure of success needs to happen. Feedback should not only be given to the candidate based on their suitability for the role, but it should also be given to recruiters on how well they managed the hiring process.
Perhaps what’s needed is stronger HR in recruitment – someone who is dedicated to receiving feedback on behalf of the recruiters. This way, they can measure how well they met the needs of their clients and candidates.
Could the Introduction of AI in Recruitment Benefit Candidates?
There are arguments for and against the use of artificial intelligence for talent acquisition, both of which hold valid points.
On the one hand, AI’s inability to grasp human emotion could be seen as divisive. How are companies supposed to get a good feel of what the candidate is like if the relationship has started with no human contact?
On the flip side, artificial intelligence can be used to help offload the repetitive, process-driven tasks, such as keywording a CV to a job ad. The time spared sifting through CVs could instead be used to solidify relationships and open up verbal channels of communication.
What’s more, employment laws against workplace discrimination are tightening and, as result, conversations about how AI could be used to conquer unconscious bias during the hiring process, are starting to emerge.
Perhaps AI’s detached and strictly analytical approach to hiring is a positive step towards ignoring subtle prejudices. Surely a world where we’re judged more on our experience and suitability for a role, over our age, gender, and race, is one worth exploring?
What Do Recruiters Have to Consider Moving Forward?
So, where do companies go from here? As discussed, recruitment is an ever-changing industry, and agencies must stay on top of adapting their hiring protocols accordingly.
In 2021, different requirements are needed from both employers and employees. Nowadays, success-capable candidates will demonstrate strong communication, ease with technology, and a flexible, adaptable approach to their work.
It is a recruiter’s responsibility to speak out against hurried processes and ‘quick wins’, and they must ensure the employer has a detailed and succinct job advertisement. Multiple conversations with the recruiter followed by multiple interviews with the employer should be encouraged to fine-tune what is required from both parties.
With great change comes great opportunity and, if the recruitment landscape evolves alongside technology, employer demand, and candidate expectations, the future could be bright.