What does the future of recruiting look like in a post-COVID world?

COVID has affected our lives in numerous ways and some will argue that it’s changed the way we live and work for good.

Candidates will be looking for job roles within businesses that allow for this level of flexibility and that means that businesses will need to be prepared to offer this in order to attract the top talent.

But, what does that mean? And how could that affect the future of recruitment?

A more consultative approach

According to Sally the role of the recruiter will never be the same again. It’s no secret in the recruitment world that it’s become much harder to engage passive candidates during the pandemic due to the uncertainty in the market. Therefore, recruiters will need to take a more consultative approach in order to attract the top talent. Sally commented:

‘The role of the recruiter, as I see it, is all about forward planning and it’s also to be that mediator between the expectations of the business and engaging, and the expectations of the candidate.’

It’s vital that recruiters become true experts in their field, and COVID has simply accelerated the need for that to happen. But, according to Anna Botten, [Job Title], this is a journey that will continue to evolve post-pandemic:

‘It’s not a journey that will start and end. The markets that we’re operating in are continuing to change all of the time, there’s new technology coming into play […] that really impacts how the recruiters do their roles.’

A segmented recruitment function

Technology has the ability to turn recruitment from ‘transactional’ to fully ‘consultative’. ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) can be designed to allow consultants to work with hiring managers to work out the requirements of the role, what markets to look into, where it should be pitched in terms of salary and location.

This will therefore draw a lot from the expertise and the knowledge of the recruiter to find the ideal candidate. As a result, businesses looking for top talent will need to take on an agency model, where there’s a more segmented approach to recruitment. As Anna points out:

‘You would have a recruiter who is an expert in cyber security or data science, or some of these really niche, difficult roles to fill. And they will operate across borders, across regions, across businesses because, ultimately, […] it doesn’t really matter where those roles are located.’

To underpin this, companies will need to ensure that there are strong, personalised learning and development paths in place for their recruiters to gain a full understanding of their market.

Recruiter personal branding

As the world of recruitment changes, it’s important that recruiters look for new ways they can add value. And that’s especially true, now more than ever, where so many people have lost their jobs due to the financial impact COVID has had on so many businesses.

Recruiters will need to ‘humanise’ their approach, which can be achieved by offering helpful advice to clients and candidates, sharing the expertise and knowledge they possess.

Sally commented:

‘I felt compelled, sitting in my office for eight hours a day, talking to people who are out of work. I just thought to myself, “I’ve got to do something to help”. And I can only help so many people for the roles I’m recruiting, but if I can help 100 people a week by sharing some of my knowledge, it just felt like something I was really compelled to do.’

This is a trend that we can expect to see more of from recruiters, where they use their personal brand to showcase themselves as experts in a specific market.

Candidate experience

Whilst it can be argued that the necessary shift to home working has increased efficiency and made the hiring process more convenient than ever, it’s vital that businesses don’t fall into the trap of allowing this to ruin the candidate experience.

Stefan commented:

‘You can quite easily forget about the quality of the experience, particularly for the candidate. So I think we have to remember that there’s a reason why companies invested in glossy, well-decorated offices in city centres and spend millions on them.’

The first impression you give off to a candidate is so important if you want them to buy into the company ethos and employer brand; therefore, the recruitment process can’t simply be replaced with a hasty, informal 30-minute Zoom call. Recruiters will need to plug any gaps in the process so that the candidate continues to get a good understanding of the business and the role they have applied for.

Stefan noted the importance of trust in any recruitment process:

‘If a candidate has only had that quick experience of speaking to a hiring manager over a quick video call, you’re asking them to take the plunge and change their lives. It’s got to feel quite tangible for them and I think a recruiter can really help to address that balance.’

On the other hand, employers can also risk hiring the wrong people; perhaps they’d prefer to hire someone internally who isn’t the best fit for the role, simply because they’ve met them before, or maybe they will be more inclined to hire someone based on more visual factors – for example, if the candidate’s house is decorated similarly to their own.

They key to overcoming this is to ensure that the recruitment process remains robust with clear objectives in place so you can be sure that you’re hiring the right person for the job.

To learn more about what the future of recruitment could look like, watch our on-demand webinar here.

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