The Recruitment Consultancy hiring trends

Understanding the direction recruitment is moving in is vital to ensure your strategies and approaches to hiring are in line with candidate expectations. From accepting remote technologies to exploring the use of AI in recruitment and embracing the shift towards a candidate-first market, we’re exploring some of the key trends in recruitment below.

Candidate experience matters

It is widely recognised that the current job market is candidate-led, with many more vacancies than people applying for most roles. A candidate’s market refers to when the number of open roles exceeds the number of qualified candidates available in the market. This means recruitment strategies need to evolve and improve to ensure that the best-qualified candidates are attracted to your vacancies.

Candidate experience is a development from customer experience and employee experience, two key metrics that have become important for organisations that want to succeed in 2023 and beyond. Recruitment strategies need to consider and find ways to offer an attractive and effective candidate experience. In a candidate-driven market, your company is under as much scrutiny as each candidate, and they are looking for a match that suits them in many ways, beyond simply the best salary or perks. Candidates want to work for a company where they will feel valued and where there is a good fit and culture match. Remember, the candidate is also assessing you during the recruitment process, just as much as you’re assessing them.

Building a positive experience for candidates considering your company, even if they do not necessarily get the role, means your company will be viewed more positively and perhaps somewhere they’d consider applying to again. The emphasis needs to be on providing a good and memorable experience to candidates who may have a range of roles to choose from. Your careers website or recruitment page should be optimised to be easy to use and not involve multiple steps for candidates to submit their applications. You can also use surveys and feedback forms from candidates to get a better understanding of what you do well and where you could improve.

Generational workforce shift

As people age out of the workforce, the way you approach hiring newcomers must adapt to the expectations of newer, younger employees. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964)  are phasing out of the workplace, with many taking early retirement because of the pandemic. Gen X (people born between 1965 and 1980) are a significantly smaller generation and millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) are now the largest working cohort with Gen Z (people born between 1997 and 2012) entering the workforce too.

Companies need to consider many aspects of how they work and how they recruit, with communication styles, values and drivers needing to shift towards the millennial and Gen Z mindset. Gen Z are defined by their passionate nature, with research consistently showing they are more values-driven and vocal about said values than other generations. They are also the most diverse generation and as the hiring market is changing, and businesses need to adapt their strategies to reflect this.

Remote hiring and interviewing

Working from home and remote working became a major trend in talent acquisition during the Coronavirus pandemic and this need for flexibility and accessing a wider pool of talent is still highly valuable in 2023. With remote work technologies already in place out of necessity during periods of lockdown, organisations are still utilising this approach to attract talent and ensure skills gaps are filled even when there are not necessarily local candidates to fill specific roles.

Similarly, remote interviewing makes it possible for a wider pool of candidates to apply for roles, even if not planning to work remotely. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become commonplace in most workplaces and they’re an easy way to quickly connect with potential hires. These tools are also extremely useful for collaborative hiring and allow you to involve multiple departments in the interview and hiring process.

Firming up your EVP

Your EVP or Employer Value Proposition has become more important as candidates have a wealth of choice when looking for their next career more. EVP refers to what your company is offering in terms of benefits, but it goes far beyond gym memberships and health insurance. While these kinds of incentives are important to employees, there is also a real focus on what else you can offer, especially in terms of support, development, and wellbeing. Your company’s EVP shows why employees are motivated to work from you encompassing the financial, personal, and cultural benefits they will receive in exchange for working hard for your business.

Prioritising soft skills

Research carried out by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center found 85% of job success comes from well-developed soft skills and people skills. These skills are particularly valuable as technology advances and while some roles can be automated and improved with artificial intelligence (AI), soft skills are irreplaceable. While these kinds of skills can be harder to test and identify, recruitment strategies must place a clear focus and priority on them.

Finding the best candidates for a vacant position should be about more than academic qualification. It is important to explore the full profile of a suitable candidate, including considering their invaluable soft skills profile including communication, empathy and problem-solving. Experienced-based hiring can be effective but candidates with great soft skills are almost always an asset too.

Targeting soft skills in the hiring process requires a range of different activities. Competency questions work well for highlighting individuals’ skills and if you’re hiring for a role with lots of seemingly equally qualified applicants, you could consider group interviews so you can get a better understanding of how each candidate behaves and responds in a more true-to-life situation.

Embedding DEI into your recruitment strategies

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is not something organisations can simply hope happens, it’s something you actively must build into your recruitment strategies and workplace culture. Fostering an inclusive culture and creating a workplace where people from all backgrounds feel safe to be themselves and able to thrive is vital to remain relevant and attractive to potential new hires. Embedding diversity and inclusion into your recruitment strategy relies upon auditing your recruitment activities and ensuring you’re as inclusive and open as possible.

The continued expansion of AI in recruitment

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been playing a role in recruitment for some time now, with different tools used to ease the workload on HR professionals and allow the most qualified candidates to quickly rise to the top. There is a growing range of recruitment tools on the market to support businesses with everything from automated candidate sourcing to virtual interviewing and AI chatbots to drive the application process.

Screening potential candidates is an extremely time-intensive but essential task within the recruitment industry. With AI tools, recruiters can screen applications much more quickly and focus their skills on choosing the best talent. AI is also useful for minimising unconscious biases and ensuring the most skilled candidates have the highest chance of success, not those who most closely match the preferences, both conscious and unconscious, of the recruiter.

While some may worry about AI becoming the driving force behind all aspects of recruitment, it is in fact a powerful supporting tool that allows recruitment specialists to focus their skills on the nuances of their job.

Stay ahead of the curve with professional recruitment solutions

The Recruitment Consultancy work with employers of all sizes to ensure they have the best candidates for every vacancy with their companies. Our knowledgeable consultants support our clients with a range of employer solutions and our industry knowledge ensures we can keep up with and predict future trends in the sector.

Want to know more? Get in touch.