The Recruitment (R)evolution


Over the last 20 years the world of recruitment, specifically how jobs are promoted or how p...

Over the last 20 years the world of recruitment, specifically how jobs are promoted or how people accessed these opportunities, has seen few changes. However, the changes we have seen have been seismic.

For decades there was an almost sole reliance of placing an advertisement in local/national press or trade journals to promote vacancies, and applications were made by submitting a CV or handwritten application form in the post – just the concept of this being a thing seems so antiquated now. However, in the late nineties we saw the arrival of the first job boards, and they helped evolve how organisations advertised jobs and how people found and applied for them - opening up so many more opportunities, to a much wider audience. Let’s call this development ‘e-recruitment’.

‘E-recruitment’ changed the way recruitment worked - the job market became more accessible, responsiveness to applications increased and candidates became more visible. However, the candidate-recruiter relationship remained largely unchanged to the ‘paper-press recruitment’ days. Candidates still didn’t know much about the company that was hiring, and waited passively for an offer to be published, while the Recruiter knew everything about the candidate and much more about the hiring company than the candidate – an entirely vertical relationship.

From ‘e-recruitment’ we saw the further and more considerable development of digital platforms e.g. careers sites, review sites, social media and communication channels. Let’s call that ‘Recruitment 2.0’. It allowed companies to go beyond promoting opportunities to position their employer brand and talk about reasons to join, they also enabled employee advocacy – one of the biggest influencers in recruitment today. It also enabled candidates to do their research on potential employers. This development has perhaps caused the biggest shift in the candidate/recruiter relationship, making it more equal.

So, you may be thinking that if organisations can promote their own vacancies and have the platforms to tell really great stories to potential candidates, what’s the need for a third party Recruiter?

Well, the answer to that is multi-faceted:

A good Recruiter will take the time to really get under the skin of any organisation they are working with and the role they are hiring, going beyond the skills and experience to look at personality, characteristics and motivators to ensure a great cultural fit.

In most instances, advertising in one way or another will only reach active job seekers. The demand for quality hires has been on the rise since 2016 and having experienced Recruiters to support in the search for talent allows organisations to fill those hard-to-fill and niche vacancies. A good Recruiter will have access to 100s of passive job seekers.

Not only can Recruiters do a lot of the required ‘leg work’ in sourcing and shortlisting, giving the hiring managers the gift of time to get on with their day jobs, they can also take care of all of the candidate comms and it’s in their interest to invest in getting this right – as a valuable candidate is like gold dust. Plus, it’s so important to ensure that candidates have a great experience whether they progress through the application process or not.

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