How to future proof recruitment

The internet age has provoked one of the most rapid technological advancements in human history. But, as we stand on the threshold of even greater progress in the fields of artificial intelligence and automation, what hope do smaller businesses have of keeping pace? eBoss looks at the changing landscape of the recruitment industry, and forumlates a ten-step strategy for future proof recruitment.

It is a topic that eBoss knows only too well. The employment market is undergoing rapid change, and its internal processes are being reshaped at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, finding the right candidates for every vacancy has never been more challenging. One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is: “how can we ensure that our enterprise has a future tomorrow, when all of our resources are being spent on remaining competitive today?”

If you are engaged in recruiting, you will no doubt recognise that same dilemma. Whether you are a talent agent wishing to improve their clients’ outcomes, or you are an HR manager who needs to bring together the most capable staff to realise the goals of your business, you are no doubt keenly aware of the pressure. The industry as it exists today is perched precariously on a treadmill of tighter deadlines and leaner margins. Your candidate searches and recruiting processes require up-to-the-second levels of sophistication, just to compete.

Future proof recruitment

But what are the key areas of improvement and development that one should focus on? How is the jobs market likely to change in its composition over the coming years? From recruitment software, to breaking down the skills in growing demand, eBoss brings together all of the data and strategies into one place: helping you develop a future proof recruitment enterprise of your own.

1. Become a digital recruitment pioneer

Even the most powerful brands in the recruitment industry acknowledge the need to develop and modernise their existing operations. Your current techniques may be achieving satisfactory results for your clients today, but that is no assurance that you will remain ahead of your competitors tomorrow, if you do not find new ways to improve your processes. The most successful names in recruitment today are those that have adopted a culture of innovation at their core, and who pioneer new ways of completing candidate searches, communications tasks, and induction programmes.

But how do you become a digital recruitment pioneer? One of the most significant areas of growth in recent years has been social media recruitment. Online social platforms represent a wealth of information for any recruiter who know how to use it correctly – and ethically. While there are still limitations to what a social media talent search can achieve, they are without doubt a significant part of the future of our industry. In a 2014 survey, the Aberdeen Group learned that 73 per cent of millennials had found employment via social media channels.

The agile recruiter wins

But the use of certain platforms or channels will not create a success story by itself. The way you employ the various tools at your disposal is equally important. One of the core lessons from the experts is to make your business more agile. For a recruiter, this may mean evolving the ways you search, or it could even mean focusing more precisely on new areas of key talent: ones which cater to emerging industries and professions. One estimate by the World Economic Forum has suggested that as many as 65 per cent of the children who began schooling in 2016 would eventually work in a field of technology that currently does not even exist. This should illustrate just how broad the opportunities for innovation and specialisation will become in the future, for recruiters who exercise agility.

When you establish a record of finding prospects with hard-to-find skills and knowledge, your services will always be in demand. But remember: a rare skill today may be commonplace by tomorrow. Always seek to push the boundaries of your own expertise and specialisation. That is what it means to future-proof your recruitment business through agility.

2. Get Technical with future proof recruitment software

Having the best tools to hand will always provide you with a chance of remaining competitive. Choosing recruitment software that provides communication solutions, tracking facilities, and semantic search functionality will give you the edge when margins are tight, because it will automate many of the mundane administrative processes, leaving personnel with more time to develop and use their own expertise. A semantic search is able to complete candidate identification and skills matching tasks up to ten times faster than a typical boolean search. It does this by interpreting search requests and matching results in an intelligent manner – rather than returning them simply because they match a specified term. In an industry where the highest-skilled professionals remain in the employment market for less than 10 days, being successful in the future of recruiting means being fast.

Smarter, semantic searches also improve outcomes and accuracy. According to Forbes, three out of every four candidates who are rejected despite possessing the required qualifications for a role are overlooked due to basic administrative errors rendering their application unsearchable. This may include anything as trivial as bad formatting to a single spelling mistake on a key word; incorrectly-entered data, or even a reliance on outdated terminology and job titles.

A semantic search addresses each of these issues, because intelligent processes return any result interpreted as relevant, as well as the precise matches. And this could mean finding the ideal prospect, even when there are errors on their application, while your competitor does not.

3. Focus on staff retention

There can be few experiences quite as frustrating for HR departments as seeing their new acquisition vanish after a short time in their new role because of a mismatch in workplace culture, or due to inadequate support.

The failure to retain workers is more than inconvenient: it is expensive and disruptive, and it will almost certainly create tangible, negative impacts on your day-to-day operations. With the average cost of every rehire in the UK costing businesses £5,331, it is hardly surprising that employee retention consistently ranks among the top priority for 80 per cent of Britain’s business leaders. But, what are the strategies of organisations that are excellent retainers?

Recruiting to retain

Establishing a thorough cultural match for your team is among the most powerful factors in determining whether a new hire will become a long term acquisition. A third of new recruits say that they know within one week whether their new job will become a long term part of their career. Similarly, the nature of the appointment may be an influencing factor: recruits who are permitted to work remotely, or given flexible duties are 50 per cent less likely to leave their current role.

Businesses which can be responsive to the aspirations of their employees therefore, tend to fair much better in terms of staff retention. It is hardly surprising to learn that as many as 73 per cent of firms have improved or amended their company’s induction scheme to bolster staff retention in recent years. If key skills are important to your business, then this is one aspect of future-proofing your recruitment strategy that you cannot choose to ignore.

Every talent manager and recruitmenter should see the next statistic as food for thought: acquisitions made through referral schemes consistently prove easier to retain than those found through traditional channels. 65 per cent of referred hires report satisfaction in their role, and 45 per cent will still be in their position after two years. Meanwhile, many specialist agencies struggle to match these figures on a regular basis. This should be an alarm bell – and provide all the motivation that any recruiter might need to modernise their current strategies.

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow’s world of recruitment is already beginning to look like a very different place to the industry that we know today. At a recent conference on disruptive tech, the German software enterprise Sap went so far as to suggest that core HR and talent management would be the two professions most affected by the digital transformation of the workplace. Having considered the impact in our future-proofing report, you may be starting to agree with them.

But that does not mean that recruitment as an industry is no longer viable. Indeed, it means that those who achieve the results required of them will be more valuable than ever before. But the time to act is now, if you are to ensure your own enterprise remains on the right side of the industry’s evolution.

Still unsure of your next step towards achieving a future proof recruitment enterprise? Speak with a member of the eBoss team for a personalised, professional consultation without commitment.