The start of a new year is always a busy time of year for recruitment; people looking for new roles or a change of career, and organisations looking to staff up for their business plans and growth. If you are trying to recruit during 2016, please be aware of these three things which will have an impact on how successful you are.

1. Companies are ditching traditions to gain wider access to potential candidates

Recruiters are looking for better and more innovative ways for finding hidden potential rather than relying on traditional avenues. We are seeing:

  • Removal of criteria for certain academic qualifications which have little meaningful association with a role or predictive validity for future performance. “We want the best people for our Company regardless of their background, which means thinking differently” said Penguin
  • Random House HR Director Neil Morrison who have recently stopped asking people to have a degree.
  • A much bigger focus on apprentices not graduates because “savvy young people see apprenticeships as a fast track to a successful career receiving real and hands-on experience as well as qualifications” says Skills Minister Nick Boles.
  • Organisations being “open to flexible working for the right candidate” in order to tap into the 47% of people who want to work flexibly according to research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • A bigger willingness to take on people changing career in recognition that what motivates us in life changes as we get older. “Moving up the career ladder is considerably more important for those under 34, whereas as we get older, salary becomes less important compared to making a positive difference to people’s lives” says research says Julie Hutchinson, Consumer Finance Expert at Standard Life.
  • Recruiters are realising that the best hire may not have the perfect CV: take a look at this TED Talk

2. Technology is profoundly affecting recruitment behaviour

55% of job seekers now prefer to use online recruitment sites to look for employment according to research of over 13,000 people by The Boston Consulting Group. 76% of respondents saying that they browse for work on a mobile platform. The ease of receiving job updates enabling casual browsing for new opportunities cannot be underestimated.

The implications for recruiters are significant:

  • Have a much broader approach to finding and attracting talent away from traditional print media
  • Ensure you have a budget to make sure you are advertising in the right places
  • Know how to capture the attention of casual browsers in amongst multiple competing vacancies
  • Tailor your internal tools (website, application process) to be easily accessible on smartphones and tablets
  • Wrap your application process into your current systems rather than asking people to separately send a CV
  • Expect higher volumes of speculative applications and therefore have more efficient candidate communication and handling approaches
  • Spend more time talking about what’s in it for the candidate and what a typical day is like to encourage candidates to self-select whether the role and company will suit them
  • Be more sophisticated screening candidates to ensure that you are only investing time interviewing genuinely viable candidates with the right capability and motivation
  • Expect applicants to want a speedier process and instant response rather than waiting for a closing date and waiting for all the managers to be free to set an interview date.

3. Recruiters are focusing on strengths and values based selection methodologies

A candidate’s mindset and attitude is becoming as important in selection processes to ensure employees have a good cultural fit and are engaged at work. We are seeing:

  • An increase in online screening and early stage selection tools. Online aptitude tests (the traditional verbal and numerical tests) are still being used, but often later in a process for shortlisted candidates. Instead, applicants are being screened via online gamified selection tools which indicate how good a fit you are with a company’s culture and values. Here is an example:
  • Recruiters are introducing motivational and strengths based questions within interviews to help understand what candidates enjoy doing as well as what aspects of the job they can do
  • A strengths based approach is particularly useful for understanding the potential of young people and career changers who have less relevant experience to tell you about in interview. Feel free to download further information about strengths based interviewing from our resources library.

In conclusion, the internet, a wider range of routes to employment, an increased understanding of the power of a diverse workforce, and a greater understanding of the importance of culture fit, are changing the landscape for recruitment. If you are struggling to recruit, please ask yourself:

  • Is our approach giving us access to the quality of candidate that we need?
  • Are we taking advantage of best practice and popular approaches to capture job seekers?
  • Could we be missing potential candidates because we are not keeping up-to-date?

Please contact People Decisions if you would like to discuss your strategy and approach to recruitment.