It’s that time of the year when we start to see a flurry of articles (yes I recognise the irony) that fall neatly into two groups. Group 1 talk about the trends that were realised from the predictions made at the end of last year/beginning of this year while Group 2 talk about which trends will appear in the following year. It’s great to look back and review and to also be optimistically looking to the future but I keep asking myself about all of the things that year on year have not been realised and should have been by now. Continually reviewing the trends or what shiny, new tools will be thrust into the recruitment arena in 2015 may be pointless when so many companies are still struggling with the ‘basics’.
For several years now, we’ve had white papers, articles, blogs, webinars and events all talking about creating a quality candidate experience, making job adverts more engaging, growing talent communities, using employees as brand ambassadors etc. yet these always seem to reference the same small number of firms who are excelling in these areas, whilst the majority of others continue to recruit in the same way they have done for many years. Indeed, this article that is looking at predicted trends for 2015, references the ‘established trends from the past few years like employer branding and passive candidate recruiting’ but have any of these actually been mastered by the masses? Aren’t there companies out there who still just advertise roles for active candidates to find, and who are oblivious or ignorant of whether they’re seen as a good employer, believing that the fact they’re offering a paying job will be enough to attract people.
So, why isn’t change happening? What’s holding recruiters back from changing their practices and starting to embrace what everyone seems to agree is a more ideal way to go about it? Is it money, time, resource, reluctance, confusion? Or is there simply too much information being thrust at recruiters (much of which is generic, and doesn’t really distinguish between in-house and agency, let alone by industry, role or location) that makes it’s difficult to know where to begin or feels fruitless to start, as tomorrow there will be new recommendations. Are the changing responsibilities and workloads of recruiters making it difficult to embrace change? Or is there just a mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’? Sure, the way they’re recruiting may not be ‘ideal’ but it’s still getting results.
Looking back to the end of 2013 there was much talk about big data, video interviewing, employer branding, a shift to a candidate driven market, mobile recruiting, flexible working and social recruiting for this year but how much has this really infiltrated recruitment at the majority of organisations? And yet, even with these predictions not having been adopted by most there is still excitement about the new things that 2015 will bring, like gamification. In some ways, it’s the classic magpie effect, where the bright shiny new things attract attention but there’s a danger that dabbling in these things without having the basics in place means that you’ll never see the returns that you should. A house will always crumble without strong foundations. Perhaps that in itself is a reason why things haven’t changed. Maybe there have been efforts to look into new recruitment practices but the results haven’t been impressive, either due to poor ‘core’ recruitment behaviours or the fact that investment into the change was half-hearted. No-one wants to waste money but it can be hard to see the results of adopting a new way of doing things if you only dip your toes in.
So as this year draws to a close, why not take a moment to honestly review your recruitment practices. Have you mastered ‘the established trends’ and more importantly, the “essentials”? Do you respond to all candidates, regardless of whether they’re successful? Do you encourage them to join your talent community so that you can maintain communication with them and have a pool of people ready when new roles come up? Do your current employees actively promote new roles to their networks? Are you successfully reaching relevant passive candidates? What about your job adverts, do they sell the vacancy and company to applicants or just provide a dry list of skills and experience required?
Regardless of how ‘old-school’ these things might be, they are essential to get right before there is any benefit in investing in any newer recruitment practices.
Let’s hope 2015 is finally the time for action across the entire recruitment industry and that in a year’s time I’m drafting an article called ‘The Year of Change’.
This post was contributed by Andy Kerney, Founder of JobViddy.
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