Challenges in Recruitment in “Interesting Times”

We live in extremely volatile times. Technologies are developing rapidly, changing the world but as well the ways of doing business. Obviously, these changes affect people, and – under their influence – people also begin to change. This process is happening all over the world, in all societies. This is a fact we are sure of.

When people change, so do their systems of values, interests, goals, visions of how their lives should look like and ideas on how to implement them. And all of this has a very significant impact on the recruitment market.

The first challenge faced by companies, but not only that, is that people who are looking for a job or want to change it have more “power”. Their negotiating position is much stronger than a dozen or so months ago and they are aware of it. People who have a lot to offer to a new employer emphasize high expectations both in financial and non-financial terms at the outset.

Qualified candidates for work more and more often behave in such a way as if they were irreplaceable and indispensable at the same time. They expect to be in the spotlight, and that employers wishing to hire them will be especially fond of them and clearly communicate this to them. They often consciously conduct recruitment processes in such a way as to be of interest to several employers who literally “fight” to hire a given candidate. Of course, these employers, in the eyes of such a candidate, compete for his favour. And such a competition can be won by the employer who responds best to the candidate’s expectations, both in material terms – most often the winner is the one who presents the best offer, as well as in non-material terms – by appropriately emphasizing its uniqueness and treating it subjectively in the recruitment process.

The second challenge that companies face is the lack of truly qualified and prepared candidates, in particular technically qualified people. Nowadays, it is more difficult to find candidates adequately matched to the needs of employers. Much of this is due to the fact that, like humans, technology is evolving … but even faster than humans can keep up. It looks like we have to run to stand still… Employers, on the other hand, want to hire candidates who will be dealing with technology that is or will appear in the near future, not the one that has already passed. Business is currently developing very dynamically. However, this process is accompanied by a very unfavourable, from the employer’s point of view, the outflow of qualified employees from the labour market (here we should mention the relatively low age of people retiring, a small number of people retraining to the food industry) in a situation where the labour market it is powered mostly by graduates of non-technical schools. Thus, the outflow of qualified employees from the market is accelerating. Many employers deal with this situation by hiring foreigners, especially citizens of Eastern European countries or even Aisia. Such activities work well when hiring for positions requiring low qualifications and not requiring a good knowledge of the language of a given country or English. However, it is much more difficult to employ foreigners for positions requiring high qualifications and good knowledge of the language of a given country or the English language. And these include technical positions. Due to the processes described above, enterprises must focus on internally owned resources and human capital. Employers need to increase their focus on development and investing in companies’ own employees instead of dismissing them when their qualifications become insufficient. Before deciding to dismiss an employee, a comprehensive analysis should be made of what employment opportunities in place of the person whose dismissal are being considered are offered by the candidate market. It is obvious that firing an employee is an expensive process. In addition, you should take into account the costs of finding and hiring a new employee and, additionally, the costs associated with his/her adaptation and training. It seems that today personnel decisions should be made much more carefully, especially in the area of ​​getting rid of employees from the organization.

The third challenge for employers is to be attractive to the employee! For some time now, a kind of degradation of the labour market has been observed. Job candidates are spoiled by the prevailing market situation. Consequently, they expect everything more, better, faster, tastier – whatever that means. Sometimes the employer should serve better coffee (preferably paired with home-made cake), other times better cars, and still other attractive forms of spending free time. Candidates expect the recruiting employer to surprise them with something, to offer them something that others do not offer. And in this way it made the candidates feel special. If you don’t do this as a recruiter, applicants may not be interested in you or the company you represent.

Another key challenge: Be visible! People need to know that employers are hiring! Some decision-makers, perhaps due to a specific status of these entities in a given region, often feel that they do not need to do anything more in terms of communication with the labour market. However, it should be remembered that traditional hiring processes are slowly falling into oblivion and are being replaced by new ones. Just like the older generations are giving way to the younger and the old technologies to the newer. If employers want to be seen, they should make sure they are visible to those involved – preferably on a daily basis. And what do candidates check every day? SOCIAL MEDIA. Today, the presence in social media is crucial for employers. Shifting attention to social media channels and getting noticed there should be one of the basic tasks for people dealing with recruiting for employers. In this way, employers can ensure what is most important – the candidates’ attention.

The final challenge to be recognized: the job title “recruiter” or “head-hunter” is evolving. Currently, a recruiter/head-hunter – in addition to everything he or she should be able to do in the past in the field of selection – must also be a marketer, product manager, PR specialist, confidential information protection specialist, etc. He must be able to do everything so that the job offer presented by the employer will reach the candidates, gain their interest and make them want to devote their time to it. The job of the recruiter today is to make the vacancy attractive and individually tailored. In addition, people recruiting on behalf of the employer should take care of the smoothness of the recruitment process, ensure perfect communication between all entities interested in the recruitment process. Any signs of disregarding candidates, by endlessly prolonging the recruitment processes or the lack of decision-making, mean that even the best job done in connection with a given recruitment ends in a fiasco. You should also remember about all restrictions related to the use of personal data for recruitment purposes, which are introduced by the provisions of the GDPR.

Summarizing the above considerations on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in connection with the recruitment of employees, we can say that … it’s not going to be boring!

We observe the slow agony of the existing recruitment system: I hire you and if you want to work for me, apply. Today, in order to be successful in recruitment, employers must gain the attention of candidates, find them with an appropriate and personalized offer, be vigilant, take care of their reputation and take good account of what is most profitable for them at the moment and gives them the greatest probability of employing the best candidates.

Probably we all know old Chinese sentence: “may you live in interesting times”.
I truly think this is very actual sentence for recruiters and head-hunters…

Article written by Waldemar Paturej, CFR Global Executive Search Poland
Photo source: Freepik

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