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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

Lack of evolution in the recruitment industry - isn't it time to rethink recruitment?

Hiring post-pandemic is about agility of mindset and approach. Adaptability to shifting markets and understanding the candidate-led hiring process. Glassdoor have stated that they believe that 2022 will focus on navigating the new normal and employees’ elevated power.

It therefore stands to reason that the employers who are agile and adaptable are rethinking old ways of hiring, employee engagement and talent retention.

So how about recruitment, isn’t it time to be agile and rethink recruitment? Is it time for an evolution in the recruitment industry?

A very long time ago recruitment agencies worked off their internal databases and guarded these precious babies fiercely. They spent time finding candidates in a particular field, then kept records of those available for either permanent or temporary positions and then went out and found companies that were looking for those candidates. It wasn’t rocket science and business was divided into three areas; clients, candidates on the databases and interviewing to match candidates to roles.

Then LinkedIn came along. LinkedIn offers a ready-made database of all those names and contact information that recruiters used to protect with their lives. Access to the right people use to be a recruiters USP but now, with social media, almost everyone seems accessible. LinkedIn even developed their product offering to include a Recruiter Licence for this very purpose. Databases became out of date (especially those for permanent roles) and LinkedIN became the new established way of candidate sourcing for recruiting, especially those higher-end roles. Was this an evolution of recruitment? No, just better tech to utilise candidate sourcing. The same models applied.

And now, developed from LinkedIn, we have social recruiting. Gen Z recruiters get this. They talk about posting adverts on the social media sites to gain followers who are also candidates. So isn’t it time the rest of us caught on rather than relying on the job boards? Yes is the answer but again, is this a recruitment evolution? Disrupter perhaps, better use of tech to source candidates, definitely, but again an evolution of recruitment - not really.

The recruitment industry has historically had the same set of operating models; retained search, contingent search, interim search and temps. Retained recruitment has often been seen to be the wholly grail for recruiters - an upfront fee which allows them to focus on their search and cover ‘research costs’ and that peace of mind knowing they will be paid.

But is this really the best option for clients and for the recruiter? Retained search is often sold that the recruiter will be ‘retained’ to focus fully on the retained work and putting it ahead of their other searches but if all their work is retained then surely that no longer applies? Additionally, if retained there is usually a higher level of process and work behind it to show market mapping, desktop research and sourcing all of which have to be represented in reports for the client. The reality is that for a senior role this research will be done no matter if retained or contingent and if your recruiter is a specialist in their sector or function they will already have the market mapped.

If you are a recruiter in a retained agency this usually means that you have a very heavy workload which is extremely over processed, are told to give the clients a promise of delivering vast reports and updates and often given searches which are not within your speciality area (but as it is retained they can take their time and get their researchers to market map etc). This means that often the client is paying too much unnecessarily and too early and not dealing with the expertise they thought they were.

The contingent recruiter (not to be confused with ‘contingency planning’ - the term ‘contingent’ just means they get paid but only if they deliver the placed candidate) is often represented to be the more mass-market of the two approaches and be the domain of the generalist.

However, if you had sector specialists (and some generalists too) who were contingent then you would have a winning formula.

With Auxeris our Specialist Consultants with sector or functional specialty will already have the market mapped and because they are contingent are putting ‘their money where their mouth is’ which means they will do all the research they need but without the unnecessary over-process and because they are contingent, their timeline will be much shorter. They know they only get paid if they deliver and that is where they are much better value for a client looking to make key hires.

With specialism and knowledge comes a deep understanding of a sector or function - your Auxeris specialist recruiter will know who is available in the market as well as where and what to look for to increase that scope. They will have come from that particular area themselves or have experience recruiting into it for years and already be dialled into the market. Without the constraints and high pressure that comes with retained search they are able to work quickly and efficiently and get results.

This is a win-win for businesses looking to hire - they get fast work, without endless update meetings and reports to show that the team is working (when reality the retained agency recruiter will have little input due to extremely high work loads and will have researchers do the majority of the candidate sifting). At Auxeris, our clients will also get to partner with a Specialist Recruitment Consultant who knows that particular area or sector well and will only pay a fee if the contingent recruiter delivers - the best of both worlds and the stepping stone to an evolution in the recruitment industry.

This is how recruitment with Auxeris works - we deliver better recruitment with a difference. Better expertise. Lower cost. All our Partner Consultants are specialists in their area, they work on a contingent basis meaning that you only pay if they deliver (and they will). Our permanent fees are a fixed 15% with no hidden extras and (this is the really good bit) we offer all our clients a split payment option over 3 months, to help with cash flow. All our terms and payments are automated so no need for extra work for your finance staff.

What else?

ATS has its place, particularly where it can help with reducing the admin intensive side of recruitment. Similarly, it may work well if you have a talent pool of pre screened candidates - by human first but in terms of being fit for purpose to aid with pre screening the systems on the market aren’t sophisticated enough to truly identify best fit for a business by talent and culture fit. There can be no replacement for human interaction in recruitment.

HR tech has its place and there is certainly a need for systems to support currently overwhelmed HR departments but the tech stack needs to be mindful of human in the loop involvement, particularly on decisions that are related to emotional intelligence and behavioural understanding.

There is a place for automation in recruitment but it’s not quite being used correctly in its current form. Platforms still aren’t quite fit for purpose and as a result talented candidates are being turned away because they didn’t Google how to cheat the ATS. When advice being handed out is ‘copy the job spec and post it in the top half of your CV’ then your recruitment will have problems. Your initial screening process becomes ineffective and there are challenges with social mobility and bias creeping in. Again, the tech is helping with process and candidate sourcing but enough to revolutionise recruitment in the way that the Auxeris model is trying to achieve.

Attracting and retaining talent is difficult enough. Without analysing data, predicting employee tenure and candidate compatibility becomes little more than a guessing game. Recruiters and hiring managers have data at their fingertips, yet Gartner reports that only 21% of HR leaders believe that their organisations are harnessing talent data effectively to make better business decisions.

This is where predictive analytics in recruitment can help. It can provide insight into the effectiveness of your recruitment and hiring efforts and in order to hire intelligently, managers must understand how data can help them make future hiring predictions and therefore more accurate business decisions.

Simply put, predictive analytics in recruitment is the process of using historical data to make predictions about future hiring activities and candidates. It's all about collecting and analysing data using statistics, machine learning, and modelling techniques to best predict what could happen under specific scenarios.

There are, of course, many benefits that automation will bring to the admin side of HR. Finding a balance between automation and human in the loop will be the sweet spot for HR teams. However these changes need to happen fast and HR teams have been burnt by tech mis-selling. However, there are many clever tech solutions available that will support your HR teams to automate those tasks that cause the biggest drain on time. Find a recruitment partner who has both the tech and the human know how and you’ve got a powerful solution to partner with. Hello, again, to Auxeris!

Powered by experts, Auxeris are the tech enabled recruitment agency with a network of specialist recruiters in many sectors. They have experience in recruiting across a number of different levels and have the expertise you need to support your data in your next recruitment exercise. Find out more about our services here and get in touch for a conversation about our recruitment experience.


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