All Blogs

Is Your Recruitment Process Fit For Purpose?

In a candidate-short market, the top of the agenda for any business should be ensuring that their recruitment process is agile, adaptable, and fit for purpose…

As such, it’s crucial to regularly review and adapt your hiring strategies and interview processes to ensure they are appropriate and suited to the market we are operating in; it’s unwise to assume that the processes you had in place a year ago are still suited to the current market conditions.

Having built recruitment teams across multiple verticals within the professional services industry, our Associate Director for Insurance and Financial Services Richard Hatchett has witnessed a plethora of changes in how firms are building out their hiring strategies, as well as the pitfalls they are encountering as a result of them. We have asked him to share his insight into the market as it currently stands; read advice for businesses and hiring managers below.


Embrace technology & streamline…

In this day and age, it’s important to be embracing new innovations wherever possible to help you streamline your hiring processes, and tech can play a big part in this. In a candidate short market, it’s essential to move quickly; make use of technology by conducting your first-stage interview via teams, before moving to a second stage face-to-face. This will allow greater flexibility for the candidate, likely meaning you will be able to progress to the second stage more quickly. But equally, ensure you are harnessing the more obvious- yet neglected- hiring process hacks to ensure you aren’t drawing aren’t your process unnecessarily. Interview stages must be kept a minimum, as putting the candidate through multiple stages just runs the risk of leaving them disengaged and accepting an offer from a competitor who had a slicker process in place. Even being prepared to move quickly when making offers of employment or going through HR processes will likely make a difference. In the current market, candidates have a wealth of choices available to them, so you need to ensure you’re quicker than the competition, or you run the risk of losing out.


A two-way street…

When it comes to the recruitment process, it’s important to remember that hiring is a two-way street. A lot of businesses make the mistake of failing to see the interview process from the perspective of the candidate, and therefore fail to sell the company and opportunity effectively. When it comes to the interview stage, it’s helpful to be as flexible as possible with your diary, ensure you are getting them to come into the office in person to meet the team, and allow them reflective time to consider the opportunity and buy into your business. Interviews that are solely based on the company finding out whether the interviewee can do the job sufficiently are likely to cause candidates to disengage. This shows a lack of understanding of the current market, in which candidates don’t actually have to move, and are spoilt for choice should they choose to. So, ensure that you are taking the time to get buy-in from your prospective talent from the outset by ensuring you are showcasing your business in the best possible light.

This goes back as far as the initial attraction stage: in a market saturated with opportunities, what is it that sets your business apart? There’s a shortage of skills in the majority of industries and sectors, and a skills gap resulting from a lack of training and development during the pandemic. This exacerbates the war for talent, and we are finding that many candidates, particularly those of the generation who are only just beginning to enter the market, are looking to join a business with a strong EVP, clearly mapped progression opportunities, and a sense of social consciousness. Attracting talent at an entry level is an essential part of succession planning, allowing you to build a pipeline of talent that will futureproof your business, making it an essential aspect of your recruitment process.

Equally, there has been a lot of discussion in recent months of mandatory mass returns to in-office work enforced by many businesses. Naturally, each individual business will have its own set of requirements and reasoning behind its policies, but I would urge them to think carefully about bringing these measures into place unless wholly necessary. The impact of the pandemic is undeniable, and one of the sole positives to come from it was the flexibility that remote and hybrid working afforded to thousands of workers globally. Businesses that opt to enforce in-office work will be significantly reducing their talent pool, both from a geographical and practical standpoint.


The internal shift…

The biggest shift I have noticed over the last 5 years is the move that businesses have made to utilising internal recruiters and the TA model as their main avenues for hiring. This strategy of vertical integration will always seem appealing, as businesses will try to manage their entire process themselves. Surprisingly, this shift hasn’t just been exclusive to the larger corporate companies; I’ve also seen this happening at mid-level firms. There has been a widespread trend toward the centralization of processes and the introduction of Preferred Supplier Lists. All of this is understandable, but in the market we are currently operating within, following this process too rigidly can come at a real cost to businesses. We have seen clients with vacancies that are left open and unfilled for months, purely because the clients in question will either refuse to go beyond their PSL or are refusing to use their PSL altogether, relying purely on internal recruitment strategies. The knock-on effect of this steadfast refusal is huge in the longer term, where talent gaps in a team are being felt keenly.

My advice to clients would be not to forget that there are local experts out there who can advise and assist; you can’t simply hand your requirements to one agency and hope that they will be able to manage all of this for you. You need instead a few high-quality suppliers who can cater to your needs. A lack of agility is the greatest detriment we are seeing to businesses’ current recruitment processes; the simple fact of the matter is, if an agency has the best candidate for your role, then utilise them.

Ready to learn more?

Find 0ut more about who we are, and the services that we offer.

Our Recruitment Solutions Our Culture