Sabby Gill, CEO at Thomas International
Recruitment has always been tricky. And even more so during the last year with remote working forcing the move to near 100% virtual hiring. This has created a perfect storm – with over half (57%) of hiring managers reporting that the hires they’ve made in the last 12 months haven’t worked out to some extent according to our latest research.
Patently, something has to change. Recruitment is on the rise in 2021 for many after a slow year, so getting things right, first time, every time is vital. But there’s no single issue behind the various challenges in recruitment today. Different businesses find themselves hit by macro trends they can’t always control in different ways.
There are however three key trends reshaping recruitment today – Covid-19, Brexit and Artificial Intelligence (AI). And to succeed, HR leaders need a strategy in place that can evolve at pace to combat all three.
The long-Covid effect
Covid-19 has undoubtedly reshaped recruitment the past year bringing a whole new level of flexibility in how, and where, we now work. In fact, our recent research revealed that nearly half of UK businesses found that it’s their biggest driver for reshaping recruitment today.
The biggest change that’s come from Covid-19 is how businesses hire. In-person interviews quickly became a thing of the past, as social distancing measures forced businesses to embrace video interviewing to avoid losing top talent. And we’ve seen the adoption of these new technological behaviours reach levels that were not expected for many more years.
But some may argue that this dramatic shift has impacted the ability for businesses to fully connect with candidates, as their ‘broadcast’ presence may not portray an accurate representation as to whether or not they are right for the role.
Harnessing psychometric testing alongside video interviews, can solve this problem. By gaining a deeper insight into the traits that drive the way people work and look beyond a candidate’s digital representation, hiring managers can hire right, the first time round.
Humans vs Robots
The acceleration of new and innovative digital technologies – such as AI – is another trend that has been bubbling away for some time. Our research suggests that for a third of UK businesses, it’s the second biggest influence reshaping recruitment, coming after the impacts of Covid-19.
With the average cost of hiring a new employee £3,000 in the UK, recruitment is something businesses cannot afford to get wrong. AI enables hiring managers to become more predictive in their hiring, utilising objective data on behaviour, personality and aptitude to help suggest a candidate’s culture fit. This added insight means businesses can reduce the amount of time and money constantly recruiting candidates not fit for the role or company culture. And spend more time developing employees into successful team members and future leaders.
However, our own research shows that the optimal blend of human and technology isn’t having robots take over completely. Nearly half (48%) of hiring managers believe humans deliver the best recruitment outcomes for the business, with 27% suggesting AI technology and a quarter (25%) non-AI technology. Suggesting that while recruitment can’t go back to the analogue era, it does still require the human touch.
Brexit hasn’t gone away either
Far from being a distant memory, our research found that four in ten (37%) UK businesses say that Brexit is a big influence on their hiring and skills strategy. As the long-term effects of Brexit are still to be fully revealed.
Hiring overseas breeds a diverse pool of talent which is why it has been – and still remains – a very attractive recruitment strategy for businesses. But since Brexit, hiring from the EU is far more difficult than it used to be. It’s also very costly. Once you take into consideration sponsorship licensing, immigration and government fees, as well as use of the NHS, it can end up costing an employer up to £10,000 to employ one person for five years. This is before they even start to consider the costs of salary and benefits.
Clearly this isn’t sustainable. Especially for those who cannot afford the high price tag. Luckily with the move to remote and hybrid working, a recruitment trend that’s not going away anytime soon, businesses can still hire overseas without the added paperwork and fees of transferring EU employees across to the UK.
To make hiring overseas effective, hiring managers should look at behaviour assessments to better understand people’s communication styles across the whole team. By comparing behavioural, aptitude and personality profiles against specific job requirements, hiring managers can determine who is the best fit for a role, how to best onboard new employees and how to effectively manage new candidates when either working in the office, fully remote abroad or in a hybrid working context.
Change is now, so every business must adapt
The trends reshaping recruitment change all the time. But to remain ahead of the game, businesses must take a proactive approach to identify the current key trends that are evolving with the industry. Only can they then have a successful workforce and move forward with confidence, as we leave the turmoil of the past year behind.