Applying for a job with a CV and covering letter

The UK Recruitment Scene

The UK Recruitment scene is on the verge of a huge growth spurt as the economy has dramatically improved this year which has urged employers to be a little more adventurous. This change is great news for both employers and employees. This means job activity is on the rise for the very near future and this goes for most industries as opposed to the decline back in 2008/09.

So what can we expect to happen?

The truth is that it is highly unlikely that enough good candidates are out there to meet demand. If employer attraction strategies and recruitment processes don’t change then employers can expect to face a far tougher future. In a hotter market, these shortages will become more severe; because as employers find recruiting more difficult, it becomes more tempting to simply invest in current resources. The buyback, where an employer tries to entice a current employee to stay at the point of resignation, was a rarity in recent years but is now very much in the spotlight again.

To get ahead of a rapidly rising market, employers are going to need to alter their ethos significantly and be prepared to make big changes to their attraction, selection and on boarding processes.

What does the changing landscape look like?

Job boards and social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have significantly changed candidate attraction strategies; yet most employers aren’t prepared for what happens when these become less effective for attracting the best talent.

High calibre candidates are looking for employers to come to them. Even if that initial sell which draws them into the process is persuasive, most employers’ recruitment processes are reminiscent of a recessionary mentality and have the bureaucracy to match. If an employer really thinks it can win the war for talent by asking prospective candidates to fill in forms, wait for weeks for feedback, attend lengthy assessment centres and then accept lowball offers, they are mistaken.

Employers need to be more responsive. Having processes which attract and select the best talent is an out-and-out no-brainer, mainly due to the fact that many candidates realise how they are treated through the interview process which is an indicator of how they’ll be treated as an employee. UK employers need to be smarter, more decisive and more flexible if they want to get the best candidates on board. It is much better to focus on the one superb candidate and put them in front of the CEO after a first meeting, rather than gear up expectations, both internal and external, to a lengthy ‘robust’ process with many interview stages and paperwork only to obtain a mediocre hire at the end of it.

Candidates are now looking to engage with their employer in a very different way than they did previously and are expecting a relationship which is more personal, flexible and equal than ever before. Take Sir Richard Branson and his new “Flexible Holiday Entitlement Scheme”; a huge reminder to all UK employers that valuing an Employee’s needs is key to retaining and attracting staff. A big advertising budget, slick processes and improved technology will all help, however if an employer can successfully engage with its potential employees, then they can look forward to a brighter future.