It is clearly evident that since the economic downturn there has been a big drop in recruitment followed by a corresponding dip in industry turnover. According to recent figures taken from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), there was a drop in industry turnover to £19.7 billion from £22 billion in the year 2008/9 – a 12.4 percent decrease.
Viewed from a workplace perspective the offshoots have demonstrated themselves in a drop in both permanent, temporary and contractual placements, with the total turnover for permanent staff, for example, shrinking from £4.276 billion to just £2.609 billion. And the story is not too dissimilar from other countries around the world, including the US according to market analyses carried out by Reuters. But things are beginning to pick up. Indeed, the Coalition Government recently suggested that there have been approximately 400,000 new jobs created in the private sector.
So what is the impact of these figures for recruitment? Whilst there is a clear drop in job opportunities in the market place, the corresponding implications are that there are fewer jobs available than there are skilled people to fill them. But what impact does this have on recruiters bearing in mind the vast numbers of applications for one job? Indeed, in mid 2010, the High Street shopping chain Primark is reputed to have received over 4000 applications for just 193 jobs, and in February this year, Google is reported to have received 75,000 applications for 6000 jobs. So how best are recruiters to handle the vast numbers of job applicants, keeping them warm through what is no doubt an arduous process so as to ensure that employers do not in fact loose out on talent with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds available in the present market place??
The answer lies in the word ‘inclusion’ and it is imperative that this is the watchword for all, particularly those tasked with recruitment. Here’s a short story to contextualise:
A good friend of mine who is an extremely talented IT professional was unfortunately made redundant approximately 6 months ago and had been in the job market seeking a new opportunity. He had applied for a particular job, amongst others, and had gone through a really long and drawn out recruitment and selection process, and finally had an offer made to him – electronically. However, by the time he finally got to speak with the recruiter to secure all the information he needed for agreeing to the offer – which was rather a long time after the final assessment, he had already finalised taking up another role with a different organisation. Indeed, throughout the recruitment process he had to constantly chase the recruiter for information on the next stages to the point whereby he said to me: “It was as if I was running the recruitment process myself”
Whether the issue described above was due to staff shortages, staff cut-backs to assist with financial savings or simply down to an ineffective recruitment process, the point about inclusion is an important one: Keeping candidates warm through communicating relevant and timely information is all about promoting and ensuring transparency of the process (in the mind of the candidate – at least), as well as has the added benefit of driving costs per hire down through creating viable talent pools for future opportunities. Indeed, it is the ultimate task of the recruiter to effectively facilitate this process. There is a deep emotionality that is wrapped up with each genuine candidate application, such that the individual candidate feels connected to the particular organisation as it represents the aspirational future state of his/her particular potential.
But the same is also true of the organisation – which inevitably relies on the identified individual talent (and their range of backgrounds and experiences) to enable it realise its strategic future state in the competitive market place. It is simply not the greatest of organisational practices to send prospective candidate’s automated email generated one-liners regarding their performance in a recruitment application that they have committed a great amount of their energies and emotions towards. Some sort of a personal and/or human touch surely is the way forward?
This is where diversity brokers the deal as it were between keeping candidates warm and the strategic aspirations of the organisation: If diversity as we have discussed in our previous posts is all about effective people management from a range of backgrounds, the process for recruiting talent into organisations must ensure to treat each candidate as individuals bearing in mind their expectations of the ‘behaviour’ of an organisations processes and procedures, their individual aspirations, as well as the particular experiences and skills they bring to the organisational table – all of which have a direct impact on the image and brand of the organisation in the diverse market place. This is the strategic importance of keeping a candidate warm – not just within the recruitment process (where it assists drives cost per hire down) but over and above that, for the continuous viability and indeed respectability of the brand of the organisation.
With globalisation, world immigration and new technologies now defining the characteristic of the 21st century talent, an awareness of cultural diversity as it impacts each individual candidate should inevitably sit at the heart of how we ensure effective communication and engagement with our present and future talent ensuring that they feel valued and respected as individuals who will make a real contribution to an organisations growth and development – regardless of the volumes recruiters are having to manage as a consequence of the economic downturn…