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06 March 2024

Commercial Recruitment: You won’t BELIEVE the top trends in we’ve noticed in 2024

Commercial Recruitment: You won’t BELIEVE the top trends in we’ve noticed in 2024

2024 has so far started well for KPI’s commercial recruitment team with some record-breaking months. However, the business support industry evolves quickly and is hard to navigate at times with some fascinating new developments emerging already in 2024 that will challenge recruiters. The following changes are the ones we’ve noticed most so far this year:

  1. **Amazing Shift in Remote Work and Flexible Arrangements:**

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work. Many organisations are likely to continue offering a flexible working arrangements as it’s clear that this influences candidate preferences and has a direct impact on how the recruitment process is conducted. However, so far this year, we have seen a remarkable shift from less WFH to a more office-based approach. Clients of a certain size often have the infrastructure and technology to sustain the WFH model, but SMEs are finding productivity has dipped in some industries, and therefore are reverting back to their previous ways of working.

  1. **Digital Transformation in Recruitment continues AT AN EVEN FASTER PACE.**

The use of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, is expected to continue shaping the recruitment process in 2024. This includes AI-powered applicant tracking systems, chatbots for initial candidate interactions, data analytics for better decision-making & AI CV writing. As useful as some of these developments have been, there are still some grey areas and potential cons surrounding this. Losing personal communication throughout a recruitment procedure is proving a challenge to both candidates and clients: ultimately, the hiring process should be human. AI generated CVs are easy to spot and recruiters, hiring managers and candidates can tell the difference, so, if you are going to seek additional support, make sure you proof-read!

  1. **Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a must:**

Companies are increasingly prioritising diversity and inclusion initiatives in their recruitment strategies. This involves implementing unbiased hiring processes, addressing pay gaps, and creating an inclusive workplace culture. Obviously, this is not new for 2024, but it’s something that is very apparent in today’s labour market and only becoming more important. Businesses are switching on to the fact that people with diverse backgrounds bring a change in perspective, approach and delivery. These new ways of thinking and problem-solving are bringing previously unimagined benefits and opening new markets and opportunities.

  1. **Skills-Based Hiring is the New Kid Back on the Block:**

2023 saw a shift towards skills-based hiring rather than a credential-focused approach. Employers are placing more emphasis on assessing candidates' practical skills and abilities relevant to the job. Why? Because… time is money and margins have tightened over the last couple of year. Whilst we all want to recruit ‘potential’ it’s cheaper in the long run to recruit people who can hit the ground running and do the job now, rather than train someone with ‘potential’ to do it. Plus, it’s also down to talent shortages in key technical roles. Companies are starting to take less notice of experience, education and background to focus more on whether candidates possess the practical skills to perform specific tasks.

  1. **Candidate Experience Enhancement:**

Employers are recognising the importance of providing a positive candidate experience. This includes streamlined application processes, effective communication, and a transparent recruitment journey to attract and retain top talent. Businesses need to ‘sell’ as much as they ‘buy’ in an interview and think about every aspect of the process when they first meet a candidate. This needs to include detail on things like: parking spaces, directions and meet/greet arrangements: just like your interviewee, you only have one chance to make a first impression. You should also spell out clearly at the start what the time-frame, structure and of the interview process will be, stick to it and communicate within your set timelines – even it it’s to say the process has been delayed. Not keeping in touch is a surefire way to miss out on a potential new employee.

  1. **Employee Well-being: Creates loyalty & productivity:**

Organisations are incorporating well-being initiatives into their recruitment strategies to attract and retain talent. This includes mental health support and benefits that contribute to overall employee wellness. It also includes ‘listening’ and ‘connecting’. Switched on HR departments hold regular engagement days and ‘open door’ days which give employees the opportunity to get involved on a more emotional level with your business, which will strengthen the bond and make staff retention easier. Plus, if staff has problems and you help resolve them, you have a happier, more productive workplace.

  1. **Upskilling: The new route to better retention AND recruitment:**

With the rapid pace of technological change, companies are investing in upskilling and reskilling their employees adapt to evolving job requirements. Whilst this is positive news for staff retention, it can also benefit external recruitment strategies as well. Demonstrating your ability to develop employees is seen as a real plus-point for potential recruits: they are far more likely to join a business which offers opportunities to progress and learn than one that doesn’t.

  1. **Social Media: Continues to be crucial to build your Employer Brand:**

Social media platforms continue to play a significant role in recruitment. Companies’ recruitment campaigns should leverage existing favourites like LinkedIn and Facebook, but also try newer platforms such as… Tik Tok (which is beginning to produce remarkable results for some sectors) for employer branding, talent sourcing and engagement. Whilst Google, TrustPilot & Facebook are ideal portals for customers feedback, they also provide insight for potential employees and there are plenty of employee-specific feedback sites now such as Glassdoor, Go Work and Indeed. Although it’s highly unlikely that a company will always enjoy 5-star reviews across the board, it’s also imperative that businesses monitor and measure their online reviews as an employer and give a measured response wherever possible.

If you need additional support with your candidate attraction and recruitment campaigns, call our Commercial Teams in Crewe (01270 589943), Stoke (01782 712230), Warrington (01925 637871), Wigan (01942 597215) or Sutton (0203 910 6786).

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