Erica Wolfe-Murray: Brave New Recruitment World


More than ever before, companies have to link recruitment closely to the experience that new employee will find when they join the company.  Talking the talk is not good enough, in researching whether they want to join your business – a potential recruit will be able to see whether you also walk the walk too. Recruitment needs to be closely aligned with a company’s values as well as their employee engagement strategy. Technology brings a whole new way of approaching recruitment and we are only at the start…


With research from Mckinsey & Co highlighting the benefits a diverse workforce brings, removing unconscious bias from the recruitment process is critical and growing. No matter how broad our childhood, parental and life experience, bias is always there. Utilising software that redacts anything identifying age, ethnicity, class or any other bias, highlighting only appropriate skills and experience needed to fulfil the role, could herald a step-change in bringing overlooked talent to more companies. These can also help fulfil corporate diversity targets ensuring companies reflect the society they live in more fully.


With the internet enabling reach across continents, companies can now resource potential candidates from cities and cultures they may never have thought possible. LinkedIn has been a key tool for HR professionals searching for emergent business talent for many years now. But add to this the rich menu of professional networks, of talent message boards, searching out people with the requisite skills now allows a high level of optimisation for the vacant role.


Allied to the wider net, companies who may have always considered employee presence in the workplace as non-negotiable have rethought this policy to better recruit those looking for greater freedom to follow their own life choices. Remote working is on the rise for employees as well as the freelance pool.


And it’s not limited to millennials either. High-level talent who may have dropped out of companies earlier in their career searching for greater self-determination, with personal commitments or even overcoming stress, may welcome the opportunity to re-engage on this basis. Now they can balance their life choice with team working using project management tools, video links and other emergent software.


This increased appreciation of candidates wanting to work remotely can have the additional benefit of getting previously overlooked talent to the interview stage. If you are limited in being able to attend the workplace due to physical restrictions, the growing pool of companies embracing a remote workforce heralds a far wider choice of jobs for which you can apply.


Company values need to be very clearly stated in any job spec too. Whilst this is nothing new, there are other factors coming into play that everyone will be asking to see.  Areas such as sustainability, supply chain ethics, corporate social value metrics which are more robust than just the familiar CSR, and make no mistake – these will be researched thoroughly across company statements, existing staff profiles as well as social media. The stance is becoming increasingly challenging – ‘if you want me to work for you, prove to me that you are an ethical, caring company worth the investment of my time and energy’.


With the fierce competition for talent in the marketplace, companies have to get their employee engagement strategy clear. Not only can they use it as a candidate attraction, but if implemented robustly it will drive company happiness and well-being whilst reducing the expense of churn.


An employee package which includes a corporate wellness app covering physical and mental support, perhaps a financial planning tool, an online/in person training budget to encourage skill development, mentoring and coaching options as well health and safety training, shows any candidate that this company takes their staff needs seriously.


Of course the benefits of this brave new world of recruiting mean that misalignment of candidate, job role and company will decrease.  But no matter what technology is brought to bear, people still work with people. We are social creatures and like to engage personally, face-to-face, sharing ideas, stories and experiences. Keeping this is at the heart of the last stages of any recruitment process is vital and will not be changing any time soon.


By Erica Wolfe-Murray


Erica’s new book ‘Simple Tips, Smart Ideas : Build a Bigger, Better Business’ is out now. Full of her usual easy-to-use advice, lots of case studies, quick tips, diagrams and innovative ways to think about growing your business and developing greater commercial resilience – its 288 full colour pages will help you transform your business.  Available from Foyles, all good booksellers and Amazon.













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