The recruitment landscape is shifting faster than ever, with many candidates looking beyond payslips and standard benefits when searching of their next role.
LITT Recruitment explores some of the biggest trends shaping the industry right now – and why employers should take notice if they want to secure today’s top talent.
It’s been over three years since the pandemic began and while changes to how we travel and socialise have returned to normal, changes to how we work remain firmly in place. Today, hybrid working – or “flexible working” – is no longer a perk. For the vast majority of job-seekers, it’s an expectation – and often a dealbreaker when it comes to deciding whether to apply or accept a role.
More and more, candidates are looking for flexible working arrangements that allow them to achieve greater work-life balance – a wellbeing demand that has soared post-pandemic. For some, this means a mix of office and at-home working. For others, this means having the freedom to work remotely permanently, or as often as they wish.
Despite debates productivity levels and trust between employers and employees at home compared to within the workplace, hybrid working remains one of this year’s biggest recruitment trends – and businesses must take notice and cater to the demand if they wish to fill their recruitment gap not only short-term, but long-term as well.
“Although not a viable or indeed perfect solution for all businesses or employees, it seems hybrid working is here to stay,” says John Rooney, Recruitment Director at Litt Recruitment.
“The key to success in this area, however, is effective management and engagement with hybrid and remote staff. Many times, businesses try and implement hybrid working, only to see it fail as they haven’t fully invested in how to manage the remote teams in a different way. Trust and communication between employers and employees are paramount.”
The arrival of Gen Z
The newest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) are making their mark in the world of recruitment. Ambitious, tech-savvy and armed with the latest skills to grow businesses big and small, the benefits of hiring candidates in this age bracket are multi-fold.
Attracting them, however, has its demands. Unsurprisingly, statistics show that they are the biggest social media-users alive today – with many Gen Z workers looking to platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) first to scope out new roles, communicate with recruiters and gauge a company’s culture, ethics and offering.
For businesses on the hunt to secure today’s bright young minds, a strong online presence is key. In comparison to their millennial and boomer counterparts, Gen Z are also joining companies with greater social awareness – which, in turn, is shaping their decisions around where they work. Recent statistics suggest issues such as racial diversity, gender equality, prejudice around the LGBTQ+ community and sustainability are close to their hearts. To catch the eyes of the best Gen Z talent, today, employers need to demonstrate a tangible appreciation and sensitivity to such topics not only through their recruitment process, but also their workplace culture and policies.
An equal, accepting, eco-minded and social values driven working environment needs to be evident and on offer from the get-go. By being mindful of this generation’s shift in perspective and adapting their hiring strategy accordingly, companies can better position themselves in the eyes of today’s most promising Gen Z candidates.
It’s no surprise that in today’s digital age, the use of automation, AI and social media in recruitment is on the rise. Today, a growing number of businesses are looking towards online tools to help streamline and better their recruitment process, making it easier, more efficient and more attractive applicants.
Human resources management systems (HRMS) are now being used to help organise CVs, send timely automated responses to applicants and schedule interviews. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to aid and enhance candidate screening, helping to comb through answers to interview questions for key words and phrases, along with must-have skills, desirable experience and specific qualifications.
Chatbots are being introduced to career pages on company websites to help guide job-seekers to specific roles, answer any queries they might have about a vacancy, the company or its recruitment process, as well as offering pre-screening questions to help businesses identity potential candidates. Even virtual (video) applications and job adverts are becoming more and more popular.
Not only does this new way of recruiting appeal and speak to today’s younger, tech-savvy job-hunters, it also puts businesses under a more desirable light in the eyes of the candidate, showing creativity, efficiency and a willingness to move with the times. “
Being flexible with technology and the options it provides us for speeding up and managing the hiring process can be vital in securing the best talent,” says John. “Although face-to-face interviews can still be needed and, in fact, are in many cases still the preference, the use of technology can give us options to progress the recruitment journey to a stage in-person recruiting is needed.”
In today’s competitive job market, having a strong brand identity – especially online – is becoming more and more vital to catching the attention of, and securing, the talent businesses want and need. Because job-hunters are now looking to social media platforms more and more for deeper insights into what a company stands for and what it can offer them, to stand out from the crowd, businesses need to ensure they’re promoting themselves in the best light and in the best places.
Creating unique and insightful content on a range of platforms around topics such as company culture, values and vision, ways of working, perks of the job and behind-the-scenes activities is key – helping to increase user engagement and better connect with candidates, build reputation and sell a company’s offerings.
“All organisations have a brand, but how they showcase that online and differentiate themselves from their competitors can be vital in attracting the best talent,” says John. “The perception and reputation of a company outside of its own front door is so important in today’s market.”
Being flexible with technology and the options it provides us for speeding up and managing the hiring process can be vital in securing the best talent.
In a post-pandemic world in which mental health, work-life balance and greater flexibility are hot topics, when it comes to perks, more and more individuals are looking beyond standard end-of-year bonuses and annual office parties in their search for a new role.
Today, there is a greater demand for wellbeing-related benefits that give something back – most of which have nothing to do with financial gain. These include access to wellness programmes, counselling services and fitness classes, enhanced parental, sick and bereavement leave, paid wellbeing days, unlimited annual leave and free medical assessments and more.
By re-evaluating and expanding their offering in areas such as these where possible, companies will stand themselves in good stead when recruiting. In the eyes of the job-hunter, if a company shows value and a tangible commitment to the wellbeing of its employees, the more likely they are to apply for a role there.
Therefore, investing in non-financial benefits is one of the most effective strategies today in attracting – and keeping – skilled workers on your team.
“Although salary can still be a huge factor for anyone when choosing their next role, the extra benefits offered can often be a deciding factor when multiple similar offers are being considered,” says John. “How you position your benefits can also lead to a much higher level of initial interest in terms of both quality and quantity of applicants, so it’s important businesses think outside the box and be mindful of what’s really important to today’s applicants.”