The future of recruitment - reinventing your recruitment strategy

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In 2016, the labour market saw an increase in job seekers, with almost a quarter (24%) of the UK workforce actively looking for a new job (*CIPD Employee Outlook); it has been over three years since job-seeking intentions were previously this high.

The recruitment landscape is rapidly changing, with new technologies, developments in selection processes, a series of trends and a new generation entering the job market all being key influences.

Already very different from just 5 years ago, what does the future look like for recruitment in 2017 and beyond and what is your approach?

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing our insights into the multi-faceted world of recruitment including the following hot topics.

Candidate control

The see-saw of power is weighted more towards the candidate than the job market has historically seen. The candidate is taking control of their portfolio of experience, which means more changes over a shorter time frame. Candidates with experience across multiple markets and wider groups of people bring added value to an employer by growing the wealth of their talent.  Candidates willing to work cross-sector can be perceived as more adaptable and self-motivated by taking control of their own development, thus leading to higher performance potential. 

Social media connectivity

As technology changes, employers and their future talent become more accessible to each other. Active networking and social media connectivity creates a need for recruitment agencies to provide a niche, specialised service to improve focus and increase their value by offering a bespoke service instead of the previous standard approach.

Candidate attraction

The relationship between employer and their future talent is further enhanced by an understanding of each party’s vision, values, identity and objectives. The candidate experience is paramount for employers to maintain attraction in the competitive war for talent, particularly now that there are more avenues for feedback to be both seen and shared. The employee value proposition becomes increasingly more powerful as a tool with which to sway an undecided voter. 

Psychological contract

The psychological contract has been an emerging subject across HR for many years, and refers to the unwritten relationship between an employer and its employees, concerning mutual expectations of inputs and outcomes. The contract is built on fairness and trust and very much depends on the honouring of the deal struck between both parties. Employers need to make clear to new recruits what they can expect from the new job. Managing expectations will increase the chances of establishing a realistic psychological contract to support any business retention strategy. 

Diversity & equality

As the workforce evolves, the demographics become more diverse in terms of age, gender and ethnic mix. Greater life expectancy will mean an increase in age in the working population, not least with changes to pensions, leading many to work for longer. With regard to gender, the trend for more women to enter the workforce continues, giving rise to equal pay and childcare provision schemes. In terms of ethnicity, government predictions indicate that by 2020, net migration will account for more than 40% of the growth in the working population* (*CIPD Recruitment & Selection). 


With retirement age pushed back, the difference in attitudes between millennials and other generations can be extreme, and the recruitment process will require a tailored approach to be effective, taking into account preferences in communication channels amongst other things. The days of having a job for life are long gone. Employees have complex and varied expectations requiring employers to adjust to stay relevant, by showing an innovative attraction process and a powerful and accessible brand message for future talent.  

Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are now in the workplace and will shape the world of work for generations to come. Hence, attracting them becomes critical to most businesses. Their aspirations, work attitudes and technological mind-set will define the culture of the 21st century workplace.  Millennials are valuable as they will work to support a significantly larger older generation as life expectancy increases. They are also a challenge that organisations face. One of their defining characteristics is their affinity with the digital world. Having grown up with Wi-Fi, smartphones, tablets and social media, their expectations of a recruitment process will be more digitally minded than any previous generation. 

Their behaviour is a reflection of their experience of the global economic crisis and this generation places more emphasis on personal needs than on those of their future employer. They have expectations of rapid career progression, varied and interesting responsibilities and constant feedback. Their desire to keep moving through an organisation will affect both the attraction, as well as the development plans of their future employer, in order to prevent them moving on if their expectations are not being met. 

Attraction and the power of the employer brand is escalated when enticing millennial talent. CSR values that match their own, doing something they feel worthwhile and meeting their levels of motivation around development and overseas opportunities are considerations for an organisation.  Millennials surveyed by PwC named training and development and flexible working opportunities as more valuable than financial benefits.  Millennials also support the prospect of being able to customise benefits with a flexible total reward statement. 

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Reuben Conibear

Reuben Conibear

Reuben joined Team Thomas in 2015 and is the UK Marketing Executive, where he focuses on providing customers with a high quality experience. In his spare time, Reuben enjoys kayaking, bouldering and spending time with his friends and family.