I'm a product of the '90s, Nightclubs, bad dress sense, Friends on the TV when you used to tape over your mum's labeled videotape because you couldn't find one to use. It was also a pre-requisite that the higher salaries and better opportunities were in London or Cambridge and other cities around the world so the daily commute was the sacrifice you made to benefit from the networking opportunities and career lift that came with City life.
The Covid19 pandemic of 2020 has been the catalyst that has stemmed a new world of work, I'm more amazed that it's taken a once-in-a-lifetime event to bring about this change than I am the profound changes that have resulted since 2020. For the 21 years, I have been in the Talent industry this was always going to be the future.
History has told us that the working masses always revolt when the divide between the haves and the have nots, becomes too great, and let's face it the dearth of skilled professionals in the IT and Scientific space isn't new. Despite this employers and companies have managed to have things pretty much their own way for years. Before company owners get on their high horse I recognise many of you have invested money and time in building cultures and environments to provide excellent employment experiences...BUT the rules of the game have changed.
It's no longer the choice of the employer to decide what it is employees seek from their 'working week', and that phrase there is the issue. "the working week" for years it's been known work is the avenue to a better life, longer life expectancy, stronger economies, reduced call on social services, etc. The divide between work, family, and the plethora of elements that make up Human life has been blurred for years yet "the working week" has remained stubbornly oblivious to the growing discontent bubbling under the surface.
Recruiters, internal and external are now in more demand than ever...that's great I run a business that helps companies find new talent, it's all gravy from here! Or is it...the world has changed yet companies continue to make the same mistakes doubling down those mistakes with huge internal recruitment teams or a scatter-gun approach towards the external recruitment partners they engage. STOP!
"IF you take nothing more from this article than this...Ask yourself what are you doing differently today than you were two years ago? Different slogans, different recruiters, a move towards internal recruitment...It's the same approach under a different label...What's changed?".
Recruitment is suffering from the same Isolation that IT departments suffered from in the 90's it's considered a tool to enable the rest of the business to function, A standalone process that operates in its own unique bubble, one that no one actually has much interest in until something breaks. Yet IT departments have come out of the basements and it's recognised the CTO needs to be in the C-Suite delivering towards the wider goals of the company; this broader approach to people is exactly what I have championed for years.
Bringing in large internal recruitment teams is simply doubling down on this idea that recruitment operates separately from the rest of your business, one view of the world repeated over and over again until you have a one size fits all approach to recruitment, it's not a reflection of the individuals in your department it's a simple truth that I learned during my time within the Financial services industry.
"Tied agents will always sell you products from their own stable. Todays informed candidate knows that"
This basic truth is why you go to an independent financial advisor or Wealth consultancy, you want to get the best of the whole marketplace and understand your options so you the customer can make an informed choice that's best for your personal future goals.
Translate this to the jobs market, Candidates now have access to a host of information from multiple sources about your business, they are able to secure remote work from companies across the globe, work from anywhere and guess what, Supply and demand rules work exactly the same way they do in any other market, there is more demand than supply so salaries are up and in the same way the high street retailer is being threatened by new digital trends you to are at risk of becoming the next Debenhams from a Talent perspective. Candidates can turn on their PC and work with whoever from wherever they want, the Geographic reins that applied to salaries and opportunities are now removed.
So what's next? It's not all doom and gloom, unlike retail environments and consumer purchases the human mind needs more from work than just a transactional way of paying the bills.
Despite their being a perception that their is little loyalty from employees right now that's actually not the complete picture.
Individuals are seeking 'more', not just salaries or flexibility in hours and work locations but 'more' and that is the element that you as an employer must seek to understand and engage with. So what is 'more'? How can we engage with it? this is the dilemma you now face 'more' is unique to the individual, to understand more you need to listen and you need to have the wisdom that comes from understanding the wider marketplace to meaningfully engage with individuals to deliver their version of 'more'
Pushing individuals through poorly thought-through internal recruitment processes or engaging with recruiters with the usual first past the post approach to CV submission doesn't create an environment that has time for 'more'. It's the same approach that has reduced skilled individuals with minds of their own into nothing more than a product. Well just like Keanu Reaves character 'Neo' in the Matrix movie, people have woken up and no longer want to be a battery.
The recruitment approach of the 90's that is still being deployed by most employers has no time for 'more'
it's far too busy transmitting white noise to hear the sound of the train that is coming down the tracks to whisk their next hire to pastures new!
Mark Hurren - Founder