by Boyce Recruitment on December 18, 2015

posted on Sector news, Miscellaneous,

How will marketing and digital trends affect recruitment in 2016?

In an industry where demand for talent is high, it’s no surprise that 93% of recruitment agencies use social networks to aid their processes – and they need to. Research reveals that nearly three-quarters of Millennials found their previous job via social media; the way we find work is changing.

Keeping on top of the latest changes is key for any business that wants to maintain its competitive edge and attract the best individuals. Here are some of the marketing and digital trends we expect to see in 2016 and their respective impact on recruitment:

1) Even greater reliance on LinkedIn…

A quick Twitter poll reveals that an overwhelming majority of recruiters – both in-house and agency – use online tools to attract new talent. Most wouldn’t dream of recruiting without employing social media, online jobs boards or their own recruitment portals. However, the go-to tool remains to be professional networking site, LinkedIn.

recruiters using linkedin to find candidates

The advantages of using LinkedIn and other social forums are obvious – they cut to the chase.

The REC found that on any given day, a permanent consultant works on finding 20 people work and helps 32 people secure temporary work. Suffice to say, demand for talent is unprecedented. As such looking at LinkedIn profiles can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on sourcing as recruiters can compare what is written on a job application with individual profiles. It can significantly reduce time to hire. That’s benefit number one.

Number two is that it helps to increase hire quality – one of the most important recruiting metrics. In fact, half of the employers who use social networks to hire said they noticed an improvement in the quality of candidates they found via LinkedIn , compared with those found through traditional job boards.

Employers who use social platforms are also using profile information to screen and inform their hiring decisions. A fifth of them said that the information prompted them to make a job offer. This means they’re able to make more informed decisions in less time.

It does mean, however, that candidates need to do more on LinkedIn. Though most recruiters use it, only 36 per cent of candidates are ‘active’, keeping their CVs up to date and adding extra information.

2) Video becomes a more popular recruitment tool

Whether it’s explainer videos on the company website or video interviews, you can be sure that this type of visual content marketing will be used more in 2016.

We expect to see more companies using this medium instead of plain job descriptions, perhaps with interviews from incumbent job holders or other company ambassadors, to give applicants a better idea of the company.

work environment

The effectiveness of video as an attraction tool can’t be underestimated. It helps get across the sense of the company; humanising the process. It’s certainly appealing for millennial applicants, demonstrating the business as modern and technically-aware.

It immediately makes interviews more convenient, both for those that don’t want their present employer to find out and those situated in far-reaching locations. Nervous candidates might feel more at ease knowing that they can be interviewed in the comfort of their own home, improving the candidate experience. For recruiters, it saves the client money and time; being able to supply a recording of the interview might also appear impressive and aid client retention.

3) The shift away from CVs to online profiles

For many years now, recruiters have identified and/or screened candidates via social media platforms, but usually after having first seen a CV. However, with employers and recruiters now starting to use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates, the sole use of a standard CV format is expected to become redundant.

Whilst the CV will continue to give a concise summary of an applicants’ education and experience, for industries who are looking for specific high-demand, ‘project based’ or ‘creative’ skills, removing CVs from the recruitment process will encourage them to think more openly about who they could hire – and as a result, expand the talent pool.

computer on a desk and desklamp

Online profiles give access to passive candidates. Approaching passive candidates, however, could lead to an increase in the risk of counter offers, where employers try their hardest to persuade individuals who would not otherwise have left their company to leave. The risk of counter offers occurring in this market is high and as a result, the proportion of passive candidates who accept the counter offer is also high.

4) Investment in online branding will increase

recruiters use social media to find candidates

The concept of employer branding online has emerged as a trend in recent years and will continue to do so, especially as the LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report shows that perception of the company website as a useful tool has dropped over recent years, as has word of mouth. Instead, businesses are finding online professional networks and social media most effective for spreading their employer brand, and so they’re doing more of it.

Video (as mentioned above) will play a big part in online branding as it doesn’t now require the skills of a professional film company – you can create quick videos on a phone without issue.

Branding online can influence retention and candidate attraction – raising awareness of your brand is the basic and obvious advantage of increasing your online presence. As competition to attract talent continues way into 2016, employers and recruiters will need to spend more time developing and promoting their company brand.

Increased online branding allows companies to reach out to a broader talent pool of better quality applicants.

5) Businesses will still have the need for a good recruitment company

Whilst it’s true that anyone can search for candidates on LinkedIn, not everyone is a recruiter. Nor do they necessarily have the time and expertise in providing an exemplary candidate experience. This can be risky as inexperience and a poor recruitment process can have negative effects. This is where agencies will definitely add value.

businesses need to use recruitment agencies

Not all agencies are the same, of course, and it’s important to know what to look out for when partnering with one. Here are just a handful of reasons why businesses will still have a need for a good recruitment agency in 2016:

Expertise: Good recruitment consultants know their market, they know their industry and they know their candidates and clients. They have the skills to recognise where the best candidates are working, advise on remuneration and shortlist which candidates would best suit a role. They can dispense invaluable advice to hiring managers, and are realistic and honest with applicants. They know how to deal with tricky managers or demanding talent. Their expertise in managing expectations will help ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Access to a wider talent pool: With their CRM and network, a recruitment agency has access to far more candidates than a business alone does. Having no doubt already developed a big following on social media, the agency’s adverts will reach more people than those placed on the company jobs board. Having a long term relationship with the recruitment agency means that they are able to pipeline good people so that when there is a need, candidates can be provided much more quickly. They may also to offer candidates whom you may never have considered.

Overcoming prejudice: A good recruitment firm will offer knowledge of a company’s culture and working environment. Many potential jobseekers have preconceptions of what it would be like to work in certain companies and so wouldn’t ever dream of applying directly.

These negative impressions may have come from friends or ex-colleagues. However companies change and some of these impressions may be unfounded or irrelevant. It’s very difficult for a company to reach out to people who do not wish to apply to them for work because they heard rumours. In this situation, the help of a good recruiter is invaluable as they may be able to confirm what the current culture is like, what the company is planning over the next year or two, what kind of people really work there and why now would be a good time to consider joining them. Essentially, they can alleviate fears and change misconceptions.

Convenience: Need we say more? You tell the recruiter what you want and they do all they can to meet your expectations. They can even do cursory legal checks and arrange the interviews. Employers don’t need to think about it.

Retention: The recruiter’s expertise means that they are far more likely to identify candidates who are perfect for the role and who will stay on a long term basis. Their registration interview processes means they get a real understanding of what the candidate wants out of their role in the short, medium and long term. Their chances of getting the right fit the first time are much higher than the in-house recruiter’s.

Speed: The REC says 20 per cent of candidates who withdraw from the recruitment process did so because it was taking too long. Where recruitment isn’t typically part of the day job, it’s not going to be a priority. Whereas a recruiter is dedicated to filling that vacancy, sourcing the best candidates and keeping everyone updated. The whole thing happens far quicker.

Cost savings: Recruitment fees can easily be offset against the number of man hours required by HR or Line managers to do their own hiring. This saves company money.

Ultimately, you should look for a recruitment agency that has a good track record (they should be able to share their hiring retention rates), has a clear fee structure and that puts your interests first.

In these times of skills shortages and where people are finding work in new, digital ways, keeping on top of recruitment trends is crucial for securing the most talented individuals; those who will drive your business forward. The best way to do this? Partner with a good recruitment agency.