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Recruit future leaders with these forward-thinking recruitment strategies

02 / 06 / 2021

Despite the upheaval of COVID-19 the UK job market has remained relatively stable over the past two years, albeit with a trend towards increased unemployment. According to recent labour market overview from the Office For National Statistics, there were around 56,000 fewer people in paid employment in March 2021 in comparison with February 2021, with those numbers only set to increase as furlough begins to wind down. 

However, job seekers and employers are becoming more inclined to consider flexibility in working practices, both by adjusting to a mix of office and home-working and taking on more temporary workers. There will also be an increased emphasis on upskilling with a focus on digital competency and a move to deeper diversity and inclusivity practices. To recruit top talent in today’s marketplace you will need to have a robust, efficient and forward-thinking strategy in place.

Emerging employment trends in governance, risk and compliance

As companies begin to consider a move back to the office post-lockdown it is important to consider that, according to Forbes:

  • 61% of employees prefer working fully remotely 
  • Only 3% want to return to office based working full time
  • The remaining 35% of professionals will expect to see some accommodation of hybrid working, splitting their time between home and the office. 

The ability to work remotely will be a major draw for attracting new candidates, as well as retaining existing talent, as it appears that more hybrid models of working are here to stay long-term. Benefits to employers such as no longer needing to hire locally, reduction in physical office-based and costs, and widening their talent pool will also be appealing.

For those companies encouraging employees to head back to the workplace, trends will include COVID-19 security and risk assessments. According to the government's website, 48,000 UK businesses signed up by March 2021 to offer workplace testing and the ethics of mandatory vaccination is being hotly debated. 

Recruitment strategies to attract and retain talent 

The first step to a strong and timely hire that is often neglected is the initial job posting. Clarity and emphasising what applications will not be considered can mean that you won’t be swamped with unsuitable applications at the initial stage. A robust shortlisting process will also save time during the recruitment cycle when reading through submitted applications. 

Ensuring you improve the following aspects of the recruitment process will increase the likelihood of a longer-lasting placement, higher productivity and lower staff turnover as well as reducing hiring costs:

Planning ahead 
If you want to secure the best candidates for an interview then your communication and scheduling, especially if the interview is to be conducted remotely, should be well thought out to avoid time consuming and costly errors. 

Skill tests and test projects
Evaluating candidates’ skills during a remote interview can be difficult. In addition to industry specific skills, candidates will increasingly need to be assessed for soft skills and characteristics necessary for remote working which can be hard to gauge. Skill tests and test projects can be used to judge candidates time management and problem solving.

Testing equipment and software
Problems with software, lag and background noise can stop you from assessing a candidate properly and give them a negative view of the company. Testing equipment and software thoroughly before use and having a backup plan to reschedule can help you turn around the experience and get the most from your interviews.

Onboarding procedures 
Onboarding procedures should emphasise team building and establishing communication between employees who may be working together across several locations. An onboarding process that focuses solely on tools and account set-up could mean new hires are slower to adapt and to work to their full potential. 

Regular reviews 
Regular reviews of new hires at key intervals can go a long way to smoothing out any initial difficulties and allow the candidate to put forward their own ideas for improvements to hiring and onboarding.

How to attract top talent to your company 

When the war for talent is fierce due to economic growth and skills shortages, redefining your recruitment strategy will be the key to attracting and retaining future leaders. With the increasing digitalisation of both our personal and professional lives, incorporating technological recruitment solutions to increase the efficiency of the recruitment process, as well as improving your employer brand and candidate experience will be crucial, as well as:

Leveraging new recruitment methods
Future leaders have long been recruited via presence at campus recruitment fairs and contacts with universities. Diversifying into Social Media recruitment models can attract new streams of talent.

Providing flexible working and better perks 
The best candidates will be attracted by increased choice in how they structure their working week. Applicants are also looking for more than free tea and coffee. Think better bonus structures,  training and clear opportunities to achieve growth and progression.

Streamlining time to hire  
Many applicants want greater contact and faster turnaround times. Use scheduling software and rolling recruitment to stop the best applicants slipping away.

How we can help

Barclay Simpson is an international recruitment consultancy that specialises in recruiting professionals for the interrelated disciplines of governance, namely information/IT security, risk, resilience, audit, compliance, legal and treasury. 

When you’re looking to secure your organisation for the future, Barclay Simpson can help you quickly build a technically proficient team.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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