In a constantly adjusting world, every aspect of life changes in some way or another. The recruitment industry is no different - but how exactly has it changed?
When I first started out in recruitment eight years ago, the recruitment industry was relatively black and white; recruitment processes were simple, fees for recruiting talent were higher and employees who you helped find roles for stayed in their positions for 4 - 5 years or more, not to mention the process and new starter on-boarding was pretty quick too (those were the good old days)!
Nowadays the industry has changed quite dramatically, some might say for the better and others might say for the worse.
For job seekers, particularly within Banking or Financial Services, application processes now include 1 - 4 page cover sheets, online assessments and values testing before an interview has even been requested. Not to mention writing or numerical tests throughout the process on top of competency based interviews.
For recruiters, recruitment fees have tightened up and clients have focused on putting together strict Preferred Suppliers agreements (PSLs), with the attitude of ‘take it or leave it’ to the recruiters wanting to work with their brand.
Recruitment is one of the very few services in life where the customer (job seeker) does not pay for the service. This might be something many people forget. If you're lucky enough to work with a recruiter that goes above and beyond for you, who supports you throughout every aspect of the recruitment process, meets you face-to-face, AND stays in touch once you start your new job, then you're onto a winner.
The length of a recruitment process has been strung out, sometimes with job seekers feeling a lack of urgency when in an interview process. This is something we’re trying to tackle with hiring organisations. Sometimes our clients are losing out on talent to other competitors if the pace is too slow - people want companies to commit to them, and that also comes in the form of strong feedback.
The industry is poles apart from when my career began, but do I still enjoy it? Yes, of course I do. Fundamentally, the basics of the job are still the same. I still get to deal with people all day every day; I'm out and about at meetings, building relationships and growing my network, matching talent up to their ideal organisations. And the favourite part of my role? That would be placing someone in a role they really enjoy and being thanked by a client for finding them the best candidate, resulting in repeated business and a continuing relationship with leaders in the market. What’s not to like?
In some ways, because the industry has changed so much, survival of the fittest has become apparent. Recruiters who wanted an easy life quickly came and went, but what will be interesting to see is what happens from here…
On the flip side, the Financial Services industry has become much more flexible, and they are making a conscious effort to change. For example, working hours (dependent on area) have got significantly better, and flexible working is definitely a hot topic. Whilst specialising in Marketing and Communications, I have to say agile working and working from home is simply the norm nowadays, so in some ways things have really improved. Even though it may be a long winded process to get into these organisations, it is all worth it once you start because they really look after their employees.
As we move forward, into a world where technology is taking precedence, be prepared to embrace application systems, job portals, aptitude tests and automated competency based testing as they are here to stay, and you don't want to be left behind.