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The future of recruitment?

By Beth Wingad

Forgive us. We're talking about skills again. 

Well, what did you expect from a recruitment company? We're in the business of skills after all. 

So when we read LinkedIn's 'Future of Recruiting' Report recently, the skills section well and truly piqued our interest. Their findings (unsurprisingly) matched what we're experiencing in the market at the moment, so we thought we'd go through some of their findings and give you our take too. 

Goodbye degrees, hello skills?

There's been a 36% reduction in degree requirements in job ads between 2019 and 2022. Someone else referred to it as 'skills, not schools' (which frankly we wish we'd come up with) but, catchy name aside, this trend is indicative of a real shift that's going on in the world of hiring. 

Employers are increasingly advertising roles without degree requirements, and we're finding that a lot of our clients are much less focused on a degree being absolutely essential than in years gone by. Instead, when we're briefed on a role it's often the specific skills that will make a candidate successful that are the non-negotiables. Now, it's by no means the same in every single market, but it's definitely a trend that we're noticing.

Finding the right soft skills is, ironically, hard

In fact, it's so hard that it's the fourth biggest challenge reported by recruiting pros right now. 

And with 60% of the top most sought-after skills on LinkedIn being soft skills, there's little wonder internal talent teams are redefining what a 'good hire' looks like and focusing more on these skills. The problem is that these are things that are harder to measure, and are less tangible. They're things that you're unlikely to find from a search of your candidate database and things that you're unlikely to be able to assess by a set of KPIs once the person is in situ. 

That's why we like to really get to know the candidates we're working with. Not only does it help us match them with exactly the right job, but it gives us a real sense of their soft, human skills, setting them up for success in their role and helping companies be confident in the quality of their hire.

Upskilling is trickier than it may seem

As much as we'd love our clients to come to us every time they need a new skill in their team, sometimes upskilling is the right approach. Got someone great in the team who could fill a skills gap? Great, upskilling helps promote a skills first culture AND improves retention (which is also a great thing to shout about when you're hiring). 

Upskilling alone isn't the answer though. We've found that a combination of upskilling and hiring new talent to complement existing skills within the team seems to be a winning combination. We often advise our clients on how they can build out the strongest team by knowing when to source the right skills from the market to fill their skills gaps. We also tend to know where those skills are and how to find them!

Good quality hires is the ultimate goal

Tell us something we didn't know, eh. 

But really this sums it all up. This is the reason why everyone is focusing on skills, and after the past few years companies are more concerned about avoiding the cost of a bad hire than ever before. It's something we hear from our clients all the time. Companies want to make sure that every hire they make is the right one, first time. 

We find that the companies that are most successful at doing this are the ones who set a great brief, are crystal clear on what they're looking for, and have recruitment processes that test exactly that. We can then take the role to market, finding them the best candidate, not just the best available one (more on that in a future blog). Often the best quality hire is off-market, or not actively looking for a job. And that's where we can help.

So what do you think the future of recruitment looks like?