Navigating the talent pool

Written by
Changeboard Team

07 Feb 2014

07 Feb 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Current challenges faced by recruiters

The UK recruitment market is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with major focuses on quality, time and cost to hire, making the process of acquiring and retaining top talent more competitive and complex.

Over 46% of our 100 respondents revealed it took them between 31 and 50 days to recruit permanent staff and 43% said this was between six and 15 days for interim hires.

Finding ‘good, niche candidates’ and managing the ‘volume of requests’ in the recruitment team were strong themes that came up. Budgetary constrictions, short timelines and the reluctance of quality candidates to move are also contributory factors to the frustration currently experienced by recruiters.

Direct sourcing a growing trend

Over a fifth of respondents said between 80 and 90% of their recruitment is currently done via direct sourcing and a third are using agencies for less than 10% of their recruitment needs.

In this time of extended recession, the market strongly reflects the emphasis on reducing costs with direct talent acquisition and/or RPO models being the preferred option. The use of agencies is generally restricted to highly specialised roles where it’s difficult to source talent directly.

  • 24% prefer direct advertising as a primary route to market, while 16% go straight to an agency
  • 17% have an RPO onsite
  • 20.5% utilise an internal intranet initially.

The impact of social media

Social media has been instrumental in helping direct acquisition; LinkedIn and Twitter for experienced professionals and Facebook for graduate/entry level roles, which all provide an excellent pool of potential candidates (14.5% use LinkedIn as a first option in candidate attraction).

However, it’s time-consuming to source and contact these individuals and ‘non-compete’ clauses can restrict organisations actively seeking individuals from competitors. Agencies can offer support with this, plus tap into their network of passive candidates who are not actively looking but may consider opportunities.

Proven results

With regard to filling vacancies, nearly 30% cite using an agency as having the most success, followed by direct advertising (25%) and job boards (17%).

The market dictates changes in business requirements, so resourcing functions need to reflect these. During economic booms with high volumes of recruitment, internal resourcing functions find it increasingly difficult to manage large numbers of roles through direct sourcing, so will increasingly need to turn to agencies to help seek talent.

Sector challenges

While the financial services sector is still in downsize mode, others are growing such as internet, digital, new media and oil & gas. Despite this, cost-conscious times still pose challenges to hiring.

Be prepared for change

At some point the market will upturn. Following the recession and organisations holding out on hiring, there will be intense competition for top talent, exacerbated by the fact that a portion of the best candidates have relocated internationally.

When this happens, how ready will your resourcing function be?

Further reading

You can read more recruitment insights from Hudson here