Recruitment is broken. How do you get ready for the economic upturn?

Undoubtedly, the UK's economy has been a casualty of COVID-19. Overall, 2020 saw GDP shrink by nearly 10% - the worst decline in three centuries.

Recruitment is broken. How do you get ready for the economic upturn?

Undoubtedly, the UK’s economy has been a casualty of COVID-19. Overall, 2020 saw GDP shrink by nearly 10% – the worst decline in three centuries. But despite this, experts predict the resilience of businesses during the latest lockdown, along with a strong bounce-back as restrictions ease in the coming months, will see 2021 have the strongest annual growth since World War II. 

As part of the great re-opening, thousands of businesses of all sizes are on a recruitment drive to try and meet demand for pre-pandemic service levels. The pressure to get recruitment right, first time, every time, is immense. Not only because of the chance to make up for lost ground caused by multiple lockdowns. Or that the average cost of making a new hire in the UK is £3,000. But because business owners and stretched HR teams simply do not have the bandwidth to deal with when recruitment goes wrong. 

We should be cautiously positive. But there’s one thing standing in the way of economic upturn. Recruitment is broken. 

According to our inaugural report on the state of recruitment in the UK, over half (57%) of all new hires made in the last 12 months are not working out for businesses – with a quarter (25%) not working out at all. And beyond the obvious challenges of remote hiring, 86% of HR managers said differentiating between candidates and picking the right people to interview and ultimately hire, is their biggest challenge. 

Businesses that don’t take action to fix this are facing significant challenges as they look to accelerate hiring, establish workforces that are fit for the future, and rebuild and reshape teams to take advantage of new economic opportunities. Fixing this issue isn’t a nice thing to do – it’s a necessity. 

The ultimate question is, how do we fix recruitment? 

The answer lies in being objective. Hiring has never been that easy. For decades recruitment processes have been based on gut instinct and imprecise data. They’ve eroded trust and yielded too many failed hires. This needs to change. Fast. 

Senior leadership and HR teams need to ground their recruitment processes in objective data about how people behave and learn, so the risk of biased and subjective decision-making is reduced. And they can make the right hire, first time, every time. 

An increasing number of ambitious companies are looking to technological solutions to provide this objective data; to improve hire quality, accelerate processes and reduce the effects of bias. In fact, our research found that many HR managers see recruitment software and tools as useful assets to understand candidates in a deeper, more intelligent way than before. As well as to predict performance and success during the recruitment process, rather than waiting to see how things pan out after a hire has been made. A quarter (24%) think tech will be the key to improving the quality of hires and 22% said it will speed up the whole recruitment process in the next 12 months.

Added to this, almost all HR leaders (87%) said harnessing predictive hiring – identifying which employees are suitable for which jobs of the future – is at the top of their lists when it comes to improving their recruitment processes. 

On the face of it, finding this objective data isn’t an easy task. But harnessing psychometric testing during the recruitment process can ensure the cultural and role fit that’s essential to hire quality and create a trustworthy, efficient recruitment process. Nearly half (46%) of HR leaders would choose to trust only psychometric testing, over interviews or CVs only, if push came to shove when making hiring decisions. 

It’s hard to overstate just how important the coming months will be for many of the UK’s businesses. The chance to rebuild and reignite their businesses after one of the most challenging periods is one they’ll want and need to grab with both hands. But they can only do this with the right people on their team. This means recruitment has to be fixed. The UK’s businesses need to harness technology solutions like predictive hiring and psychometric testing to improve hire quality and accelerate the whole process. Only then can they be sure they’re ready for the (hopeful) economic upturn.  

Sabby Gill
Sabby Gill

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