The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Recruitment Trends 2016 – It’s All About Relationships


When you’re doing any forward-thinking strategy planning, it’s important to understand where your industry is going. One of the best ways to do this is find up-to-date, credible pieces of research* and apply their findings to your organisation.

LinkedIn produce a number of annual reports on recruitment and staffing trends and have just released their 2016 versions. I’ve been reading their ‘UK Recruiting Trends 2016’ report – so what are the key findings and how should these impact your strategy?

Quality of hire is the most important performance metric

Quality of hire continues to be the most valuable performance KPI. The most common way organisations are measuring this is through turnover or retention statistics, followed by hiring manager satisfaction and new hire performance evaluation. The report does highlight however that only 23% of UK-based organisations are confident about measuring quality of hire effectively – so when thinking about and planning your processes, consider the information that you need to be capturing and how to capture it in order to be making confident calculations.

Social networks are a key source of quality hires

Social professional networks continue to rise and be a major source of quality hires – not surprising when they also found that 56% of professionals say they turn to these networks when looking for new opportunities. It’s important that your strategy includes a focus on utilising social and professional networks; not just utilising them however, utilising them well. It’s important that your consultants know how they should be using these platforms – firing out connection requests and generic InMail’s blind isn’t the way forward. There’s lots of information online about best practice which you can use to help with this, or better still you could invest in a small amount of training to get everybody off on the right foot.

Elevating employer brands is a long-term focus

Aligning nicely with the previous point, the importance of the employer brand has re-emerged as a top priority with the company website, online social and professional networks and word of mouth listed as the most effective employer branding tools. This is something for which the responsibility largely falls to your marketing department as well as your consultants, so your marketing strategy needs to take this into account.

Employee retention is a top priority for recruitment businesses

The recruitment market has always been competitive. The director of a local recruitment firm however said to me recently that, while it has always been competitive things have certainly intensified over the last few years – having a direct impact on employee retention amongst other things. If your competitors hear about one of your consultants doing particularly well, they’ll make a bee line for them. This report’s findings fall completely in line with that, suggesting that both recruiting the right talent initially and retaining it are both big priorities. Giving your staff ample development and progression opportunities should be factored into your strategy, as well as encouraging them to give you feedback on what they feel would increase their overall job satisfaction. Once they have, it’s important to demonstrate that you have listened to this feedback and that where possible it’s been acted upon, so reporting back to your organisation on this should also be factored in to your plans.

The key theme that emerges from all of the above is an emphasis on relationships. Relationships with potential candidates, your employees, departments within the business and even with your own data. Considering how to strengthen and maintain these relationships, as part of your strategic planning is therefore crucial to succeed. Do this well, and you should find your organisation can much more effectively address the key issues outlined above, putting you on the right track and in a better position than your competitors. Just don’t forget to revisit your strategy and objectives once in a while to ensure that you are still on the right path.

*Tip: To ensure that you are reading credible/relevant information, check the source of the data and whether it’s the most relevant version of the document as well as the date of the report and which organisation has compiled or commissioned it. For example, originally when preparing this piece I came across LinkedIn’s ‘Global Staffing Trends 2016’ report, however only 196 of the survey respondents were from the UK so I searched on to find a UK-specific report.


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Russell is a well-known and well-respected unified communications expert, with over 20 years’ experience in the communications industry. Most people know Russell from his CCT days, a communications company which he founded in 1995 and sold 16 years later to Capita – at which point CCT’s annual revenue was £22m, and they had 160 employees. Since then Russell has worked directly for Capita as their ITS Sales Director, as well as starting another business for which he is the Director called Unify Communications. Unify are set to achieve a multi-million pound turnover in just their third financial year of trading, and with customers such as eBay, Capita, The Ticket Factory and First Utility the client list is just as impressive as the rate of growth.
Key to Russell’s success has been his passion for what he does, and the level of service he provides to his clients. His team share in his enthusiasm, and love educating people as to the benefits of next generation communications. He’s also a big rugby fan, so you can expect to see him both playing and watching rugby as well as spending time with his wife and children in his spare time.

About Unify Communications

Unify offer resilient, high performing, cost effective and feature rich both cloud-based and on-premise unified communications and contact centre services. The team have many years of experience in delivering innovative solutions to some of the busiest and most complex contact centres and enterprise communications networks both nationally and internationally, as well as working with smaller, more local clients. With clients in the recruitment, utilities, travel, ecommerce, construction and public sector industries to name but a few, we’re experts when it comes to addressing people’s issues and recommending the right solutions for your business.

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