With over 25 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, I have seen how the job market has evolved from hand delivering CVs and a weekly collection of payslips, to a digital era where everything is done at the touch of a button. I’m often asked by company directors and HR managers how Jersey businesses can make sure they’re moving with this ever adapting market to retain and recruit excellent candidates.
There are two things I focus on in my responses to these questions: the uniqueness of our Island’s job market, and the continued value of the ‘human touch’ in all aspects of recruitment in the digital era.
I firmly believe that in an Island community, the value of relationships offline is heightened – it is our connectedness, our size and innovation that make Jersey unique. Our focus is also on relationship building and the human touch which both extend far beyond LinkedIn! We spend a long time building up long-lasting relationships with candidates and clients because this enables the best possible matches with the aim of assuring a high retention rate with the candidates we place.
Building this ‘trusted advisor’ relationship with our clients enables us to also propose candidates who we feel could really add value to their business. This can, more often than not, result in the creation of ‘hybrid roles’, where we collaboratively create a post that ensures a candidate and a client that are ‘meant to be’ can work together.
We’ve also seen trends among candidates who, having read a job description online, have discounted themselves from applying because they feel they don’t meet all the criteria, even though we know they’d be absolutely excellent in the role. We use these insights to help clients ensure their language use doesn’t exclude certain candidates, whilst also highlighting potential opportunities that candidates may not have necessarily considered and talking through any doubts or concerns they may have about their suitability.
I am confident that the human touch will never lose its value – in fact, with the rise of automation it will be what makes businesses stand out. After all, you can’t automate relationships. This isn’t to say that digital doesn’t have its role. I believe it needs to be harnessed to really enhance the recruitment process and make it as easy as possible for clients and candidates.
Being able to tap into a pool of diverse opportunities and candidates with a focus on quality control is invaluable in a busy, fast-moving market. In the face of a relentless bombardment of job adverts and applications, the value of a trusted consultant is higher than ever. Providing advice and assurance throughout the recruitment process, whilst also having a skilled mediator at the delicate final stages of proposing and negotiating an offer, can make sure that a promising match between a candidate and an employer doesn’t stall over issues such as pay and terms.
The recruitment industry is definitely changing – but there is an enduring value to a trusted advisor for both clients and candidates, especially when it’s for something as essential to a business as attracting diverse talent, building an effective workforce and developing an engaging culture.