Last December we predicted that 2021 would be the year of the expert. You can watch our conversation here. After the tumult of 2020, we noted that 2021 would be different: “the demand for people who can bring technology led solutions to business challenges is going to be very high. And the pool is small.”

So as we hit the mid-year it’s a good time to review. What did we mean by this? Were we right? And if we were, what are the implications for our customers?

According to a 2017 PwC CEO survey, hiring the right talent is the number one concern of the C Suite. The unavailability of key skills and the lack of IT talent remains a major threat for businesses. So if it’s recognised that hiring the right talent is so critical for business success why do so many businesses still get it wrong?  

Over Reliance On Recruitment Tech

The emergence of automation and recruitment tech in recent years has undoubtedly influenced the recruitment landscape. However, we are finding increasingly that for the experienced hires, this is not the ideal process, delivering far from ideal results. In a market where candidates have plentiful options, holding them at arm’s length with technology can alienate them. Personal engagement and relationship building are far more powerful tools for attracting in-demand people. At the other end of the scale, the Harvard Business Review reports that rec tech can complicate the hiring process “especially for IT and technical jobs, cheating on skills tests and even video interviews (where colleagues off camera give help)” is commonplace. 

Automation in the recruitment process can have a place when volume is needed but for the experienced, niche hire automation is not the answer. You’ll often need an expert recruiter to hire an expert candidate.  

Looking for a Unicorn when a thoroughbred is needed

The propensity in recent years for jobs specs to not be a job description but more like wish lists is commonplace. It often seems that every stakeholder within the organisation is consulted and what is often requested is an entire IT department, not one person. A review of team structure and the real demands of the roles within it can often result in far more attractive roles which are consequently easier to fill. 

So how can businesses recruit the best person for their team?

  1. Be Realistic
    This is self evident. Hiring managers need to determine the essential skills and qualities that are needed. Hiring by committee has in Vocative’s experience never worked.  Businesses need to ensure that they are hiring to their needs, not their ‘nice to haves’.
  2. Take a step back
    What are the real needs of your business? What impact will your new hire have? Reviewing structure and existing capability to shape roles more carefully can be time well invested. At Vocative we have worked with numerous customers to help them think through their existing team and crystalise their needs – adding expertise to the process well before the hiring cycle begins.
  3. Don’t be Industry Myopic
    Is it really essential that new hires come from the exact same industry? Clarity about the essential elements of the role can bring flexibility in other areas. If you need an expert in cloud migrations, then muddying the water by insisting on a healthcare background will complicate and limit your search. If healthcare expertise is vital, then flexibility on technical platforms will broaden the pool.

2021 is indeed the year of the expert. To have an impact in a volatile and demanding market, you need expertise in all areas of your team. And to find those experts, you need an expert. 

To speak to the Vocative team email

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