The changing nature of recruitment has rarely, if ever, been so relevant as we have seen disruption, challenges and changes to the business landscape.
New ways of working are penetrating the workplace: remote and agile, flexible, no holiday forms, expected speed of service and a general race to the bottom in terms of costs.
Many business sectors are working through considerable change, especially within retail, that is changing the nature of recruitment. Disruption is happening on a daily basis – barriers to entry are lowered, global competition moves in – business models need constant realignment.
Technology and automation – a threat or an opportunity?
As McDonalds new touch-screen ordering system is hedging towards buying through a vending machine, what are the challenges facing recruitment? How can we define the workforce of the future?
Caroline Patten, Director at Grassroots Recruitment comments:
“In a volatile and ever-changing recruitment landscape, no job is safe from the impact of technological advances and machine learning. However, certain occupations will be harder to automate, particularly those which require decision making, strategic planning or people management.”
Roles within education, healthcare or HR rely on human interaction and interpersonal skills. Equally, machines aren’t great at critical thinking, so careers based on creativity and social intelligence – from marketers and designers to chefs and entertainers – are harder for robots to replicate.
The rise of the ‘gig economy’, which is based on short-term contractors and freelancers, is signalling a surge in independent, flexible working that may offer longevity to those redeployed from ‘eliminated’ career paths as well as providing a route to perhaps more interesting work and an improved work-life balance.
Emerging career paths include Data Scientists (those who go beyond algorithms to combine their scientific expertise with mass data interpretation) and Cyber Security professionals (due to the explosion in consumer data, integrated technologies and security threats).
Stockport recruiters Essential Personnel are seeing a fairly mixed requirement.
Managing Director Cathy Bates agrees:
“As expected, we are seeing a much higher demand for e-commerce roles that require skills such as webchat and in the use of packages like Magento.”
Engineers of the future may rely on engineers of the past to help boost knowledge. Return-ships are becoming an important part of the recruitment process. Many engineering companies employ an aging workforce, traditional engineering machine operative roles are a dying trade but there is still a high demand for those skills.
The need for a human office receptionist has reduced dramatically often being replaced by a virtual receptionist – an electronic sign in; or an automated telephone answering system; and, for companies that don’t deal directly with the public, just a buzzer on the door.
While there is a surge of suitable candidates in some areas, businesses are also reporting a shortage of skills, sales, engineering and in some technical roles. Rapid expansion is contributing to the challenges that both internal and external recruiters in keeping pace with demand.
The younger workforce’s attitude to their employers has changed.
They are less inclined today to remain with the same company for more than 2- 3 years, being impatient for promotion and eager to search for their ‘ideal’ role somewhere, contributing to the challenges faced by recruiters, putting additional financial strains on many organisations.
As with most sectors, recruitment is quickly evolving and responding to the dynamic nature of the job market and future requirements. Have new roles and requirements yet to be defined?