New Trends in Recruitment

Are you ready for the changes coming to the recruitment industry?

There are regular changes in recruitment practices of companies and in the opinions of hiring managers and recruiters but these are usually small, incremental changes that take place slowly over time. New developments in technology and changes in their use can lead to huge shifts in recruitment trends for everyone in the industry, but these come along rarely. This is one of those rare times when major changes are coming to how the industry operates. SHL recently released their 2013 Global Assessment Trends Report which  provides a huge amount of insight into changing trends. I have picked out what I think are some of the most interesting findings in relation to recruitment practices and trends.

In just a few years you can expect to have radically changed your practices in relation to the use of mobile recruiting, social media recruiting and how you assess candidates and employees – and it may not be in the way you think! Are you prepared for this?


Recruitment vs. Career Development

There was a rise in respondents who expressed concern over hiring practices and how to recruit talent. The market for top candidates is very competitive, meaning that HR managers and recruiters are feeling the strain in trying to recruit new employees who have all the desired skills and experience. Despite this there was a decrease in HR professionals who are focusing on internal talent development. It seems that companies are still fighting for new talent despite the fact that they are unsure that they will find the appropriate people for the job. Only a limited number of companies are tapping into their current employees when looking for people to fill new positions. Career development is clearly not a priority for a lot of companies. This may be somewhat short-sighted. Current employees know the company and how it works. Managers already know that they fit well in the company and should know what they are like as workers. This means that current employees would perform better in open positions than new recruits that may or may not fit and who will need more training. The chance for career development and to progress in their job is also a key factor that employees look for when deciding whether to stay in their current employment or move on. If employee retention is important to a company, focusing more on career progression for current employees may be a good place to start, making improvements that reflect employee desires and encourage them to stay.

Processes and Assessments

Out of all the different areas of HR discussed the one most likely to have formal processes attached to it was external recruitment, with only 2% of respondents having no process implemented at all. There are a large amount of tools used in the recruitment process. The majority of HR departments used, or intended to use, “résumé reviews, structured interview guides and background checks as part of their hiring processes in 2013”. Other tools used frequently include: application forms, pre-screening questions, reference checks and phone screens. This clearly shows that external recruitment is taken very seriously by most companies, more so than internal hiring, which only 54% of HR professionals said they had formal processes in place for. This may be because pre-hire assessments are seen as more reliable in finding about candidates capabilities. After they are hired the company may believe they know what kind of worker they are and if they should be promoted without the need for formal assessment processes. This may not be the best decision however. As career development is considered so important by many employees, having formal processes for it and for internal hiring may help improve employee retention. Only 16% of companies have formal processes for career development which could discourage employees from staying with the company when they don’t know if and how they can progress in their jobs later. Knowing what they have to do to get promoted can reassure them that there is potential to grow and make them feel that staying with the company will be good for them in the long-term.

Mobile Recruitment

Mobile recruitment has once again been mentioned as key trend in recruitment. According to this survey more and more candidates and recruiters are requesting that they be able to complete assessments on their mobile devices. This could have a huge impact on the recruitment process in the future. While it is not widely available at the moment, 40% of HR managers interviewed would be willing to allow candidates to complete tests via their mobile devices. This could make the recruitment process much faster and easier as applicants would not have to come to an assessment centre or wait until they have access to their computer to complete tests. There are however some concerns about using mobile devices in this way. Between 22% and 24% of HR managers think that allowing candidates to complete assessments via their mobile devices would be unfair, inappropriate or would encourage cheating. However, more people are positive about the possibility of using mobile devices during recruitment than negative, believing that it would make the process more efficient. Given the increase in smartphone penetration, the use of mobile devices to complete assessments could become commonplace in the future. The companies that begin allowing their use first may be at an advantage as not only will candidates be able to connect with the company earlier and more conveniently, they will also be seen as more technologically advanced. This is a huge benefit, especially with younger candidates who want to work with companies that are technologically savvy.

Social Media Recruiting

Social media comes up time and time again as a growing tool in the recruitment industry. A huge amount of companies use or plan to use social media in their recruitment process; 60% use it as a hiring tool. However the number of companies who find it useful is significantly less. Less than 30% of HR managers think it helps to determine how well the candidate will fit and only 11% consider its use to be critical to making hiring decisions. Many companies seem to use social media because it is necessary rather than any real belief that it will benefit them. This is why less than one-in-five companies have a formal process in place for the use of social media in recruiting and only 20% of hiring managers and recruiters are allowed to use information gathered from social media as part of their decision. While companies use social media it is not actually seen as very useful when making hiring decisions as the information gathered from them are not certain to be accurate. Information posted on candidates’ social networking profiles is not solely from the candidate and it is difficult to know how reliable it is. This debate surrounding its efficacy and accuracy has raised some concerns from candidates about companies reviewing their social media presence when they are applying for jobs. Of the 23% of candidates who have been asked for social media access by potential employers 83% are unhappy about it. There is the risk that personal opinions on social media activity could impact their chances of getting hired, as there are few formal rules and processes in place to regulate its use by companies. Social media has become a common tool for recruitment but still needs to be thought about and planned carefully in order to provide any real benefits for companies.


This report has a huge amount of interesting information gathered from a large number of respondents from around the world. It provides some great insights if you are interested in what’s going on inside organisations’ HR departments in relation to assessment and recruitment practices. You can find the full report HERE. It is well worth a look.

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