Recruitment Trends

What do you get if you put 100+ recruitment professionals in a room together for an afternoon?

  1. A bun fight over market share, candidate ownership and clients
  2. A cool covert atmosphere where everyone’s cards are kept close to their chests
  3. An internal headhunting frenzy where poaching opportunities were rife
  4. Like-minded professionals sharing insight about the future of recruitment

I’m pleased to say I experienced the latter at the Midland Hotel, Manchester whilst attending an event coordinated by Recruitment Leaders Connect #RLCon. It could have easily been a recipe for disaster putting so many commercially, sales hungry individuals in one place at one time, however it was a great opportunity to come together as a collective amongst peers to share experiences, stories, case studies, journeys and challenges without a mention of fees and commission.

In 2016 there is no getting away from the increased reliance on technology platforms, search engines and LinkedIn’s dominance, however for those clients that value the human element, there’s still no substitute for a trusted recruitment partner, in particular for those executives, business-critical opportunities.

The afternoon was jam-packed with 20-minute insights from industry experts and key opinion leaders, so here are a few takeout’s to digest with your afternoon coffee about leadership, information age, data, trust and the new digital customer journey.

Leadership skills

5 essential leadership skills for hyper-growth businesses according to the recruitment training group

  • Vision – people are ambitious, like stretch, compelling, inclusive and play to their strengths.
  • Inspirational leadership/development of people – enthusiasm, build trust, passion, focus, earn respect and be flexible. Align goals, recruit to train, create clear career paths and empower.
  • Take risks – with people, projects and assess risk versus reward.
  • Strong operating model – ensure it’s scalable. In permanent recruitment, any revenue split into thirds. 1/3 reward, 1/3 running costs and 1/3 surplus to reinvest.
  • Strong operating culture – customer-centric, empowering leadership, outcome focused and highly communicative.

14 world class ingredients to achieving a highly effective winning team culture

Info Age

We’re in an “info age” where data is king. More than 50% of the working population in the UK are on LinkedIn, and In the US more than 75% are on LinkedIn. Good recruiters now need to be creative with their sourcing to unearth top “hidden” talent, so relationships and sourcing will be the true differentiator in recruitment longer term.

Data Fragmentation

Recruiters can’t rely on their personal networks and black books anymore. The info age has allowed everyone to access a similar network of professionals to approach and therefore the data has fragmented recruitment making differentiation harder. 


“The currency of the new economy is trust”.

77% of the UK employers struggle to find the right recruiters to engage with. We are at a time where all reviews impact our decision to buy/engage. We trust each other’s views more than the experts, despite not knowing who the reviewers are. Take TripAdvisor or Amazon as examples, we make decisions based on other people’s experiences of the holiday, meal or quality of product via comments, star ratings etc. and we trust others opinions rather than what the website/marketers say.

In recruitment, the ratings and data on which agency to trust are minimal but it’ll only be a matter of time. allows an insight into future employers but as a recruiter to engage with, the data is less accessible.

Digital Customer Journey

A job seekers journey is very confusing. No longer are decisions to buy as simplistic as either impulsive, habitual or research-led, they are now a lot more complex. According to statistics from CareerBuilder, there is an average of 18 sources a candidate will consider before deciding to apply for an advertised role.

With the digital age, it is key that relationships are forged and maintained to allow the engagement to break through all the noise.

Make all content personal, listen and make it easy for clients and candidates to get in touch with you.

The afternoon was a great success and an informative meeting of minds. The key take away for me was that after being in recruitment for 15 years, it is changing with the advances in technology and the consumer’s buying habits getting more complicated, encouragingly the human element which I hold dear hasn’t been replaced by technology and still holds value. The importance of building relationships and long-lasting partnerships is still paramount to all concerned in the process, the consultant, candidates and client for long-term success. Fortunately, this is a principle Collingwood is measured by and we’re exceptionally proud to be more than a transactional recruitment offering. We are driven by our values to provide talent services that will help organisation strengthen their foundations and accelerate performance by being more than just a supplier, but by being a collaborative partner.

For more information on our recruitment process, click here

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