“Recruitment is broken”

Report from assessment provider highlights failure of recruitment processes.

Research from Thomas International suggests over half (57 per cent) of all hires made in the last 12 months are not working out in some capacity, with 25 per cent not working out at all. The research reveals a significant and growing trust gap in the recruitment world; as the average cost of hiring a new employee reaches the dizzying height of £3,000 in the UK and businesses struggle to get back on their feet following the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The company’s report “2021: Mind the trust gap” surveyed 500 senior hiring managers and recruiters in the UK and found poor fit between candidate and role (46 per cent) and poor fit between candidate and culture (44 per cent) are the top two reasons why the majority of hires aren’t working out.

The research further reveals that a range of systematic issues are the root cause of almost half of these failed hires and are fundamentally undermining trust in recruitment. The top offenders include complicated, elongated processes – an issue for 31 per cent – inability to test culture or role fit (31 per cent), over reliance on gut instinct (29 per cent) and a lack of transparency (30 per cent).

While two in five (41 per cent) hiring managers cite finding the right candidate in a remote hiring environment as their biggest recruitment challenge today, the company believes this is really a smokescreen obscuring some troubling, long standing issues.

“Recruitment is broken,” comments Sabby Gill, CEO of Thomas. “Businesses that don’t take action to fix it will face significant challenges as they look to accelerate hiring over the next couple of years, establish workforces that are fit for the future, and rebuild and reshape teams to take advantage of new economic opportunities.”

Luckily, the report reveals nearly a third (30 per cent) of respondents think it’s critical to improve the quality of recruitment processes, with a further 55 per cent saying it’s important. This maps to an overriding sense of a need to evolve hiring systems and establish a different overall approach in recruitment. One which, if executed well, will close the trust gap that’s undermining hiring.

The report further found 39 per cent are having difficulties with candidate differentiation, while an overwhelming 77 per cent see bias or a lack of diversity in their current hiring processes as a significant to moderate challenge.

Brexit concerns haven’t gone away either; four in ten (37 per cent) say it’s still a big influence on hiring and skills acquisition.

Digitisation, AI and emerging technologies is also bubbling away, with 35 per cent saying it’s the second biggest driver in their business. Despite the headlines, the gig economy isn’t as influential as other factors. Over half (57 per cent) say it’s the fourth biggest influence on change, and just 3 per cent put it top.

We can’t ignore that remote working due to COVID-19 is having a significant impact on recruitment, with 44 per cent of businesses saying it’s their biggest driver of reshaping existing hiring practices.

Sabby Gill continues, “Recruitment is on the rise in 2021 after a slow year, so getting things right is vital. Hiring managers need to look beyond the CV to an individual’s true potential. If you find the right person – through aptitude and behavioural testing – then you don’t need to worry about which university degree they have. With the right training, apprenticeship schemes and more, British businesses can not only solve the skills gaps they’re facing now, but also plan ahead for the jobs in the future that don’t even exist yet.”

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