Responding to global demand
For Mark Brewer, CEO of The SR Group, recruiters now face two main challenges when it comes to global resourcing. First, they must manage the large volume of applications in a personal and responsive way that identifies the best talent for clients. Second, they must remain relevant – adding maximum value in a competitive timeframe regardless of the geography.
Employers want a service that is completely justifiable on the grounds of time, money and delivery, says Brewer.
“The opportunity for global recruitment businesses is to make sure we can continue to be seen as an international gateway to an untapped network of potential candidates. It’s less important where someone is based and more about what skills they actually have – especially at senior level,” he says.
While Brewer believes organisations are getting better at building global internal talent pipelines, he does not see this as a threat – since it indicates a positive mindset change on the part of employers. “The more our clients think about global talent, the more relevant we will be to their sourcing needs,” he adds.
“The percentage of companies with procurement driving recruitment is continuously rising and this is a trend that will not go away,” says Brewer. “We [recruiters] must ensure we remain a relevant part of any in-house strategy by providing a service that is quicker, more knowledgeable, more value-added and more targeted than ever before.”
For Brewer, this will come through market experience, deep specialist knowledge and employing efficient and effective high quality recruiters.
Brewer acknowledges that intelligent global businesses will continue to try to find new, creative ways to reach out to potential candidates – through leveraging big data, social media and cutting-edge web and mobile experiences. But he does not see this as problematic. “If we were a volume, mass recruiter looking to recruit hundreds of candidates for clients, we might see this as a threat,” he says.
“But in the specialist markets we work in, large-scale digital contact through big data sources actually puts off the types of candidate we deal with. They see it as low touch, mass produced and non-targeted.”
Brewer predicts that in the immediate future, recruitment demand will continue to grow as employers become more confident within a slowly strengthening economic climate. He also acknowledges that social media recruiting is here to stay.
“Recruiters are consistently using social media to source and select candidates, while candidates are using it to keep themselves in the recruiters’ minds,” he says.
To maintain competitive advantage, Brewer believes recruiters must not just focus on the transactional delivery of candidates but should also develop relevance through carefully sharing specialist data and information harvested in the process of day-to-day global activities.
When navigating the changing recruitment landscape, Brewer warns against ‘straying off’ into marginal and unproven routes to market. “A purely digital approach has mass market appeal but in the specialist, white collar markets it just isn’t high touch enough,” he says. “An intelligent blend of strategies encompassing traditional and new media can provide the best balance.
“Most importantly, recruiters need to ensure that their strategic plans are flexible and adaptable enough to evolve with a rapidly changing global market.”