The changing face of recruitment design

Rosie Johnson

The global hiring community will look at 2016 and onwards as a challenging period. 2016 added a complexity to an environment that is already characterised by economic uncertainty, geopolitical dissent, and regulatory change. Resourcing leaders seeking to future-proof their current strategies will need to re-assess their current recruitment team roles, locations and operating models.

To help our clients looking to evolve their current recruitment models, we hosted a roundtable event with senior recruitment leaders to discuss the changing face of recruitment team design. We asked one of our hosts, Matthew Wyatt, Solutions Manager at Resource Solutions, to share his insights into the key topics discussed.

Have we seen the demise of the 360-degree recruiter? When does it make sense to specialise roles, what are the benefits and challenges?

To some extent this depends on the size of an organisation’s recruitment function – the priority is to ensure sufficient coverage for different business areas and stakeholders. However, there were some great examples shared of specialist teams responsible for onboarding, recruitment marketing, internal mobility, and digital sourcing. The main benefits included freeing up the time of specialist recruiters to provide a high-touch, consultative service to hiring managers, and providing a differentiated candidate experience for each sourcing channel.

Another key driver is that clients are increasingly reviewing where their workforce is based, rationalising and reducing their real-estate portfolios. Typically, this involves focusing high-value activities in prime locations, while building out their nearshore and offshore operations. A more specialised team structure can help recruitment teams to meet this change. In addition, many ‘end-users’ of a recruitment service are used to working with remote and offshore teams.  

Many of our attendees stressed the value of face-to-face interactions with hiring managers, of recruiters understanding and representing their culture effectively, and the need to manage more complex team structures through effective reporting and internal KPIs. However, with a clearly defined processes and hand-off points to reduce ‘blockages’, clear commercial and operational benefits can be realised.

What impact will new developments in social media such as Facebook Messenger Chatbots have on resourcing team structures?

It was interesting to hear about how different communication channels were helping to shape both candidate contact and the way recruitment teams were working together. We had great examples of global recruitment functions collaborating on projects via platforms like Slack.

Automation of customer-facing activities is driving considerable change at many of the organisations we partner with, but overall a delicate balance needs to be struck when it comes to recruitment. Candidates aren’t consumers in the traditional sense, and tailored personalised contact is a key factor in the career decisions that they make. However, candidates expect their application to be mobile optimised and intuitive in a way some applicant tracking systems are still failing to deliver. From an attraction perspective, sourcing teams need to evolve from simply broadcasting jobs through Twitter and other social media platforms to actually engaging and responding to candidates though these channels.  

How important is the aligning of recruiters to permanent and non-permanent hiring? What are the merits of functional vs. business aligned recruiters?

There is a growing importance of a holistic approach to talent management, whether in-house or through an outsourced model. This means that businesses need to start thinking openly about how they engage with the best talent in the market, as well as who that talent is. Non-Permanent workers will move from being a category of spend to be managed, to something that requires a talent-management approach.

Flexible working would remain a priority for those entering the labour market, and the ‘uberisation’ of certain parts of the labour market remains an ongoing trend.

Some of the key benefits of bringing together RPO and MSP delivery included:   

  • Access to the same pool of talent as the line between Permanent and Non-Permanent candidates grows increasingly blurred.
  • A single point of contact for hiring managers, recruiters who can advise on different routes to the same skills
  • A joined-up vision of all talent within your business through consistent reporting and technology platforms
  • Greater flexibility in the delivery model, without siloed capacity in either Permanent or Non-Permanent delivery e.g. establish shared functions such as interview scheduling

As SOW and consultancy spend is added to the mix, there was a unanimous view that recruitment teams will need move up the value-chain in order to help hiring managers navigate an increasingly complex landscape.

Interested in attending one of our future roundtable events? Register your interest by emailing

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