30th March 2010: Last week saw the first Midlands Recruitment Society Forum take place in Birmingham. Long the preserve of London and the south, this event represents the initial throws of a drive to broaden the reach, audience and benefits of the Recruitment Society across the UK. With over 40 guests from across the recruitment sector, with both suppliers and clients represented, in what was a highly interesting and enjoyable evening.

The panel included; Geoff Newman MD at Recruitment Genius, Tom Marsden Director of Professional Services at AMS, Jerry Collier RPO expert (Kinexa, AMS), Jon Hull Head of Resourcing at RS Components, Richard Ward Partner Manager at LinkedIn, Jon Porter MD at TMP Worldwide and Chris O’Brien Consultant at Enhance Media.

The topic of the panel debate was; “Beyond social resourcing. What next for the recruitment market?”

Steve Huxham, Chairman of the Recruitment Society, led the introductions and the ensuing debate with a panel of distinguished “futurologists” bringing their expert knowledge and experience from across the sector on the $6m question: the future of recruitment – what next?”

Highlights of the panel and audience discussion:

  • It is essential for organisations to try out new and innovative routes to market where they can
  • The need to start with an understanding of the target audience(s), and then deploy appropriate channels (including social media) where appropriate
  • The importance of measuring all the results to see what works, not clicks, but through real success in actually hiring the right person
  • That any tool that helps create and develop relationships with candidates (and employers), including overcoming preconceptions, can be seen as good
  • Social media is highly useful in helping potential candidates gain a better understanding of the company and its culture
  • One recruiter has had significant success through the use of LinkedIn for certain roles – already he has hired several people through this leading Business Networking site at approx. £1,000 per hire – significantly lower than other channels especially agencies
  • Most people’s online journeys now begin with either Google or Social Media so it is crucial that recruiters develop their strategy for these channels to maximise effectiveness
  • With social media and user generated content, organisations have significantly less control over their brands and it is vital that tools and practices are deployed to monitor and manage their reputations
  • The importance of a direct resourcing approach, where a hiring organisation utilities a range of channels to attract the target audience(s) directly to its brand
  • How internal engagement with your employees is key for the future.  Successful engagement will improve retention (especially post-recession), performance, referrals and your online reputation with employees acting as brand advocators
  • The importance of research and a scientific approach to recruitment for a robust foundation and greater chance
  • Deployed successfully, a strong social media presence will also help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), your Google ranking, and ultimately enhance your brand and direct resourcing ROI

The panel’s predictions for the next 12 months did not show seismic change, but instead focused on organisations’ needs to use research, robust process and accurate measurement to optimise available channels and performance.

The one area the panel saw as possibly having a significant impact was that of mobile phone, referencing Nokia’s “clickable world” with users navigating real world media with the mobile phone acting as the mouse, and the advent of QR codes and other approaches to engage with users.

Steve Huxham then thanked both the panel and the audience for coming and contributing to an interesting and lively forum, and most attendees were able to stay on for the second part of the evening – networking and some further discussion on the future of recruitment over a drink or two.

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