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Recruitment will remain a people business

The general election traditionally marks a time for business caution in the UK, as companies pay close attention to their spending.  The importance of efficient and effective recruitment at this time is heightened and Andrew MacAskill, Managing Director, Executives Online Group businesses believes it is at times like this that the value of skilled recruiters becomes more evident.

MacAskill says, “While we have embraced digital technology and are constantly innovating to deliver efficiencies and enhance our customers’ experience technology can never replace quality face-to-face interaction.

“Technology is extremely efficient for accurate and fast skills matching but this is only a fraction of the job.  The real skill then comes in applying the hands-on experience, knowledge and soft skills of recruitment professionals.” 

Research conducted by Executives Online shows that over 40 percent of recruiters are now using LinkedIn for recruitment purposes.  Luke Webber, Associate Director at Executives Online believes that, while social media will continue to be used with some success in 2015, for the recruitment process to be truly successful the candidate net needs to be cast wider.

Webber comments: “Social media channels can be good for exposure to a business and for candidate attraction, but the best talent will not use social media to find a role in the coming year because there is an 80 percent chance that the best talent is not looking for a new job.”

In 2015, Executives Online predicts that, in the UK, procurement will continue to be the fastest growing sector.  The company also expects to see a big push for Chief Product Officers with buying power and lean supply chain management skills, along with Sales Managers for business growth and Chief Executive Officers.

Across Europe, emphasis is on demand for finance specialists, particularly in the areas of Risk Management and Compliance. Competition for top positions in these fields is fierce and specialists at Executives Online believe that candidates will need to pay more attention to their own profile if they’re to be successful in landing prime positions.

Jan Piet van der Plank, partner at Executives Online in the Netherlands, says, “Candidates must become more aware of their external profiles and reputations.  They need to become well known in their particular industries and build their own brands to succeed in securing top roles.”

From an international perspective, many people are naturally risk averse when it comes to their careers and will avoid places of conflict or political strain. However, hirers are increasingly looking for candidates with international experience to manage cross-border and often global teams.  So, there is an imbalance in supply and demand which Executives Online believes will result in skilled hands-on recruitment becoming even more indispensable in the future.

Executives Online grew its international business by 50 percent last year, utilising technology at the front-end of its recruitment process and MacAskill concluded: “The key is not to forget the human and traditional elements, whilst being able to innovate where necessary in this digital age. For example, technology cannot support a candidate when they are handing in their notice or considering a counter offer. Recruitment is a people business and you cannot put a price on meeting a candidate or a client face-to-face.” 


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