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Securing talent in 2020’s technology recruitment sector

Redline Group


How futuristic did you think 2020 would be at the start of the millennium? Flying cars, holidays on the moon and robot butlers? Well, we might not be able to sunbathe on lunar loungers just yet, but driverless cars, virtual reality, and household AI virtual assistants are becoming increasingly sophisticated and part of everyday life.


Gazing into the future may seem speculative, or even whimsical and experience tells us that numerous predictions about what the world of recruitment will be are surely destined to be inaccurate. Twenty years ago, few could have predicted what the landscape of the recruitment sector would look like today.


What we do know is that the combination of two core elements to succeed in such a dynamic industry has always remained as the principal drivers for success: relationships and knowledge.


We have enjoyed phenomenal growth over the last five years and it’s all down to the relationships and knowledge-led approach. Our senior leadership team, Martin Crapper, Adam Walker and brothers Nick and Peter Livingstone talk about the group’s strategic approach and challenges they face in continuing to source high quality talent in the future.  


“It’s not possible to truly predict the future” commented Crapper. “Twenty years ago, there was a widespread belief amongst the UK’s recruitment industry that the defining feature of the future UK and European labour market would be radically reduced working hours and increased leisure time. This is still yet to materialise to the levels anticipated.


“Fast forward to 2014, the year in which mobile was set to overtake desktop to access the internet. Work and leisure hours have often become blurred by our increasingly problematic ‘always on’ lives. Jobs are being done on the move, at any time of day, in almost any location. This highlights the difficulties involved in forecasting change and the need to take a cautious attitude when communicating the results of such an exercise. Yet the way we think about tomorrow influences what we do today.


“We do not have definitive answers about what is around the corner, but we make sense of the direction of the technology recruitment sector and assess the key uncertainties that we know exist to secure the best talent for our own business and of our clients.”


“Every engineer and technology employer today knows the war for talent is very real”, said Adam Walker, “We pride ourselves on our partnership approach and believe many of the old principles of Recruitment 1.0, are still pertinent today. With companies capturing trillions of bytes of data about customers and candidates along with the rise in multimedia, social media, Applicant Management Systems, candidate care programmes, etc., recruiting was, and still, is about building relationships.


“Picking up the phone; nurturing relationships with candidates (even if they aren’t a candidate today); identifying key motivators; understanding business strategies and cultural fit; advising the business and being a consultant on the talent market are the core principles.


“We cannot ignore technology and mass communication which assists the industry, but it’s more important how we utilise the data we have and personalise and humanise it.


“At Redline, we focus on knowing the available talent, where they are and how to reach them. We understand candidates’ expectations, available skillsets and hiring complexities and the route of travel.


“Recruitment is an art. We’re not just an intermediary between company and candidate, we’re highly skilled and knowledgeable of the technology sector, which enables us to add value by truly understanding our clients’ business. Our attentive approach empowers us in finding the right professional candidates that fit not just our clients’ requirements, but also the company’s culture and ethos.


“And it all boils down to communication. Developing relationships and rapport through people, whether it’s clients, candidates or our employees. Whilst drowning in a sea of recruitment tools and software, through job boards, social media, digital advertising, and video interviewing, it’s often traditional recruitment practices that are leading the art of sourcing technology talent. Regardless of all the tools now available, in a talent-scarce market, personal, verbal and face-to-face communication is key to sourcing hard to find individuals.


“The focus on service, client relationships, and professionalism in niche markets is as important now as it was when we started back in the 1980s. These values are bound into the DNA of Redline.


“We don’t overcomplicate things, we are to the point. Everyone has a voice and opinion which is aligned to create an extraordinarily energetic and positive ‘let’s make it happen’ attitude. We need to hire the best talent to meet the increasing requests of clients who seek the wealth of industry knowledge and specialist technical and technology recruitment expertise and support.”


“Hiring the best candidates or recruiter isn’t about sentimentality”, shared Nick Livingstone. “It’s about being open-minded in our search, attractive in employer brand, and competitive in package and benefits. Recruitment methods have certainly experienced an evolution since the dawn of the digital age. What’s more, job descriptions are often unrealistic, merely character counted and search engine optimised text. We all want the dream candidate, with the soft skills, hard skills, experiences and the best qualifications to appear in front of our eyes. However, in today’s full employment market you can’t stay rigid, you do have to widen the talent pool to find good candidates.


“At Redline, we understand that today’s technical recruiter can be taught through the knowledge and personalities of our 60+ strong team with over 300 years of combined recruitment experience and knowledge. We’ve demonstrated continual investments in the training and development of our people who are the way we achieve our ambitions in this highly competitive sector.”


“The future of Redline looks different today from even five years ago,” added Peter Livingstone, “As a result of the forthcoming generation’s engagement and work-life balance preferences, we are already planning for the next ten years.  Faced with growing complexity and performance pressures in the work environment, individuals are increasingly seeking a more suitable balance and better boundaries between the requirements of work and private life.


“Many of our employees are millennials, many who have graduated via ‘InspiRED’ our recruitment training programme. These employees have grown up entirely in the digital age, which further drives this trend identifying flexibility as a top priority for those who want to work for us. We’ve already improved our productivity through investing in robust, ‘work-anywhere’ cloud-based ICT solutions enabling greater business flexibility and innovation.


“The future workplace will be multi-generational, with four generations working side-by-side. What will continuously drive us is that personal candidate and client feedback which is critical in the current candidate-driven market.


“Redline is looking forward to its next chapter and the opportunities the new decade will bring. We will continue to provide our consultants with industry-recognised training and the latest resources, building on existing permanent and contract teams and divisions to continue our strategic journey.”


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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