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Next Thursday 18th September, HR and recruitment professionals will be converging at the Hilton Hotel in London’s Canary Wharf for the 2014 ‘Innovation in Recruitment Summit’. With the jobs market in full bloom and employers across all sectors looking to ramp up their hiring activity, there has never been a more important time to look at new ways of identifying and attracting the right staff.
The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey shows that 80% of employers are planning to hire new staff over the coming year. At the same time, the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs shows that candidate shortages are accelerating at the fastest rate for over 15 years. Adapting to an increasingly competitive and candidate driven employment market is just one of the hot topics for employers and recruiters.
Here are some of the other specific questions that we will be seeking answers to at the summit:
1.       Are we seeing a recruitment revolution? How are hiring criteria and procedures evolving? Will the trend of recruiting individuals on their values and attitude, rather than purely on skills and experience gain momentum? The last REC JobsOutlook showed that employers placed the highest value (47%) on a person’s attitude when making a hiring decision with only 4% saying that specific exam results were the most important factor. The emerging challenge for employers is that it is more difficult to hire on attitude and values than on easier to measure criteria like grades and experience.
2.       What’s new in terms of brand and candidate attraction? Employer brand as a talent attraction tool is not a new concept by any means. However, the way businesses are executing this and refining their approach is constantly evolving. One of the aims of the summit is to showcase the latest case studies. There is also interesting debate to be had about the brand and reputation of business as a whole. Organisations like the CBI are driving wide-ranging campaigns to raise perceptions and respect. Building confidence in business must involve recruitment procedures that are fair and ethical and that help to promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
3.       How do we reflect the changing jobs market and employee expectations? Employers are having to adapt quickly to an increasingly candidate driven market. How is this impacting on the speed and quality of hire? Employers are also having to review how they can best embed flexible working practices and how they source and manage workers on a variety of different contracts: temporary, contract, fixed-term, zero-hours and part-time.
4.       How can we continue to drive innovation and good recruitment practice? One of the drivers is regular exchanges between leading employers and recruiters. This is what the Summit is all about. It is also at the heart of the REC’s ongoing Good Recruitment Campaign, which a number of leading employers and business organisations have already signed up to. Some of the specific areas where innovative approaches are really making an impact include technology (of course!), measurement and enhancing the candidate experience.
Perhaps the biggest innovation of all would be to ensure that recruitment as a discipline remains at the forefront of the HR and business  agenda rather than being seen as something of an after-thought or the go-to area for budget cuts. High-profile events like the ‘Innovation in Recruitment Summit ’ will help to drive this agenda. I look forward to seeing you there – I’ll be the guy at the front trying to keep people to time and facilitating what promises to be some lively and highly topical discussions!
Tom Hadley is the Director of Policy & Professional Services at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and will be chairing the Innovation in Recruitment Summit on September 18th.


Tom Hadley is Director of Policy and Professional Services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). His role focuses on lobbying key Government and EU officials on a range of labour market issues and highlighting REC initiatives to promote industry standards, including enforcement of a Code of Professional Practice, audit schemes and the ‘Diversity Pledge’. Previous roles include six years at the CBI, working at recruitment and economic development consultancy MBA Training Research & Development, a traineeship within the European Commission and working for the in-house legal department of the French multi-national Vivendi.

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