HRreview intern

HRreview intern

The Recruitment Reality Check report, a study produced by collaboration between and University College London researchers Felipe Cuadra and Adrian Frunham, was released last week and presented at the Ivy in Covent Garden, London. We sent our reporter, Sergio Russo along to find out more.

The research surveys over 300 UK recruitment professionals and reports current trends and practices in recruitment across the country. The findings also evidence a gap between practitioners and academics and suggest a number of recommendations to help face this challenge.

Among the rising trends in candidate attraction, the report finds that professionally-oriented social media is the most widely used method for talent sourcing. The use of online networking platforms has become persistent and is seen by recruiters as an ideal means to attract higher quality candidates. Referrals from current employees (used by 85% of respondents) and passive applicant recruitment are also popular practices, due to their low cost and high effectiveness. By contrast, the use of job fairs and printed ads continues to decline steadily.

Interesting insights are also revealed on the process of selecting candidates. Interviews are reported as the most common method for screening applicants (99%), with phone and video interviews becoming more and more popular. Similarly, the usage of unstructured interviews is increasing as practitioners see them as more conversational, organic, and enabling higher engagement with the applicant.

Further widespread selection methods are reference checks (84%) and gut instinct, both on the basis of their low cost and practicality. Psychometric tests, on the other hand, are declining due to their high costs, and despite their established high potential of predicting performance.

The key findings of the report, as anticipated, also highlight a widening gap between the world of practice and academic research. Whilst recruitment is faster paced and tends to rely on intuition, research prefers to endorse practices (such as structured interviews) which are perceived as more systematic, fair, and which provide opportunity for data analysis.

The Monster/UCL study attempts to reduce this tension by advising a number of strategies.  Professionals are first recommended not to limit themselves to a narrow number of methods and adjust selection practices in consideration of the specifics of the job role. Secondly, recruiters need to be aware that over relying on intuition or unstructured interviews, despite their reputation for being efficient and cost-effective, might not guarantee a fair choice and adequate diversity.

Lastly, the study makes a strong call for consistency in selection methods. The use of new technologies is encouraged if it suits the needs of the business and makes recruitment more efficient. This, however, can only be accomplished if selected tools are accompanied by a systematic record keeping and data monitoring which experience and reflective practice can provide.

Article by Sergio Russo