Katia Routard, author of a Master Thesis on current recruitment trends, was particularly interested in three main questions:
1) The ever-increasing importance of soft skills, which, as Katia Routard states in her dissertation, “testify to an employee’s ability to adapt, if he knows how to question himself, work in a team and accept any changes or developments related to his job”.
2) The importance of the employer brand, which takes up all the marketing codes and “was developed with the aim of making a company stand out from the competition, in order to attract the best candidates, often with a specific and/or penurious profile, to develop their loyalty and convert them into ambassadors. Moreover, as Katia Routard notes in her brief, “companies with a strong employer brand have 100% additional responses from the candidates they contact”.
3) The digitalization of processes reinforced by the use of artificial intelligence which could lead to the generalization of predictive recruitment.
Katia Routard, who works in the Recruitment and Human Resources department at Catalys Conseil answers our questions.
What are the current expectations of candidates?
They are in demand for communication regarding the recruitment process. They want to know the status of their application, to know the follow-up after a telephone exchange, and they also want to be given the reason for the refusal if they have not been selected, after passing the barrier of the first interview(s). Finally, it should be noted that candidates generally find recruitment times much too long (up to 35 days in France). They would like it never to exceed 30 days, even for the most senior positions in the company’s hierarchy. All in all, candidates are demanding transparency.
And what about recruiters?
Of course, some requirements do not change: neat CV, good presentation, courtesy… But there is also a clear desire to improve the recruitment process by digitalizing it to make it more accessible, more simplified, with the help of new technologies. But this also implies being able to face “agile” candidates from a digital point of view.
Is a bad recruitment process likely to negatively impact the employer brand?
Definitely. An innovative, modern brand can make people dream and make them want to work there. You may imagine that there is behind this brand the most perfect organization possible, as attractive as the projected image. And when this is not the case, the disappointment can be immense. It even happens that candidates end up boycotting the company because of a bad experience. This is exactly what happened at Virgin Media, where these candidates blamed the company for its lack of empathy, follow-up and communication. That is to say, the employer brand can suffer from such missteps.
What about the hard skills/soft skills debate?
The question of the importance of soft skills first arose in the IT sector. Let’s take the example of Google, where the subject has been particularly studied. Indeed, their teams were made up of young graduates who, from the point of view of hard skills, were all clones of each other. In order to be able to differentiate between them, they then focused their attention on the soft skills. It is in this context that it is recommended to use them to differentiate between equal candidates in terms of skills and experience. Or when it comes to specific profiles. However, on the candidate side, there is a tendency to be wary of this focus on soft skills because they are considered too subjective.
And what about the question of the personality of employees?
In my opinion, it will play a role in the forward-looking management of jobs and careers. The fact that an organization can count on someone who is curious, who will seek out information, who will get involved, is inevitably positive in terms of development within the company. This is why a recruiter will, today more than a few years ago, focus his attention on the personality of a candidate.
Finally, what is, in your opinion, the main trend in recent years in terms of recruitment?
I think it’s digitalization. In addition to the simplification it brings, it also allows us to see recruitment differently. Especially in the approach. The candidate must now be an actor in the process, clearly defining which company he or she would like to work for in relation to his or her personality and skills. He must make his voice heard. Finally, we must talk about artificial intelligence (AI) which takes a prominent place in recruitment. Thanks to AI, which will take over time-consuming tasks, recruitment volume will clearly decline, leaving room for more and more refinement, always sanctioned by a human decision.
A question in direct connection with the current events. The Covid-19 crisis put forward telework. Are we moving towards a complete overhaul of internal organizations?
Telework has found a form of legitimacy following the health crisis and we gain, I think, in terms of quality of life. Not spending your time in traffic jams, even if it’s only one day a week, necessarily has positive effects. At the same time, you have to be able to master this form of work organization, for example, by learning to disconnect. Some people will feel very comfortable, others will get caught up. It is therefore also up to employers to clearly define what they expect from their teleworking employees. Especially since things can sometimes go fast. Some companies have moved to full remote. They no longer have offices. This can be destabilizing for some persons and wonderful for others.