Recruitment is changing and we need to prepare our young people for the changes

The traditional recruitment route looked something like this when a firm realised it needed to fill a post

Traditional recruitment route 

  1. Company realises they have a vacant post 
  2. Draw up Job Description (JD) and Person Specification (PS), which highlights what the person needs to do and any required qualifications 
  3. Advertise post internally and/or externally 
  4. Person looking for work sees the job advertised and applies if suitable for them 
  5. The company checks applicants against JD and PS and shortlists those they want to interview 
  6. Interview process takes place to select a candidate for the job 
  7. The job is offered to the suitable candidate if there is one 
  8. If the candidate accepts, they are trained to do well in the company throughout their time there

Of course we know there was always word of mouth and social circles that would help some people a role. However the nature of recruitment is changing. It can now look more like this:

  1. A company could realise it has a post available or always look out for talented individuals with a particular skill set (e.g., lawyers to join a firm or engineers). 
  2. Look for individuals with those skills through networks, colleagues, or online through recruitment sites, personal blogs, and online portfolios. 
  3. Ask suitable individuals to come in for a chat about their experience and speak to them about projects the company is currently undertaking and likely to be working on in the future. 
  4. Discuss how the individual could contribute to the business. 
  5. Decide whether to create/offer the individual a position.

Further changes to the process of recruitment have sped up during the pandemic. We are all aware that interviews can now take place online via Zoom or Teams for instance which poses the obvious problems of how a person comes across via technology vs in person and also the fact that many employees may not even see their place of work before signing a contract.

But others changes are also afoot. There now exist recruitment chatbots. These are particularly used for companies who mass hire in junior positions for graduate programmes for instance. These companies pose a series of Questions online through a chat bot which seems very human like and looks out for certain key words/phrases before deciding whether you go through to the next level of the recruitment process. Another way companies do this is by scanning CVs through software to identify key words/phrases they expect to see such as qualifications and experience.

Other recruitment methods might see our young people judged solely on their online presence through work they have done online and portfolios they have made available online.

What does this mean for schools?

This poses some key challenges for school particularly secondary and 6th form/higher education institutions that are preparing young people for the workplace.

  1. Vocabulary is key – particularly industry specific vocabulary – If a computer programme will determine whether you go through to the next round they our young people need to have a vocabulary that does them justice. Therefore the pressure on this higher level qualifications to insure the academic information delivered has industry specific vocabulary becomes every important.
  2. Our young people’s online presence needs to be positive – Schools have worked hard to teach their young people about security and safety online but do we need to do more on showing young people how to set up a LinkedIn Page, and online portfolio, a blog or even a Pinterest board of their creations? This may be the first point of call for future recruiters.
  3. Self monitoring their online presence – young people are likely to have strong opinions. Whereas before these may have been restricted to their friends, family, classroom or playground they are now often online for all to see. What this means is learning is happening out loud. As their thoughts develop it is worth encouraging young people to check their online presence for dated views, negative things they may have said and learn from them and correct their stance.

Further details of how the world of work is changing can be found in my book ‘What young people need to know about money’ which can be found here