2020 marks two decades since Ocean Edge was established as a specialist recruitment agency for the affordable housing sector. And what a journey it has been. We have been reflecting on what’s changed in that time and our predictions for the ways candidates and employers are matched in the future.
20 years in recruitment
Since 2000 the recruitment industry has evolved to embrace new technology and modern ways of working.
Interviews that were once arranged with letters or phone calls are now confirmed with texts and emails.
Even the interview process itself has been modernised to include videos and two stage processes to select candidates for face-to-face meetings. This has proved a valuable addition to the recruitment cycle as prospective employees can be assessed against a job description and whether their personality will fit a team without making physical appointments.
That’s not to say technology has replaced the vital role of experienced recruiters in the search for the perfect candidate. Recruitment remains a people business. A machine will never be able to build long lasting relationships, attract the right people to an organisation, or use an algorithm to spot potential and talent. Technology is predominantly a marketing tool rather than a driver in recruitment.
A changing workplace
The way businesses work has also revolutionised as employers use technology to design a more agile workforce. Home working has become much more common, even before COVID-19, because of the benefits flexible working arrangements bring to both employers and their staff. This work-life balance is now a key consideration for top candidates looking for new opportunities with forward-thinking employers.
In the work place and recruitment video conferencing has sped up decision-making by removing the need to synchronise people’s physical availability. As long as people have time to spare in their day, they can take part in meetings from anywhere in the country, or indeed the world.
It has taken a dedicated and agile team at Ocean Edge to adapt to and embrace all of these developments during the past 20 years, while continuing to find extraordinary people who can take an organisation to the next level.
But what’s next for recruitment?
Technological and work environment change continues to gain pace. Here at Ocean Edge we are always looking ahead and identifying opportunities so we can offer our clients the best recruitment service.
The phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ has never been more relevant as employees move more towards home working – blurring the boundaries between personal life and their careers. In the future, all candidates will expect more assurance from employers in terms of flexible working and welfare provision in exchange for their expertise.
They will need to be IT savvy, as well as maintaining current industry qualifications, in order to stand out in a recruitment process.
Having an on-paper or electronic CV or personal statement may well become a thing of the past. In their place will be online profiles set up on dedicated micro-sites.
Indeed, LinkedIn and the internet will become the primary places to advertise and look for new opportunities as the printed newspaper industry flounders. It’s already possible to use the data LinkedIn holds about candidates to target them in online recruitment campaigns. It’s only a matter of time before companies like Google and Amazon launch competing job networks to harness the rich information they capture every day about internet users.
Whatever the future, the team at Ocean Edge will be keeping a close eye on developments and opportunities that can be used for the benefit of recruitment during the next 20 years and beyond.
Ocean Edge – a specialist affordable housing recruitment consultancy
We specialise in working with Housing Associations, Local Authorities, ALMOs, TMOs, private sector consultants, developers and contractors which supply the sector, and private development arms of local authorities. We also have experience of working with large multi-national organisations through to small charities.