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Recruitment still needs the human touch

Recruitment still needs the human touch

A government survey has found that employers are still intent on adding the human touch to recruiting new talent.

Technology has become a massive part of our lives and it runs into every aspect – but it turns out that when it comes to hiring talent, employers still prefer a personal touch.


According to the 2014 Employer Perspectives Survey from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), around three-quarters of employers use private recruitment channels to help find new talent, such as word of mouth, their own websites, internal notices or other free websites.

Of these, word of mouth is still used the most often, with 30 per cent saying this was part of their recruitment process.

At the same time, 38 per cent said that they employed free to use public channels, including government initiatives and Jobcentre Plus.

But it was interesting that social media was among the less frequently used tools for businesses – although the proportion using social networks to find and recruit talent increased, the rise was from three to seven per cent.


Overall, it seems that employers are still less likely to reach out to candidates and more inclined to spread the word than let the talent come to them.

Whether that means they are missing out on some high calibre candidates is uncertain, but it suggests that meeting people personally is still an important element of the hiring process.

That was particularly true of smaller employers, since they was more likely to use private free channels. Close to half said these were the only media they used to find candidates, while bigger organisations were more likely to employ a wider range of tools.

“For employers it’s important to not become over-dependent on one form of recruitment,” said Michael David, chief executive of UKCES.

“Our research shows that word of mouth is still commonly used to hire staff – but this risks missing out on a huge talent pool just because people don’t happen to be plugged into the right professional networks. By striking a balance, both sides can benefit.”

Interestingly, work experience was actually seen as a more important element of a candidate’s CV than their qualifications. Some 66 per cent of recruiting employers said relevant work experience is critical or significant when it came to choosing their candidates, while half said the same of vocational and academic qualifications. In a competitive job market, it’s still important to have that advantage.

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