Recruitment is evolving – slowly perhaps – but it is evolving.  But the pace of evolution is matching neither the speed at which growing and successful companies skills needs are evolving nor the speed at which the drivers, expectations, and motivations of candidates are changing.  For companies, new roles have emerged and continue to emerge that didn’t exist before along with newly adopted technologies that quickly become mainstream.  For candidates, the traditional drivers and motivations to join a company of who pays most or who has the nicest offices are equalising across companies and now candidates have higher order, personal growth and socially responsible expectations from the companies they work for.

The impedance mismatch between recruitment evolution and hiring needs evolution is often compounded into the often cited key challenge of the ‘inability to attract talent’. But in our opinion, the real challenge is rather a subtle change of focus; rather than reaching out to candidates and pulling them to you, the focus should be on being a company that candidates gravitate to by choice rather than by direction – from ‘inability to attract talent’ to ‘how do we become attractive as an employer’. In other words, recruitment needs to evolve from being an outbound activity to an inbound one.

However, the move from outbound to inbound recruitment is a strategic change.  Outbound recruitment tends to be transactional in nature often executed as a set candidate contacts – ‘want a new job, we’re great, come work for us’.  Inbound recruitment is rather constant appropriate engagement with candidate communities offering demonstrable proof that you are in fact a great company.

But what does being a great company actually translate to for a potential candidate within that community – it means that your culture is appealing, your values are aligned, you have their community’s best interests at heart and that you contribute to the community for the greater good, that you have shared interests outside of the day to day, and that the people that work there are people that you want to work alongside and with.

And the first thing that a company who wants to be perceived as great has to be is to be trusted.  We wrote about how to build trust in a community before and how it is important to find ways that demonstrate you are an active, committed, and interested member of the community

This sustained investment in being part of the community in order to be attractive as a team to work with is a strategic change for companies who are hiring. This change to inbound recruitment does cost and for large companies with large budgets, often they will create their own platforms, initiatives, and the tools and teams to allow them to engage with their candidate communities.  However, for other companies, it will be better to seek out platforms and initiatives that they can participate in.

At Verify we have built a suite of platforms that are being used to foster community engagement.  Our Ada Lovelace Initiative champions the cause of increasing female participation in the technology industry, our magazine celebrates the technical community’s interests and passions and our podcast NewJobRadio humanises and communicates who you are as an employer. Participating in these platforms and initiatives is a proven successful approach to community engagement.

The evolution of hiring needs and candidate motivators is not going to stop. The shift from attracting talent to becoming attractive to talent is continuing at pace. Companies have a choice, to retain their current transactional recruitment model or to recognise this evolution and seek to change with it.