Recruitment processes are transforming, and this is a direct result of candidates’ shifting expectations and evolving career motivators. The belief that money is the primary motivator for all professionals has long been proven to be inaccurate; businesses are moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to job descriptions and interview processes to a greater focus on purpose and personalisation. 

Candidates' motivators change throughout their life. What drives one person might not even be a priority for another. It is now commonplace for candidates to list drivers such as a sense of purpose, alignment with values and goals of the organisation, the ability to flex work around personal life, career progression, or training and development when looking for a new role. While salary is still often a key motivator, it is not the only thing professionals are looking for and it most certainly doesn’t apply to all. 

Understanding what drives your existing employees and exploring those of potential candidates during the recruitment process is key. In the workplace, this can be done through the use of yearly or quarterly questionnaires, but the best way to truly understand your people is to establish clear lines of open and honest communication. One-to-one meetings and regular catch-ups with your employees will help you build trust and forge strong relationships. 

Personal development should be a top priority

Career progression is facilitated by continuous learning and development. Upskilling is, of course, partly up to an individual to pursue outside of work, but it is also of significant benefit to an organisation to ensure that their staff have a personalised training and development plan internally. Not only is this often listed as one of the most important drivers for candidates today, but it also boosts the capabilities of the team overall.

Providing your team with adequate training and stretch projects to expand their technical skill set helps to strengthen their abilities but it also leads to a more well-rounded and capable candidate. Professionals prize this experience and it also demonstrates the commitment of their company to their career. From a business perspective, this means high productivity, which directly impacts the bottom line. These opportunities for development are also helpful tools in the hiring process and are key in helping companies stay competitive in a demanding market. 

When hiring, consider skills that are complementary to those existing within your team or experience that could be built upon as this can help broaden the talent available to the businesses. With a strong training and development programme in place, there is no real shortage of talent. Offering these development programmes as a key selling point for your business will attract ambitious professionals who possess a variety of skills. 

Flexibility is more than just a working arrangement

To meet the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce, it is crucial for employers to be more flexible. Not only in terms of working arrangements such as flexi hours, but also during the recruitment process and the everyday running of a business. Consider video interviews for professionals applying from abroad or cross country and also think about how a dynamic working policy might work in your organisation. You could also offer a flexible benefits package which allows professionals to select their benefits, or even restructure the way your team communicates with one another. 

The competition for top talent has led to an increase in the number of companies using feedback from their employees to better understand satisfaction and engagement, and then implement changes to keep their workforce happy, motivated, and productive. Feedback gathered about job satisfaction and engagement helps drive teams forward, as it provides insight into team morale, highlights any issues the team might have as well as what is working well and what learnings could be used to help other teams. 

This requires flexibility from the management team and commitment to implementing change when needed. By also allowing employees the flexibility to make their work life fit with their personal life, you build a culture that that fosters commitment and loyalty. This is an appealing benefit for professionals at all stages of their career.

Inclusion is key in attracting and retaining top talent

The need to consider skills outside of technical areas is obvious. It opens job opportunities up to a much more diverse pool of candidates, which is essential in today’s market. However, as diversity within an organisation improves, it is crucial that the right support is available and that there is an inclusion policy in place to ensure differences are embraced in the business. 

Emotional intelligence and empathy are core skills that help support inclusive working environments. Inclusive leadership and behaviours demonstrated from management will help ingrain these values within teams, but it is also good to actively hire for inclusion and with an inclusive mindset.

When recruiting, hiring managers and recruiters need to focus on two areas: locating the right personality with a mix of key people skills, and working with their contemporaries to change perspectives on what makes the best candidate.  

Ultimately, candidates and employees alike need to be understood and respected as individuals. They can no longer be treated as an indistinct mass. To recruit the right employees for your business, human resource management needs to be personalised, starting from the job offer, to the advert, interviews, into the onboarding process - and beyond.