How the labour market substantially changed the role of recruiters

Birgit De Smedt
worth sharing HR
Five times! The group of inactive people is five times larger than the group of jobseekers in Belgium: almost 1.4 million inactive people against barely 270,000 jobseekers.

This leads to an unprecedented situation on the labour market: there is hardly any spontaneous inflow to permanent vacancies anymore, employer branding has become a necessity, job fairs are instantly sold out and those wishing to offer corporate internships must now attend paid internship fairs. The old recruitment model tilted, with the candidate now fully in the driver’s seat. This has implications for all those who wish to accomplish successful recruitment for their organization or for their clients.

An interesting evolution is that the recruiter now acts as a coach, both for the candidate and the hiring manager. The former sounds pretty obvious. In a landscape brimming with abundant choices for candidates it is crucial to decide who to approach and how to contact those candidates. What determines whether today's recruiters are great candidate coaches is defined by their professional conduct, the ability to thoroughly study and analyse the profile, actively listening to the candidate's expectations, and lastly, offering constructive advice. Succesful candidate coaches possess an impressive list of competencies: focus on results, creativity, empathy, perseverance, communication and long-term thinking.

Perhaps a bit less obvious is that the role of a recruiter also evolved into being a coach for the hiring manager. As it turns out, it is not all that apparent that a recruitment firm takes an in-depth, critical look at the vacancy, but the approach pays off. What is the story that makes this company unique to a candidate? Why should a candidate want to work here? Effective hiring coaches analyse much more than just the job content and salary package and understand what profile is a sustainable fit for the company.

More than ever, we are coaching mediators, tasked with bringing out the true stories, listening to, understanding and connecting the two parties. For us, it means we sometimes have to give clients advice they would rather not hear. But there is no other way. Every vacancy in our portfolio is an important, joint recruitment project. We work intensively on the searches entrusted to us but also demand trust, commitment and active participation. This is not a nice-to-have, it is an absolute necessity in the current labour market.

Does it make our assignment challenging? Definitely! But at the same time it means an exciting broadening of the job for the recruitment consultants at YouConnect. It implies working together on a project, in equal partnership and with a real connection between all parties involved, to achieve this common goal: hiring the right candidate together.

Authored by Birgit De Smedt - 23 Oct 2023

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