How recruitment trends are changing to suit the current candidate driven market  

Through our day-to-day work supporting clients and candidates, we see how employers and HR personnel are adapting and evolving their recruitment approach to suit the current candidate-driven market. Here are some of the emerging trends and recruitment actions becoming a top priority as employers look to compete and stand out.

Employer brand

A LinkedIn survey revealed 75% of applicants now consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, which is why we are seeing more organisations genuinely investing in creating a strong employer brand based on the company’s vision, values and culture. A commitment to creating an attractive employee value proposition will help businesses to attract, retain and engage the best people. And a strong employer brand now goes beyond just a competitive salary, and even learning and development, career progression and well thought out perks and benefits. There is a growing trend for candidates to also base their decisions on ethical and lifestyle factors including how socially responsible a business is and its workplace environment and culture.  

Competitor research

As businesses recognise the significant impact employer brand can have on the ability to recruit the best people, more employers are taking the time to research their industry and local recruitment market to understand how they can compete and stand out. Our expert consultants are regularly asked for advice based on our wealth of experience within our specialist sectors and our knowledge of the Eastern region. Employers are keen to be better equipped to be able to share with candidates what they can offer them in return for their knowledge, experience and expertise, compared to a competitor who may also have made them a job offer.


While offering flexible working opportunities is ultimately part of an employer brand, it is becoming such a competing factor that it warrants a section of its own. People realise that they can still be ambitious without having to be in an office for over 12 hours a day and are looking for roles which can give them the time and flexibility to do things outside of work. Employers are also recognising that they are risking missing out on, or losing top talent from the organisation if they can’t provide business-suitable flexibility for employees such as return to work parents or those with caring responsibilities. 

Recruitment marketing

Having researched the market and created an attractive employer brand, more precedent is being put on actively marketing this to both current and future employees. Businesses are promoting themselves as employers people want to work for by communicating their employer brand across multiple channels and in a variety of different, engaging ways. A simple newspaper advert or online advert is unlikely to be enough to stand out, recruitment materials are proactively showcasing company culture and employee value proposition and are backed up with engaging content on dedicated website careers sections, social media activity, employee-related news, blogs and case studies and videos about working for the company.

Employee referrals

Another LinkedIn survey revealed that candidates are three times more likely to trust a company's employees when looking for credible information on what it is like to work there. Employees have always been an organisation’s biggest advocate and more businesses are harnessing this by implementing employee referral schemes, engaging them to provide positive online reviews, featuring real-life employee case studies in print and videos, and enabling employees to act as inspiring role models through work with local schools, colleges and universities.

Strategic recruitment

Rather than potentially competing for talented candidates unnecessarily, businesses are taking a more strategic approach and only going out to the market to buy new talent when there is a clear need for immediate, long-term skills and experience. Instead, many businesses are planning ahead and using skills audits to identify what they need to meet the company’s goals and looking to build their own talent and expertise from within or to recruit people they can see potential in and committing to training them to become the full package. Alternatively, they are looking to borrow expertise on a temporary basis, capitalising on the growing gig economy which has opened up the pool of talent available to businesses for short-term projects.

Recruitment speed

Businesses are increasingly conscious that it is often the first organisation to the finish line who will win the race to employ top talent. They are reviewing their recruitment processes to make them as agile, while still effective, as possible and are prioritising time to meet with high-quality candidates rather than risking losing out to a business which has moved faster.

Candidate experience

Organisations are also increasingly reviewing the candidate experience they provide at every stage of the recruitment journey, from initial clear information through to the interview and the communication of final decisions. A company’s preferred candidate is more likely to accept their job offer, over that of a competitor, if they have had a positive experience throughout. Plus any high calibre candidates who were not successful will still view the organisation positively, be more likely to apply again and to recommend the business to others; maintaining the company’s reputation and its ability to attract top talent.

A good recruitment consultant will have their finger on the pulse of the industry they specialise in, and the local market, and will be able to provide valuable insight into any shifting trends. Here at Pure, our expert consultants don’t just support clients in finding the right person for the role they also provide expert market insight, employer branding advice, talent planning support and help to create a positive candidate experience.

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