New-market dynamics require new solutions

1. The increasing shortage of IT professionals

The competition between companies for qualified IT professionals has never been so fierce. There are currently 350,000 IT vacancies in the UK, with an estimated total of 2.9 million people employed in the UK tech sector.

This ever-growing shortage of talent shows that recruiting IT professionals is one of the main challenges that HR managers have to face today. However, many are still relying on traditional methods, which most frequently include advertising on job boards or attempting to actively source passive candidates (e.g. LinkedIn). However, these methods, at scale, are not suitable solutions for the current market dynamics.

2. Why traditional methods are inadequate to deal with the current market dynamics

a) Job boards: Frequently, when HR managers use job boards, they receive far too many applications from candidates that do not meet even the minimum requirements advertised in the job description. Additionally, since the candidates are not pre-screened by the job board provider, the full burden of the screening process lies with the HR manager and is limited by their internal resources. Collectively, this can make the hiring process slow and inefficient, both for the companies and applicants.

Moreover, when companies use job boards they face a risk that they will not attract applications from the very best candidates. This can occur when the candidates are not aware of the brand and, due to the sheer number of job postings, they may never come across the advertisement.

We conclude that this approach is far too passive to be effective in a competitive job market with an increasing shortage of qualified talent.

b) Active sourcing: A common alternative to advertising on job boards is to proactively source and approach candidates directly, typically through employment-oriented social networks such as LinkedIn. This approach allows the companies to target the most qualified candidates, who otherwise might have missed the job opportunity if it was simply posted on a job board.

However, this method is just as time consuming and ineffective as advertising on job boards. The main reason for this is the low response rate from the candidates, many of whom will not be actively looking for a new job opportunity or will no longer be active on the platform altogether. As a result, all recruiters are familiar with the experience of sourcing the perfect candidate on LinkedIn, sending a personalised message about the job opportunity, and not receiving a reply.

The fundamental issue is that these social network platforms are not designed to match the best talent with the right job opportunity. Instead, they are created to enable users to stay in touch with and expand their professional network. Therefore, neither the recruiter nor the candidate knows the intentions of the other upfront, which leads to low levels of trust and low response rates.

Given the aforementioned shortfalls, a more appropriate platform for proactively sourcing candidates needs to, firstly, be built with the sole aim of matching the best employers with the best talents and, secondly, prescreen all of the participants to ensure both, employers and talents, are actively looking to engage in the recruitment process. A reverse recruitment platform offers precisely this.

But how does reverse recruitment work?

Reverse Recruitment

A reverse recruitment platform is a two-sided marketplace designed to provide an unparalleled experience for the very best candidates, while at the same time making the recruitment process quick and efficient for companies.

On the platform, the pre-screened candidates advertise themselves through their profiles showcasing their experience, skills and preferences. The companies define their criteria for a new hire and get access to a list of suitable candidates who they can directly communicate with and invite to interviews.

The key characteristics of a reverse recruitment marketplace are:


1. A curated list of talents and employers

Before joining the platform, each talent and employer is screened by a recruitment specialist.The final list of candidates represents the top 10% of all applicants. The selection criteria cover technical ability, job preferences, as well as the level of urgency to find a new job.

Advantages for employers: Having only the very best candidates on the platform means that employers don’t have to waste time on unqualified or unsuitable candidates. Additionally, because all candidates accepted to the platform are actively looking for their next job opportunity, they are much more responsive throughout the recruitment process.This significantly reduces employers’ time-to-fill; employers find the right candidates quicker and the candidates which they approach are much more likely to respond to interview requests.

Advantages for talents: The curation process reduces the competition for the very best candidates, meaning that relevant employers can find their profiles quicker and more frequently. Additionally, since the employers know that each candidate is valuable and of high calibre, they frequently personalise their approach and employment offers. This means that live candidates benefit from better quality and higher quantity of offers from employers while on the platform.


2. All participants have an urgency to act

Candidate profiles are live only for a short period (typically 10 weeks). As a result, each employer has an urgency to act quickly once they find the right candidate, whilst each candidate makes themselves available for interviews, tests and assessments during this period.

Advantages for employers: While their profile is live, not only are candidates more likely to respond to requests from employers, but they respond to such requests much quicker. This streamlines every interaction with the candidate, especially simple, but often time-consuming, tasks such as scheduling interviews. This means that employers can reliably process the top candidates in a matter of weeks, rather than months.

Advantages for talents: Receiving multiple interview requests, which in most cases lead to multiple offers, all within a short time frame, makes it possible for the candidates to compare and choose the most competitive and suitable offer for them.


3. Transparent auction

When candidates join the platform they clearly outline all of their requirements including, but not limited to, their minimum salary, location, ideal tech stack, as well as other employment benefits preferences. Additionally, when making a job offer, each employer has to provide salary details upfront and will be able to view a range of offers that a particular candidate has already received.

Advantages for employers: Companies can make sure that they only engage with candidates who have compatible preferences and interests. This reduces the likelihood that the candidate drops out from the process due to a simple mismatch in preferences. Additionally, since the employers can see a range of offers that a particular candidate has received, they can instantly adjust their offer to make sure it is competitive and not excessive.

Advantages for talents: By being transparent about their preferences, the candidates only receive relevant job opportunities.Moreover, the competitive auction process between the employers leads to a smaller discrepancy between alternative offers. This means that the candidates can focus on factors other than salary and choose the opportunity that really suits them best.


4. Tailored advice based on interest and needs (for both talents and employers) 

Companies that join the platform receive tailored support from dedicated Client Success Managers. Whilst the candidates are supported throughout the process by their assigned Talent ambassador.

Advantages for employers: The Client Success Managers provide guidance on: a) how to approach talents in the most effective way; b) how to position their brand and profile on the platform to attract the right talents; and c) what type of talent would be the best match for them and their requirements. Collectively, this significantly increases the chance of hiring the best candidates.

Advantages for talents: Talent ambassadors provide guidance on: a) how to create and position their profile; b) how to engage with and what to expect from employers; and c) what the salary expectations should be given their level of experience. This means that each candidate is able to showcase their unique set of skills and increases the changes of them finding the perfect role that fits their particular preferences.


The facts

1. Better response rates

2. Improvement in time-to-hire

3. Sourcing time per tech hire reduced significantly

4. Tech talents are convinced of the concept

At GoTalent we are convinced of two things: firstly, that the UK needs to attract the brightest minds of the world to remain competitive and secondly that reverse recruitment is the future of tech hiring. However, we know from personal experience how hard it is to hire talent from abroad. Limited information about the talent pool and bureaucratic visa procedures make it unattractive to look outside the well-known talent market and reach into an untapped pool of brilliant minds.

We do all this with one aim in mind: being the best solution for UK companies to hire the most qualified tech talents efficiently. Our goal is to play an important role in revitalising the UK economy and offering life-changing opportunities to the brightest minds by connecting them to the most innovative companies.

Published on 
October 6, 2020
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