How To Recruit Top Talent

Recruitment Trends and Actionable Insights to help you Find the Best

Over the last 20 years in recruitment, I’ve sailed through a storm of technological advances and observed significant shifts in our collective approach to work.

From the era of faxing resumes to the present day of swiping through digital profiles, the recruitment landscape has undergone massive changes.

Yet, through the dazzle of new technologies and innovation, one thing remains constant: the power of human connection.

In 2024, as I celebrate my 20th anniversary in this ever-changing field, I’m here to share some truths about what constitutes effective recruitment.

I’ll discuss the breakthroughs continuing to shape the job market, offer actionable tips for business leaders and HR managers keen to recruit top talent, and make a few predictions about the shifting landscape of work.

The Recruitment Revolution

When I started my career in recruitment in 2004, the landscape was markedly different.

While Google had begun to change how we sought information, the world of recruitment still clung to traditional methods.

People searched for their next career move in the newspaper classifieds, and resumes arrived equally by post and fax as by email.

I spent a lot of time on the phone back then, working my way through the Yellow Pages and calling HR managers about the talented job seekers I had on my books.

Fast forward to today, and the scene has transformed entirely.

Digital platforms have become recruiters’ primary tools for discovering talent, allowing us to make connections that span continents in moments.

LinkedIn, job boards and sophisticated CRMs have become indispensable, providing the sort of visibility and speed that was once unimaginable in the recruitment process.

Yet, through the dazzle of new technologies and innovation, one thing remains constant: the power of human connection.

“Through the dazzle of new technologies and innovation, one thing remains constant: the power of human connection.”

How to recruit Top talent

Launching in Lockdown: The birth of RecruitNet in 2020

In 2020, I launched RecruitNet, a Waikato-based recruitment agency specialising in roles within New Zealand’s manufacturing industry.

The timing was akin to setting sail in a storm, with the pandemic reshaping the world’s approach to work almost overnight.

But while New Zealand’s job market faced uncertainty, it also drove ingenuity.
Flexibility, rapid adaptation, and a deep understanding of the evolving workforce’s needs were imperative.

As a nimble, freshly established agency, I swiftly adapted to remote working norms, digital interviewing, and the heightened need for empathy and flexibility.

When my clients needed top talent, I could lean on my extensive connections within the manufacturing industry to source the brightest and best, leveraging the tight labour market to our advantage.

I offered job seekers and employers flexibility, understanding and open communication during uncertain times.

Despite the initial spike in unemployment rates during the lockdowns, the subsequent recovery and shift to a record-low unemployment rate underscored the resilience and adaptability of the Kiwi labour force.

Recruitment trends

Embrace Innovation but Keep it Real

My journey has mirrored the industry’s evolution, from the days of fax machines and endless cold calls to the sophisticated algorithms of LinkedIn and job platforms.

But it’s not just the tools that have changed. What people are looking for in a job has changed too.

Where once salary was the predominant factor in job selection, today’s candidates prioritise work-life balance, culture, and purposeful work. Some are willing to sacrifice higher pay for greater flexibility or a more fulfilling job.

This shift means maintaining the human touch in every interaction is more crucial than ever.

Human Connection is the Constant

A story is at the core of every placement – a candidate’s aspirations meeting an employer’s culture.

My approach fosters environments where employees and organisations thrive together.

I have conversations with employees (not just the hiring leader), take tours of workplaces and sites, and dive deep into the organisation’s heartbeat.
When working with job seekers, my questions go beyond their resumes. I aim to unearth what truly motivates them and where they see themselves in the future.

Over the years I’ve crafted my skills in the art of successful job ad writing, refined my candidate search methodologies, and invested time in building connections.

Often, businesses that have struggled to fill roles are astonished at the speed and precision with which I can identify a fitting candidate. Many times, the people I approach are so engrossed in excelling at their current positions they haven’t even considered a change.

Human connection in recruitment

Bridging Talent Across Seas

Each recruitment assignment comes with its own unique set of challenges.

One such challenge came recently when a client needed a civil engineer with specific software skills and experience working in the Philippines.

While our database didn’t initially present a ready-made match, platforms like Seek’s premium talent search and LinkedIn allowed me to throw the net wider.

By personally reaching out, I spoke to potential candidates in the Philippines, leading me to someone who perfectly fit the bill yet was unaware that his next big opportunity was waiting in New Zealand.

This example underscores the powerhouse combination of technology and human connection in modern recruitment.

“A story is at the core of every placement – a candidate’s aspirations meeting an employer’s culture.”

What does the Future Hold in Recruitment?

The digital transformation within the workplace is reshaping the demand for talent. As automation takes over routine tasks, new roles emerge and existing ones evolve. Employers find themselves in need of a workforce equipped with a fresh mix of skills.

This shift places a premium on skilled recruiters who not only use cutting-edge tools, but also nurture and expand their network of connections.

For recruiters, we’ll need to keep surfing the tech wave to stay relevant. The emergence of sophisticated AI and machine learning technologies promises to transform the recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to finalising placements.

Yet, the real art will lie in marrying these technological advancements with the irreplaceable human touch that lies at the heart of recruitment.

The essence of recruitment, despite the technological strides, will remain unmistakably human-centred. Empathy, adaptability, and the forging of authentic personal connections are indispensable.

In a future where machines and algorithms play an increasingly significant role, these human qualities will serve as the bedrock upon which successful recruitment strategies are built.

Actionable Insights for Leaders

Here are a few tips for business leaders and HR managers seeking top talent to ensure you get it right the first time.

  • Transparency is critical: Share detailed insights into your company’s culture. Authenticity attracts the right talent.
  • Clarify expectations: Be upfront about work arrangements. Flexibility isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept.
  • Foster inclusivity: Open your doors wider. Diversity in background translates to richness in ideas.
  • Act swiftly but thoughtfully: Quick decisions show decisiveness, but ensure they’re informed and considerate.
  • Listen and adapt: Engagement is a two-way street. True engagement means aligning organisational needs with candidate expectations.
  • Consider a recruiter: Collaborating with a recruiter with industry knowledge and a pre-established network can significantly streamline and strengthen your hiring process.

Recruitment is an investment. Get it right, and the returns can redefine your organisation.

how to recruit top talent in 2024

The Next Evolution

My journey has taught me that our ability to embrace technological advancements while anchoring every interaction in genuine human empathy is the key to success.

The emergence from a global pandemic into a world ripe with digital potential sets the stage for another significant transformation in recruitment.

But at the heart of every advancement, every shiny tool, and every strategy we implement lies the invaluable thread of human connection.

Here’s to the next 20 years of making meaningful matches and shaping the future of work together.

Elevate your Recruitment Process

Do you need help finding the right fit for your team amid constant market shifts?

RecruitNet offers expertise, insight, and a personalised touch to navigate the ever-evolving recruitment landscape.

Let’s secure the talent that enhances your company culture.

Connect with Brigitta today