Barry Flack: The future of recruitment

Barry has been at the forefront of the UK HR & Recruiting industry for many years having held senior leadership positions at the likes of Barclaycard and Primark. Barry is joining us for our Future of Recruitment & HR session alongside Matthew Jeffery, Jennifer Candee, Jeremy Russon and Jamie Leonard.

Barry shared his view in this short but to the point piece.

The future of recruitment is in the mind

The future of recruitment as we know it is as exciting as it is unpredictable. One only has to tap into the newswires coming from HR Tech conferences to see where the next new set of shiny bright toys are coming from as evidenced by the enormous investment being pushed in that area from the west coast of the USA.

However, no new set of plug and play contraptions can mask a greater reality about how the changing nature of organisations will (and frankly should) alter the way we have historically looked at this sub-tribe (part science. part-art) of the HR family. If the world of work itself is being fundamentally impacted then why would a prevailing mindset stuck for the last generation remain untouched?

For example, think of the ‘traditional recruitment metrics’ debate. HR Directors have obsessed about cost for hire for years as a means of getting the fabled chair at the CEO’s table or wearing the commercial underwear on public show to their board colleagues. As for the quality of hire, debates around the edges of the siloed handover between recruitment and the others (i.e ‘HR’) have dominated for as long as I remember – in short who is to blame for the rookie resignation or who collects the glass decanter for the year 1 superstar performance.

As analytics goes mainstream (and whilst not exactly catching fire, it’s advances to the mainstream will not be reversed) then so does the predictive ability for success, married with the changing nature of the relationship away from long term tenure mean that this becomes the obvious case of 2 bald men fighting over a comb when it comes to the ages old silo between recruitment and HR.

In short, thankfully HR as we knew it is dying on its ass and the blurring lines of our old siloed thinking should dissipate with it. A new dawn of part marketing. Big part-selling, bigger part-analytics, married with a highly transient and less sticky candidate / employer marketplace just mean that new rules need rewriting amongst this chaos and change. Rubbing shoulders with those responsible for building the IT and office infrastructures, consumer messaging and CSR will go hand in hand with those traditional experts dedicated to making organizational culture live and breathe in perfect harmony.

If you still see recruitment like a Christmas pantomime, hissing and booing the other HR sub-tribe, then you’re limiting your mindset every bit as much as you are limiting your organization’s ability to survive the complexity ahead. Sometimes the festive turkey has just gotta do the right thing.

Barry Flack.



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