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Budget cuts have bitten into the recruitment process

Recruitment teams in the UK's largest employer organisations are most concerned with budget restrictions, according to new research by WCN, the leading e-Recruitment specialists.

The company surveyed over 50 heads of HR from some of the UK's biggest recruiters and found that, despite improved trading figures across the economy, previous cut backs have left many HR teams struggling to manage with limited resources. Indeed, budget limits preoccupy over a fifth (22 percent) of organisations. Quickly finding and engaging scarce talent (the top issue for HR professionals last year) is now a lesser concern, preoccupying 16 percent, whereas it was a big issue for over 30 percent last year.

Not surprisingly, with departments under pressure and not wanting to miss out on great talent, 13 percent of HR professionals say their number one challenge is coping with the high volume of applications. The research was conducted among top decision makers who attended the CIPD’s HR Software Show event in London. Commenting on the figures, Steve Tope, WCN’s Director of Client Services said: “It’s interesting to see how priorities have slightly shifted. Teams are now expected to do so much more, with less. Factor in the large volumes of CVs and applications crossing desks, and it’s easy to see how coping with that workload is becoming even more challenging.”

“Add to this mix of challenges the big changes in candidate behaviour, such as the use of social and mobile media, and it’s clear why many companies without well thought through e-Recruitment solutions are struggling.” WCN's research supports this. Over one in ten major companies say exploiting and avoiding the pitfalls of social media and properly exploiting mobile devices are top issues, while a further 9 percent are worried about how they manage candidate expectations, especially given the huge number of applicants they are having to handle.

According to WCN (who authored the Government sponsored Best Practice Guide to e-Recruitment), these figures should prompt those who have yet to move to e-Recruitment, or are unhappy with their current system, to take action. Steve Tope further commented, “e-Recruitment, when well executed, can be a tremendous support to teams. One of our retail clients has used WCN’s software to reduce the time it takes to sift candidates by 70 percent – for companies with an overload of applicants that’s a big reduction in workload. We have also helped another recruiter in the industrial sector monitor what is and isn’t working in their recruitment process. This has helped them narrow down the number of job boards they use from 40 to 3, delivering a huge cost saving while still attracting great candidates. For recruiters, struggling with budget restrictions, this delivers a significant saving.”

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