The way in which we work has changed dramatically over the last decade. When it comes to freelancing, social media and even the idea of working – everything is different.

We spoke to Krishnan Doyle, Managing Director at COREcruitment about the 5 challenges for employers today – and what you can do about them.

  • Freelancing is becoming more appealing

Up and coming candidates have more confidence in their skills than ever before, they are quick to learn and happy to take risks. Going it alone is the ideal from the outset of their career now, as opposed to the ‘Mecca’ reached only by many years of hard slog and soul selling.

Fearless people who build networks easily will thrive and feel a sense of justice when the balance of ‘getting out what you put in’ is realised more speedily.

Organisations, especially some of the high growth businesses we recruit for, want to attract candidates who can operate at full capacity in short bursts for project work. It is about the wow factor, the immediate impact of the delivery and then moving on to the next big thing. This is well aligned to the work ethos of the millennials who adopt an all or nothing attitude; happy to go the extra mile when fully engaged, but equally at peace with walking away if it doesn’t work for them. For millennials, temporary is less tiresome and more a turn on; it’s exciting.

Given that the job for life is an ever dimming memory, one can hardly blame them. Why would they build a reliance on job security when there is clearly none to be had? Instead it makes perfect sense to rely on the elements you have control over, namely, your own skill set, high levels of energy, adaptability and length of reach into the market.

  • Returning to previous employers is not necessarily a red flag 

When people leave jobs we find that they leave managers, not companies. We quickly establish if our clients are open to re-hiring candidates and happily very few would veto it. Of course, each situation is judged individually but as a generalisation candidates can be credited with enough intelligence to be the ultimate judge of their relationship on exit.

Ordinarily, one would hope that in their time apart both the company and candidate would have continued to develop and evolve, establishing new direction and strength.

It would not be a rare occasion for 2 individuals to clash at work, so safe in the knowledge that their previous manager / barrier / rutting partner had moved on, a candidate with fond memories of the company as a whole might well actively look to return or at least be open to hearing about it.

With some employers we work with they encourage their employees to gain more experience externally, this can be through secondments, non-exec, and project work. This is the wise company in action, the one that knows that an insular view does not promote growth and success. Go, see, explore and learn and then come back and share everything with us.

Company culture changes fast though and this can go either way. While one person returning might be disappointed by the changes, another may rejoice that they never have to undergo the micro-management and mistrust that helped drive them away.

  • Job hopping isn’t what it once was 

While project work and freelancing are very alluring, there will always be big companies who need consistency and value retention due the huge investment they make in their hires. These are the big names and if you want to be part of that then the job hopping must stop pretty early on for you to be considered.

However, should all the project work gain you enough success and coverage, even the big guns will alter their outlook and potentially hire on terms that were not previously considered. But you have to be at the top of your game for them to take those risks.

Whilst the stigma of job hopping being a negative thing is in reverse, it is going slowly at quite a steep gradient.

The rise of social media and candidate’s ownership of multiple profiles has become a double edged sword for the hiring company. They have a huge pool of potential candidates just a few clicks away waiting to be discovered, so if they have the time, they can save time and money in their sourcing.

With the main investment then being time as opposed to money again, they may feel a little happier about taking a risk on a jumpy candidate. That said, on their heads be it – they need to know their stuff and potentially invest in expensive applicant tracking systems to ensure they aren’t picking the candidate who has already be seen and rejected by every competitor. Candidate credibility quickly becomes an issue and this is where having an industry expert recruiter is at its most helpful.


  • Candidates are in short supply

Top talent is always in short supply, this is nothing new and employers must work hard to motivate and retain top talent. This has become a whole new HR sector over the last new decade and is fiercely competitive. Companies can no longer rely on their reputation for the service they provide to customers – it’s all about what is happening in house.

When attracting candidates it is equally as important that the employer markets themselves to the candidate as much as the candidates markets to the employer.

  • Employees are using tech to their advantage 

Three years ago using social media for recruitment was very effective but now the market is saturated. Candidates are less likely to respond directly to individual posts unless they already have an established relationship with the recruiter.

Interestingly though, if a company does not exploit the use of social media and therefore has a small presence candidates consider them invisible and treat them with a certain amount of suspicion. Bear in mind that these people consider themselves very well connected and up to speed, so hearing from a company they are unaware of can be outrageous!

Candidates feel bombarded so very often ignore even polite direct approaches. Again, this comes down to building a direct and personal rapport with candidates over time and ensuring any information they get is genuinely relevant to them.

The big warning bells kick in when we consider that many candidate and company profiles are poorly executed. A good recruiter will offer advice on this along before embarking on full spectrum coverage for either.

Another pitfall for over use is that the employer is very aware of their employees spending time on the site and watch who they are connected with.

What changes have you noticed that are worth mentioning? Leave a comment down below.