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Doing recruitment differently in the 20s

What makes a candidate apply for your job?  What are you going to do differently in 2020 to attract new starts?

Recruitment trends change constantly as the next big thing appears on the horizon, with savvy employers using a cocktail of methods to entice candidates into their organisations. Are you one of them?

In a buyer’s market, candidates have the luxury of being able to choose how they apply and it’s not always with a CV and a covering letter. Ease of application, with the added employer benefit of reduced time to hire, is paramount in the current recruitment climate.

At we’ve been thinking about what the recruitment landscape could look like, as creative employers increasingly turn to Artificial Intelligence, gamification and cognitive neurosciences to find out what really makes candidates tick.

Is the rise in recruitment technology making the CV redundant?

An honest question in what is a people-focused industry?  We asked Natasha Nagra, Group Talent Resource Manager of Kew Green Hotels for her thoughts. ‘Using technology we can assess on core behaviours rather than experience, opening up new talent pools and drilling down to what makes someone in the service industry really successful.   We receive over a thousand CVs every week and going through them to find the right candidates to interview is time-consuming and resource-heavy.’

The solution?  Responsive algorithms and Artificial Intelligence programmes that scan and filter applications.  A great timesaving innovation but is the downside that AI doesn’t yet recognise the human elements that turn a good CV into a great one from someone you want to interview?

It may be unfair to candidates, but it’s proving a lifesaver to recruiters, especially as it becomes easier for candidates to apply for multiple positions resulting in more and more CVs.

What about recruitment apps?

The days of scanning a newspaper for vacancies are long gone and candidates need to be able to find and apply for roles almost instantly.  Having a CV in your pocket is great for reference but your next recruit might be using a recruitment app to apply for your vacancy.

Tools like’s Profile Apply app make it possible for employers to recruit for roles that do not require a traditional CV, such as temporary or seasonal staff, where candidates can be screened by answering a few role specific questions, with employers receiving the candidate’s completed profile as a document.

Apps like this can reduce time to hire as recruiters can see instantly if a person is suitable.

Focus on people, not skills, based recruitment

 In some sectors focus is shifting away from skills-based selection with the rise of people-centric interviewing.    Oli Cavaliero, Head of Talent Management commented, ‘It’s not about how much experience a candidate has, it’s about how well they’ll fit into your team, your EVP, how the candidate relates to your brand and what they want from you as an employer.’

Can gamification find you a candidate that is the perfect fit for your team, using neuroscience to analyse behaviour?  Well, yes it can, but will it necessarily find you the candidate that’s going to stay the distance and not wave goodbye around the critical 90-day mark?

Chad Smith is Head of Recruitment at Boparan Restaurants is keen to stress the importance of onboarding to reduce this.  ‘Recruiters have to look hard at how we engage and retain candidates once they’re on board, and place more focus on an individual’s needs’.

Could neuroscience be the answer to solving the 90-day challenge through constant review and updates in a people business?

Video Interviewing

And then there’s video interviewing – not something new in the sector but on the rise nevertheless, as time-starved HR professionals showcase their company’s values and ‘day in the life’ videos to give candidates a flavour of the role. The plus is that video interviews can be recorded and shared internally for feedback and to assess character traits.

‘Shiny bright employer branding videos are attractive initially but should show the real experience, you won’t attract everybody but you will attract the people who feel they can cope with the challenges portrayed in the videos’ Oli Cavaliero commented.

The rise of the ‘on-demand’ talent pool

The gig economy has seen the rise of on-demand talent pools, allowing employers to build a team of available, skilled workers and then increase/decrease their workforce to meet needs.  In the 2020s might be the answer to many employers’ prayers but in the longer term what impact will this transient, part-time workforce have on EVPs?

Candidates for on-demand talent pools are evaluated on their skills rather than cultural fit, and whilst they have the skills to do the job, do they have the ability to seamlessly fit into your culture and deliver the levels of customer service you expect from your full-time team?  Is cultural fit even important as the industry moves into the 20s and the recruitment challenge to find employees becomes even more problematic?

Your flexible EVP in the 2020s

We’ve talked about the rise of technology in recruitment and wonder whether technology can really present your brand’s EVP at recruitment stage?

Natasha commented, ‘Recruitment is increasingly becoming more strategic in hospitality, in a talent driven market, so EVPs are important.  However employers should think about moving away from the ‘one size fits all’ to personalised candidate focused propositions, showing different hospitality job roles and career pathways.’

There’s a balancing act to adequately portray what you’re looking for in a recruit and how they’ll reflect your EVP in post?  Many employers are now flexing their EVPs to suit the candidate’s needs.  Will the future be all about the candidate because a happy recruit equals a successful business?

Communities within Recruitment

 The increase in on-demand talent pools has lead to a ‘community’ approach in some hospitality sectors with a focus on untapped talent within under-represented groups.  More employers are partnering with charities and organisations to reintegrate vulnerable groups into the industry and this practice is set to continue and grow.

Chad Smith, Head of Recruitment at Boparan Restaurants used the word ‘rebellion’ to describe the change in recruitment thinking.   ‘It’s about being positive and forward thinking.  If you fall behind with recruitment trends it’s quite hard to catch up by sharing new ideas and best practice with industry colleagues.   Move away from thinking about the challenges and look at new ways of recruiting the people you need’.

‘Community is already happening with organisations such as HIRE bringing in house recruiters together, sharing ideas, networking, making friends within other organisations and building relationships that can help when recruitment gets tough’.


Within the hospitality community we predict the continued growth of apprenticeships that deliver real skills and experience with more and more employers reaping the benefits of in-house apprenticeship programmes.

Impact on People Focus

Technology, community and innovation will define recruitment in the 2020s.    Hospitality is a people business and, whilst the rise of technology has its place in the recruitment mix, using multiple recruitment channels will help employers target their ideal candidates.

Don’t change what isn’t broken but do seek out the leaders in recruitment technology and use their skills and tech to enhance and streamline your recruitment strategies.

Tips for Recruiting in the 2020s

  • CV scanning takes time. Consider using industry relevant CV databases that can identify candidates with the levels of skills and expertise that are relevant to your role?  For many vacancies, particularly at management levels, this is an efficient and timesaving route.
  • Use existing technology to streamline your recruitment by putting hospitality jobs on hospitality specific boards, reducing the level of unsuitable, unqualified candidates.
  • Give candidates the opportunity to apply quickly and easily on whatever platform they choose.
  • Remove barriers from the mix.  Make it as easy as possible to apply and remove unconscious bias from the process when working with vulnerable groups.

Download our podcast to learn more about the changing face of recruitment in the hospitality sector.