The results are in. After several weeks and having sent our survey into the state of strategic recruitment in the UK far and wide, we have collated the (often surprising) findings.

Firstly, a whopping 98% of respondents said that effective recruitment was either very or extremely important to their business, with 94% agreeing that strategy was a key factor in achieving business goals. The fact that there is such a high appreciation for the role recruitment plays in a company’s growth is promising.

In the opening blog in this series, we outlined the disconnect between the value of recruitment and the importance it seems to be afforded. There, we explained that in our experience there are a significant number of HR and recruitment teams operating without a defined recruitment strategy. So we were somewhat taken aback when 60% of those answering the survey claimed to have a ‘defined recruitment strategy’ in place. The number is quite high, if we’re being honest it was certainly much higher than we were expecting, and it runs counter to our first-hand knowledge gained from training and consulting with companies looking to build world-class recruitment functions.

The likely explanation could well be that our understanding of what exactly a recruitment strategy is differs to those surveyed. If we were able to delve further, we suspect we’d find that a ‘defined recruitment strategy’ might resemble more of a recruitment plan, rather than the overarching document we would consider a comprehensive strategy to be.

Still, all said and done we are left with 4/10 respondents admitting that they have no strategy.

With 94% saying that strategy was a key factor, there is a shocking mismatch here, which begs the question: if we know recruitment and strategy are crucial for business growth, why haven’t more of us got something in place?

Digging a little deeper into the results, we start to see the answer. Of those who do not have a defined strategy, half have never even discussed having one, a quarter don’t know how to go about developing one, and the remaining quarter believe that they either do not need a strategy, or that it’s impossible to have one. What’s clear from these competing reasons is that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and lack of clarity around what is meant by a ‘defined recruitment strategy’.

The confusion, both on the part of those claiming to have a recruitment strategy and not, paints a muddled picture of the positioning of recruitment and talent acquisition in the UK today. It’s exactly this confusion we’re hoping to dispel with our upcoming series of Strategic Recruitment Forum events, revolving around a number of round table discussions on the subject with some of the top HR practitioners in the country.

We’ll be sharing the full results of the survey, along with the key discussion points from the Strategic Recruitment Forum, in due course. If you’d like to receive these results, join the discussion, or are interested in taking part in future Forums, join our Strategic Recruitment Forum group on LinkedIn and get in touch.

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