The future of HR recruitment: Nick Croucher on oven-ready HR’s podcast

Author Nick Croucher
April 8, 2022

With companies changing their internal structures, dealing with talent shortages, and adjusting to a new way of working, HR has grown significantly in importance and influence in every successful business. In a recent podcast, Nick Croucher (Lead Partner, Frazer Jones UK), spoke to Chris Taylor (Host, Oven-Ready HR) about the future of HR Recruitment.

Here, we highlight Nick’s key points on market insights, in-demand roles in the HR industry, hybrid working and much more.

Global mobility is a huge barrier to hiring

Mobility is a real challenge when it comes to hiring, and for the last twelve months, HR talent has been ‘reliant on domestic talent pools, with people uncomfortable with the idea of moving overseas during a time of uncertainty’. He hopes for this to change once borders reopen and the current situation settles, which will help ease the talent shortage.

HR is no longer a bystander 

The global pandemic has forced change and transformation worldwide. HR has benefited from this and remains in a strong position, no longer a bystander on key organisational issues. The global pandemic has also ‘shown the need for organisations to invest and strengthen their HR teams’, says Nick.

Over the last five years, many organisations have been looking into ways of dealing with data growth. Indeed, new data calls for new tools – which is why Human Resource Management System tools are needed. Nick stresses the increased use within organisations of these tools, which is another skill set.

Social movements contributed to HR’s increased importance

One of the biggest challenges that businesses face involves social and societal topics. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is now at the forefront, pushed further through the Black Lives Matter movement, meaning that ‘a lot of organisations happen to look at DEI more broadly’. 

Nick believes that for many, ‘Covid has really forced HR to be in the demand workforce planning space, particularly tackling things like furlough, looking at mobilising or moving a workforce to remote and making it more closely aligned with technology.’ In addition, he notices that employee wellbeing is at the heart of every CEO’s agenda, and ‘the HR leader has definitely become more prominent’.

Hybrid working is a deal-breaker for many candidates

In a world of restrictions, people have had to tackle different cycles and changes to their routines. Nick says hybrid work has become an ‘expectation’ and in many cases a deal-breaker for employees. With companies leaning towards flexibility, Nick makes a distinction between two groups of individuals. On the one hand, those who prefer in-person collaboration to spike innovation, and on the other hand, technophiles who prefer a fully remote system.

Having worldwide offices, Nick expresses his teams’ advantages at anticipating and adapting to remote work. Once hybrid work was set in motion Nick says ‘we very much went down the employee-led policy. We saw a huge increase in productivity.’ The goal here is to find out what works for your company and cater to it accordingly.

Great candidates know what they want

Great candidates are ‘individuals who have a direction of travel’ and people who can translate and use data. In addition, ‘people who have had or desire international careers’ and ‘someone who is able to apply and adapt outside or across multiple sectors.’ A great candidate broadens their tool kit and is someone who has ‘added different experiences onto their journey’.

Recruiters have to know their market 

According to Nick, a good recruiter is someone who can look more holistically and not be too generic; ‘knowledge of the whole engine room of HR is critical in our market now.’ ‘There isn’t a typical ladder in to go up in your career’, says Nick and a good recruiter will advise a candidate on the best moves to progress their career. He compares this to a game of snakes and ladders, with cross-sector or lateral moves, broadening out their skillsets.

HR is a route to the role of CEO

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) role has vastly broadened and ‘more HR people have moved into COO roles in the last two-three years’. Moreover, says Nick, ‘I think that pathway to CEO for some organisations has involved having a stint in an HR leadership role, which is exciting.’

A CIPD qualification is not always necessary

Over the last few years continuing Professional Development is ‘definitely becoming more relevant. I think they’ve done some good work [updating their courses]’. But, says Nick, ‘I don’t think it’s necessarily a deal-breaker for someone to have a CIPD.’

In the past, it was a qualification sought for and funded by someone’s employer, but this is rarely practised now. Nick sees the value in having a CIPD as dependent on the role itself but says that in many cases experience in the role is more valuable. If an organisation deems it necessary, they should investigate supporting their employee to fund the high costs.

About Nick Croucher

Nick is part of the global Frazer Jones leadership team with overall responsibility for leading the UK&I business, operationally heading up London, Bristol, Birmingham and Dublin as well as continuing to expand our regional footprint. Whilst doing this, he continues to support clients with senior HR appointments. Nick is an active member of The SR Group’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and strives to create a truly inclusive environment, whilst advising clients on inclusive recruitment.​

Frazer Jones recognises the need for authenticity and equal opportunities in recruitment. Diversity Equity and Inclusion is at the heart of our practices. To gain further insight, discover what we learned speaking to Ellie Simmonds on Disability Inclusion, featuring Nick Croucher and Clare Thornton (Partner, Frazer Jones UK). 

About Oven-Ready HR

Oven-Ready HR tells compelling stories from the world of work through a broad HR lens. We convene lively, captivating and thought-provoking conversations with expert analysis and insights. 

We’re here to educate, inform, entertain and make what can be a very dry and dusty subject, just that little bit more interesting and relevant for your workplace.

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