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When things are going well, it is easy to forget business basics. For recruitment agencies, there are a few things that you need to remember: continuous development, active sales, and top-notch quality. The past few years have been extraordinary for some industries, including IT and business. As we all see now, the market was unstable to sustain such high volumes for long.

We all saw the recruitment market changing in 2023, and it still is.

There will be two main challenges recruitment agencies are facing this year.

Winners are those who can react to the market the best.

Some economies are growing, and others are not, and there is still a skill shortage for specific skills.

Businesses and candidates are more selective than before. Businesses are more hesitant to hire “just” a good candidate, and candidates are looking for more stability and predictability than before. The fact is that there is also some movement in the job market, increasing competition between recruitment agencies.

Recruiters must do more than just the same as before. We must qualify orders better and get into the candidates' real motivators. Our customer promise is to recruit stars for businesses that seek growth and thrive. Therefore, we must understand motives, performance, and how people perform their best. For us, it’s more like coaching, helping companies and candidates to find their best match.

The biggest challenge is doing nothing and using the same old tactics. Following others and participating in the price race is a slippery slope to recruiting oblivion. Don’t hide behind digital; meet your clients and candidates and seek true engagement. The market itself is not the danger, but what you do or don't do.

  • Ensure you have a proper method to verify top talent from the average. This might include testing, work assessments, or a deeper look into candidates' portfolio 

  • Customers want to know what drives people forward. This doesn’t just adapt to “why the person is in between jobs” but also for future leadership.

  • Step up, be brave, and always keep your promise.

The march of tech

We all know that AI is a big thing that has and will impact our market. Do we know how to use the new tech or understand the real impact they will have? So, will AI replace recruiters someday? Don’t know or care? Why?

A better question is:  Which parts of recruiters' jobs, AI or tech, can do better?

This allows recruiters to upskill and ensure their value in the future. If we look at just a short period, AI will replace much of what we recruiters do. AI won’t, however, be able to replace all that an agency recruiter does. It could, however, end many agency recruiters if they cannot excel in the parts of the process where AI(tech) cannot.

Your value as a recruiter is in your knowledge, networks, coaching, and problem-solving skills. Hence, embrace the technology so that you can automate as much as possible for you to add value where it counts.

  • There are plenty of good AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Toptal, and various ATS systems like TalentAdore and Teamtailor, but none of them replace trustworthiness in client relationships.

  • Sourcing tools are getting better. Make sure you know how to use them

  • Coaching is valuable; ensure you don’t force any candidates into the process. There might be a temptation if some roles are complex to fill, but our profession relies heavily on sound judgment. That cannot be outsourced to AI at this point.

This time, our blog post is on motivation.

During the recruitment phase, companies are often extremely interested in the motives of the person they are considering hiring. In motivation-related questions, rehearsed answers are often heard, such as when Reijo, with a poker face, says in an interview:

"I am highly motivated by people and organizations!"

After six months of getting to know him, it turns out that Reijo is actually interested in solo golf and a larger motorhome – and at work, he is mainly driven by the power that comes through status. How should motivation be understood and measured? And how can we develop our own internal drive for things we consider important?

What is said about motivation

Regarding motivation, it must be understood that the change from the current state to the desired ideal state occurs slowly. If you start doing something differently today ("motivated"), results are often expected only months later. Therefore, motivation should be viewed over the long term and preferably through actions.

Research also confirms this: in the well-supported Motivative Disposition Theory (MDT), main motives (achievements, power, relationships) are discussed, which a person systematically pursues or avoids pursuing over time. Motivation, therefore, is not only expressed as a feeling but as actions. Simplified, actions are evident in:

  • where you spend your time

  • with whom

  • for what or for whom

Individual emotional states, setbacks, or achievements are not the best indicators of motivation, and therefore, they should not be given too much weight. After running the promised cross-country trail for a long time, one should not pat oneself on the back and take a selfie for everyone, but plan the next performance. So, if cross-country trail running is genuinely important to oneself. A few years ago, Rafael Nadal interrupted a press conference after winning the Monte Carlo semifinal and wanted to practice his forehand. Believe it or not, Nadal knew how to hit a forehand before that practice. Genuine motivation thus manifests as a way of acting, where individual highlights or low points are secondary.

Misplaced goals do not motivate

Jaakko has a habit of handling work tasks in the evenings, sometimes at the expense of sleep. Jaakko's Oura ring indicates that this should not be done, and during the day, his alertness is poor. Taking action: a sleep study revealed that every evening he should go to bed at 9:30 PM. This works from Monday to Wednesday until an important email on Thursday interrupts the aspiring biohacker's moment of relaxation, and good night's sleep is just a memory. Jaakko becomes depressed and reverts to his old ways: this was not my thing.

From the outside, it is easy to see that Jaakko's motives were not very intrinsic. The goals set initially were too ambitious, and any setback could topple the house of cards, especially when the benefits were not visible in the short term.

In summary:

Motivation is not shown in what one has occasionally achieved or what one is doing right now but in the choices made over the long term. It is possible to set rules and high standards for things one is willing to do day in and day out, or at least frequently. Aim to delve into these matters with structured interviews and tests. Also, invest in the encounter: what is genuinely important to the candidate, and in which critical areas can the employee bring value to the company? Ideally, in his sales manager role, Reijo achieves the solo golf and, in the process, generates solid results even if he is not so keen on people. Give Reijo the opportunity to articulate it correctly, so surprises are avoided, and you can lead him correctly.

Motivated blogger from Sytytä

This time, Sytytä's blog is about onboarding. This is also for international professionals since we help people connect to Finnish companies.

Starting a new job is like embarking on a new adventure. There’s the thrill of new challenges, the excitement of meeting new colleagues, and the sense of opportunity. But it can also be a daunting experience, filled with uncertainty and the fear of the unknown. In this journey, effective onboarding serves as the compass, guiding new employees through the uncharted waters of a company culture.

Onboarding is not just a bureaucratic checklist or a series of HR tasks; it’s a critical process that sets the stage for an employee’s long-term success within an organization. At its core, onboarding is about nurturing a sense of belonging and aligning newcomers with the company's values, expectations, and unique atmosphere. In this blog post, we explore four key reasons why onboarding plays such an important role in fostering a cohesive company culture.

One: Cultural immersion

One of the primary goals of onboarding is to introduce new employees to the company’s culture, mission, vision, and values - the heart and soul of the organization. By emphasizing company values from day one, employees are more likely to align their behavior with the organization's overarching goals. This alignment not only ensures consistency in actions but also creates a shared sense of purpose among team members.

Two: Building relationships

Building relationships is a fundamental part of any successful workplace. Onboarding plays a significant role in helping new hires build relationships with their colleagues. These early connections foster a sense of belonging and create a support network that encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing. When employees feel connected to their coworkers, they are more likely to engage with the culture and contribute positively to the workplace environment.

Three: Understanding Norms and Expectations

Starting a new job can be overwhelming. There are new processes to learn, systems to navigate, and role expectations to meet. In addition, every workplace has its unwritten rules. Onboarding helps new employees understand these cultural nuances. Whether it’s the communication style, work hours, or the company’s approach to problem-solving, providing clarity on these matters ensures that employees can adapt and thrive in their new environment. This understanding reduces confusion and minimizes misunderstandings that can hinder cultural integration.

Four: Cultural Immersion for Employee Retention

The onboarding process is more than just a one-time event: it sets the stage for an employee’s entire journey within the company. Several research studies have shown that well-organized onboarding can significantly impact employee retention rates. When new hires feel supported, engaged, and connected to the company’s culture, they are more likely to stay with the company for the long term. This not only saves money on recruitment but also helps maintain a consistent and strong workplace culture.

In conclusion, well-thought and effective onboarding is an investment in both the company and its employees. It ensures that everyone is on the same page, working toward common goals and contributing to a positive and inclusive workplace culture. So, next time you welcome a new team member, remember their onboarding experience is a critical step toward cultural integration and the overall success of your organization. PS If you need any help building or fostering your onboarding process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We know how to make onboarding your competitive advantage.

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