Recruitment methods and criteria are changing: here’s what awaits you

The struggle is tough for recruiters. Labor shortages are affecting many sectors, candidates are becoming rare and demanding. And you have to move fast to nab those who show up. When you shouldn’t go hunting (poach). The context has changed. The methods too. What is expected of a candidate? How do we find it?

The finding

The market is very unresponsive. It’s impressive. We receive very few responses”, notes Gilles Klass, HR expert. The candidates who show up show themselves demanding without necessarily knowing if the market is favorable to them. They are coming back directly in a balance of power, ask questions, be choosy. “The question of salary, for example, is put on the carpet from the first interview, which until now was practiced rather when a person was debauched.”

“The recruitment process must be completed in a few days, whereas before it was spread over several weeks.”

David Ducheyne

President of

It doesn’t stop there. The stages of the recruitment process must be short, effective, and follow each other at a steady pace, otherwise the candidate will pass you by. “It is essential to federate and bring together all the people involved in recruitment and to adapt to the schedules and availability of candidates”, explains Joël Poilvache, Regional Managing Director of Robert Half. “The process should be completed within a few dayswhereas before, it was spread over several weeks”, confirms David Ducheyne, president of, the association of HR professionals in Belgium.

CV, LinkedIn, social networks

Traditional job offers are no longer a very significant recruitment vector. As for the good old resumeif there remains the key to landing a first interviewit is above all “a sales document“, summarizes David Ducheyne. “The CV has indeed become less artisanal. It is therefore less revealing than before. Whoever finds a good model on the internet or who calls on a professional will produce an effective document, but very formatted and without soul”, engages Gilles Klass.

Added value has gained in importance. “Rather than opting for a chronological presentation, the candidate must highlight his achievements“, adds Joël Poilvache, who for his part considers the CV as “an addition to the LinkedIn page, which has become the number one showcase”.

“In the CV, instead of opting for a chronological presentation, the candidate must highlight his achievements.”

Joel Poilvache

Regional Managing Director of Robert Half

Today, social networks are both the main way to be spotted and a great passive candidate search tool. LinkedIn is increasingly used as CV database. “A complete, professional, neat LinkedIn page, regularly updated and containing the right keywords, is the assurance of being identified and it increases the chances of being contacted”, he summarizes.

For anyone looking for a candidate in a profession in short supply, such as an accountant for example, “LinkedIn is a revolutionary tool, because it allows infinitely target and refine searches, including by sector or even by company. We thus have a direct access to the people you just need to contact to find out if they are interested”, enthuses Gilles Klass.

Word of mouth, employer branding, social recruiting and, above all, involve in the recruitment the collaborators who are the best ambassadors of the house: here are today the techniques that have proven themselves to glean candidates (passives).

Artificial intelligence

Some use artificial intelligence which allows manage many candidates at the same time, without human intervention at first. Recruitment by recorded video thus has a lot of followers, especially since the covid.

“This process is fast and efficient, but very dangerous in terms of the person’s feelings”, warns Gilles Klass. “It’s an algorithm that does the pre-selection. But it’s a common source of error. You risk rejecting a valid candidate and retaining an unsuitable candidate”, explains David Ducheyne. “So I always advise to take a look at the candidates who are in the rejected group. There is often an atypical candidate who would be a perfect fit,” he continues. It remains essential to invest in contact, human selection. The only thing that must go quickly is decision-making.

The “live” job interview therefore remains a necessary and essential step. Corn its content and atmosphere have radically changedprecisely because it is above all a personality that the recruiter is looking for. To give the lie to the adage that, often, “we recruit for experience… but we fire for personality”. Recruiting is expensive. And be wrong about the person too…

Focus on soft skills

From now on, we are no longer looking for the sheep with 5 or 25 legs or ideal profiles. Interviews focus more on behavior, not just on experience and skills. Above all, we want know who the person is and what they are likely to bring to the company. What is his attitude, his willingness to learn. If it will “match” with a function and adapt to the corporate culture.

“The scarcity makes us redouble our inventiveness to adapt the recruitment process to something that will please the candidate. take the time to explain the function, leave room for discussion and exchange. The tone is no longer condescending or judgmental, but rather friendliness“, analyzes Gilles Klass.

In this context, “personality questionnaires are widely used“, as opposed to traditional tests, which above all deliver a binary result: good or not good.

If we always recruit on the basis of “hard skills” which constitute the heart of the business, these are soft skillsunderstand the skills that attest to the individual’s potential (adaptability, initiative, leadership, autonomy, creativity, etc.), which allow you to stand out.

“We focus on the potential of the candidate’s skills and we think about how we will be able to bring it to life and exploit it.”

David Ducheyne

President of

“If a 10/10 is not possible, a 7/10 with a lot of potential is just as good”, summarizes Joël Poilvache. “We focus on the potential of skills of the candidate and we are thinking about how we will be able to hatch and exploit it“, confirms David Ducheyne, who even suggestsengage “proactively, without waiting for a position to open up, because sooner or later someone will be missing. Ideally, it would be to create a function or a position, depending on the person”.

“Recruiting is no longer about being able to perform a function or job 100% on day 1.”

Arnaud Le Grelle

Public Affairs – Regional Director FEDERGON

Recruitment is no longer focused on the ability to perform a function or job 100% from day 1“, summarizes Arnaud Le Grelle, Public Affairs – Regional Director of Federgon. This obviously also involvesinvest more in training, support and integration of the recruit. “In this regard, a onboarding process rich and personalized is essential”, insists David Ducheyne. “It will convince the new recruit that he has made the right choice… and not to lose him afterwards.”


And then, if the phenomenon is not new, it is accentuated: for lack of game, it pays to go to the hunt for promising future graduates and interns. Without forgetting to test the waters with “the active people who are not yet necessarily looking for a new challengeto understand what can potentially interest them and find the arguments to make them move”, adds Joël Poilvache.

Recruiters will have the main mission of inspiring, directing and guiding these people towards their future career, analyze the specialists. “Big companies continue to hunt young people to whom they offer a path of integration into their structure, and abroad, in particular,” says Arnaud Le Grelle.

Executives and high level profiles

It is now easier to get in direct contact with candidates, especially via social networks. “Companies that recruit executives often opt for a direct search. It is about identifying the best candidates who have relevant experience in the sector. Interviews are more specific, as they take place, in particular, with the Board of Directors. The market being tense, it is essential to carry out the process as efficiently as possible, to avoid losing the candidates”, explains Joël Poilvache.

The selection process for high level profiles requiring time, discretion and extreme rigor, despite everything, it remains largely the prerogative of executive search specialists and headhunters. “But today, they will only be able to present 2 or 3 candidates and no longer 5 or ten, as in the past”, underlines David Ducheyne. “Despite the shortages, people change jobs very little.” To the point that recruitment specialists specialize in certain profiles. “Employers no longer want to work with a single firm, but with the one that will be best able to find a particular profile. There are ‘market places’ for recruiters who select the most appropriate firm to find the ideal candidate”, he explains.

2 or 3


Today, executive search specialists and headhunters can no longer present more than 2 or 3 candidates and not 5 or 10 as in the past.

“Like job interviews, applications for senior executives are largely conducted virtually, although companies generally want to arrange a face-to-face meeting before hiring. This hybrid form provides access to a greater source candidates”, explains Joël Poilvache.

In terms of required skills“strategic thinking, which used to be essential, is now closely linked to digital view. The crisis management and change managementalso have musts,” he continues.

The “high level” or “high potential” profiles are also a step in interim or secondment offices. “Some are in fact less in search of a permanent job than of a rapid gain of work experience in multiple work environments for 2 or 3 years. Above all, they want to enhance their skills to be in a position to choose,” observes Arnaud Le Grelle.

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Recruitment methods and criteria are changing: here’s what awaits you

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