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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

‘Always be recruiting’: Glen Callum Associates advises on the changing candidate market

Date: Friday 28 June 2024

Glen Callum Associates has highlighted the significant changes and challenges in aftermarket hiring, with Glen Shepherd, Director of Glen Callum Associates, recently delivering an insightful talk at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation’s (IAAF) Summer Conference, providing valuable guidance on how businesses can navigate the changing landscape.

Shepherd began his address by reflecting on key milestones that have shaped the recruitment landscape over the years, including the 2008 financial crash, the COVID-19 pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

He noted that while the market may appear unchanged on the surface, the pace of technological advancements and shifting candidate behaviours are driving significant underlying changes.

The current phenomenon of the 'Big Stay' was then discussed, where fewer candidates are actively seeking new opportunities, leading to passive job seeker behaviour and diminished talent pools.

Talking to an engaged audience, Shepherd contrasted this with the emerging 'Great Reshuffle,' where the pendulum is starting to swing towards increased candidate mobility, with companies being reluctant to hire due to the diminished talent pool and ongoing skills shortage.

This shift creates a dual challenge for businesses: balancing retention with the need to recruit new talent.

Highlighting the role of new technologies, Shepherd showcased how artificial intelligence (AI) can create a polished CV in mere seconds. He emphasised the importance of embracing AI not only for candidate screening but also for writing job specifications, adverts, and other recruitment materials.

Shepherd said: “This technology is here to stay and will only get more intelligent as it is fed more information. While it accelerates processes, human contact remains crucial, making it imperative for businesses to adapt and leverage these advancements effectively, utilising the resources to hand to support their own workloads, but also paying close attention to candidate screening when considering CVs.”

Shepherd pointed out that Gen Z and Millennials, who will make up a significant portion of the workforce by 2025, demand job flexibility, work-life balance, continuous training and career progression.

Shepherd said: “These generations are tech-savvy, rely heavily on reviews and make decisions based on factual information. It’s important to engage with these groups where they are active and showcase your business effectively.”

Next, businesses were advised to develop proactive hiring strategies, moving beyond traditional methods such as LinkedIn posts, which offer limited visibility.

Shepherd recommended: “Have a dedicated 'talent spotter' within your organisation who actively engages with potential candidates and ensures a transparent recruitment process. Our ‘Meet the Employer' programme does just that as it’s almost like a form of speed dating, where initial interactions occur quickly and efficiently, typically outside of regular working hours.”

Glen Callum Associates has also advocated for a skills-based approach to hiring, which focuses on a candidate's skills rather than their industry experience.

This method can introduce fresh perspectives into the industry and help address skills shortages.

Flexible working arrangements are also more prominent and sought after, with evidence showing boosts in efficiency and productivity as a result.

To conclude, Shepherd outlined several best practices for businesses to enhance their recruitment efforts:

  • Provide immediate feedback to candidates to maintain engagement.
  • Set realistic timelines for the recruitment process.
  • Be flexible with interview schedules, recognising that candidates' time is valuable.
  • Utilise technology and video interviews to streamline processes.
  • Ensure quick decision-making and two-way feedback.
  • Offer competitive and realistic compensation to avoid losing potential hires.
  • Always be in hiring mode to continuously attract talent.

The session concluded with a lively Q&A segment, where Shepherd discussed the benefits of psychometric testing for assessing behavioural traits, the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce, and the evolving behaviours of passive job seekers.

Shepherd said: “Visibility and the right recruitment strategy could position businesses as go-to employers in the market.”

For more information on how Glen Callum Associates can help businesses navigate the recruitment landscape, please contact Glen Callum Associates at or visit the website.