Skip to content

Business & Economy

Revolutionising recruitment: Bridging the gap between education, aspiration and employment

Recruitment is a big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that it is a £43 billion turnover industry in the UK.  With experience in recruitment spanning two decades, Kelly Whitfield has seen all sides of the desk. Now a determined entrepreneur, she is focused on changing the landscape of recruitment with her innovative new platform KliK. Here, she talks about why it’s time for change.


An accidental, unqualified profession

It’s fair to say the beginnings of my career in the recruitment industry align with it being, overall, an accidental, unqualified profession.

My recruitment career began by chance; having left the police force in my early twenties, I spent one year circumnavigating the globe.

I walked into a recruitment agency looking for a job, to buy me some time while I figured out what I was going to do next.

I ended up landing a role at that exact recruitment firm.

Through hard work, determination and a shameless competitive nature, I quickly rose through the ranks, gaining extensive experience in the industry before I was head-hunted by a leading global firm.

But one thing always played on my mind.

The recruitment profession lacked honour.

I loved my work, but I struggled to believe that what I was doing was doing good.

However, I believed wholeheartedly in one thing: that it could be improved.


What’s the problem?

The recruitment process is flawed.

Traditional recruitment is characterised by minimal consultation, transactional approaches and a focus on fees, rather than finding the right fit.

While I must stress there are many firms and recruiters out there doing a brilliant job, so many common problems are deep-rooted and are still evident now.

They include:

• Depth of consultation – The consultative approach, both with the employer and the candidate, is usually minimal. We must find out what the employer really needs, along with understanding candidates’ skills, behaviours and career aspirations in depth. Only by going beyond the job description can we accurately match a candidate not only to a role, but also to an employer.

•.Flawed guarantee periods – It’s unethical for recruitment consultants to use any means necessary to convince a candidate to remain in a role until the guarantee period expires so they can retain their fee. All this leads to is disruption, delays and further recruitment expense.

• Focus on fees – Too many recruitment firms have a tunnel vision approach, with fees being the golden light at the end of it. Instead, aligning individual aspirations with business needs means candidates, who are the right personality and culture fit, can be placed.

To get recruitment right, the pressure isn’t just on recruitment agencies.

Businesses must understand their own culture and project this through their employer branding, to attract talent that’s the right fit for them.

Then, by monitoring employee engagement, turnover levels and seeking feedback, they can ensure they do all they can to retain top talent.

Businesses also need to be mindful of shifts in candidate behaviour.

It’s evident that younger generations are purpose driven, seeking information about their respective employer’s environmental and community impact.

Many jobseekers are also prioritising flexibility and work/life balance in our post-COVID-19 society, which means being competitive as an employer is no longer just about offering the biggest salary.

Equally, I believe candidates should be encouraged to develop an understanding of the industry they want to work in, ensuring their career aspirations match their skills, behaviours and interests.

As a society, we’re not doing enough to facilitate this, which traces all the way back to educational institutions and the lack of careers advice available to those entering the labour market.


Building bridges between education, aspiration and employment: Introducing KliK

A bottoms on seats, money-centric approach to recruitment just doesn’t work.

It’s time to bring the focus back to people and connect education, careers, aspiration and employment.

These observations have fuelled my mission to change the industry for the better.

So, I’ve created KliK, a digital platform designed to inspire, empower and encourage businesses to take control and bring their recruitment in-house.

KliK acts as a bridge between education and employment, focusing on providing comprehensive, industry-specific careers advice to individuals.

The platform also enables businesses to engage directly with jobseekers, fostering a deeper understanding of culture fit and enhancing the overall recruitment experience for both candidates and employers.

After all, who in their right mind could genuinely commit to a vacancy when the identity of their potential employer is ‘our confidential client’?

Overall, the benefits are two-fold.

KliK provides support, guidance and training opportunities to jobseekers.

Simultaneously, it enables employers to attract the right talent though showcasing their mission and employer branding, thus enhancing their recruitment process.

Employers can leverage the platform to increase engagement, improve service levels and gain a better return on recruitment investment.

Jobseekers benefit from comprehensive career advice, training opportunities and a sector-specific community within which they can connect with potential employers.

My aim with KliK is reconnection; an inch-wide, mile-deep approach, where people working within sector specific industries can connect.

With a candidate-centric approach, direct employer engagement and emphasis on inspiring generations, we have the potential to positively transform recruitment and skills, especially in such a candidate-driven market.

The end goal? Putting people back in the centre.

It will mean businesses can grow stronger, and mean employees can develop personally and professionally to have sustained and quality careers.