Shazam, and the future of recruitment

Ruth Penfold is Director of Talent Acquisition at Shazam

Since I joined the Recruitment industry, however many moons ago, there has been an incredible shift in the way that people hire.

We used to notice the flow of hiring cycles, changing on a bi-annual basis almost. It was either a candidates’ market or a clients’ market. The candidates would either hold all the power or the clients would – we’d either have tons of roles or tons of people, but never a balance of the two.

Now it’s neither. It’s a ‘humans’ market.

Everything about the way we view working is changing. I recently watch an awesome talk by the total badass Nadira Hira, talking about hiring millennials. And, whilst I agree with its content entirely, I don’t think the shift is just for millennials (and I say this being one) – I see the shift as taking place for everyone.

People no longer view their job as just a ‘pay packet’ or a ‘means to an end’, they are starting to ask for more. They are looking for something along the lines of the following:


  • What is the company’s purpose? How can they connect to it? Like all good blossoming relationships, share your hopes, dreams and fears for the future with them.
  • People want to work for something they can feel proud of, and feel like they are contributing something of value.
  • Keep it real. REALLY real. You need to share enough of your business so that the wrong person will be put off, but the right person will stay. Be honest. The people that stay will be looking for the same longer term commitment that you are.


  • The people are what truly matters. I’ve written about this before. 90% of the people I speak with say that the people are the thing they enjoy the MOST about their current role. Give people the chance to get to know your people.
  • People spend so much time with one another, we become family at work. We live in a lonely world now, Hira talked about this a lot in her talk. Gen X’ers typically would have three confidants, Millennials would say zero – just a series of light touch internet acquaintances.


  • People are looking for how their work fits into their own overall story. They aren’t looking for guarantees of progression, just an idea of the possibilities. Helping to map out some potential options for your prospective hire could mean the difference between hiring a great candidate and not.
  • A great idea Hira raises is to have a 100-day plan for each person, each and every 100 days. Do it as a team and assess it as a team also, assigning scores to each person, linking it all to performance review.


  • I’ve written about this also in the past. People thrive when they allow themselves to be just who they truly are. I have learnt first hand, that being able to come to work as myself is when I truly began to shine.
  • We can do that as employers, by having our leaders be as real as real can be, setting the precedent for the wider organisation.
  • Also by giving people the space to grow, to think, to develop their own ideas. Some of the best ideas that people have come up with at Shazam have been because people have been given the space to do just that.

People need more visibility, more empowerment, clear goals and objectives and a view on what their development might look like. They want to belong to an employer that has a clear purpose, and for that purpose to make sense to them, and mesh with their own wants, needs and desires.

As employers, it is up to us to rise to the challenge. It’s time for us all to evolve. There are things that all of us can and should be doing better. It’s time to rid the world of ‘them’ and ‘us’ type hierarchy’s. It’s time to see our people as what they truly are; strategic business partners – each and every one of them.

We need to support our people to evolve. We need to be strong enough to help them to grow with us, and give them every opportunity to thrive. Smart people will (and should) always be looking for an opportunity to grow.

We also need to be strong enough to let them go when they feel they have outgrown us, and when we can’t offer them something that is truly going to help them continue in their evolution.

I see a future where people truly get to achieve their full potential, both in and outside of the workplace. I see our role as employers as pivotal to that. The more we can encourage growth in our people, both spiritually and professionally, the more successful we will all be, as businesses and as humans.


Ruth Penfold is Director, Talent Acquisition at Shazam. For more information on Shazam and who they are hiring currently, head over to Ruthie can be found @ruthpenfold everywhere or blogging at