Remember the days when the insurance industry offered a job for life? Security was usually the main reason why people joined in the first place. Having joined a company they were very likely to spend their whole career with that employer.

It doesn't seem that long ago, but as we all know, times have changed. Most of us now accept that job security is a thing of the past. Employers regard experience with several companies as a distinct advantage. The wider your experience the better. Career management is no longer your employer's responsibility, but rests in your own hands.

Good recruitment agencies are used to helping people in actively managing their career advancement. Increasingly, the evidence is that employees are used to the change. But, what of some employers? Have they understood the full impact of the change for them?

Good recruitment agencies will also ask candidates what they are looking for in a new role – security remains overwhelmingly the number one answer. People are far more choosy in a world where how the company is managed, its strategy and financial stability are the best indicators of likely job security.

Shrewd employers understand that they need to sell themselves to attract the quality of staff they aspire to. No longer can it be assumed that a candidate will automatically want to join, without feeling that the culture and environment is one in which they will thrive. This is even more important for employers whose brand is not immediately known to a candidate.

Employers such as BDML Connect are acutely aware of the need to make recruitment a two-way process. The first stage of all recruitment is for candidates to attend a selection evening. During this the candidate will find out a lot about BDML, the role and especially the culture of the organisation. An initial assessment of the candidate's ability is made, using aptitude tests. This helps to identify the candidate's likely training and development needs, should they be recruited.

An increasing number of employers run recruitment assessment centres. These help to improve the probability of recruiting the right person. That is not just from a technical viewpoint, but also to ensure a cultural fit. This should result in the recruitment of candidates who really want to work for the company.

Searchlight are one of the agencies who help employers set up and run assessment centres, often transferring skills to in-house managers. Centres should be individually tailored by employers to address the specific needs of each recruitment.

Typically they run for half a day or, for more senior appointments, a full day. They can include a range of aptitude and psychometric testing, team and leadership exercises, presentations, interviews and various other aspects.

Apart from these ingredients, the assessment centre provides both employer and candidate with opportunities to learn about each other socially and culturally. They become a key part of the process of selling an organisation to a potential employee.

The time cost of assessment centres is not cheap. However, the cost of the wrong recruitment is something that most managers will readily recognise. In terms of financial cost, time and lost opportunity.

Having secured the right people, employers will naturally want to retain them. The culture of the organisation is often the key factor in this. Money is not the be and end all for most staff, they want to enjoy their jobs and their working environment.

People who enjoy going to work are the most productive, provide the best service and so help to repay the cost of recruiting them many times over.