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The combination of the large-scale downsizing of recruitment teams last year and the huge hiring surge this year has led to a significant increase in the number of companies using project RPO.

For a report commissioned by talent outsourcing and advisory firm AMS, Aptitude Research surveyed 342 TA and HR leaders at director level and above to understand the key drivers of project RPO.

Some 42% of survey respondents said needing help to face a hiring surge was the biggest reason for using project RPO. A similar percentage (40%) reported that their recruiting teams had been downsized in 2020.

“The challenge for many employers globally is that hiring hasn’t just increased slightly, many TA teams are dealing with significant spikes in hiring, while doing so with fewer internal resources in a highly competitive talent environment,” said Maxine Pillinger, Regional Managing Director for EMEA at AMS.

“We’ve been working with our RPO clients globally on a project basis for years, but now we’re seeing an increased level of demand for a partner to help them meet their short-term demands while they still support the ‘business as usual.”

Multiple secondary drivers

The second largest driver of firms’ decisions to opt for project RPO was reducing the time taken to fill vacancies, with 75% responding that with project RPO they were able to reduce their time to fill to less than 30 days.

Expanding into new markets (31%), supporting high growth (27%) and having fewer recruiters and resources (23%) were the other main drivers.

The report outlined that while traditional RPO partnerships often lasted more than two years, project RPO engagements are most commonly for less than six months, and for more than 70% of firms they are for less than six weeks.

But as is outlined in a new TALiNT Partners white paper, this lower level of commitment, combined with the current high demand, has led many RPO providers to become increasingly choosy about which projects they take on.

The report, entitled: The art of saying ‘no’ and the rise of ESG’, presents insights from an event co-hosted by TALiNT Partners and Cornerstone-On-Demand, with views from leaders at Gattaca, IBM, Lorien, Reed Talent Solutions, PeopleScout, KellyOCG, Hudson RPO, Green Park Interim & Executive Ltd, Aston Holmes, Armstrong Craven, Manpower Group Talent Solutions, LevelUp HCS, Datum RPO, Group GTI, RGF Staffing, Page Group, Resource Solutions and Comensura.

Providers get picky

A number of guests at the event said the high level of demand in today’s marketplace meant they were having to push back on some clients, either turning down work or tempering expectations about when projects could start.

Joanna Fagbadegun, Sales Director at Lorien, said: “The market is exceptionally busy, especially on the tech and professional side. We’re starting to notice more urgent requests from customers looking for recruitment team augmentation or a head to manage workload. Sometimes the ask is just for a price rather than a detailed proposal, which can indicate they may not have a clear idea of exactly what they need, just that they know they need help”.

Several providers said the sector’s own talent shortages have become a barrier to taking on all the work currently on offer. “The market challenge is always quality of workers in recruitment to support growth and enable the flexibility for new offerings. We haven’t learned from past downturns and upturns in demand,” said Adam Shay, Global Marketing Director of Resource Solutions. Nick Greenston, CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions agreed, adding that the industry has focused on growing outsourced juniors instead of attracting and retaining more experienced talent.

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D&I network INvolve last week launched its inaugural Top 10 Black Role Models in the UK list, in partnership with Google.

The list aims to shine a spotlight on business leaders who have made a significant contribution to breaking down barriers within the workplace for black and ethnic minority individuals.

Included in the top 10 were executives whose brief covers diversity and inclusion, with Edleen John, International, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director at the Football Association among those featured.

Janet Onyia, Project and Programme Manager at Accenture and the Scotland Lead of the Accenture African Caribbean Network (AACN), was also included.

The rest of those featured came from a range of industries and included Toib Olomowewe, Organisational Development and Learning Manager at Royal Dutch Shell and Leila Thomas, CEO and Founder of Urban Synergy, who has been seconded from the talent team at London Stock Exchange Group.

Making up the remainder of the list were Belton Flournoy, Director of Digital Identity and Security at Protiviti UK, Celia Fraser, Insights and Analytics Lead at Capital Group, Christina Liciaga, Head of Customer and Products for Europe and CIIOM at HSBC, Dominic Carter, Group Chief Commercial Officer at News UK, Roni Savage, Founder and Managing Director of Jomas Associates, and Sengova Kailondo, Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Alex Okosi, Managing Director of Emerging Markets at Google subsidiary YouTube EMEA, said: “As a company that aims to celebrate the diversity of our employees, customers and users we are delighted to present the first ever EMpower Top 10 UK Black Role Models List and shine a spotlight on some of the amazing black role models who are making an impact across UK business.

“These talented individuals are not just excelling in their own areas of expertise, but are inspiring us all by paving the way forward and leading by example when it comes to creating more inclusive workplaces.”

Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder and CEO of Audeliss and INvolve, added: “I’m delighted that EMpower are partnering with Google for the first time this year to share the Top 10 UK Black Role Models who are actively creating a workplace where black and other ethnic minority individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive.

“We must do more when it comes to driving black inclusion in business. Organisations must step up and hold themselves accountable when it comes to turning well-intentioned aspirations into clear, concrete actions for change.”

Each of the individuals included also appeared on the wider EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model List, which was launched by INvolve in May.

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By Dawn Gibson

Major recruiters continue to report big profit slumps as permanent placement activity remains low across world markets.

The latest profit results for Hays, Kelly and RTC show that tough operating conditions relentlessly pounded profits through to the tail end of 2020, although there are signs trading activity is bouncing back in early 2021.

Hays

The Hays Group reported a 75% dive in operating profit to £25.1 million (2019: £100.1 million) on the back of a 24% decline in net fees in its half year report for the six months ended December 31.

In the UK and Ireland, the group recorded a £1 million operating loss, with temp fees down 21%, improving through the half, and perm declining by 35%.

In Australia and New Zealand, operating profit was down 42% on the back of a 34% drop in perm fees and a 18% drop in temp fees, while in Germany profit was down 76%, with perm down 34% and temp down 45%.

Trading in all major markets improved through the half, however, showing promise of a better 2021.

“With recovery in fees and our profits accelerating in Q2, this provides us with confidence to resume paying core dividends at our full-year results in August,” said Hays Chief Executive Alistair Cox. “We have also identified £150 million of surplus capital, which we also intend to return to shareholders in phases via special dividends, again commencing at our results in August.”

Kelly

Kelly Services reported an operating loss for the full year of 2020 of $93.6 million, compared to earnings of $81.8 million reported for 2019. On an adjusted basis, earnings from operations were $44.3 million compared to $90.8 million in 2019.

The group reported Q4 operating earnings of $9.5 million, or earnings of $13.9 million as adjusted, compared to earnings of $28.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 2019 as adjusted. Q4 revenue was down 7.2% year-over-year as the continuing effects of the pandemic impacted customer demand.

President and CEO Peter Quigley pointed to sequential quarter-over-quarter revenue improvement in Q4 as a sign of gradually improving economic conditions. “We’re optimistic that we’ll benefit from a recovery that gains momentum throughout 2021, with pipelines for both organic and inorganic growth strengthening,” he said.

RTC

For the year ended December 2020, RTC reported a 14% drop in group revenue to £81.4 million, down from £94.9 million for 2019, and a 45% slump in profits from operations to £1.1 million, down from £2 million in 2019.

However, net cash inflow from operating activities rose 76% to £5.1 million and net cash increased to £1.9 million, up from net debt of £2.8 million in 2019. No final dividend is proposed.

Commenting on the results, CEO Andy Pendlebury pointed to the impact of the pandemic as the story behind the numbers. “Given the seismic impact of the closure of large parts of our economy, I believe our results are extremely respectable and our cash position significantly enhanced,” he added.

Staffing 360 Solutions

Staffing 360 had some positive news with its preliminary fourth quarter results for the year ended December 2020. The company predicted unaudited Q4 revenue of $53.8 million, an increase of 11%, over Q3, citing rises in gross profit and demand.

The company has raised approximately $19.7 million (approx. $18 million net) in a public offering of 21,855,280 shares of its common stock at $0.90 per share. Since June 2020, Staffing 360 has reduced $55 million of debt to $26.8 million, a reduction of $28.3 million, or 55%.

“Completing this raise of $19.7 million gross proceeds is the latest step forward toward improving our balance sheet, setting the stage for further growth and progress in 2021,” said CEO and President Brendan Flood.

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Ryan Bridgman, regional director, UK and Ireland at Jobrapido

Some of you may be familiar with a quote from the writer Dr Samuel Johnson ‘Change is not made without inconveniences, even from worse to better’. Certainly, throughout history, with the dawn of each Industrial Revolution, many workers and bosses alike will have nodded their head in agreement. After all change can be unsettling and there can be a resistance to any development which poses a threat to one’s job and livelihood. Yet, if you look back at all the Industrial Revolutions, it has always paved the way for more net jobs and more efficient working processes.

We’re now fully embedded in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which is largely about the rise of smart technology and automation and connectivity – it’s a period where in some quarters there has been apocalyptic talk about the robots coming to get our jobs,  even though conversely such developments are creating an abundant stream of jobs and  ticketed with high salaries.

As technology developments gather pace, the workplace landscape looks set for further change.

Recently there’s been talk that we are actually leaving the Fourth and making way for the Fifth Industrial Revolution – which has been described as the rise of artificial intelligence.

The Fifth will be about the integration and the partnership (as this is how I think we should approach it) of AI and human intelligence. It’s about understanding and not fearing the unique attributes AI has such as non-bias, accuracy and data so that recruiters and employers can make even better and informed decisions for their organisations.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution will actually place MORE weight on the importance of human intelligence than ever before and how these unique human traits, when harnessed in tandem with the accuracy of AI lead to greater outcomes.

We are already seeing the advantages of this partnership – AI allows recruiters the ability to capture far better profile matches when they are seeking the right candidate. The war on talent isn’t going away and AI supports the challenges the industry has been facing for a while. Plus, it means recruiters will have more time freed up from the manual aspects of their job.

One of the core advantages is that AI provides and acts upon rich data insights. This can only be a huge benefit for recruiters in terms of getting across the right messages which will resonate with candidates and create better engagement between them, in an age where the industry needs to provide a compelling candidate experience and, as far as possible, a personalised ‘journey’ for their job search and ongoing career. That is a big focus for us, at Jobrapido, where we put the jobseeker at the centre of what we do.

To give you an idea of how this is working in practice, we recently partnered with a national recruiter of healthcare workers – where there are significant skills shortages in the UK.  By using Smart Intuition Technology to identify skilled Healthcare Workers within both its internal communities and the wider internet as a whole with the result being that a much higher range of qualified healthcare workers have been made aware of the recruiters’ opportunities and have consequently applied for the roles. This has enabled the recruiter to significantly increase its volume of hires and gain a competitive edge.

With all the talk about AI, it might seem slightly ironic to stress the increasing importance of human intelligence in the industry. Recruiter and human resources teams have a fundamentally important role to fulfil and a pivotal role in how organisations can perform: released from the bulk of daily administration, they will finally be able to fine-tune and meet the talent requirements to ensure their organisations can meet the own goals in terms of growth and productivity.

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Danny Brooks, CEO of VHR

With just six months to go until the UK leaves the European Union, and no deal yet in place, 61% of employers are worried about leaving the EU. How will Brexit affect UK recruitment?

How will Brexit affect hiring candidates?

Although 25% of UK businesses currently employ staff from the EU, an August 2018 survey reveals that over 50% UK business leaders would be put off employing someone from the EU after Brexit changes the UK’s immigration laws.

Recruiting EU nationals currently working in the UK – In July the Home Office published the new mandatory registration scheme for EU nationals. After Brexit occurs on 29th March 2019, all 3.8 million EU nationals living in the UK and EU nationals wanting to enter the UK will need to register for ‘settled status’ to continue to work and live in the UK. Settled status, with its supporting technology still in the testing phase, aims to protect the rights and jobs of EU nationals currently working in the UK, but what about recruiting EU nationals after Brexit?

Recruiting EU nationals after Brexit – From 1st July 2021, EU citizens and any family members living with them must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to legally work in the UK. This new status could present a challenge for hiring managers and recruiters, who may have to adapt candidate selection processes to comply with new editions of immigration law in the next three years. The new status will require UK businesses to adopt a longer-term talent attraction strategy that either focuses on existing UK-based talent pools or accommodates the required time and resources to bring EU nationals to work in the UK for the first time.

Increased skills shortages – The effects of Brexit could be further exacerbated by existing UK skills shortages across industries. In Q4 2017, 22% of UK engineering business leaders and 42% of UK aviation industry leaders identified a labour shortage as the most urgent challenge they will face in the next five years. Global demand for aviation skills alone is set to overtake supply by 2027, and with skilled candidates already under-represented amongst a rapidly reducing workforce, skills shortages will become an increasingly dominant UK business issue.

Increased need for marketing and talent attraction – In May 2018, LinkedIn reported that 96% of hiring strategies had already been impacted by Brexit. The same study found that 44% of recruiters believe that working in the UK is becoming a less attractive prospect to EU citizens, with 39% seeing international candidates who are reluctant to move to London.

How can we mitigate against the effects of Brexit on recruitment?

Retain existing workforces – To protect against the possibility of losing employees who are EU citizens, business leaders can ensure employees are aware of their eligibility to apply for British citizenship or settled status before Britain leaves the EU and communicate the specific details and urgency of registering for settled status.

Build UK-based skills from wider talent pools – As 67% of UK graduates say that they now work in a role completely unrelated to their degree and 1 in 3 graduates are unhappy in their current job, fewer young people than ever are getting into apprenticeships and joining industries such as manufacturing, engineering, aerospace and automotive. VHR’s divisional director and aviation recruitment specialist, Ryan Abbot, advises on the UK skills shortage, “In a globally connected world where students are bombarded with choices, we need to shout louder to reach potential talent who are unaware of what our industries can offer. Business leaders and recruiters can partner with colleges and schools to directly engage with students and show them the variety of successful careers open to them across UK industries.”

Outsource from non-EU countries – The world is rich with talent just waiting to be found. Depending on local labour laws and specific remits, business leaders could turn their recruitment strategies towards candidates based outside the EU and secure the expat workers needed for business growth and success. VHR ethically recruits skilled and experienced candidates across 45 countries and four continents – find out more.

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Phaidon International has been acquired by Quilvest Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Quilvest group. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Phaidon International operates globally across offices in 10 locations including London, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in London, Phaidon has grown organically since its inception to over 500 employees and through its portfolio brands, DSJ Global, EPM Scientific, Glocomms, LVI Associates and Selby Jennings, identifies talent to place in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

Quilvest’s investment will continue the development of Phaidon International. Under its new ownership, Phaidon will remain focused on expanding its five brands into existing office locations, while maintaining its high standards of delivering hard-to-find talent and building long-term partnerships.

Harry Youtan, CEO of Phaidon International, said, “I’m very excited to be partnering with Quilvest for the next chapter of the Phaidon business. Quilvest stood out because of its international relationships and reach, as well as the quality of its team. I have no doubt that they will help us to fulfil our vision of becoming the go-to partner of choice for STEM partners worldwide. I would also like to pay tribute to our founder, Adam Buck, who will be stepping back from Phaidon following the transaction. Adam has been instrumental in building Phaidon into the successful business it is today.”

Jay Takefman, partner at Quilvest Private Equity, commented, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Phaidon International. We see Phaidon as a unique player in a highly attractive, fast-growing sector. We are excited to partner with CEO Harry Youtan and his impressive management team to continue building on the progress that they have made to date. Over the coming years, we intend to further support the company’s growth, both in existing and new markets internationally and across its portfolio of renowned brands whilst staying true to its values-based, meritocratic culture.”

Adam Buck, founder of Phaidon International, added, “I am proud of what we have achieved with Phaidon over the last 14 years. I wish Harry and team all the very best in the future, and look forward to hearing about their successes moving forward with Quilvest Private Equity as their partner.”

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Lucy Tarrant, managing director & solicitor of Cognitive Law

Pretty much every recruitment company I act for encourages its consultants to use social media to promote their business. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; consultants seek out and make new contacts and connections as a fundamental part of their business activity on a daily basis. LinkedIn has even developed its Recruiter tool to capitalise on the way consultants now do business.

But what about if your consultant leaves? What happens post employment to all those LinkedIn contacts? Who owns what and what you can do to protect what you own?

When an employee leaves your company, LinkedIn could be a huge potential threat to you as your ex-employee can notify all their contacts at the same time of their new position, just by updating their profile. It would simply appear on their contacts’ LinkedIn news feed. There is no better or more immediate way for an ex-employee to simultaneously notify all their contacts of their new role, which could well be in direct competition with you.

Before the world of social media and networking sites such as LinkedIn existed, the position regarding ownership of a company’s contacts and databases was fairly straightforward. On the whole materials created during the course of employment were of a confidential nature and deemed to be the employer’s proprietary information. However, when it comes to contacts made via social media the position has not been so clear cut.

As with other social medial services, when an individual opens a LinkedIn account it requires them to enter into a contract with LinkedIn agreeing not to transfer ownership to any other person and to keep the password confidential. Your employee will therefore own the LinkedIn account and is not permitted to give ownership to you as their employer. The question is not therefore who owns the account, that’s clear – it’s your employee, but who owns the contacts. Are the contacts obtained during employment classed as confidential information owned by the employer? Or are they owned by the employee because it’s their account?

The first case in the UK to bring to the fore the risk of appropriation of company confidential information via online networking sites was Hays Specialist Recruitment (Holdings) Ltd and Ions [2008].

Ions was employed by Hays from 2001 to 2007, when he left to set up his own rival agency. He was suspected of using confidential information concerning clients and contacts copied during his employment from the social networking site, LinkedIn and breaching restrictive covenants in his contact of employment. Hays inspected Ions’ email account once he had left and found evidence that he had invited two of Hays’ clients to join his LinkedIn network and they had well-founded suspicions that there were more.

Hays sought an order from the High Court for pre-action disclosure of Ions’ entire database of, and communications with, business contacts made whilst employed by Hays. They claimed that this information was confidential. In response, and in relation to contacts he had made on LinkedIn, Ions argued that once the contact had accepted his invitation on LinkedIn it ceased to be confidential. The Court rejected this argument and ordered Ions to disclose all his LinkedIn business contacts as requested by Hays, plus all emails sent or received through his LinkedIn account from Hay’s computer network. The view taken by the Court was that even if the contacts were uploaded with the consent of Hays, such authorisation was likely to be limited for the purposes of employment.

In this case the law made a clear distinction between ownership of an account such as LinkedIn and ownership of the information within the account, the latter of which was retained by Hays.

Another similar and more recent case, albeit outside of recruitment, is Whitmar Publications Ltd v Gamage, Wright, Crawley and Earth Island Publishing Ltd [2013]. This looks not just at contacts made on LinkedIn but at Groups too.

The Defendants Gamage, Wright and Crawley left Whitmar Publications to pursue their own business – Earth Island Publishing Limited. In its case against them, Whitmar alleged that the individual Defendants had taken steps to compete against the company while still employed by it. Whitmar alleged that they had misused Whitmar’s confidential information, its database rights and breached their terms of employment. Within that confidential information fell LinkedIn Groups which had been managed by one or more of the individual Defendants.

In relation to the LinkedIn Groups, Whitmar claimed that whilst they had been managed by Wright on behalf of Whitmar during her employment, the Defendants had used the Groups for the benefit of their competing business (Earth Island) while still employed by Whitmar. Whitmar sought an order from the High Court for an interim injunction to prevent the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in these LinkedIn Groups.

The Court agreed that Whitmar had a strong case that the individual Defendants had been actively competing against Whitmar while still employed by it, in breach of the terms of their employment.  Further, the Court rejected Wright’s claim that the LinkedIn Groups were personal to her and merely a hobby. Wright was responsible for dealing with the LinkedIn Groups as part of her employment duties at Whitmar. The groups were operated for Whitmar’s benefit and promoted its business, as evidenced by the fact that Wright had used Whitmar’s computers to carry out her work on the LinkedIn Groups. The Court also agreed that information contained within the LinkedIn Groups appeared to have been used as the source of the email addresses used to publicize an Earth Island launch event.

Ultimately, the court granted an order requiring the Defendants to facilitate the exclusive access, management and control of the LinkedIn Groups to Whitmar. It ordered the Defendants not to access or do anything that would prevent Whitmar from accessing the Groups. The order prevented the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in the Groups. So we can see that the contents of Groups created by employees on LinkedIn during employment also amount to confidential information belonging to the employer.

The cases above demonstrate that as different online networks become more and more important to certain businesses, employers should make it clear to employees which LinkedIn and other social network resources, blogs and online forums are operated by the employees solely in the course of their employment; and to what extent the information in such accounts belongs to the employer, in contrast to what remains personally owned by the employee.

So what can you do to prevent your recruitment company from suffering like Hays or Whitmar? We have established that the law states that private contact information gained during the course of employment can constitute confidential information belonging to the employer, as opposed to general contact details available from the public domain cannot.

The best form of protection for an employer is to have clear provisions in its employment contracts and a Social Media Policy. Recruitment companies need to make it clear how their consultants should use such online tools in the course of their employment and implement clear policies that set out precisely what data they retain as their own property and confidential information.

Other provisions in the consultants’ employment contracts and the company’s Social Media Policy should include that all new LinkedIn contacts’ details will be uploaded to the company’s client database, that contacts made during the course of employment constitute Confidential Information belonging to the company, that the consultant must delete all LinkedIn contacts made as a result of their duties when they leave the company and that LinkedIn contacts cannot be used for the purpose of competing with the company. Those provisions can be reinforced in Job Descriptions that also state that an employee is to establish LinkedIn connections for the employer’s benefit.

Obviously none of this is fool proof and the cynics amongst you will recognise that even if all the provisions in the world are artfully crafted into employment contracts and handbooks there will always be a consultant who will flout them and run off with that data. That can’t be stopped. Unfortunately that will always be within human nature. What you can do though is make it a lot harder for the errant consultant to do that and a lot easier for you to stop them.

Cognitive Law’s solicitors fully utilise their wealth of experience gained working within the recruitment industry, and are well placed to assist if you think your Social Media Policy or Confidential Information provisions in your employment contracts require shoring up.

Cognitive Law T 0333 400 4499  lucy.tarrant@cognitivelaw.co.uk

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By James Caan

Taking a job spec is a fundamental part of the recruitment process and in my view most placements that fall at the last hurdle do so because of the information, or lack of, that you received at this stage.

In this piece I’ll explain what techniques to use to identify a job opportunity and also how to qualify the brief too. If you ask the right questions, in a friendly and efficient manner, you will set yourself up for success.

One technique I’ve often found useful over the years is to compose a list of excellent candidates for your field of expertise and use them as a hook to open a conversation with a potential new client. For example, when a new client answers the phone, open with a friendly line and introduce yourself. Explain why you’re calling and outline the skillset of your ‘top grade’ candidates and explain that they are looking for opportunities with a business such as theirs. Then ask if they have any vacancies at present for candidates at that level. If they do not you can still make good use of the conversation by asking what levels they are looking for at the moment.

To be a successful recruiter, you must use each conversation as a means of expanding your network, and even if the client is too busy for you to take a proper brief then, ensure you arrange a time to call them back and spend at least 20 minutes so that you can understand as much as possible about the opportunity.

A client who will not take the time to discuss the brief properly with you might also not be worth the time you’ll invest in searching for the right candidate for them because you won’t have enough information to fulfill the brief and meet their expectations for the role. Transparency is key during this stage in the process.

Once they’ve agreed to give you the briefing slot you need to take all the details, you can then take the brief in detail.

Key things you’ll need to learn from this conversation include:

  1. Job Title
  2. Package: salary bracket and staff benefits
  3. Determine if the package meets current market trends and candidate expectations
  4. Check if the budget has been signed off for the role and whether they will consider more senior or junior candidates
  5. Ask what recent event led to position being open and if this is a new role then it’s an even more exciting opportunity for a candidate to consider

There are some more detailed questions you can cover too which will help find the right cultural fit for the organisation:

  1. Top five companies they would like to hire from
  2. Where have the last 3 hires come from and also ask why they were successful
  3. Working environment
  4. Team structure
  5. Chain of command
  6. Where does the new hire fit in?
  7. Is it a fast-paced role?
  8. What will they use to measure success?
  9. How many people work for the organisation?
  10. Information on the team:
  11. Size of department
  12. Mix of experience in the team
  13. Team dynamics
  14. The client’s ideal personality profile

The key thing here is to establish the key requirements for the role and this is the most important question you will ask when taking the job spec.

Don’t forget to ask if anyone else is involved in the hiring process. I’ve often gone through the entire process and then there is a final hurdle of an additional decision maker who I have had no contact with throughout the process who needs the same level of detail and time to ensure they feel happy with the decision to hire my candidate. This can cause delays and end up with them losing the candidate to another employer. Therefore it’s worthwhile ensuring you know who all the key players are from the beginning.

When you have all the information outlined above you can begin closing the call. Reassure your new client that you’re in a good position to find a candidate that will fit their requirements and the culture of the company. Also, don’t forget to cross sell within your business and offer the opportunity to hire a freelancer for the interim while you search.

While closing the conversation take down some final key details to help your search by asking what the candidate should expect from their interview process. Identify all the timings involved, number of interviews and agree next steps.  This is also the best time to agree or negotiate your fee.

Be sure you are familiar with your terms and conditions of business and send them over for the new client to sign before you conduct your search. Don’t forget to organise a client visit too, this will really support your search especially when cultural fit is so crucial for the hiring process today.

Ultimately, the taking of a job brief will lead to a successful placement if you are thorough and build rapport. The more information you have, the quicker you will source the candidate. Cutting corners will only lead to delays and frustrations later in the process. Let your personality shine through, you will experience a much easier, more efficient and much more enjoyable road towards success.

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By Advance Systems

 

Diversity in the workplace is something that should be celebrated and not feared. There’s a tendency for some old fashioned businesses to hire people that are all similar. White, middle-class, males are typically the most hired people in the country. However, a business can benefit from having a diverse workforce.

 

By having diverse employees, a company can see an increase in workplace productivity. And, they can see their employees becoming more active at work too. Listed below are a few reasons that back up this point and prove diversity is brilliant:

 

More Lines Of Thought
If you have a company full of similar people, then they’ll think in similar ways. Everyone will have shared the same experiences and come from the same backgrounds. With a diverse workforce, you have a group of people from different backgrounds. As a result, you end up with a variety of brains that think in different ways. They can provide thoughts that you wouldn’t get with a workforce full of similar people. With more lines of thought comes new ways of doing things. New suggestions can be made to help improve workplace productivity. All in all, your office becomes more productive because there are so many new ideas flying about all the time.
Higher Staff Morale
When people come from different backgrounds, they tend to relate to one another quite well. They share a common goal; trying to make it in a world where they’re often overlooked. So, if a diverse workforce works together, then staff morale is very high. In turn, this leads to a happy workplace, which results in increased productivity. And, when everyone is happy and getting along with one another, it means they’ll stay in the business. Furthermore, they’re less likely to take time off and will come into work every day. Take a look at your workforce management software if you have a diverse workforce. I bet you’ll find that very few of your employees have had time off. Also, look at their time and attendance, I’m willing to bet they’ll be in work on time, every day of the week. High staff morale encourages people to work hard for a company and come to work on time.
Diverse Set Of Skills
Another great thing a diverse workforce can boast is an increased skill set. When you hire lots of different people, you get lots of different skills. It’s far better than hiring a bunch of people that can all do the same thing. What’s the point in that? You’re just taking up space on your payroll with a load of employees that are all providing the same skillset. Diversity means people will be good at certain things. You can have one person that’s an expert in one business area, like marketing. Then, you have another person that’s exceptional at closing sales and speaking to customers. What you end up with is an entire team of people that have their own unique strengths and skills. This results in high productivity levels and a more active workplace.
Greater Customer Understanding
Diverse workers provide you with greater customer understanding. When you have a range of people working for you, then you’ve got people that can relate to your target market. The more diverse your workforce is, the more they’re likely to understand your customers. By having a better understanding, it means they can get more work done and keep the customers flowing in. This leads to a productive business that retains customers all the time. If you don’t have diverse employees, then you don’t have a big chance of empathizing with the customer.
As you can see, having a diverse workforce will benefit every business. Not only do they lead to an increase in productivity, but they also make a company much better. It can improve your brand image if you’re seen to be hiring a diverse array of staff. People will start to look at your business as very forward thinking and modern. As a result, you find that consumers are more attracted to your brand and like what you’re doing.
So, it’s important that you try and hire a diverse team of workers. Take a look at your HR software and see your employee database. Companies like Advance Systems provide HR software that lets you see all of your employee’s details. This can let you see what type of people you employ. You may find that you don’t have a diverse workforce, so can work on hiring different people. Then, you’ll see a more productive and active business.

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COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, and workplaces are reopening, but recent research reveals that three-quarters of UK workers fear going back into the workplace because it poses a risk to their health and safety. David McCormack, CEO of employee benefits and outsourced payroll provider HIVE360, says employers should take a simple seven-step approach that will support effective management of the workforce’s return to work.

Seventy three percent of workers admit they fear a return to the workplace. Responsible employers need to take action to support workers and ease their worries, to ensure they feel secure and comfortable whenever in the workplace, and know they have their employer’s support and commitment to maintain a safe environment.

The foundation to this is our seven-step return-to-work action framework:

  1. Communicate: Ensure workers know it’s ok to feel anxious about the return to the workplace. Encourage them to talk about their feelings so you can reassure them and take any additional action to ease any worries.
  2. Stay in touch: Make a point of checking in with staff regularly and ask how they are coping.
  3. Be flexible: For those feeling uncomfortable about being in the office, give them the option to continue working from home some days each week. For those anxious about a busy commute to work, be open to an early or late start and finish time for the working day.
  4. Be safe: People are counting on their employers to help them get back to work safely, and by putting employee health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of the return-to-work planwill help reduce any stress or anxiety:
  • Be COVID-19 aware, safe and secure. Employers have statutory duties to provide a safe place of work as well as general legal duties of care towards anyone accessing or using the workplace
  • Carry out a risk assessment of the entire workplace and implement measures to minimise these risks
  • Create a clear policy of behaviour in the workplace and share it with all employees. Policies should include the rules on wearing facemasks, social distancing, hand washing and sanitising, with the relevant equipment available to all. Include clear instructions on what people should do if they or someone they live with feels unwell or tests positive for COVID-19.
  1. Be caring: With concerns about the effects of COVID-19 on society and the economy, mental health is a growing problem, but people continue to feel uncomfortable speaking about it. This is unlikely to change, so make time to show you are an employer that recognises and understands by introducing and communicating the tools, support and measures available to them to help address any fears. Give them access to specialist healthcare resources, information and health and wellbeing support.
  2. Encourage work/life balance: Poor work/life balance reduces productivity and can lead to stress and mental health problems, so build-in positive steps to help the workforce achieve it by encouraging sensible working hours, full lunch breaks, and getting outside for fresh air and exercise at least once a day.
  3. Tailor solutions: Show that you understand that everyone’s personal situation is different and that you will do your best to accommodate it. Remind people of their worth as an employee, and the positive attributes they bring to the team.

Added benefits

Employee health and wellbeing support and benefits are a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’. Onboarding and career progression, reward and recognition policies, training and development, employee benefits, work/life balance initiatives, financial, mental health and wellbeing support, are all essential components of an effective employee engagement strategy. Together, they improve and maintain a positive working environment.

HIVE360 is an expert in recruitment agency PAYE outsourced payroll. Our HMRC-compliant solution guarantees a speedy, transparent service, with no nasty fees for workers. It also delivers efficiency gains from payroll, digital payslips, pensions auto-enrolment and pay documentation support.

HIVE360 goes further. Our unique, customisable employee pay, benefits and engagement app Engage is provided as a standard element of our outsourced payroll solution. It gives workers access to an extensive range of health and wellbeing benefits and employee support services, including:

  • 24/7, confidential access to mental health support, counsellors and GPs
  • Thousands of high street and online discounts
  • Huge mobile phone savings
  • Online training resourcesand access to the HIVE360Skills Academy
  • A secure digital payslips portal
  • A real-time workplace pension dashboard to support employees’ financial wellbeing.
  • An incident reporting system to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace, which allows workers to – anonymously – raise serious issues or concerns with their employer directly through the app.

HIVE360 is a GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) license holder and is championing a new model of employment administration, redefining employment and pension administration processing. Visit: www.hive360.com

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With vacancy numbers hitting all-time highs in the UK since before the pandemic hit, online talent sourcing specialist, Talent.com, has warned employers that a lack of diversity in recruitment adverts themselves could hinder hiring strategies.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that there are more job vacancies now than before the pandemic as employers look to bolster resources as restrictions ease and business demand finally increases after more than a year of uncertainty. However, Talent.com has warned that an audit of hiring process – including job adverts and descriptions – is needed to ensure they appeal to modern-day diverse audiences.

Values and “must-haves” for job seekers have changed dramatically in the last few years with the workforce placing large emphasis on things that matter as opposed to higher pay. There is far more focus on sustainability and diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the Black Lives Matters movement has served to accelerate the much-needed evolution of hiring practices and other business policies.

Without a more diverse approach to hiring practices, businesses could see limited hiring success in the second half of 2021.

Noura Dadzie, Vice President of Sales UK and International Markets at Talent.com said: “With unemployment levels dropping as vacancy numbers rise, the war for talent is accelerating exponentially. The challenge for hiring managers now is not just to get in front of the right people before the competition, but perhaps more importantly, have the right content to push to these audiences. Job seekers are placing greater emphasis on diversity initiatives and employment culture in a post-pandemic world, but as businesses attempt to replace lost resources, too many are falling into the trap of pushing out pre-Covid ads and job descriptions that are arguably out-dated and irrelevant.

“Job seekers are more likely to apply for a position if they can easily identify with the job description and advert. If these do not reflect the diversity of the new talent landscape, employers will be on the back foot – a less-than-ideal scenario in a growing economy.”

Should you have interesting news stories to share, please send them to the Editor Debbie.walton@talintpartners.com

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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New study finds that only 46% of businesses invest in anti-bias training for hiring managers 

A new report by global emerging talent and reskill provider, mthree, reveals that 54% do not use deliberately neutral job descriptions, and only 37% anonymise CVs by removing all potentially identifying information such as name, age, and educational history.

Less than a third (31%) said that they request diverse shortlists from recruiters and 9% of those surveyed do not currently have any anti-bias hiring practices in place at all. Of those that do, 88% have noticed some improvement and 49% said there has been a significant improvement.

“It’s really disappointing to see that so many businesses are still not using some of the most tried and tested anti-bias hiring practices,” said Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree. “Lots of businesses are struggling with a lack of diversity, particularly on their tech teams, and implementing even just one of these tactics could make a real difference. In order to see the biggest difference, businesses should look to tackle bias at all stages of the recruitment process.

“If chosen carefully, recruitment consultancies and other talent partners can be an invaluable tool in the quest for diversity, as they should have their own comprehensive strategies in place to ensure inclusivity. Businesses must ensure that those responsible for recruitment are able to recognise their own unconscious biases, and given the tools to approach the process as objectively as possible, to ensure candidates do not face prejudice at the interview stage.”

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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