Solving your UK Talent Shortage
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

The UK job market has drastically changed in the past few years and employers are facing a talent shortage as a result. But how can your business overcome this, and start hiring top talent?


Finding the right candidates for the right roles is a huge challenge right now. In fact, 45% of employers say they can’t find workers with the skills they need.


This ultimately impacts the quality of hires eventually made, which can have devastating effects on your business’ performance. But what exactly do we mean by a talent shortage?

What is a talent shortage?

A talent shortage refers to a lack of suitable people available for a job vacancy. When employers or whole sectors have issues finding quality applicants for roles, this suggests that there is a talent shortage.


a door with the words we are hiring on it


This doesn’t just relate to candidates having the right qualifications for the roles. It can also include finding candidates that meet the criteria on skills, education, geographic location, and so on.


Why is there a shortage of talent?

There are now record levels of job advertising, yet candidate availability is the lowest it’s been since 1997 (KMPG). Interestingly, there has been a shift from struggling to fill niche roles, to issues with mainstream recruitment in sectors like retail, hospitality, and care – although the impact can be seen across all sectors.


Reasons for this vary from more people retiring, to a lack of European workers due to Brexit. Fewer people are also actively looking for new jobs, possibly due to the global pandemic creating concerns over job security.


This lack of active candidates means that the marketplace is now largely candidate-driven, and employers need to go the extra mile to appeal to talent. Marketing your business to attract the right type of candidates, engaging with them adequately, and outdoing your competition is now essential.


Why hiring top talent is important

It goes without saying that you want to hire the best people for your business, as not doing so can greatly impact your overall performance.


gif of a woman stretching her arms out with the words you're hired


An underperforming employee can create financial strain, particularly if you’re a small to medium-size business. And when this underperformer eventually leaves, souring and hiring a replacement has its own cost.


Other company-wide impacts include other employees needing to pick up the slack of a poor hire, meaning other work gets delayed, and the business is affected.


How to overcome your talent shortage

You can’t change the situation, but you can start recruiting smarter and winning an unfair share of applicants. By making a few changes throughout your recruitment process, you can convince talent to hit the apply button and retain them up until hired.


Get better value for money

Going directly to job boards to advertise your roles can become expensive. Instead, spending the same amount with an aggregator, media brokerage, or using a job multi-poster helps you get better value for money, and appear on 5 times more advertising channels for the same cost.


Increasing your recruiting budget at this stage is actually a very effective tactic for attracting more talented candidates. This may sound counterproductive, but if you’re competing with other businesses that are increasing their budget, your exposure naturally goes down.


When your advertising budget doesn’t match or exceed your competition’s, you’re more likely to end up with lower quality, desperate candidates who are trawling the job boards for a new role. This often means you end up using agencies to recruit instead, costing more in the long run.


It’s also important to accurately track your KPIs around job advertising. Which channels are you getting better value from? Can you place ads with better job boards to increase your reach and scale? These are all questions that will help you use your budget smartly, and beat competitors for top talent.


Increase advertising exposure

Closely linked to getting better value for money, increasing your advertising exposure means getting your roles on more channels that are highly relevant to where the candidates you want are going.


This naturally increases the probability of people finding your job, including top talent online.


Optimise the visibility of jobs within each channel

Each job board has its own algorithm for what ends up on page one of the results for a search. Research has shown that 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of results, so appearing on this page is essential for click-throughs onto your job.


statistic that 75% of internet users don't scroll past the first page of results


All channels work slightly differently, and understanding these nuances and tailoring your ads for different channels ensures you win an unfair share of great candidates. It also means you’re able to get more applications for less money.


Optimise performance and conversion of views into applications

A mistake many recruiters make is writing job advert copy as though applying is a logical and rational decision for the candidate. However, in today’s job market candidates are likely to already have a job and are passively searching online with little commitment to moving roles.


To appeal to these candidates, they need to be engaged on an emotional level, with the right language, tone, and structure. It’s more about selling the opportunity in a way that sounds better than your competitors and their current role.


eBook Download Banner on how to write a job advert


Improve efficiency and minimise the loss of applicants through drop off

With today’s candidates being so selective, if your recruitment process isn’t efficient, you increase the risk of drop-offs and falling behind your competitors.


For example, if a candidate applies to a role and a hiring manager contacts them a week later, they’re unlikely to be as interested. This is because once their CV is on the system, numerous recruiters are able to get in contact with other opportunities.


Using automation tools is a great way to improve your efficiencies. In the above example, using automated communication tools at vital points in the process is invaluable; this could include sending an email or text message thanking them for their application, sending screening requests, and insightful resources about what it’s like to work with you to keep them engaged and excited about the role.


Other ways to improve your efficiency are during the initial application process. When candidates hit the apply button and are redirected to a careers page where they are forced to begin the application process again, this creates a significant drop-off. You want to avoid this, so keeping your initial application phase on the same platform is essential.


The most effective recruitment tech providers now include CV parsing and AI ranking software for this phase too. This automatically scans CVs you receive and ranks them for relevance to the role advertised. This greatly speeds up the recruitment process, and fast tracks you to the best candidates.


What’s next?

Improving a small percentage in each of these areas is a great step towards having more quality candidates to choose from, and overcoming your talent shortage.


This article just scratches the surface on each point, so if you’d like to know more about how recruitment technology can help you overcome your candidate shortage, get in touch with us today.


The Smart Recruit Online platform is built to overcome this challenge, with over 10 years of experience testing and optimising job adverts and performance using the latest recruitment tech.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

HR Academy Live – Event Key Takeaways
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Last week, Smart Recruit Online hosted our first free HR Academy Live event.


This is the first of a series of live online events bringing HR & Recruitment thought leaders and specialists together to share insights around the biggest topics impacting the industry, and giving attendees the chance to have their questions answered with a live Q&A.


This week’s session covered three trending topics affecting the recruitment and HR space: Talent Attraction Strategy, HR & Recruitment Technology, and Diversity, Equality & Inclusion.


Talent Attraction Strategy

So many businesses struggle to attract quality and a high enough quantity of applicants, even for mainstream unskilled roles. Our first session covered the art behind a truly effective talent attraction strategy.


Measuring how effective your current talent attraction strategy is, is the key to improving it. This all depends on your business goals, measuring meaningful metrics around these goals, and then highlighting where improvements can be made – for example, is recruiting at any cost more important than keeping costs down?


Here are just some of the meaningful metrics highlighted:

  • Cost per application
  • Time to offer
  • Cost per hire
  • Applicant drop off
  • First-time fill rate
  • Attrition levels


Based on their own experiences, our panellists also discussed the most counterproductive pitfalls in talent attraction. Common ones included advertising your roles on the wrong channels, poor job advert copy, and redirecting applicants away from a job board onto a careers page, causing drop-offs to soar.


Top tips on what to implement into your talent attraction strategy included:

  • Choosing the correct job title using keyword research tools
  • Avoiding job titles exclusively used internally
  • Adding ‘work from home’ after the job title if you offer it
  • Ensuring to include a salary banding
  • Use of automation to fast track you to the best applicants e.g. CV parsing, AI ranking, bulk candidate communication tools
  • Using email and SMS communications in conjunction to create a seamless candidate journey
  • Regularly re-engaging with your talent pool with creative forms of communication


Poll Results


HR & Recruitment Technology Selection

The second session covered vendor selection strategies for HR & Recruitment technology. Choosing the right technology for your business is challenging, but anyone who takes talent recruitment seriously knows it’s essential.


Our panel looked into the reasons vendor selection has become harder, including the volume of solutions now available in the market, and the need to select a solution that works for your business.


A simple Google search won’t work, and recruiters need to do their homework to find the technology that solves their issues.


Other key frustrations of recruiters include:

  • Lack of platform flexibility
  • Lack of configuration options
  • Expensive development costs
  • Lack of ongoing support from vendors
  • The cost of add-ons like additional reporting tools or email templates


Selecting a recruitment technology can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Map out every part of your candidate journey and the touchpoints e.g. what communication tools you’ll need, who is responsible for each part, the impact on the candidate experience
  2. Define your technology must-haves and nice-to-haves
  3. Stick to your list throughout the vendor selection process. Don’t get side-tracked!
  4. Look at the core products the system offers, what’s included in the initial package, and any add-ons
  5. Look at the ongoing customer support, training and implementation plan offered. How will your hiring managers be supported? What are the cost implications of training? Would your team work well with the vendor on a regular basis?
  6. Ensure it will be a smooth adoption process for your whole team. Are managers happy with the system? Does it add or improve upon what they’re already doing? Will they actually use the system?


Poll Results


Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

The final session covered DE&I in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion are more than just making tick box hire and filling a quota – no candidate wants to feel like a token hire, and will likely be able to tell if they aren’t being hired on merit.


The benefits of hiring a diverse workforce are numerous. People want to work with good people, but they also want to work with different people; showing how diverse your company is will attract more talent.


It also enables your team to think more innovatively, and has been shown to improve employee retention. These all point towards a much more profitable business that reflects the kind of customers you’re serving.


Some top tips to improve your workplace diversity include:

  • Training staff to accurately understand what diversity and inclusion is, and how to avoid bias
  • Don’t rely on referral recruitment, as you may end up with all the same types of people
  • Ensure your job descriptions are inclusive
  • Reflect any values around having a diverse and inclusive workplace in your culture
  • Don’t make assumptions that candidates don’t have a protected characteristic – some disabilities are invisible!
  • CV anonymisation tools are useful for removing bias in the initial stages, but education needs to take place with your recruiters on diversity


Poll Results


If you didn’t get a chance to attend HR Academy Live this time around, you can watch the recording here.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Corporate Recruitment is in Crisis
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Thomas International conducted some very interesting research in Q3 2021, with over 500 Senior HR and Talent Management professionals completing an in-depth survey as part of their annual ‘Mind the Trust Gap’ annual research report.


Here is the summary of their findings along with our own insights, highlighting how a more sophisticated approach to recruitment, that combines technology with psychology, will address and solve many of the challenges that the industry faces.


Most companies do not apply an evidence-based approach to recruiting and do not understand why or where their talent attraction and hiring process is broken.


We have reviewed the findings from this survey and outlined where we believe the answers are, to solving these industry-wide challenges.


The Thomas report headlined as 10 shocking statistics that reveal recruitment is in crisis.


We don’t disagree, there is a nationwide crisis, and this was reflected in the post-Covid/Brexit period where companies struggled to recruit talent, even for mainstream unskilled roles, where previously high volumes of candidates had presented a completely different set of challenges.


Confidence in recruitment is low

1. 50:50 chance for new hires

A survey of 500 businesses revealed that over half (57%) of hires are not working out, according to the people who made the hire. This alarming statistic indicates that recruitment is broken.


Our response: This is a problem caused by 3 key factors. Companies need to invest in technology and tools that better assess candidates, there needs to be better due diligence during candidate selection, and recruiters need better training on how to adapt and deliver more effective screening solutions that reflect the nuances of each role.


2. It’s the door for one in four

A quarter of these bad hires have left the business or are not working out, while a further third (32%) are struggling with some elements of their role.


Our response: Until companies address this issue from the top down, there is unlikely to be a change amongst the coalface recruiters responsible for sourcing and recruiting the best talent. ‘Getting jobs filled’ tends to be the mantra amongst most recruitment teams, in contrast to company stakeholders who more intrinsically understand the importance of always hiring the best talent they can at every opportunity.


3. Risk is ramping up

After a slow year, 64% of businesses are increasing their recruitment activity again. Making the right hires is vital, yet as recruitment activity increases, so does the risk of making a poor hire. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that direct and indirect costs of a bad hire range from between 50% and 150% of the employee’s annual salary.



Our response: Rewarding recruiters for recruiting people that stay in their role for longer than 12 months could be a very simple yet effective solution to this problem. Having a 12-month reward pipeline for your recruitment team will also help to address the high attrition rates in HR-related roles too, killing two birds with one stone.


4. Remote working remains

Whilst 44% of recruiters still cite remote working as the biggest driver of transformation in the sector, it is less influential for most. This suggests that a level of adaptation to remote working may already have been achieved.


Our response: Remote working for recruitment and interview teams is particularly challenging, especially when the majority of online active talent is not committed to moving jobs, and will use the application and interview process as means to make judgement on the company and opportunity.


This means that recruiters need to work even harder and smarter to influence prospective employees. Technology needs to be efficient and effective, processes need to be slick and engaging, and people need to be well trained to execute and manage this entire process, and that is often 100% remotely.


5. Buffeted by Brexit

Four in ten recruiters are concerned about the impact of Brexit and say that the disruption caused continues to be a major influence on their hiring and skills acquisition activity.


Our response: Taking over 1 million unskilled workers out of the national workforce after a year where there were 5 times more retirements than normal and within a marketplace that has been advertising over 1 million jobs for the last few months, should and does scare many recruiters. However, so many companies do recruitment badly, that those who are willing to up their game and refine their tactics can win an unfair share of the applicants that are still out there looking.


6. Differentiation difficulties

Despite the disruption, the primary challenge recruiters say they face is distinguishing between candidates (88%). Just 21% of hiring managers think that CVs are a strong indicator of the future performance of a hire.


Our response: Lack of due diligence and low levels of sophistication in screening applicants means there is a high risk of making bad hires. It’s usually not that difficult to work out why your staff are leaving in the first year of employment and then addressing this.


Candidates that leave in the first year do so because they are either a poor cultural fit, you didn’t onboard, train or support them properly, they don’t get on with their manager, the job isn’t challenging enough, they feel under-valued, they have been offered more money somewhere else, or they feel that you are underpaying them.


Once you understand the problem, you need to address it. Some of these are not a quick and easy fix however, and authenticity is a crucial element in building a company culture that people want to remain part of.


7. Quality is the priority

Recruiters’ top priority over the next 12 months is improving the quality of hires. 38% of survey respondents say they prioritise hire quality over any other consideration in the hiring process, including speed, cost, and candidate experience.


Our response: If ever there was an obvious outcome from this survey, this is the one that I would have backed, because generating more quality applications against your vacancy overcomes a multitude of problems.


Generating more high-quality direct applications is the holy grail of talent attraction. It is achievable, by addressing the following aspects:

  • Get your job advertised on more of the online channels where the best and most appropriate applicants go.
  • Optimise your job adverts to get found and to convert more views into actual applications.
  • Offer more competitive rates and attract through opportunity.
  • Use technology and tools to avoid applicant drop-off and to improve the applicant experience.


A New World of Recruitment

8. Culprits: complexity and culture fit

According to recruiters, the root cause of frequently failed hires is a combination of complicated, drawn-out processes (31%), poor candidate experience (31%), and an inability to test culture fit (31%).


Our response: We can’t disagree with this. An efficient and effective recruitment process requires the right tools, technology, processes, and people to execute successfully.


9. Evolve or die

99% of recruiters think that improving the quality of recruitment systems and processes is important in the current environment. This highlights an overwhelming need for recruitment systems to evolve in order to bridge the trust gap that is currently undermining them.



Our response: We recommend selecting a technology provider that combines talent attraction and ATS functionality as a single-point solution. Most ATS only do tracking, and that’s like having a shop without customers.


Find a technology provider that can help you execute a more evidence-based approach, support you throughout your contract, and work alongside you on a job-by-job basis, taking on accountability for performance and outcomes.


10. Tech for trust

The majority of recruiters (80%) believe that technology will play a key role in the evolution of recruitment processes. In contrast with ‘gut-feel’, tools like predictive hiring and psychometric testing are considered to offer accurate, objective information that can help to close the trust gap.


Our response: Recruitment technology should support variable workflows, and use AI and automation to improve efficiency and performance.


There should be a range of features to execute effective screening that can be adapted to the needs of each individual role that you are recruiting for.


Reporting tools should provide accurate insights and transparency to the recruiter, so that it is clear what is working and what isn’t so that improvements can be applied.


Our summary

The perfect storm has hit recruitment this year, combining the effects of Brexit and Covid, making recruiting staff much harder.


It is a wake-up call for all recruiters that they need to up their game. Those companies that do so, will reap the rewards now and for the long term. Companies upgrading their recruitment tools and processes will position themselves to recruit the best available talent, and make better hires that are more productive and stay in their jobs longer.


Looking to upgrade your recruitment technology or ATS? Get our Ultimate Applicant Tracking System Checklist

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Brits are searching for this job the most
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Millions of people search for jobs online every year – but which jobs trump them all?


Smart Recruit Online researched and analysed 12 months’ worth of Google Search and Trends data to uncover the most Googled jobs in the world, and why this might be the case. Do they have the best hours? The best pay? Or could market changes be an influence? Read on to find out.


The United Kingdom

In the UK, Teaching Assistant jobs took the top spot. This spiked in May 2021, likely because this is the final month teachers can resign before the summer.


An Education Policy Institute report found the pandemic led to a surge of interest in the teaching profession – but the sector has serious retention problems, especially for early-career teachers. Both these factors could account for the volume of searches for Teaching Assistants and Teachers in the UK.


While Teaching Assistant remained most popular in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland told a different story, where Driver jobs were most prevalent.


Interestingly, in Wales, Moulder jobs came on top, with 10,350 searches.


Driver, Cleaner, and Receptionist jobs were in the top 5. There has been a significant candidate shortage in mainstream, lower-skilled roles like these, leading to salary inflations as the market competes for people. This can kickstart people mass moving jobs to take advantage of the market conditions and obtain a higher salary.


It was interesting to see Counsellor jobs appear in the top 10. Could this be a bi-product of isolation due to the pandemic? The demand for mental health support has increased, and with it Counsellor jobs, and more HR people looking for them as a career change.




How did the rest of Europe fare? Translator jobs took the lead, with the majority of searches coming from Italy and Portugal. The role is more relevant than ever, as the world becomes ever more interconnected, and businesses from all over the world need to communicate to make deals with each other.


Europe isn’t afraid to get creative though, with Graphic Designer job searches appearing frequently, namely in Serbia and Bulgaria. Graphic Designers working in Serbia can expect around 81,600 RSD per month, but this can vary drastically based on experience, skills, and demand for their work.




The World

Driver jobs took the leading spot Worldwide. The role had over 1.2 million searches, and was particularly popular in South Africa.


South Africa has experienced a driver shortage amid early retirements, and lockdown restrictions making it hard to become licensed. This, coupled with US and UK shortages causing companies to recruit from South Africa, means demand is high, and the pay being offered is attractive. Some companies in America are even offering salaries north of $100,000 a year, plus bonuses.


In the UK, HGV drivers could earn up to £3,400 a month, with one job with Cargo Express advertising paying between £800 and £850 a week.


Mechanical Engineer jobs came second, with 990,000 searches.


Civil Engineering was third, with India driving this up the list with 567,200 searches over the year.


Getting Creative

Countries all around the world are getting creative, with searches for roles in the Arts, Creative & Media sectors cropping up everywhere.


Those in Malaysia could be the most creative of all, with Graphic Designer jobs being sought after more than any other profession. Thailand is a little more outside the box, with Cartoonist jobs top of the list.


People in Sweden seem keen to take to the stage, with Actor jobs surpassing any other searched-for role there.


Engineering & Science

Engineering & Science roles took multiple spots in the top 10 jobs. The need and desire for professions in this field have remained strong, but which countries have the highest demand for them?


Civil Engineering is hugely popular in India, with 567,200 searches, and the most sought-after role there. Other countries especially interested in this role include Botswana and Swaziland.


Interestingly, Medical Assistant jobs were number one in the USA – could the pandemic have had some impact on this?




With Translator jobs taking the lead in Europe, perhaps unexpectedly, the highest demand for this role appears in other corners of the world.


Translator jobs were most popular in Brazil, and Mexico followed closely behind.


Turkey was also revealed to be interested in languages, with 2,790 searches over the year.




  1. We compiled a list of over 12,000 jobs
  2. We analysed Google search data for the period between October 2020 and September 2021, as well as monthly search volumes to identify the most searched for job in every country in the world
  3. We broke the data down further in the UK and Europe to draw comparisons between different locations
  4. We consulted with our recruitment experts at Smart Recruit Online as to why certain roles were more popular than others

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

In-House Recruitment Live London Roundup
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


This week, Smart Recruit Online attended the In-House Recruitment Live Event in London. It was great to see some familiar names in the recruitment space and speak to those of you looking to improve your direct hire strategy with a platform like ours.



What really stood out was the great panel of speakers, covering all things from upcoming trends in recruitment, to how the pandemic has impacted the recruitment industry.


Here are just some of the key takeaways from the event:


Appealing to passive candidates

It is arguably a well-known fact in the recruitment industry now that the strongest candidates tend to be those only passively searching for a new role. In fact, this portion of candidates are thought to account for around 70% of the candidate market, often already in employment with your competitors.


The focus is now turning to ways to attract these passive candidates, and convincing them to apply for your opportunity. As passive candidates likely have little commitment to finding a new role, recruiters have been questioning where they spend their time, and what we can do to grab their attention.


The good news is that research has shown 80% of passive candidates are open to finding a new role, so cracking the code and getting your jobs in front of them in an effective and appealing way is well worth the effort.


The rise of social recruiting

In line with ways to appeal to passive candidates is the rise of recruiting via social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram. Think about it – how much time a day do you spend on social media? Typically, people spend up to 2 hours on various social media platforms, and this includes potential candidates!


In a very insightful talk, Richard Swenman from Adway suggested that targeting passive candidates through tailored ad campaigns is something for recruiters to consider. Seeing the same advert 10 times isn’t very effective in any case, and the same goes for advertising your job roles.


You should try and ‘seduce’ potential candidates with a mix of sponsored job adverts and a journey of brand messaging to build excitement around your brand beyond a simple job ad.


The power of automation

Gif of yellow circle and the words 'the power of automation' It goes without saying that automating parts of your recruitment process is a must-have these days. Automation was an extremely common theme throughout the event, both during the various talks and on many neighbouring stands.


This comes as no surprise, as not only does it save on time and resources, but it can also contribute to a better candidate experience, and reduce the risk of candidate drop offs as a result of a lengthy recruitment process.


Access Screening’s talk on Candidate Screening in 2022, presented by Joshua Welch, revealed that automation has become especially popular throughout the candidate screening process. This includes areas like completing references automatically online, and processing high volumes of documentation and passport checks.


The return to the office

As restrictions from the pandemic continue to ease, and the call back to work in the office becomes more prominent, many employers are seeing a shift in employee attitudes. Many are now hoping for more flexibility around working hours and locations, and are reluctant to return to the office full time.


This impact can be seen in more recent job adverts, with the benefit of flexible working being listed growing in popularity. Some speakers even suggested doing a competitor analysis before advertising your new roles, and observing if this is a benefit being offered, as it could win over potential applicants.


Building candidate relationships

The notion of a “candidate-driven market” was mentioned on multiple occasions throughout the event. This is again related to the need to appeal to passive candidates, and impress and win them over. Building candidate relationships is a key part of this, and some speakers suggested a more personal approach to candidate communication.


The importance of maintaining relationships with unsuccessful candidates was also highlighted, including how to go about candidate rejections. Letting candidates know you’re ‘still interested’ in them for future opportunities is a great alternative to an outright rejection, or no communication at all! Some even suggested making a phone call was more appropriate once candidates were in the final stages of their interview process.


Company culture

With the pandemic widely affecting how teams interact with each other, maintaining a good company culture has brought new challenges. Again, the importance of building and maintaining relationships between people was seen as paramount, especially when welcoming new members.


View of six colleagues chatting


Setting aside time in the working day to have an informal chat and catch up via video call could make all the difference – Unilever Global Talent Lead, Charlotte Johns, referred to this as the ‘coffee line’, mimicking those short, but morale-boosting conversations you might have in the coffee line at the office.


Improving the interview process

Attracting and retaining passive candidates is one thing, but improving the overall interview process also had its place throughout various talks at the event. Interestingly, making the journey to interview as short as possible was mentioned, which ties in with the popularity of automating lengthy parts of the recruitment process.


Additionally, it was suggested that for more junior roles, one interview is enough to decide if the candidate would be a good fit for your company. When it comes to more senior roles, this is where you may want to lengthen the process a bit more.



We were very pleased to be able to attend the In-House Recruitment Live event, and interact face-to-face with everyone after so long. If you didn’t get the chance to attend and speak with us, we’d love to hear from you about your in-house recruitment needs.


Book a demo and see how we can help you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less.

Green Book a Demo Button

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Why are my Job Advert Application Numbers Down?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

If you regularly recruit for the same jobs throughout the year and have noticed a significant reduction in application numbers recently, then you are not alone.


Hard to fill positions and recruitment for niche skills and sectors are posed with this challenge throughout the year, but recently the applicant shortage issue is being felt by recruiters across many more sectors and for roles that traditionally generate high volumes of applications.


Industry and skill sectors feeling this the most include, Hospitality, retail, warehousing and Logistics, Driving & Delivery, Care, customer support and many more


According to data provided by all the leading UK job boards and data analysis by Wavetrackr, job advertising numbers are up significantly across the online and job board networks.


In many cases new candidate registrations are down too and to compound the problem, applicants are applying for fewer jobs.


Why is this happening?

So why is this happening? Especially as we are recovering from a pandemic and unemployed numbers are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels?


Firstly, when job advertising numbers go up, this will always adversely effect average application numbers, but when this is combined with a reduction in new candidates registering and fewer applications being made, there is a compound effect.


As the UK returns to work, individuals have less time to look for and apply for jobs. Sentiment drives behaviours too, so if more people are less motivated to find a new position, or become more selective, we can expect to see this dramatically impact application numbers.


Reed reported in their monthly summary the following statistics:

  • Over 275,000 vacancies posted on – the highest monthly figure since February 2008, before the financial crash
  • All sectors and regions saw a month-on-month increase in vacancies
  • Transport & Logistics roles soared, up 206% month-on-month
  • East Midlands saw the greatest month-on-month increase in vacancies, up 161%


Not all sectors appear to have been adversely effected though, with Legal, Administration and Sales application numbers going up significantly. However, that increase may still not have trickled through to everyone if vacancy numbers were up and those extra applications where shared out.


Data provided by Google suggests that we have topped 18 million unique job-related searches a month, but we know that there are not 18 million committed job seekers looking to move jobs at any one time. The majority of these searches are performed as a social activity and running some sort of job related search online has become an habitual behaviour. Increased unemployment and the unique set of circumstances experienced by workers in the last 12-18 months may well have driven job application numbers up, but eventually that behaviour will settle down again, and that appears to be part of the current trend.


What can you do about it?

So what can recruiters do to get application numbers back up to the levels they need to start filling jobs?


You can’t magic applications out of nowhere, but you can start to think about recruiting more strategically in order to optimise advertising performance and win your unfair share of the applicants that are still out there. You can also increase advertising budgets in order to increase and maximise visibility online, to help counter the current reduction in application numbers.


To help improve outcomes you will need to refine your talent attraction tactics and this is all about optimisation of results, at every stage of the talent acquisition process. To help, here is a useful article on how to improve quantity and quality  and another on mastering talent attraction that you might find quite useful.


How can we help?

If you don’t have the time and resources to address this yourselves, feel free to contact one of our customer success team on 01908 268368 to talk through how we can help to quickly get your application numbers and quality of applications back up and beyond pre-pandemic levels. We specialise in Talent Attraction and have access to over 5000 Online media channels and have already helped dozens of companies to quickly and effectively address this challenge.


Alternatively, book a demo of our talent acquisition platform and see how we work!

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Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Highlights from Business Live Health & Wellbeing
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

It’s a wrap! We had so much fun sponsoring Business Live’s Health & Wellbeing Event last week. Over 300 HR Managers, Wellbeing Experts and Hiring Managers signed up to share their experiences and learn some helpful wellbeing tips from our panel of expert speakers.

Couldn’t make it? We’ve put together some of the highlights for you here.


Emilie Barlow Martin

Our first speaker Emilie discussed her own experiences supporting mental health during lockdown. She described how setting time aside to purely focus on self-care is vital, whether that’s through fitness or just settling down with a good book.

Emilie works with Document Logistix to deliver centralised document management systems, which has proved hugely important to businesses during the lockdown period. You can find their website here.

Connect with Emilie – LinkedIn


Daryl Woodhouse

Daryl works closely with businesses to improve their performance through the life-work effect. This is achieved by forming daily habits in 4 key areas: Smart Action, Productivity Mastery, Work-Life Balance (or Life-Work Balance!), and Wellbeing. Daryl even gave some top tips on how to manage the return to the office, with the main takeaway to have more fun. Have a 5-minute huddle at the start of every working day with a short, fun team exercise, to help boost your employees’ mood and thus their productivity.

If you want some extra action points on how to improve your productivity, you can sign up for Daryl’s next free event here.

Connect with Daryl – LinkedIn


Navrita Atwal

With over 20 years in the industry, Navrita gave some excellent insights into Equality and Diversity in the workplace. Her top tips included ensuring your business is promoting equality of opportunity, so that all your employees’ needs are being met – for example, providing the right equipment for those who require extra support. Giving your employees the confidence to share their needs is also a must, through a supportive working environment with zero tolerance policies and staff support groups.

Connect with Navrita – LinkedIn


Michael Stephens

Talking through his own experiences, Michael gave us some deep insights into how burnout can unexpectedly happen to you. In a world where many employees put themselves under stress and pressure to succeed, self-care and wellbeing in a corporate environment is important. This drove Michael to launch Create Space, a global retreat and workshop service for businesses to support employee self-care, and equip them with tools for personal growth.

You can book yourself on one of Michael’s bespoke learning and development workshops here.

Connect with Michael – LinkedIn


Jon Manning

Jon operates one of the biggest mental health services in Milton Keynes, Arthur Ellis. Aptly using the imagery of bananas and donuts, Jon discussed how Banana Behaviours (Moving, Focusing Attention, Communicating, Learning, and Helping Others) all contribute positively towards health. When these behaviours are interrupted, or we indulge a bit too much in Donut Behaviours (wine, Netflix etc.), our overall health can decline. Making sure you have a good balance between these behaviours positively impacts your health.

You can find a wide range of useful mental health guides and support on the Arthur Ellis website here.

Connect with Jon – LinkedIn


Ravi Summan

Our final speaker, Ravi, shared how physical health can help lead to better mental health, and employee wellbeing. After great success in the business world, in 2019 Ravi turned his sights to helping corporate workers transform their physical health, and launched his wellness brand Ravi Summan Wellness. Ravi recommends encouraging your workers to exercise throughout the week, setting aside time to keep their physical and mental health strong.

You can find Ravi’s wellness podcast here on Apple and Spotify.

Connect with Ravi – LinkedIn


After a successful event, we are greatly looking forward to the next one and hope to see you there. More details to follow…

To watch the recording of the event, click here (passcode: F*1ZXkY#)

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

Business Live Health & Wellbeing Event 2021
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Smart Recruit Online are happy to share that we are once again sponsoring Business Live’s free Health & Wellbeing Event on the 25th of February. If you are a HR managerWellbeing Expert or Hiring Manager looking for extra ways to support your staff with their mental and physical health, this event is well worth signing up to.  


What is the event?  

Employee mental health and wellbeing are topics that have been gaining a lot of traction in businesses. This is now even more so the case, with many people working from home and looking for support from their employers as we continue to navigate a ‘new normal’. 

Business Live’s Health and Wellbeing Event aims to give you the tools to help support your employees for years to come. With a fantastic virtual panel of expert speakers on the subject, you will gain insight into their own experiences and practical solutions that you can bring into your business to improve staff wellbeing.  


Why should you attend?  

Research has found that happier employees lead to higher productivity, staff retention and ultimately, a more successful business. Fostering a positive work culture around staff wellbeing will help this, and this event gives you the tools to do just that. Better yet, a good working culture will be attractive to any future talent looking to join your business.  

Last year’s event hosted to over 90 HR managers, business owners, and hiring managers. There was extremely positive feedbackwith many attendees stating they would come again.



Talk Schedule  

3.00pm – Registration and entry to the zoom call 

3.05pm – Welcome Victoria Beale, CEO Business Live UK 

3.10pm – Emilie Barlow-Martin – Document Logistix 

3.20pm – Q and A 

3.25pm – Daryl Woodhouse – ABP/ DW/ Mental Fitness and Productivity 

3.35pm – Q and A 

3.40pm – Navrita Atwal – Equality Council UK 

3.50pm – Q and A 

4.00pm – Michael Stephens – Corpwell 

4.10pm – Jon Manning – Arthur Ellis Mental Health 

4.20pm – Q and A 

4.30pm – Ravi Summan – Ravi Summan Wellness 

4.40pm – Q and A 

4.45pm – Mark Glenister – Black Dog/ Corpwell 

4.50pm – Q and A 

4.55pm – Arran Stewart – 

5.05pm – Q and A 

5.10pm – 10 sec delegate introductions 

5.30pm – Close 



You can sign up to attend the event for FREE here  

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

What Does Uber’s Case Mean for the Future of the Gig Economy?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


Now that the UK Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are actually ‘workers’, what does this mean for the future of the Gig Economy as we know it? 

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court has now ruled that drivers using the Uber App must be classified as workers, rather than self-employed contractors.


OK, so this has been going on for some time and Uber themselves have already lost three previous cases at the UK highest court of appeal, but this was Uber’s last chance to overturn appeal rulings in 2017 (Employment Appeal Tribunal) and 2018 (High Court).


The courts had been clear all along that the drivers were workers for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 and as such they were entitled to the protections afforded under the legislation.


What does this mean for Uber?

the uber app on a phone representing the future of the gig economyWell firstly, thousands of Uber drivers are now entitled to the National Minimum or Living Wage and holiday pay as workers of the company and this means that this is likely to be a massive rush of literally thousands of Uber drivers making compensation claims.


It also means that Uber will need to drastically change the way they recruit workers. With the business now being even more liable for their workers and impacted by any resignations, screening of candidates will need to be more thorough to avoid any issues.



What does this mean to the wider Gig Economy?

This is likely to set a precedence for similar claims from workers of other organisations and that will result in a significant rethink of how their business models work.


If Gig workers are entitled to full-time employee conditions, then why not just employ them full time in the future?


What does this potentially mean to you and me?

If companies cannot enjoy the commercial benefits of this arrangement and are forced to employ people under normal contractual terms, then prices will go up and services may subsequently be effected.


woman holding a laptop smilingThink home food delivery, shopping, amazon, eBay, etc all these companies have adapted to the same-day/next-day delivery model, and we love it don’t we?


This decision by the Supreme Court mirrors other legal developments in this area around the world, with many other jurisdictions now considering the employment status of those in the gig economy.


This latest unanimous decision is likely to not only guide future decisions in the UK but also have a wider impact on policymakers and courts around the world.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

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