Recruitment planning – Post-Pandemic-Crisis
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

People often say that everything in this world happens for a reason. Well, sometimes it’s hard to understand and often it can feel very unfair when you are the one that feels the full impact. Covid-19 indiscriminately affected so many of us. It all happened so quickly, that most of us had little time to adequately prepare. And now of course, many of us are already starting to contemplate, what happens next?

 

Looking ahead

The eternal optimist in me says that we need to start planning and to prepare for life after this crisis, because if we were a good company going into this situation, then we can potentially be an even better company coming out of it too.

This disruptive situation has provided most of us with an opportunity to reflect on everything, and assess our strengths and weaknesses. We at Smart Recruit Online will be making some fundamental operational and strategic business changes as a result of what has happened, that is for sure, and I have been looking at new tools and systems that we will need to help make that happen.

 

What’s next for Smart Recruit Online?

Our strengths and areas of expertise will certainly remain within Online Recruitment. Specifically, in talent attraction strategy and recruitment management and selection process and delivery.

Our credentials going into this crisis, saw us consistently outperform every other online recruitment service when it comes to key recruitment metrics, such as application volumes, quality of applicants, time and administration efficiencies and successful fulfilment rates from direct applications and we intend for it to stay that way.

 

Talent Attraction

 

Future challenges

There will be significant challenges ahead when it comes to post-pandemic recruitment of staff over the coming months, as we get back to some degree of normality. With unemployment predicted to skyrocket, impacting application numbers and quality, having efficient systems in place is going to be crucial.

Having the best possible recruitment solution in place to assist you post-pandemic, when the upturn arrives, doesn’t actually require a massive investment of time or cost. SRO have been helping dozens of hospitals all over the UK to recruit front line staff during the crisis and have onboarded entire teams in less than an hour. We also have a free version of our platform and very competitive, low cost options, for paying customers that want to activate a wider range of tools and services.

Anyone can trial our full suite of products and services free of charge for 3 months and use this opportunity to build a business case that is based on evidence and facts, not a fancy sales pitch.

I would like to invite you to join us for an online demonstration, on how you too can quickly and easily get ahead of the game and prepare for the post Covid-19 era.

You can take a tour and then delay the start of your trial until you have your first campaign ready to go, so there is nothing to pay now, just 30 minutes investment of your time to join one of our system specialists and do something that will potentially enable you to deal with the recruitment challenges that lay ahead far more effectively.

Good luck to you and your business, we hope that you and loved ones stay safe and well.

Mark Stephens

 

 

Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that can streamline and revolutionise your recruitment. To find out what we can to for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

Book A Demo

Mark Stephens


Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.


Defining the Art of Talent Attraction
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Talent Attraction strategy is much more than just media acquisition, multi-posting and attracting applicants.

There is a defined art to delivering each component associated with successful talent attraction so that it optimises the outcomes during each stage of the process.

The art and techniques should be influenced by data and research, human behavioural science and tried and tested methods.

 

 

It basically consists of 3 primary elements:

 

MAXIMISING VIEWS OF YOUR JOB

 

Media Range: The breadth and range of media channels that your job actually goes out to.

Media Selection:  An evidence-based approach to selecting the right media channels where your prospective applicants are most likely to visit and that give you the best ROI.

 

GENERATING MORE APPLICATIONS

 

Improved Visibility: Increasing visibility within each media channel by manipulating the search engine, so that your job appears higher in the results, thus generating more views.

Increased conversion: Maximising applications by converting more views into actual applicants through better copywriting techniques.

 

job advert writing

 

BETTER RETENTION

 

Improved Capture: Avoiding the loss of any applicants in the first stage of the application process.

Improved Engagement: Avoiding early drop off immediately after the application takes place by deploying a reward and nurture strategy.

 

Getting all of this right for each individual job certainly isn’t easy, but many online recruiters consistently get this very wrong.

 

Working with our clients to generate significant tangible improvements in this area is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.

 

 

At SRO we have refined every single part of the talent attraction process, in order to optimise results and get more jobs filled with higher quality direct applications.

From job creation, channel selection, styling and tone, to applicant experience. We ensure that every touchpoint with each prospective candidate is designed to increase the probability of a positive outcome. To find out more request a demonstration of our platform. 

Book a demo

Mark Stephens


Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.


Top 10 biggest recruitment trends in 2020
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Recruitment Trends in 2020

LinkedIn’s 2020 predictions for the world really got us thinking.

How will the macro trends, determined by such a rich data set (their entire 2019 content) play out in the world of recruitment?

The last decade has been the most transformative the recruitment industry has experienced. From the tools we now use, the processes we apply to even the language we speak – it has all changed.

A so-called RecTech revolution has impacted the way we attract, acquire, onboard, understand, manage & even reward talent. The cumulative impact has been a technology network effect. That is, not investing or engaging online is simply no longer an option.

Given that each company, department, and job can require its own unique approach, the need to enable more people with these technologies and tools has never been so apparent.

However, when you contrast all of the influencing forces impacting the job market economy against the vast range of solutions providers out there – it’s frankly mind-blowing! And depending who you talk too – better or worse than ever.

 

Has RecTech wrecked us or just rewired us?

Keeping up with this pace of change and interpreting it so that you can hire or get hired in the most effective & efficient way possible – seems impossible.

However, the attraction, development and retention of the best talent are still listed as a massive concern for the vast majority of CEOs. As Mark Benioff, Founder and CEO of SalesForce, explained;

“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do”.

The emergence of “employer”, “personal” and now “career” branding further demonstrates a radical shift in the world of recruitment.

So that’s my prelude, now let’s make sense of what I believe are the top 10 most significant trends.

 

 

 

1. Evidence based recruitment to become the new standard

There are many stages within the recruitment lifecycle where better decisions could be made. Unless you are on the OJ Simpson trial, the best choices are based on real evidence. In the world of business that proof is in the form of extensive data sets, aka “Big Data”.

The evidence-based recruitment trend will mostly be delivered by technology. AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, Predictive Algorithms & other cognitive technologies are going to enable this shift.

Thinking more intelligently about how we do what we do, based on facts, without slowing us down – will only make us better.

 

2. The top perk that professionals will want.

Several significant 2019 surveys confirmed that the perk that professionals appreciate and desire most – is time.

Expect the following “time perks” to continue and expand:

  • Flexible hours
  • Burnout breaks
  • Remote working
  • Coworking spaces

With cloud computing the norm and collaboration tools like Asana and Slack, the time sink of commuting every-day is being addressed. There is no more unequivocal evidence to support this than the adoption of Microsoft 365.

Even the company most synonymous with the desktop & office has its head firmly in the cloud.

 

3. What prospective employees value most.

Anyone born pre 1980 will remember a corporate world of reputable and trusted brands to work for and the concept that a “job for life” being desirable.

However, between 2000-2010, Gen X and Y shifted employee mindsets towards a “cool culture” as the most influential factor when looking for a job. Initially, this manifested itself in the form of egg-shaped chairs, casual Fridays, ping pong and a beer fridge.

Over the last 10-years, we have seen cultural trends evolve even further. This reflects the influence of the millennials, many of whom – now in their thirties – are calling the shots. And it’s more likely to be double expresso over tequila shots.

 

This generation has shifted corporate culture from “cool” to “caring”

The beer fridge has been switched out to a smoothie machine and healthy eating options. Company happy hours? How about discounted or subsidised health club memberships and access to a range of wellness and mental health-related initiatives.

The newer generation genuinely cares about the environment and want to work for companies that take environmental issues and corporate responsibility seriously.

They also have no time for management speak, waffle words and lip service. Any divergence in the public image and the company culture will be exposed by employees anonymously via social media and platforms like Glassdoor.

Even a whiff of “David Brentitus” will be remedied with a level of ridicule that Ricky Gervais would be proud of. In an era where the Clickarazzi can make even the smallest infection go viral, keeping it real is the only way to win.

An authentic & caring culture might seem like a “nice to have” to many leaders, but the trend towards “must-have” is in full effect. If you want the minds of the next wave of bright young talent, you must first understand their hearts.

We have effectively moved from a ‘Cool’ to ‘Caring’ culture. The working environment has replaced the ‘family’ in terms of ‘who will look after me’.

 

4. Brexit

At the point of writing this article, we are just a couple of days away from the 31st Jan deadline.

Markets do not like uncertainty, and the employment market is no different. I think 2018 took the brunt of the Brexit negativity with companies investing more in talent acquisition in 2019. However, this bad break up is not over.

Brexit is the single most potent force that could affect the stability of the British economy over the next 12months. Continued whispers of an economic recession refuse to go away. And subsequent caution and procrastination may resume when it comes to spending money on talent acquisition.

I am, however, relatively optimistic that we will grind out an acceptable deal with Europe and secure a good trade agreement with the US & other international partners. Hopefully, in 12 months, uncertainty will be replaced with optimism and Boris saying, “I told you so”.

 

5. Plugging the skills gap

Internal training, upskilling & reskilling programs combined with a far more proactive long term apprenticeship and graduate recruitment program that recruits from ground level up, seems to be the only reliable and sensible approach to plugging the skills gap.

Continuous increases in salary and the use of contract workers can not be the long term strategy. The competitiveness of organisations will continue to suffer if labour costs and price pressure are not rationalised with more proactive and forward-thinking workforce strategy.

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it is very easy for individuals to get left behind. The government must anticipate this problem and policy must keep up with reality – even if it’s virtual.

New technology entrants focusing heavily on next-generation features, including social and video learning, microlearning and learner engagement have disrupted the traditional LMS (Learning Management System) market over the last few years.

Look for the emergence of Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) to see where this market is heading in the future.

 

6. The role of AI in recruitment (and recruitment tech)

AI continued to make a significant impact on the recruitment environment last year and is set to continue for years to come.

Just as robotics has shifted mechanical tasks away from human beings, AI has the potential to impact so-called knowledge workers. Reskilling programs that are run either within colleges or the workplace can help address these issues.

Any company that fails to see the overall and ongoing role that variants of AI will bring to the table will undoubtedly get left behind. Burning Glass has demonstrated that AI is no longer a buzz in this industry – it’s in play today.

2020 will “clearly see” more technology platforms embrace and incorporate AI. Also, watch out for a new variant of AI dripping into our consciousness as Quantum AI joins the conversation over the next few years.

“Quantum recruiting” – you heard it here first!

 

7. The new-look independent recruiter

Independent recruiters and HR professionals that deliver recruitment services directly to corporations will start to benefit from the lower costs of Talent Acquisition and HR Technology. While most already understand the benefits, they are put off by what the perceived investment would have on a “Me Ltd” business model.

The reward to the (early adopter) recruiters will be that more clients will that want to work with them. The independent recruiter model makes sense in the right situation. By adding a technology benefit (usually reserved for teams), it will make even more sense and therefore more money for the freelance professional.

The advantage to the client will be a deeper external recruitment partnership that can provide a more comprehensive range of recruitment & HR services.

Advanced recruitment platforms and tools such as Smart Recruit Online can become the cornerstone of the independent 2020 recruiter’s service offering.

 

8. Wellbeing, Mental Health, Diversity & Inclusion

High on the agenda for many companies are issues such as wellbeing, mental health, and diversity.

We believe that 2020 will trend away from a reactionary box-ticking approach to these critical issues – to a more proactive mindset.

Depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost productivity every year, according to the World Health Organization.

As the millennial’s move from the management to the executive level of the corporate world – expect their values and concerns to permeate only further.

 

 

9. Highly configurable centralisation recruitment software

Most of us are aware of and probably already use an ATS or HRIS system for managing recruitment activity.

What you may or may not know is that ATS and HRIS systems don’t really do meaningful talent attraction. Or at least they do it poorly and in most cases are actually counter-productive to a direct hiring strategy. They also offer minimal configuration and customisations are usually very slow and very expensive.

Unwitting users are often stuck with a complicated, over-engineered one size fits all platform for several years. Modern recruitment platforms are cloud-based, plug & play, and acts like a configurable web application rather than a website. Think of a mobile device where each feature that you want to use is downloaded and activated like an app.

Next-generation software platforms are designed to be far more proactive and effective when it comes to talent attraction. They are simpler to use, provide a better candidate experience and cost a fraction of the price of an ATS or HRIS service. However, before you rush to throw away your ATS. First, look at whether the system you are considering can complement what you already have.

 

The recruitment ecosystem is fragmented. Centralisation systems are evolving to help users embrace and utilise the ever-changing best in class tools and services.

Despite the marketing hype, the idea that a single technology platform will be the “total” end to end solution – now and forever – will continue to trend towards nonsense.

A single dashboard that consolidates and generates management information from a dynamic technology stack should be the preferred end game.

 

10. Tech providers to deliver complementary services

I will paint the scene. You sign up for an expensive ATS or HRIS. Once the system is installed and you’re trained to use it, it’s as if the vendor no longer has any interest in you.

But now you’re signed up for the next 3 years. And that’s the SaaS model and good luck trying to get someone on the phone who can actually help.

Sound familiar?

Servicing models that take a proactive role in ensuring that users continue to get the most out of technology will be the trend as customer churn becomes the focus. Customer acquisition is only as powerful as customer retention when it comes to growth.

Beyond ‘services’, expect a commitment to performance becoming a vital feature of the current business models. This will, in turn, change the mentality of the vendor in terms of the ongoing development & support of their technology and customers.

Vendors becoming accountable for what their tech delivers is what the market wants.

Solutions providers understand that adapting and supporting an evidence-based approach to the processes that are applied will influence and optimise desired outcomes when using their systems. And we are back to prediction number 1 – Evidence based recruitment will become the norm.

Article was written by Mark Stephens and Simon Billsberry.

 

Smart Recruit Online offers a multi-award-winning talent acquisition software that will streamline and revolutionise your recruitment strategy.

We offer a customisable cloud-based platform integrated with multiple screening tools, enabling you to make well-informed recruitment decisions. 

To find out what we can do for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

Book a demo

Mark Stephens


Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.


You’re Probably Addressing Workplace Diversity All Wrong. Here’s What You Should Be Doing Instead
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

You’re Probably Addressing Workplace Diversity All Wrong. Here’s What You Should Be Doing Instead by Brad Wayland

These days, it seems as though inclusiveness is the golden goose for human resources, particularly those operating in technology. The problem is that most businesses go about it in entirely the wrong way, falling into toxic traps like hiring quotas and tokenism. This needs to change.

 

Diversity hire. 

How does that phrase make you feel? If you’re anything like me, not great. For one, it’s dehumanizing, reducing a new employee down to a single label, ignoring everything else about their accomplishments and who they are as a person.

You’re hiring them because of a quality over which they have no control rather than because of what they can do.

You’re no longer hiring  Kristin the Data Scientist, who graduated with top marks from Stanford. She’s Kristin the woman.  You aren’t hiring Greg the Marketing Director, with over ten years of experience and a master’s in Marketing Science from Columbia. You’re hiring Greg the black man.  You’re not hiring Lucas because he graduated from New York University and worked on Wall Street. You’re doing it because he’s gay, and you have a quota to fill.

You get the idea.

“I’m a dream hire for most technology companies,” writes Jori Ford,  Senior Director of Content and SEO at peer-to-peer G2 Crowd. “In an industry dominated by white, straight males, a lesbian with both black and Korean heritage checks a lot of boxes. And that’s the problem. In response to the demand for more diverse hiring practices, technology firms have resorted to quotas that ultimately miss the point.”

But isn’t it admirable to seek out men and women who are traditionally underrepresented in your industry?

Yes, but you need to be doing it for the right reasons. Not to fulfil some bogus corporate initiative or make your business look better in the eyes of investors and customers. And not with a focus that begins and ends at hiring and retention.

You should hire someone underrepresented because they might bring a unique perspective to your workplace. You should hire them because discrimination is harmful to everyone, at every level of a business. But most importantly, you should do it if you genuinely believe they’re the best candidate for the job. 

 

Health & Wellbeing Group

 

Rethinking your approach

There’s another angle to this whole conversation, as well. Simply bringing in a diversity hire will not make your workplace more diverse. Diversity requires that your organization rethink its values and mission. Here’s how:

• Work within your organization to find out what preconceptions your people hold about others, and why. Negative stereotypes do not develop in a vacuum, and challenging them is the first step to fostering greater inclusiveness.

• Look at your employees as people rather than resources, and ensure your colleagues do the same. Empathic leadership, as noted by tech publication CIO, is at the core of inclusiveness.

• Make diversity an ongoing effort rather than a single initiative, and focus on retention as well as hiring. Culture is not something that can be changed overnight, nor can inclusiveness be assured by handing out a few pamphlets.

• For the hiring process, consider implementing a blind evaluation phase. Your hiring department will look exclusively at each candidate’s credentials, without knowing anything else about their identity.

When you hire someone to fulfil a quota or simply for the sake of having a more diverse workplace, you’re putting the cart before the horse.  Diversity and inclusiveness aren’t something that can be automated, nor can they be dealt with through spreadsheets. Understanding that is the only way you’ll make your workplace genuinely inclusive.

 

About the Author

Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.

 

Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that will streamline and revolutionise your recruitment strategy.

To find out how we can tailor our services to match your recruitment needs, including reducing selection bias, click here.

 

Book a demo

BradWayland@smartrecrooot.com'
Brad Wayland


Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.


How to attract the best talent in a candidate-short market
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Does your business have a recruitment plan? Sensible preparation could help you over the line in the dash for talent as we find ourselves in a candidate-short market.

New research by the Korn Ferry Institute predicts a major recruitment crisis with a significant future shortage of skilled workers. The study estimates that by 2030 the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people, costing companies trillions in lost business opportunities.

The United States financial services sector is projected to suffer the most, while European financial centres, like the UK and Germany, could struggle to retain their global positions due to the looming skilled-talent shortage.

Strategic action to address this is essential and it should start now. Business leaders who move talent acquisition to the top of their agenda will be in the best position to compete for scarce talent in the future.

In this article, I’ll be looking at what businesses can do to attract talent in a candidate-light market.

 

Talent Attraction

 

1. Consider in-house recruitment or outsource to a specialist recruiter

Agency recruitment isn’t always all it is cracked up to be. For a start, how can an agency know everything about your business? Deciding who should handle your recruitment isn’t an easy decision and there are pros and cons for seeking talent yourself or using an outside recruiting team that is dedicated to looking after your recruitment needs.

One of the biggest arguments for keeping recruitment in-house is to avoid huge recruitment fees. Mike Knivett, MD at Artemis Marketing, found using external agencies costly and not always successful in finding exactly the right candidate.

“We decided to bring recruitment in-house and hired a specialist on a part-time basis to help us. Since our recruitment specialist, Caroline, has been on board we have successfully recruited some amazing people who are exactly the right fit for us. Caroline has been able to work closely with us to really understand our culture and business needs.”

If you do decide to use an agency, it is a good idea to partner with one that has a high level of specialism suited to your business needs. This should at least ensure you get access to the right pool of talent. By working with the same recruiter, they can also get to know you and your business and ensure that there is a good cultural fit, in addition to having the right skills and experience.

 

2. Use social media to reach out

Social media is being used like never before in the race to find talent. Building your reputation online is by far the easiest way to reach the talent pool of the future. Millennials and Gen Z will soon become the biggest cohorts in the labour market.

Both groups embrace social media as their main form of communication. Millennials tend to use Facebook and Instagram, while Gen Z also uses Instagram, they also watch YouTube and communicate via Snapchat. Be mindful though, that social media is great for communication and establishing your brand, but not always as a stand-alone job advertising media.

See more about how Millennials and Generation Z use social media here.

 

3. Develop talent from within

70% of respondents to a Global Human Capital Trends survey by Deloitte cited recruitment as a critical issue when it comes to effective growth. High rates of employee-initiated turnover, low unemployment and the accelerating adoption of automation, which is creating intense demands for technical skills that don’t exist in today’s workforce, are making the job of finding qualified talent harder.

If talent shortage predictions are true, businesses will need a robust training and development programme to teach the skills they need in business. In fact, there are already enough talent shortages across more than 500 recognised skillsets to warrant adopting a fresh approach to attracting and retaining staff.

Internal talent mobility isn’t a new idea, but it is an area that isn’t tapped enough. According to Deloitte, reskilling an internal hire can be done for as little as one-sixth of hiring an external candidate. Emphasizing internal promotions illustrates to your employees they have a future in your business. This will go a long way in addressing the talent shortage and improve staff retention.

The national apprenticeship program and levy are all designed to encourage businesses to recruit ‘out of education’ and look outside of the obvious skillsets, in order to address similar issues. Expect to see this type of strategy become central to most larger organisations growth plans in the future.

 

4. Set up an employee referral system

You may not realise it, but your employees are an untapped resource when it comes to finding new talent. Your employees have an established network of friends and associates. They understand your business and are in a position to filter potential recruits to you with the appropriate skills and competencies. This could be one of your best recruiting tools.

 

5. Invest in culture

Your business will only become a magnet for talent if potential candidates hear good things about you. Salaries are no longer enough in isolation to entice the best people. Talented individuals are looking for companies with a strong and positive culture.

Things like Corporate Social Responsibility, business ethics and a caring and supportive environment are increasingly important and often mean more than salary. Wellbeing programs and robust learning and development opportunities are also on the list of must-haves that candidates are looking for in a company.

The future shortage of talent isn’t an industry-specific problem. Whatever your business, whatever the sector, you should be identifying business strengths to ensure you can attract candidates ahead of your competitors. You will, of course, also need to work hard at retention strategies too, which means an increasing focus on culture.

Ignore the recruitment problem and your business will suffer. The digital age means businesses with poor culture are being exposed like never before.

 

About the Author:

Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, Recruitment and career development’.

More articles by Annie Button

What happens when you neglect employee development

Will employee engagement save the hospitality sector from Brexit

 

Smart Recruit online is an award-winning Talent Attraction and Recruitment Campaign Management Platform with a 98% independent customer satisfaction rating and the highest direct hire fill rate in the UK.

If you want to take action and plan for your recruitment future, then get in touch and arrange a free, no-obligation online demonstration of our services

 

Book a demo

Annie Button


Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, recruitment and career development.


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