#Firmday Birmingham

Did you join us for #FirmDay Birmingham, and now you’re ready for a refresher? Or did you have to sit this one out and want to catch up? Read on for a brief overview and links to videos of all the sessions – free to everyone until the end of October.

Tribepad: Power to the People Finders – using tech to upskill and showcase the value you know you have

Neil Armstrong, CCO at Tribepad started his session with a quick show of hands in the room to see how busy attendees feel right now. Unsurprisingly, most felt much busier than they did a year ago.

The upcoming Tribepad State of Recruiting Sector report found that:

72% of recruiters are experiencing stress of some level and 3% are at breaking point

The main causes of stress included, not enough team resource, lack of talent applying (perhaps not surprising given this recent stat from Indeed – there are 0.7 people in the UK of working age for each vacancy), pressure to recruit right, and tight recruitment deadlines – all of which lead back to a question that pops up often in the recruitment sector – why isn’t recruitment seen as strategically important within businesses?

So what can you do to ease the stress and pressure? Using tech to support the work you deliver is certainly one option.

Neil shared a case study of their work with Well Pharmacy, who needed to overhaul recruitment to better attract pharmacists. They were able to increase applications from 1500 apps a week to 4000 apps in the first week of partnership, simply by making the adverts more friendly and engaging, a simpler application process, and increasing advert visibility.

Once applications were in, Well Pharmacy then used a CRM to keep in touch with those candidates to ensure regular touch points. A key part of that comms strategy was to use SMS. Whilst it doesn’t seem ground-breaking, SMS gets 90% read rate – email gets 15% open rate on a good day, so used in the right way, it’s an invaluable tool.

As we all know, it’s key to keep people moving through the process – Tribepad recommends that you use tech to help take away the manual burden of repetitive tasks, including to assist with shortlisting for example. Whilst it’s not new, using tools like killer questions and testing help to move candidates through the recruitment process (including helping them to self-deselect), saving a busy recruitment team from needing to 100s of CVs – which isn’t necessarily the best way to assess candidate suitability anyway.

Some other top tips from Tribepad about how to use tech to save recruiter time

  • Automate compliance checks to cut TTH
  • Build a pre-approved contract into the system, fill in the variable information and automatically send the offer
  • Anonymising candidates for HM’s to drive an increase in interviews for diverse candidates.

Following on the last point, Neil shared a real life example, where Coventry City Council Society saw an increase from 18% to 39% of BAME hires (the local community make up is 40% BAME) as a direct result of including anonymous applications in their process. This approach also increased females in management and the number of employees with disabilities – providing a significantly more diverse workforce.

Want to find out more? Watch the video here to hear more about how using data can help stakeholders to understand the impact recruitment has on the business, and how you can use Tribepad to track individual recruiter efficiency – and then use that info to upskill all recruiters to the level of your most efficient recruiters.

SmartRecruiters: Skills and Competency-based Hiring: How to find the best talent more quickly and for less

A huge thanks to Tony de Graaf, Hiring Success Director who video-linked into #Firmday after our SmartRecruiters speaker was taken out by Covid at last minute!

Before we talk about skills-based hiring, it makes sense to talk about why that’s important, so first up, some stats.

  • 59% of CEOs expect skills shortage to disrupt the business strategy
  • 60% are more likely to find talent when incorporating skills-based hiring
  • 80% of leaders say ATSs filter out highly skilled candidates

We all know that if you can’t hire talent on time, it impacts business strategy. With talent pools seeming increasingly small and talent increasingly scarce, hiring for skills widens the net – which as recruiters, we’re always looking to do. So why aren’t we doing this already?!

So often when recruiting, hiring managers are looking for a lift and drop candidate, who can step into their role, already knowing how the role works, and hit the ground running. Skills-based hiring doesn’t mean that can’t happen.

What you’re looking for is candidates with transferable skills or the ability to develop those skills in the workplace. This approach will not only deepen your talent pool, but is likely to increase it’s diversity.

No one is suggesting this approach should replace your TA process, but instead should be used to create balance, and should form part of a whole person assessment strategy. Hiring for skills alone does not make a great hire – each stage of the hiring process requires a specific lens on skills. If you’re looking for specific skills, you’ll need to ask specific questions to help the candidate highlight those – a candidate may have skills they don’t list on their application – but digging deeper will help you identify those.

So where to start?

No rocket science needed here – ask your hiring manager which skills they need a candidate to have be successful in the role – but keep them focused on skills, not qualifications or experience. Next, determine how to assess those skills – that does mean that you don’t need to overhaul your whole approach or spend big.

Write skills-based job descriptions, and list essential skills – don’t run the risk of missing out on applicants who are missing one or two from a bigger list of demands. If your hiring manger insists on a comprehensive list, make sure your advert says “if you don’t have all these skills, apply anyway”.

What else?

  • Use practical skills test – what better way to see if a candidate has the skill you need than to get them to demonstrate it?
  • Use scorecards! This is likely to be out of the norm for your hiring managers, so don’t let bias creep in – scorecards help to score fairly, on skills only, not on rapport built with candidates or unconscious bias
  • Be collaborative – you need to take your HM on the journey with you to get their buy-inn

There’s much more to consider – watch the video here to learn what Tony has to share – but remember… think big, but start small; Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Talent Solutions: What workers want: From surviving to thriving at work

David Archer, Talent Solutions RPO Director joined us alongside Kate Farrell, Client Account Director to tell us more about their recent research project. The project involved speaking to over 5,000 workers and candidates across multiple countries, and asked, “what does it mean to thrive at work?”.  

They found that people want to feel empowered to grow – the don’t want to just survive, they want to thrive and we’ve seen the great resignation as a result, and people reprioritizing.

Wages and stability are no longer core drivers – instead they’re basic hygiene factors – employers are needing to go do more than ever before to attract and retain employees, as people become more confident in feeling able to ask for a working environment that really supports them holistically. Emotional and physical well-being are, now forefront to workers.

So how can that be delivered?

Manpower Group’s Survey found that 93% of those interviewed see flexibility a key to their working environment. Flexibility is an easy word to throw around, but it means different things to different people – from compressed hours, to flexi work and end times to flexible place of work, to 4 day weeks, to name just some of the more popular options. Business owners will be pleased to hear that organisations that do have flexi working have higher rates of high performers – 55% of employees, compared to only 36% of employees in organisations who don’t offer flexible working. But what if you are an organisation where the work needs mean you cannot offer remote working or flexible hours? There are still options available to give your employees flexibility – by offering a choice in shift patterns for example. In short, a human-centric workforce is truly the workforce of the future.

People don’t leave companies, they leave managers. It’s an old adage, but we’ve all seen it happen. So what are workers looking for in a manager? Well, human centricity is still key here. A manager needs to be trusted, supportive, empathetic, and be able to coach and develop their teams.

You’ve probably been living in a cave if you haven’t already noticed how the pandemic shone a light on mental health, so it’s not surprising this was also a key theme from the survey. 36% of workers want more mental health support from their employer – although this is higher amongst young people, who not only are more aware of their mental health, and feel more able to talk about it, but also feel more about to ask their employers for what they want. Research suggests that organisations that take positive action and a positive approach when it comes to mental health see higher levels of performance than those that don’t.

Watch the full video here to find out top tips for supporting employee’s mental health, as well as to hear what men want vs what women want and how to support employees who are also parents.

Broadbean: Recruiting in the age of digital transformation

Ayla Tapper, Marketing Director talked us through the current market and how tech can help businesses.

Broadbean has access to recruitment data from thousands of clients globally – which helps them to provide great insight, and Ayla highlighted three key themes – data-driven recruitment, digital transformation, and candidate experience.

Data-driven recruitment

You’ll likely have noticed that there’s a shift to data-driven recruitment – but are you working smarter? Do you post and pray, or are you posting because you know where best to get ROI?

Data is at the heart of every business, but it became more important than ever during Covid as businesses used it to monitor the unprecedented ever changing climate.

Ayla recommends focusing on 3 key areas – the market, performance, and budget. Knowing your market gives you a competitive edge, knowing your KPI’s helps you identify what’s working for you, and perhaps more importantly, what’s not – both of which will feed into helping you to control your spend. 

In the US alone, job vacancies have doubled since Covid, whilst there are just a quarter of candidates available now – which is largely mirrored globally – in fact, both the US and UK are seeing all-time record job postings.

Digital transformation

There’s much you can do with tech to improve your advert performance  – a shift to performance advertising is likely to result in an increase in budget effectiveness, and will also cast a wider net. You can use tech to decide when, and where to post your job – to increase the channels you use and the candidates you reach – all with real-time ad performance data.

If you’re using tools that can talk to one another, you can use data to train algorithms – your tech can learn your job description and match candidates to it and recommend the best person for each job – Robert Walters has saved 11 hours per consultant per month with this approach.

Candidate experience

Ayla shared some good examples of what companies are doing to retain employees, despite the great reshuffle. Data shows flexibility is key to employees – and they’re not shy talking about it – there has been a 362% increase in LinkedIn posts about flexible working. And it’s not just something people post about – Apple are calling employees back to their offices (initially 2 days per a week, but increasing to 3 days) but 66% of employees are dissatisfied with the approach, and 56% of those are looking to leave. In contrast, KPMG are introducing a 4 day fortnight, with 4 days across a fortnight in the office, a move that has been largely well received. KPMG are part of a small, but growing list of companies taking this approach, but there are plenty of less drastic changes you can make to improve employee wellbeing – watch back to hear what Ayla has to share!

Watch the full video here for all the facts, figures, and key takeaways.

You can also catch up on member sessions – one from Taylor Wimpey and BT (which includes a great a case study on upskilling existing employees to create talent for the cyber team), and another from Raj Hunjan sharing his recruitment experience, as well as a sneak peek at some of the training our Training and Consultancy arm of the business offers.


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