#Firmday Bristol Roundtables: Your Thoughts

We hope those of you who visited us on our return to the south-west had a great time at #Firmday Bristol – we can’t wait to have it back on the calendar annually!

As ever, the roundtables were a great opportunity to get insight into the incredible knowledge our delegates bring with them – here are the highlights from the two roundtables we hosted in Bristol.

Generational Recruiting – Wants, Needs and Everything in Between

Each generation is unique in its own way, and because of this, you must make sure your recruitment strategies are designed to attract the talent you need to get the job done.

A quick reminder of the generations…

Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964)
Gen X (Born 1965 – 1980)
Millennials (Born 1981 -1996)
Gen Z (Born 1997 – 2012)
Gen Alpha (Born 2013 – 2025)
  • Don’t make assumptions about what age groups want – there are commonalities between age groups. For example, post pandemic, work-life balance and flexibility is more important to most people, regardless of their age
  • Advertising your brand values properly will mean you will attract good people regardless of age 
  • Location can play a big role in attraction (or not!) For example, in London, you’re still likely to go for after work drinks – great for those who like to socialise. However, some may prefer not to commute
  • Coming into the office allows younger people to meet with the other colleagues and learn from them
  • Gen X like to have a fun social interaction space – this may mean more time in the office than other employees 
  • Not everyone in same generations have the same priorities. Other factors such as social mobility can have an impact on wants and needs 
  • The language used in adverts can impact the age of candidates who apply (in the same way it can impact gender)
  • Don’t forget: You risk indirect discrimination if you X years of experience in the UK (age discrimination)
  • If employees can’t work remotely or hybrid, should they be offered additional perks for being physically present? (commuting allowance/free lunches)
  • Younger generations tend to prioritise company values, so topics like sustainability, mental health and inclusivity are expected as standard
  • Younger generations expect fast career development, which isn’t always feasible
  • Progression is important to Gen X 
  • If you are unable to compete when it comes to salary, think about what else can you offer. Training and development is valuable – can you offer an apprenticeship (which could include a Masters) or other development?
  • There is no age limit in changing careers 
  • L&D a priority for someone changing careers/starting a new career – although this applies to everyone, we are seeing more people work for longer
  • Expectations around a candidate experience can vary across generations. Whilst older generations are more likely to accept a lengthy application, they may prefer a phone call rather than a video call. On the flip side, covid has impacted younger generations as they leave education and enter the workforce making them more isolated, introverted or anxious, so a phone call may be terrifying for them. They are used to video calling as the norm.

AI in TA

Some of the things we asked delegates to think about…

How is TA impacting your recruitment process/strategy?
Does your organisation have any guidance, policies or best practice around the use of AI?
At what stage of the recruitment pipeline do you utilise AI, if at all?
How can AI reduce bias and support diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process?
Are you checking application for using AI tools and how are you doing that?
Is AI part of you assessment and selection strategy?

  • AI in assessment has actually been around if or a long time – however, the difference now is that we have Open AI, meaning AI is in the candidates hands not just the assessors
  • Many are using ChatGPT for copywriting – whether that be producing JD’s, templates (for example, for candidate outreach messages) or for adverts
  • Recruiters are using Textio – a tool for checking on bias on adverts and messaging  (to drive inclusion and diversity)
  • They are also using Hackerank – software testing – give people a pass or fail – element of needing to monitor the AI 
  • Whilst AI can give TA efficiencies, there is concern that it could then damage the candidate experience through lack of human interaction
  • The future of work is likely to look different – will there be a need for AI experts? Will all/many candidates need a deeper understanding of AI?
  • Should we already be thinking about optimising job ads for voice search? Alexa’s and other virtual assistants are common place in every day life now
  • Whilst time could be saved by using AI to support with CV sifting, there is concern that this approach may not be inclusive – for example, a CV may be marked down due to a typo as a result of dyslexia. There is also a concern about the ethics of loading people’s CV’s onto systems like ChatGPT
  • There’s a concern that people are using AI To create their CV’s and potentially adding inaccurate skills – but there’s also an argument that people have always embellished their CV’s
  • There are some ethical concerns around candidates using AI in their applications – which ultimately comes down to the difference between using AI to get your answer (is this cheating?) or enhancing your own answers (is this a fair representation of your ability?)
  • Is it ethical for candidates to be rejected by an automated system? If they’ve put effort into an application, do they then deserve someone to properly review it?
  • Ultimately, we are still very early in our AI journey. The next few years will be key to see how TA as an industry embeds it, how policies are implemented and how it effects overall strategy in the longer term


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