4 Causes of a Bad Candidate Experience

The candidate experience is more or less defined as the candidate’s encounter with the recruiting process from beginning to end: job enquiries, proactive candidate resourcing (job boards, LinkedIn), job applications, interview preparation/feedback, pre and post placement. Research from the Talent Board found that improving candidate experience is “recruiters’ number one goal for 2019” and “80–90% of talent say a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role or company”. So what causes a bad candidate experience and how can you improve yours?

1. Not recognising where the candidate experience begins and ends

Delivering exceptional candidate experience needs to be a priority for all stages in the candidate’s journey, not just when your recruiters are engaging directly with candidates. Aspects such as your agency’s social media activity or online reviews can play a significant role in outlining expectations during the early awareness phase of the candidate experience, giving them either a positive or less than positive perception of your agency.

There is some debate about where (or if) the candidate experience ends. Kevin Grossman, President of Global Programs at The Talent Board, believes that, “Candidate experience is 24/7,” because even when a candidate is placed, agencies can still remain in communication, provided the communication is requested and useful. This will encourage further word-of-mouth recommendations.

2. Failing to properly understand your candidate’s job requirements

The pressure and urgency to fill a role can lead recruiters to rush the process of sending candidates’ CVs before full understanding one or all of:

  • The role requirements
  • The client fit and interview process
  • The candidate’s job requirements

By not fully understanding one or all of these can disrupt and be the primary cause of a bad candidate experience. The worst case scenario being the candidate feeling like a number, being pressured into a job application that they don’t want and then feeling unprepared for the interview.

To prevent this, your process needs to be watertight to get all the information you need from the client so you can fully inform a candidate about the details that are important to them enabling them to make a decision about whether the role is right for them. This way candidates will feel in control and are more likely to have a positive experience.

3. Not providing feedback in a timely manner

Regardless of the stage of the hiring process, as soon as your recruiters have been entrusted with a candidate’s application, best practice candidate experience is to provide some feedback or communication as to the outcome of that process. CareerArc report that “51% of those who receive notification say that it takes at least one month or more.”

No or slow feedback = bad candidate experience

To prevent this, you must clearly communicate the importance of feedback to your clients so that there is an expectation right from the outset. You can also manage a candidate’s expectations by letting them know an estimate as to how long they may hear from you regarding the application or interview. Being open and honest with your feedback and consistent with your communication is key to a good candidate experience.

4. Ignoring feedback given to your agency

“78% of job seekers report never having been asked for feedback on their candidate experience” Lever reports. You should have a process that encourages candidate feedback, whether it is positive or negative. Your agency will always be able to improve and your candidates are a fantastic source for analysing where your strengths and weaknesses are. Regularly review candidate feedback and you’ll be able to make necessary changes to be the best in your sector.

Improving your candidate experience should be a priority for your agency as it can be the difference between you and your competitors. Identify the weaknesses at your agencies and put in place a process of continual improvement.

Want to build an exceptional recruitment team? Download our free eBook.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

7 Lessons Recruitment Managers Can Learn From Jurgen Klopp

According to the BBC, approximately 750,000 people lined the streets of Liverpool to welcome Liverpool FC bring home the European Cup in early June 2019. While the dust has settled on this achievement, what can and should be reflected on is the management style of Jurgen Klopp; the architect of Liverpool’s victory in Madrid.

What makes him a standout manager and what can recruitment managers learn from him?

1. Clear And Defined Philosophy

Klopp’s vision was clear right from the outset. He demanded a certain level of fitness and drive from his players in order to execute the tactics of his philosophy. By making your agency’s vision clear, it provides direction, motivation and an expectation from your employees for what you want to achieve and what you expect of them.

2. Deep Knowledge Of The Game

Whether you’re a football manager or working in recruitment, you must be passionate about what you’re doing, be a “student of the game” and have an appetite to continue to learn. This not only develops your style of management, it also is a great motivator for the team around you. An environment that encourages a wider understanding of recruitment and your specialist sectors will also endear your agency to prospective candidates and clients and could even set you apart from your competitors.

3. Infectious Enthusiasm

Klopp is famous for his like-ability even amongst his fiercest competitors and sceptics. This comes down to his charm and enthusiasm, both on and off the pitch. There are always times of hardship in every job role, perhaps you’ve lost your best recruiter, but as a manager and leader, you must be able to stay positive and permeate that enthusiasm throughout your team. As they say, one bad apple ruins the bunch and you must be able to keep the “bunch” in as healthy state as possible.

4. Focus On Employee Development

Throughout his time at Liverpool FC, Klopp’s focus on developing both young and older players, to demand the very best of them when they are called upon, is undeniable. You only have to look at the likes of James Milner, Trent Alexander Arnold and Divock Origi as evidence of this.

In the same way, a recruitment manager must be able to identify talented recruiters and employees, establish what areas are their strengths, provide the right training and support to turn them into an exceptional team. Each employee will have different goals, motivation triggers and will flourish from different levels of support. It is your responsibility to assess your employees individually and manage their development effectively.

5. Fantastic Man Or People Management

Jurgen Klopp is a master of man management – the ability to get the most of each individual in his team. This comes down to knowing how the individuals in your team will respond to you as a manager. There’s a time to shout, a time to sympathise, a time to encourage and a time to demand more. Each of these are different man (or employee) management tactics that you need to have in your arsenal. It is finding the balance between these tactics and choosing the moment to deploy each tactic that will enable you to get the most out of your team.

6. Clear And Simple Brief

In an interview with Western Union, Jurgen Klopp explained that “simplicity” is one of his greatest strengths,

“I have a lot more information than I give to the players. Not because I want to keep it, but because they have to play a football game and you have to play with freedom.”

The message from Klopp here is that, as a manager, you will have much more information than your team, whether that is financial concerns, board concerns or strategic questions that you haven’t found an answer to. However, to get the most out of your team, you must cherry pick only the information that will motivate them instead of overwhelming them. Too much information and your team may feel demotivated.

7. His Hugs

Lastly, Jurgen Klopp is famous for his hugs. While it may not be appropriate to imitate Klopp in this way due to professionalism in the workplace, the sentiment remains the same. Positive encouragement and making your employees feel valued, even when perhaps they have made mistakes, is key to successful management.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

The 8 Deadly Sins of Writing Prospecting Recruitment Emails

Despite numerous LinkedIn articles and marketing gurus claiming that “email is dead”, it is still one of the most trusted and proven ways to reach individuals. In fact, according to Mckinsey & Company, emails are 40 times more effective than social media. However, there’s no denying that it is a highly competitive space to get noticed and even more difficult to get a response.

For the recruitment industry, average open rates for prospecting emails stand at a rather depressing 7.9%. To put that in perspective, this means that by sending 100 emails (which each take 2-3 minutes to write) only 8 of them will even get opened, let alone read and replied to. That’s approximately 3-5 hours work for little-to-no return. So why is this?

There are a number of factors contributing to this, but fundamentally, it comes down to the fact that the majority of prospecting emails are flawed – you only have to examine your inbox and the prospecting emails you receive everyday to come to the same conclusion.

To help you improve the way you write prospecting emails, here are the most common “sins” made when writing introductory emails and how to address them so you achieve enviable open rates and engagement.

1. Your subject line is boring

Convince and Convert report that 33% of recipients open based on subject line alone. More often than not, your prospecting emails are trying to grab the attention of busy people within an already crowded inbox. Your subject line could be the only chance you get.

Are yours personal, personable and, if appropriate, convey a sense of urgency? Put some considered thought into who EXACTLY you’re sending an email to and which 4-10 words are going to resonate with them. Try to intrigue, shock or excite the recipient in the subject line or risk facing the junk folder.

2. Your email isn’t personalised

Referring to a mechanical copy-and-paste template that you don’t adjust accordingly for each client or candidate could risk you addressing the wrong person in the subject line, or worse, removing the [insert name here] field!

Candidates are twice as likely to respond to prospecting emails if they have interacted with your brand before and personalisation can increase click-through rates by 14%, so proof-read and do your research to ensure you’re contacting the right person (and spelling their name correctly); your candidates and clients are human – so turn off lazy auto-pilot!

3. You talk about yourself way too much

In prospecting emails, there is often a tendency to want to talk about how good you are as an agency, what experience you have, who you’ve worked with and how you work differently from everyone else. And this may be true, but it is not the best way to get your recipient’s attention.

“You” is the most popular phrase in advertising for a good reason. Our brain is activated specifically by hearing or thinking of our own name and ourselves. So instead of talking about what you can do, talk about the challenges, needs and desires of the recipient and you’ll be much more likely to get a response.

4. Your don’t write for your target audience

In a similar vein to personalisation, the tone of your email needs to be on-point. Finding a new job or engaging with a new agency can be daunting and the tone you set in your email can either make or break a connection. Consider your audience: are they Gen X, Gen Z or baby boomers? What are their unique wants and needs and, based on that generation where can you most add value?

5. Your email is too long

People in the working world are as busy as you are, so it is imperative that you get to the point early on and your email isn’t an eye sore that resembles a novel. What is truly going to grab their attention?

Be brief in your introduction, give them a fact, figure or stat that will pique their interest or add credibility and then clearly ask what you need from them. Your recipient doesn’t have time to read unnecessary context about your agency or your career as a recruiter so be concise and omit anything that isn’t adding value.

6. Your email isn’t optimised for mobile users

Did you know that 61% of all emails are now opened and read on mobile devices? Large image files and long paragraphs will put off those reading on a mobile device . It’ll also help if links are clearly embedded and easy to click. Consider this next time you write an email, particularly for candidates, who may well be more likely to be using their personal email address and accessing that via their mobile.

7. Your call-to-action is too vague

Your call-to-action (or CTA) will convince your recipient to take the next step, be that email you back, give you a call or arrange a meeting. To be effective, your CTA must be prompt, to-the-point and enticing.

P.S. Add a P.S. note with something important included: it draws eyes straight to it (and there’s an example of how to do it!).

8. You give up after the first email

As we’ve established, clients and candidates are busy, they may have missed your prospecting email, it may be buried, accidentally deleted or it might be that it’s not right for them at that particular time – but it may be in a few weeks! If you’re not on-top of clients and candidates, your competitors will be.

If you’re expecting to see positive results, you need to send a sequence of prospecting emails, instead of just one, Campaigns with 4-7 emails per sequence were found to receive 3x more responses than campaigns with only 1-3 emails in a sequence.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

Our recruitment software can assist your agency and recruiters with creating, sending and recording all your client and candidate email communications for tracking, auditing and searching requirements.

10 Awesome Blog Post Ideas For Recruitment Agencies & How To Create Them

“Businesses who blog have a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly in search engines”
Tech Client

Blogging – or ‘content marketing’ – has grown significantly within the recruitment industry and it is no surprise why. With the right research and strategy, it can bring you measurable return on investment through:

  • Attracting the right visitors to your website
  • Converting those visitors into prospective clients and candidates
  • Improving your overall ranking in search engines like Google
  • Providing excellent marketing and sales collateral to showcase your expertise

Reading these benefits, a couple of questions may come to mind:

“How do I come up with blog titles?”
“How do I know which blog posts will be successful?”

The reason why we have decided to write this blog post is because we have had great success using a structured content marketing strategy that has improved the profitability of our website.

So, in this blog, we’ll share how you can create successful blog ideas from scratch for your agency and we’ve even included some ready made blog ideas that you can use today.

3 Key Ingredients For Creating A Successful Blog Idea

1. Start with your audience

Ask yourself, who do you want to attract to your website? For recruitment agencies: are you wanting to attract more clients or more candidates? Think about their goals and challenges, specifically considering what they’re typing into Google whilst either job-seeking or prospective clients weighing up whether to use a recruitment agency. These questions, topics and themes should give you some key search terms that your blog post idea can focus on addressing.

2. Use the right search terms in the right places

As much as a pithy headline is right for newspapers or magazines, it’s not always suitable for blog content. At the very least, your key search terms must appear in the URL (www.recruitmentagency.co.uk/blog-title), blog page title and body of your blog. Without using the right search terms, search engines will have no idea what your blog is about and, consequently, your target audience will have little opportunity to find it.

3. Always add value

Your content is a chance to showcase your expertise and brand personality. Not only do you want to provide some really sound advice or information, you also want to be memorable. Use numbers and action phrases (like intriguing, shocking, proven) to make your blog post stand out and think about how your blog idea will add value to your clients or candidates.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

Once you’ve been through this process, you should be able to create blog ideas that you can be proud of, that will provide value to your target audience and, ultimately, to your bottom line. Here’s some blog post ideas that our creatives came up with by going through this very process:

5 Blog Post Ideas To Attract Candidates

  1. How to get a pay rise & what to do if you don’t get it
  2. What is the average [insert target industry sector] salary in the UK?
  3. 5 ways to structure a CV that will get you noticed
  4. How to deal with job rejection and plan your next steps
  5. What makes a winning LinkedIn profile?

5 Blog Post Ideas To Attract Clients

  1. 10 proven ways to speed up your hiring process
  2. What are the best employee retention strategies for 2019?
  3. 5 simple steps to choosing the right recruitment agency
  4. Why you need to diversify your hiring process
  5. How to create job ads that’ll attract the right candidates

Transforming your blog post ideas into quality content may seem tricky at first, but it’s worth it in the long run. Taking time to create valuable blogs can be a fantastic investment for your recruitment agency. To learn more about how inbound marketing can benefit your agency, download the guide below.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

4 Best Recruitment Training Providers In The UK

Although you may have a range of experience within your recruiting team, the importance of investing in a reliable training program is paramount to ensure your recruiters are trained to give them a competitive edge and help them become all-round exceptional recruiters. By training your recruiters with essential skills they can become:

  • More efficient
  • Tech-savvy
  • Data literate
  • More innovative in their approach
  • Candidate-focused
  • More profitable

Providing training for team members is also a perk to attract top recruiters to work for your agency. But, with an abundance of recruitment training providers out there, who can you trust to improve your recruitment team? Here are four of the best recruitment training providers in the UK.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Social Talent

Social Talent is a series of top-of-the-range online tools and digital learning programmes to help you build a team of exceptional recruiters. They emphasise quality, speed, candidate volume and knowledge expansion and allow you to track the progress of your recruiters as well as set personalised targets.

Their video-based training is available on-demand and is designed to:

  • Increase agency Net Fee income
  • Learn business development which help to win more clients
  • Train recruiters to become experts in niche areas
  • On-board new recruiters up to 3 times faster

Recruitment Juice

There are over 60 online video learning courses available with Recruitment Juice, all to be completed at your recruiters’ own pace. Delve into their archive of advice, tests, quizzes, memorable scenarios and download-and-keep documents, all geared towards supporting success and helping your recruiters learn and develop.

Their range of online training courses include:

  • The Permanent Recruitment Cycle
  • Social Media
  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Candidate Care & Management

The also have Automated Learner Pathways that are set-up for all role types, from Rookie to Managers, enabling learners to have a sense of progression through each level. Each level has compulsory courses and activities which need to be completed in order to automatically level-up.

Enabling Change

Knowing that one size doesn’t fit all for recruiter training, Enabling Change’s recruitment training courses are built to suit you and your agency. So, what do Enabling Change offer?

  • Face-to-face open training programmes with a focus on core recruiter skills such as selling to candidates, building placements and business development.
  • Bespoke training workshops where Enabling Change trains your team face-to-face, but on skills and topics that you have specified you want improvement in.
  • Recruitment training for managers who want to train their team. Use Enabling Change’s resources to deliver your own training to your own team with material and support provided.
  • Virtual Training for Recruiters (VTR) programme using the latest eLearning technology.

The British Institute of Recruiters

There are a wide variety of accredited courses available from Study Course, part of The British Institute of Recruiters. Their recruitment agency training courses includes:

  • There are a wide variety of accredited courses available from Study Course, part of The British Institute of Recruiters. Their recruitment agency training courses includes:
  • Certificate in Principles of Recruitment Practice
  • The Complete Recruiter
  • The Complete Recruitment Leader
  • The Complete Business Developer

These online courses require just one hour of your recruiters day and can be completed at the comfort of their own desk. Courses start at multiple dates throughout the year. To pass some courses, such as The Complete Top Biller, your recruiters will need to prove they have applied their learning to real-life scenarios and examples such as actual revenue increase.

Providing your recruiters with top of the line training – whether it be face-to-face, online or self-paced – will help you build a team of exceptional recruiters.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

9 Ways Your Recruitment Culture Is Broken

The rise of workplace ‘culture’ in recent years has not gone unnoticed, to say the very least. According to Forbes, the list of benefits of a rich and thriving company culture includes increased and/or improved:

  • Innovation
  • Employee retention
  • Productivity
  • Financial performance

But, you can’t just expect a culture to happen out of nowhere: you have to build it. And to build it, you need to recognise where your agency’s culture is potentially broken. To help you reap the enviable benefits of a winning culture, here’s 9 commons ways your culture may well be broken.

1. You rule by dictatorship

It may well be your responsibility to make key strategic decisions or manage a team, but that doesn’t mean you should make every decision in isolation. By developing processes where your recruiters and senior managers have the opportunity to share their ideas, it will you allow your agency to develop and grow through collaboration.

2. You have no clear company mission, vision or values

Not having a clear agency-wide vision is a sure sign of a broken recruitment culture. Your mission, vision and values summarise your agency’s business strategy and objectives and will guide and motivate your staff to succeed and understand how their contribution aligns with your agency’s objectives and values.

Find out why your mission, vision and values are critical to building an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

3. You don’t offer flexible working conditions

In a survey conducted by PowWowNow, 58% of respondents believed that having flexible work conditions would help them become more motivated. Flexible working hours or the option to partly or fully work remotely are sought-after employment options for your existing staff or potential employees for your agency.

Introducing flexible working conditions (where it does not impact your agency’s operational delivery), will assist your staff in achieving a better work-life balance, whilst also delivering a high quality service to your candidates and clients..

Want to find out more about remote vs. office working for recruitment agencies? Read our blog.

4. You don’t empower your staff

You want your staff to know that they play a huge role in the success of your agency, but how can they when you don’t empower them. Employees who don’t feel empowered do not have the permission to take action and make decisions within your agency.

To start empowering your staff, consider the following steps:

  • Set and communicate clear expectations
  • Establish honest and transparent communication channels
  • Encourage personal development and on the job training
  • Inspire creative thinking
  • Provide constructive feedback

5. You encourage micromanagement

Lisa Barnes, writing on the “Damaging Effects of Micromanagementcomments that micromanagement will, “at best create a perpetual environment of dependency, inefficiency and unease, and at worst, render irreparable harm to staff morale.”

It’s easy for recruitment agency owners and managers to micromanage their staff because they:

  • Want things to be done in a specific way
  • Fear a loss of control over their business
  • Worry about their company reputation

As an owner or manager, it is essential that you give trust and autonomy to your staff because this is how exceptional employees will flourish. If you suspect a manager relies heavily on micromanagement, offer them training on more productive tactics they can use to get the results they want.

6. You have one rule for some and another rule for others

It’s important to inspire fairness throughout your recruitment agency. Giving some staff special privileges or treatment over others is detrimental for the team atmosphere and morale.

No one wants to be the victim of favouritism or see it at play in their company. If there are changes to your processes or you identify areas in your business that may engender disparity, communicate this to your recruitment staff and ask for the best way to resolve it from multiple parties. By hearing a variety of opinions, you’ll be able to come up with a process that is fair for everyone.

7. You rarely organise office events

Team building events (in or out of the office) is not a new concept but it is still an effective tactic for boosting staff morale and improving productivity. Collectively your staff can accomplish more by working together than any single worker will ever be able to do.

Building work relationships is also important to your staff well-being. For some employees work can be a very lonely place so it’s important for employers to understand just how important building social connections are in the workplace.

8. You don’t deal with conflict effectively

Conflict is natural in competitive environments. After all, you and especially your recruiters are all striving to hit targets in an often high-pressured environment. But when conflict does occur, it is best to have a process to deal with it professionally and definitively. Instead of letting conflicts bubble under the surface, address it in real time and allow both parties to discuss and come to an agreement or resolve the conflict

9. You rarely provide feedback

A report by Officevibe proves just how valuable feedback is to your employees – even when it’s negative! 4 out of 10 workers are actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback and 92% revealed that they think negative feedback is actually effective at improving performance.

Cultivating a truly positive company culture will be rewarding not just for your employees, but for your recruitment agency as a whole. It’ll help you attract and retain exceptional staff and positively contribute to the success of your agency.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

What Is Emotional Intelligence In Recruitment?

It can be a real challenge to evaluate candidates based solely on their skills and experience. This is why many businesses are beginning to introduce tests and processes to assess candidates’ emotional intelligence, particularly in roles where communication, collaboration and empathy are key to success.

This blog will examine what emotional intelligence is for recruiters and how testing for emotional intelligence can help you recruit more effectively.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. This impacts on how well you communicate, empathise, lead, negotiate, and build relationships.

Why emotional intelligence is important in modern recruitment

In a 2016 survey by the World Economic forum, emotional intelligence was considered by leading global employers to be one of the most important skills that workers will need in 2020. Alongside creativity, critical thinking and cognitive flexibility, this is a skillset that recruiters must now be attuned to when assessing candidates for your clients.

Recruitment has traditionally focused on assessing qualifications, experience and skills. Although these are, and always will be, critical components for assessing candidates, emotional intelligence can also be a useful barometer for specific roles that require soft skills. By assessing the emotional intelligence of candidates, you will be better equipped to find the right role and company fit that CVs and documents cannot provide alone.

How understanding emotional intelligence can help you identify better candidates

Understanding emotional intelligence can help you identify traits and characteristics that will help you understand how candidates respond to work situations such as:

  • High pressure environments.
  • Working with different team members and groups.
  • Working with different levels of seniority.
  • Customer interfacing, especially in a customer service, complaints or account management.
  • Different working environments e.g working unsupervised or remotely.

These gauges also give a good idea about their attitude, styling of learning and/or coaching/management and whether they share the values of the role or culture fit

Assessing this can potentially also offer insights into the level of commitment the candidate might have to the role i.e. how long they are likely to stay.

7 ways to evaluate emotional intelligence in a candidate

It’s clear that assessing emotional intelligence can provide valuable insights for recruiters. So, how do you identify emotional intelligence in a candidate?

  1. Pay attention to the language that they use when describing emotions. The more specific they are, the more likely they are to exhibit emotionally intelligent behaviours.
  2. Observe their language, both verbal and physical, to see if they are adaptable and open to change.
  3. Notice their levels of self-awareness. Are they honest about their strengths and weaknesses? Did they describe situations where they have been open to self-improvement? Have they shown evidence of incorporating feedback into their work; positive or negative? Alarm bells should be ringing if they revert to cliched language to describe these aspects of themselves.
  4. Note whether they display empathetic behaviours and/or show interest about other employees’ roles and how they will fit into the team.
  5. Pay attention to whether they tend to take offence easily or appear to hold grudges.
  6. Consider asking a question based on how the candidate dealt with a frustrating situation at work and how they chose to deal with it. If they explain the situation clearly and objectively, show self-awareness, were open to taking responsibility for their role in the conflict and demonstrated a keenness to understand others’ reactions you’re on to a winner.
  7. Observe their reactions when asked to explain and re-explain a situation. An emotionally intelligent candidate will remain unflustered and adapt their explanation to one they think will suit your needs.

Incorporating emotional intelligence testing into your candidate selection process can provide genuinely useful information about how a candidate will fit into a particular business, and how likely they will be to succeed in the role, long term.

For a more detailed look at everything you need to know about building an exceptional recruitment team, download the guide today!

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Remote Working vs Office: Pros and Cons for Recruiters

In 2018, the Financial Times reported 43% of all UK employees have flexible working conditions with 89% of British workers believing that flexible working conditions would boost their productivity; it’s clear there’s an undeniable appetite for remote working and a place for it in the recruitment industry. But is it right for your agency?

If you’re considering whether remote working would be beneficial to your recruitment agency, we’ve investigated the pros and cons to help you decide whether you want to provide flexible working conditions for your recruiters.

What is remote working?

Remote working allows recruiters the freedom to work outside the confinements of the office environment. This could be working from home, a co-working space, on-the-go or at a cafe. Remote working is part of a wider concept called flexible working.

The root of flexible working relies on the trust that your recruiters will agree to work their contracted hours in a way that is most productive for them. This could be a traditional 9am-5pm in the office or, alternatively, working remotely for part, or all, of the working week.

Other examples of flexible working include compressed hours, start and finish times that are school-run-friendly or a ‘flexitime’ model which lets your recruiters choose when their workdays start and finish based on client and candidate requirements.

But working in the office is still the norm for the vast majority of recruitment agencies. So what are the pros and cons of working in an office environment?

Working in the office

According to a Microsoft-sponsored survey, “73% of companies today rely solely on in-house employees” – but this is slowly changing. Marissa Meyer, chief of Yahoo, says, “People are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together”, providing food for thought on the debate around working in the office vs. remote working.

Pros:

  • It’s much easier to continuously develop a positive workplace culture aligned with your mission, vision and values when everyone is working in the same offices.
  • It allows your recruiters to work collaboratively, which can boost overall performance and teamwork.
  • New recruiters can shadow experienced recruiters, improving the onboarding and training process.
  • In the office, it’s often easier to manage your recruiters’ time, keep them motivated and offer support when required.
  • In the office they can learn by listening to their colleagues, observing best practice and improving performance and skills by osmosis.
  • It’s easier to witness and celebrate the achievements of your recruiters. Seeing success in person, rather than over the phone or reading data analytics, is much more powerful.

Cons:

  • An open office is often a loud and distracting environment which can negatively affect recruiter productivity.
  • The cost of renting office space is one of the largest ongoing costs for any recruitment agency, especially ensuring there is desk space for a growing workforce.
  • There’s a higher likelihood of injury: the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that office workers are 2 – 2.5 times more likely than non-office workers to suffer injury from a fall.
  • 45% of UK workers spend over an hour a day commuting. As well as the time commitment, there is also a considerable cost whether that is towards petrol or public transport.

Remote working

Powwownow reported that 67% of employees want the flexibility of working at home. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of remote working for recruitment agencies?

Pros:

  • Working at home can inspire your recruiters to think more laterally, giving them time to recruit smarter as they’re removed from a distracting office environment.
  • If you want to attract the next generation of recruiters, offering the option of remote working is considered a real perk as part of a benefits package,
  • When geography is not a barrier, you can source your recruiters in different parts of the country, widening the pool to find exceptional recruiters.
  • The ability to reduce your office space by decreasing the number of full time desks required, which will assist in reducing your ongoing rental cost
  • In a study conducted by HR association CIPD, 3 out of 4 workers reported that flexible working has a positive effect on their wellbeing. Therefore, recruiters can feel less stressed when working from home as there’s a much greater opportunity for work-life balance.

Cons:

  • Recruiter isolation – working alone for lengthy periods can lead to isolation, which can be highly demotivating.
  • Remote working lacks direct personal contact. This may lead remote recruiters to work without the support they need.
  • With no direct supervision, there’s a risk for recruiters to take advantage and slack off.
  • If your recruiters don’t separate their work and home lives, they may end up working all around the clock and suffer considerable burnout.
  • Having the IT infrastructure in place to support recruiter to work remotely.

The key is finding the right balance that makes commercial sense for your agency and allows your recruiters to work as productively as possible and achieve a work life balance. Building a successful culture is just one aspect of creating an exceptional recruitment team.

Download our free guide and learn how to improve your recruitment team today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Leadership vs Management: What is best for Recruitment Managers?

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Peter Drucker

The topic of leadership vs management exploded in the 1980s and is still a relevant question for recruitment agencies today. But what makes leadership and management different from one another? How do the two interact with each other? And can one person be both a leader and a manager?

Before we discuss whether you can be both an effective leader and manager, here’s a brief definition of the two:

What is the definition of leadership?

Leadership tends to be focused on future possibilities by creatively thinking about the mission of the business, what can change, how they can inspire their workforce and what the unified organisation’s purpose is. Leaders are mission-orientated – concerned with group direction and inspiring trust in team members.

The key responsibilities of a leader are to:

  • Create the mission, vision and values of your agency, defining the raison d’etre
  • Define and evolve the overall strategy
  • Consult and refine operational processes
  • Inspire enthusiasm
  • Anticipate trends and fluctuations in the market and advise on the strategy to take advantage of opportunities

What is the definition of management?

Management is more concerned with achieving targets and completing goals following a task-based, organisational approach.

The key responsibilities of a manager are to:

  • Accomplish the visions of the senior leadership team by taking their strategy and transforming it into a logical roadmap to guide the team
  • Direct the friction-less running of the day-to-day operations
  • Be the go-to for issues and problems that need to be escalated
  • Provide training and support to your recruiters

Can the two roles be blended?

By now, you should have a clear understanding of what a manager and a leader are and how the two roles differ. You should be able to recognise which definition you mostly fall into. But can the two roles be blended? Well, this may depend on the size of your recruitment agency:

Start-up or small recruitment agency (1-10 employees)
In some cases, particularly at smaller recruitment agencies, being both a leader and manager is a necessity. You must adopt the qualities of a leader while being flexible enough to get stuck in with day-to-day management of day-to-day processes.

Medium-sized recruitment agency (10 – 50 employees)
Once your agency grows in size – at approximately the 10-15 person mark – it starts to become impossible for one person to be both the leader and the manager. This is often where the owner will devote more of their efforts towards the responsibilities of a leader; namely the mission, vision and values of the agency. The role of manager may well be taken up internally or the agency may wish to recruit a manager.

Large recruitment agency (50 employees+)
In larger agencies, this separation will already be established, with core leadership teams who work together to evolve the strategy of the agency and perhaps, branch and office managers who direct the processes.

To attain consistency nationally and internationally, it is key to the success of large agencies for the strategy and tactics to be clear, documented and accessible. This will allow a unified culture to develop even in different countries and languages.

If you feel there’s a need for more leadership or management at your agency, think about the appropriate level of balance in these roles. Alternatively, if you think your management style needs to adopt some leadership impetus, evaluate the qualities of leadership, identifying what you already do and what your business requires in order to thrive.

Want to build an agency that breeds success? Download our guide for building an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Recruit the Recruiter: 10 Tips For Hiring Exceptional Recruiters

Industry influencer Greg Savage believes that a huge challenge for recruitment agency owners and managers is finding and retaining top recruiters. And he’s right!

These are a just a 3 reasons why it remains such a difficult challenge:

  • The role of a recruiter requires a varied skill set: the job is about more than just selling
  • There’s no dedicated qualifications – an exceptional recruiter can come from a varied employment background. so screening CVs is not a simple checklist exercise
  • Recruitment is a competitive market to say the least. There are now almost 40,000 agencies in the UK, all in demand of top talent

To make your hiring process more robust, here are 10 tips to help you recruit exceptional recruiters:

1. Take your time to re-evaluate your hiring requirements

According to REC, a poor hire (with a salary of £42,000) can cost a business more than £132,000. Given these costly ramifications, the need for a considered approach cannot be underestimated.

It is an ideal time to re-evaluate the requirements for the role in order to attract the kind of candidates with the right recruitment DNA for your agency. Has the success criteria changed since you last hired? How have the market demands changed?

Look at the experience, skills and abilities of a modern recruiter and what’s invaluable to your agency? Are they fluent in data? Do they have a marketing mindset? Are they a tech innovator?

2. How do your KPI/commission/company incentives compare?

There’s no denying that, in recruitment, salaries must be competitive and your commission scheme must drive your recruiters to hit their targets . But have you considered other benefits and rewards schemes which can set your agency apart from your competitors?

A rewards scheme could include:

  • Give a percentage of the team profit to a team-selected charity
  • Award extra holiday time for exceeding targets
  • Offer gym memberships and personal trainers to inspire motivation

3. Leverage your network

Ask the opinion of trusted peers, partners and connections in your network for recommendations of prospective candidates. The candidates they suggest could be much more suitable than a traditional candidate search.

You can also ask your LinkedIn connections to repost your advertised job ad within their network to widen your reach and act as a trust indicator.

4. Poaching from your competitors

This is a sensitive topic, but there’s no denying that poaching top talent from your competitors happens within recruitment and other industries – here are some pros and cons:
Pros:

  • Acquiring top performing recruiters with specific industry knowledge
  • Gaining a recruiter who needs little-to-no training
  • Hiring from a competitor may well be quicker than entering the oft-lengthy, traditional hiring process

Cons:

Download our guide for more insider know-how about building an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

5. Attend recruitment networking events

Do not underestimate the value of attending high profile recruitment events. Networking will increase the visibility of your agency and can promote it as a great place to work. It won’t necessarily be an opportunity to proactively recruit candidates on the day: it’s more about showcasing brand awareness and gives you the chance to connect with top recruiters on a personal level.

6. Monitor industry-related social media groups

There a plenty of social media groups such as Headhunter & Executive Recruiter Community and Recruiters Online where you can find members to connect with. Follow posts and comments closely and identify whether there are suitable candidates you can begin to approach.

7. Be creative with your interview process

Recruiters know how to conduct an interview successfully – or, at least, the exceptional ones should – so there’s potential here to have a bit of fun while assessing the candidate’s skills: For example, you can role play real life work situations such as:

8. Be transparent

During the interview be transparent about your expectation,targets, KPIs, your agency’s working culture and key deliverables for the role. This will provide a candidate with a clear expectation of what is expected before taking the role, so there are no surprises once they start. Being candid and honest from the outset will attract open and honest recruiters who’ll be more likely to stay with you long term.

9. Make your hiring process efficient

Ensure your interviewers will be available during the interview period – the last thing you need is for interviewers to be on holiday or travelling out of the office. Make your internal approval and on-boarding process efficient so you are able to make an offer and on-board your exceptional recruiter straightaway,

10. Conduct a reference check

Use a reference check as serious component of the hiring process, not as part of the post-hiring administration. Don’t just be wowed by a company they’ve associated with: impressive testimonies from people they’ve actually worked with will be able to verify their experience, their work ethic and give you a better idea of how they’ll fit into your agency.

For a more detailed look into everything you need to know about building an exceptional recruitment team, download the guide today!
How to build an exceptional recruitment team

A Recruiter’s Guide To Delivering Constructive Feedback To Candidates

According to LinkedIn, 94% of candidates want to receive feedback after an interview. But, giving feedback isn’t easy, especially when you weren’t even at the interview!

As a recruiter, providing constructive feedback is how you can earn the respect and loyalty of high quality candidates and elevate your reputation above your competitors. In this blog, we outline how you can obtain better quality interview feedback from your clients and 6 tips for delivering feedback to your candidates.

How To Obtain Interview Feedback From Your Clients?

Before you can give constructive feedback to your candidates, it is essential to obtain it from your clients and, as you well know, this is not always forthcoming. However, there are some proven tactics to implement into your processes to obtain more valuable feedback:

Organise an interview debrief call

By organising a date and time to discuss your candidate’s interview over the phone, you already setting the precedent with your clients that you expect constructive feedback and, therefore, are more likely to receive it. In addition, by setting their expectations from the outset and being proactive, it displays an authentic professionalism that will put you ahead of most of your competitors.

Prepare well

To maximise the use of your client’s time AND get the information you need to feedback to your candidate, prepare some questions to get to the heart of why they weren’t successful.

You can begin by thinking about what feedback you, yourself, would like to receive as a candidate. Then you can begin to construct a list of questions that will prompt specific and more detailed answers from your client.

Struggling to think of poignant questions? Here’s a simple structure that you can use:

Overview

  • On the whole, what was the client’s overall impression of your candidate?
  • How did your candidate present themselves?
  • Did they answer the questions fully and in the manner your client expected?

Culture fit

  • Were they the right cultural fit for the office and the role?
  • Did their personality shine through or were they strictly professional?

Skills

  • Were they able to demonstrate their skill set sufficiently?
  • What skills did the candidate not demonstrate enough of?

Strengths/Weaknesses

  • What were the candidate’s strengths?
  • What could the candidate improve on?

By asking open questions, you should be able to take enough notes to give transparent and constructive feedback to your candidate that will help them improve whilst at the same time improving your recruiter-candidate relationship. In addition to this, you will also begin to learn the key components that your clients look for in a candidate and how their interview process is structured. This valuable insight will be goldust for preparing candidates for future interviews.

6 Tips For Delivering Constructive Feedback

1. Always deliver feedback over the phone

No one likes delivering negative news and it is a difficult part of the recruitment profession. However, by communicating feedback in a personal manner, as a rule, you will gain another level of trust and respect which improves the candidate experience.

It will also enable you to better gauge your candidate’s reaction so there’ll be no ambiguity or misunderstanding.

2. Start with the positives

There are many ways to deliver constructive feedback but the “praise sandwich” is a well trodden path. Sandwiching the negative feedback in between two positive bits of feedback will usually make a candidate more receptive to the important part; where they need to improve.

If all you deliver is negative feedback, your candidate is more likely to:
Switch off and not learn from their mistakes
Remember that you were the “messenger” that brought the bad news

3. Be specific about their strengths and weaknesses

As well as being sensitive to your candidate’s career, you also have to be honest and specific. Lofty feedback such as “you just weren’t quite what they were looking for” isn’t going to help anyone.

Whereas, by pinpointing that their strengths such as, “you have sufficient skills for the role but the client felt you didn’t demonstrate enough client facing experience.”

By being specific, it gives your candidate practical advice ago where they may need to improve
N.B. By using qualifying phrases such as demonstrate, display or offer, you can soften the negative feedback.

4. Be transparent

No matter how difficult it is to give feedback to a candidate who has been unsuccessful, every candidate deserves transparency. Unfortunately, this is still a rare commodity in large swathes of the recruitment process and, because of this, it will be even more greatly appreciated.

5. Make recommendations where possible

Having witnessed more successful and unsuccessful interviews than the majority of your clients and candidates put together, you are in an exclusive position to give valuable recommendations about interview technique. By offering this insight, you will gain trust and build your reputation as a valued asset.

6. Use your experience

Although these tips will improve your process of giving constructive feedback, every situation will differ and you must use your experience to read the candidate and how they like to receive feedback. Your job relies primarily on making successful placements and building a strong reputation as a valuable recruiter and this should remain your priority.

Learn more secrets of becoming a successful recruitment agency by downloading your free guide.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

6 Top Recruitment Blogs You Should Follow

The recruitment industry is forever evolving and one of the most effective ways to keep on top of what’s trending and new is by following dedicated recruitment industry blogs. These blogs are written by industry experts, enabling you to gain insights within the industry and capitalise on any recruitment trends, advise and technologies as they emerge.

We have scoured the internet for the best recruitment blogs that deliver high quality advice and top insights so you can be informed and share within your agency and on your social media channels.

LinkedIn Talent Blog

The LinkedIn Talent Blog, is a hotbed of remarkable recruitment strategies, tips, and trends, written by a mix of industry leaders, recruiters and business experts. Amongst the biggest movers in the recruitment industry, LinkedIn’s blog is always a reliable source for anyone looking for an interesting read.

Social Talent

Social Talent are global leaders in recruitment training, so it is no surprise that their blog is an enviable resource for recruiters. They publish at least 1 blog a day and if you want to be entertained whilst being informed, this blog is definitely for you.

Undercover Recruiter

Undercover Recruiter is a dedicated news sight (one of two in this list) specifically for recruitment and it has been a bastion of reliable news for many years. With a combination of recruitment, employment and candidate focused blogs, they rarely miss a trick.

Social Hire

Social Hire are a social media agency who specialise in growing revenue for recruitment agencies by using social media. Needless to say, their knowledge on social recruitment and marketing for recruitment agencies is second to none. The vast majority of blogs are written by Tony Restell (@tonyrestell) who is well worth following.

Recruiting Blogs

Recruiting Blogs are a constant source of current news and trends. They have a variety of writers who provide expert industry advice on all issues relating to the recruitment sector. As well as recruitment blogs, they also recommend webinars and conferences to attend.

Eclipse Software

Here at Eclipse Software we are focus on providing the best advice and insights for recruitment agencies whether it is recruitment software related; how to maximise inbound marketing and social media or advancements in technology  for the ever evolving recruitment industry. A few of our most popular blogs include:

ATS vs CRM: Which Recruitment Software Is Right For You?
7 Key Recruitment Metrics For Recruitment Agencies

What Is Boolean Search In Recruitment?
9 Essential Skills Of A Modern Recruitment Consultant
Chatbots In Recruitment: Pros & Cons

7 Counter Offer Statistics Every Recruiter Needs To Know

Our blog was recently voted the 9th best UK recruitment blog for 2018, according to Feedspot. Have a read and let us know what you think.

How can you easily follow your favourite blogs?

Feedly

“Organize, read and share what matters to you.”

Feedly is a content aggregator which you can personalise to keep track of all of your favourite blogs in one place. Feedly will save you time whether you’re trying to find something to read on your lunch break or you’re looking for some interesting articles to share within your agency or on social media.

 

Keeping on top of industry news and insights will allow your recruitment agency to stay ahead of your competitors, stay relevant to your candidates and give you the most informed view to make the best strategic decision on an ever-changing market.

Are your blogs or social media posts attracting traffic to your website? Maybe you should try inbound marketing for your agency and let candidates and clients come to you.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

13 Creative Ways To Reward Your Recruitment Agency Employees

Introducing a rewards program into your recruitment agency is a powerful tool to increase employee engagement and company culture; and retain top talent. As you know, working within the recruitment industry is highly results-focused, demanding and consistently evolving to meet market demands. As a result, your employees can feel under appreciated for going the extra mile or exceeding their sales or KPI targets.

“82% of employees do NOT think they are recognised for their work as often as they deserve.”

BambooHR

As a business leader, the challenge remains; how can you introduce a creative and personalised employee incentive program to reward top performing employees across all divisions of your recruitment agency? Well, we have done the research for you by providing a list of 13 creative rewards and incentive ideas to cover all budgets and individual tastes.

1. Netflix Subscription

Allow your employees to disconnect from the office for some healthy binging of their favourite movies or box sets with a yearly Netflix subscription. A simple reward that’s always guaranteed to be well received.

2. Uber Credit

Give an employees a safe and comfortable trip home whenever they need it; if that is straight from the office or after a night out. Who wouldn’t want monthly Uber credit?

3. Giving To A Charity Of Their Choice

For an employee that is passionate about a charity they support, why not offer a to offer to pay a nominated amount directly to the charity or reward them with a few days out of the office per year.

4. Sporting Event Tickets

For employees that are passionate about their sports, rewarding them with tickets to a local or national sporting event or season tickets of their choice.

5. Amazon Prime Subscription

For an employee who loves to shop online and streaming box sets and movies, they will love a yearly Amazon Prime subscription for next day delivery and Amazon Prime TV.

6. Dinners For A Month

After a hectic day in the office, often the last thing a employee wants to do is go to the super market and then prepare and cook dinner. Give employees (and their partners) their evenings back, with having delicious prepared dinners delivered straight to their home for a month.

7. A Paid Holiday

Offering employees a contribution towards their holiday once a year is a great way to show that you value their time off. This may include paying for their Airbnb or hotel or by giving them airline vouchers to prompt a much-deserved getaway.

8. Do Their Dry Cleaning

Take care of one of those tedious chores that employees have to do outside of office hours. Have them bring their dry cleaning into the office and pay for the pick up and drop off dry-cleaning service for a month, 6 months or a year.

9. Gym Membership OR Personal Trainer

Staying active can be difficult to balance with a demanding career but it is important for your employees’ well being. Offer a gym membership for a year or a personal trainer for 3 months to encourage them to keep fit and give them the motivation they need.

10. Personalised Coffee Cup

For the employees who love coffee, designing a personalised coffee cup will put a smile on their face every morning. It is also great for the environment, too!

11. A Day Off Work Pass

No matter how hard-working your employees are, there will come a time when they just need a day off. Give them the freedom to have 2 short notice days off per year to just relax and get away from the stresses of the office.

12. Cooking Lessons

For a lot of people, cooking is a chore and having a busy life makes food inspiration hard to come by. Offer a basic or intermediate set of cooking lessons to give your employees the skills and ideas to make healthy food at home.

13. A Car Wash For A Year

Let’s face it – no one likes washing and polishing their car. It’s a chore that we all have to do and often leave it a bit too long. By covering the cost of a local car wash service for their car to be washed and polished for a year means it is one less chore they need to think about on the weekends.

 

By introducing an employee rewards program that has a range of creative and personalised incentive items at difference price points will ensure all your employees have the opportunity to be rewarded for going the extra mile or exceeding their KPI’s or targets.

 

Want to know how to build an exceptional team of recruiters? Download your free guide today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

PPC vs SEO: The Pros and Cons For Recruitment Agencies

A fairly new addition to the modern recruitment marketer’s arsenal is the discussion about which online marketing tactic is more effective; pay per click (PPC) or search engine optimisation (SEO). To give you the clearest view on which investment is right for you, here are the pros and cons of PPC vs SEO.

What is the difference between PPC and SEO?

Let’s start with a clear definition of the two: PPC uses advertising programs such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads to allow you to bid on relevant keywords to enable your agency’s website pages to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for related searches. The more competitive a keyword is, the more it will cost per click. For example, bidding on “Legal Recruitment” is approximately £2.22 per click compared to “Legal Recruitment London” at £2.45 per click.

SEO is the process of achieving a high ranking on Google and other search engines “organically” or without paying directly. This is by following SEO best practice and having a strong website domain authority within your sector. Fundamentally, the more trusted and relevant your website page is to a specific query, the more likely it is to appear at the top of Google’s SERPs.

According to Enquisite, “87% of search engine investment is spent on PPC vs 11% spent on SEO.” A natural conclusion to draw from this is that because PPC is a lot more popular, surely it is the better option to choose. But this doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Pros and Cons of PPC

Pros

Immediately drives traffic to key website pages. The moment you decide which keywords you wish to bid on and which website pages you want to drive visitors to, you can appear at the top of Google or Bing the very same day.

Hyper-targeted. By measuring how effective each keyword is at driving traffic, you can devote more budget to the keywords that drive the most conversions (which you can track through Google Analytics). As well as keywords, you can refine your PPC targeting by location, language and device. This means that if you are only interested in targeting candidates in certain geographical regions, you can increase the likelihood that a click-through will convert into a placement – thus optimising your PPC budget.

Bottom of the funnel. Paid search results are “1.5x more likely to convert click thrus from strangers into leads.” This is because you can target phrases that are much more likely, for example, to attract candidates who are ready to sign up to your agency. By bidding on the phrase “nursing jobs surrey”, you can reach people who are at the “bottom of the funnel” and therefore more likely to become a candidate and placement.

Retargeting and remarketing. An additional feature of Google AdWords is remarketing. Simply, this will show relevant ads to your past website visitors on other websites via the Display Network. To find out more about remarketing – read this in insightful blog.

Testing and measuring is simple. Google provides a number of easy-to-read metrics to allow you to measure your PPC results and make informed decisions. You can also A/B or split test different PPC ads to see which one generates better ROI. This will enable you to spend your budget as effectively as possible.

Cons

High cost. Due to the pay-per-click nature of Google AdWords, it is easy to see how having a weekly budget of just £500, which may attract between 100-300 clicks, could make a considerable dent in your overall marketing budget. For example “marketing recruitment agencies” is approximately £5.67 per click and “healthcare recruitment agencies” is £2.08. However, you can set daily and weekly allowances to make sure you don’t work through your budget too quickly.

Management and maintenance. Not only does it take time to learn how to deliver PPC campaigns effectively, if you want to make the most of it, you must monitor the results and make decisions about its value. Otherwise, you may as well be throwing your budget away.

Continuous investment. You may, initially, be pleased with the leads being generated from PPC but a simple fact about AdWords is that your spend today will only increase tomorrow. This is because the phrases you’re bidding on will only become more competitive, and therefore, more expensive.

The Pros and Cons of SEO

Pros

Free website traffic. Website traffic (or individual website visits) attracted via search engines organically doesn’t cost per click, so fundamentally, it is FREE. However, the true nature is that it does cost in time and resource both in making your website optimised for search engines and to write quality content for your website pages that rank highly in search engines.

Sustainable. Once you have valuable and relevant content, both on your website pages and in your blog posts, SEO, more or less, sustains itself.

Trust and credibility. The top organic search results command more trust and credibility because website users are aware that the top organic results are more likely to hold the answer they’re looking for – rather than selling them something. As a result of being more reliable and trustworthy, organic results are “8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid results.

Reliable investment. Although you will usually need to invest more resource in the beginning, SEO is long-term investment in your website and will pay dividends for your online marketing and brand for years to come. It is advisable to consult SEO experts during the redevelopment of your website but you can implement SEO best practice at any time.

Low maintenance (ish). SEO is essentially built on making it easy for Google to understand your website as quickly as possible. The more signals you send to Google and the more trusted those signals are – the more likely you are to rank highly. Once the SEO fundamentals are put in place at the very beginning, it requires low investment hereafter to maintain.

Cons

Established agencies hold an advantage. As mentioned earlier, SEO is all about trust and relevance. The more established your website is as an authority on the specific query being searched for, the more likely it is for your website to rank highly in results pages. This means that, initially, established agencies do hold an advantage over start-up agencies because they are more likely to have an established online presence.

Slow return on investment. The nature of SEO and the time it takes for Google to fully index your website means that it can take from 3-6 months before you see any measurable return on investment from your SEO efforts. However, if the content you have invested in is targeted, that will likely increase ROI exponentially over the years to come.

You may need expert support. If you do not have SEO expertise in-house, it is recommended to hire specialists who can implement and advise on the changes that need to be made. This will inevitably cost more depending on how much help your recruitment agency needs.

PPC Vs SEO – Which should you choose?

This choice completely depends on your marketing strategy and the urgency with which you need to see a return on investment.

If you are a small, startup recruitment agency operating in a specific location with a need to see quick ROI, you may want to initially opt for targeted PPC. This may be because your domain authority (i.e. the SEO score of your website) isn’t established yet, you are less likely to have produced as much relevant content on your website as established agencies so it would take a considerable amount of time and investment for SEO to have an impact and for your website to rank highly organically.

Whereas, if your website is well established, and you already rank moderately for valuable keywords, you would benefit from implementing SEO best practice and developing a content strategy to target the more longtail keywords that answer questions and provide solutions to candidates and clients during their research journey in finding the right agency for them.

Do you know whether your website is well established or not? Use this simple website grader or for a more advanced analysis, you can use Majestic’s backlink checker.

Can you do both?

A blended approach to include PPC and SEO activity will, inevitably, cost you more. But, by combining the two, you can benefit from the pros, and reduce the cons, of both. Whilst you are implementing SEO best practice and creating content and improving your website page copy that is more likely to rank highly in search engines, you will still be attracting candidates and clients through PPC. And as your organic ranking and domain authority start to rise in 6 months time, you can begin to reduce your PPC budget and rely more on SEO.

By now, you will have a clearer idea about PPC and SEO, which activity is the best investment for your recruitment agency and what you can expect from both marketing tactics.

Would you like to know how to begin implementing inbound marketing for your recruitment agency? Download your free eBook below.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

Online Reviews: A Guide For Recruitment Agencies

Online reviews or testimonials can be seen as somewhat of a double-edged sword. Positive reviews are a powerful tool, but the real power is in the reviewer. A candidate or client willing to spend time reviewing your recruitment agency’s service can turn into a brand ambassador for your agency. On the other hand, negative reviews can sometimes damage your reputation and discourage potential candidates and clients from using your service.

“85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Bright Local

In this blog we will outline the benefits of requesting online reviews or testimonials for your recruitment agency, and how to deal with any negative reviews in the most effective way.

Where can online reviews be published?

  • Your agency’s website (create a dedicated testimonials page)
  • Google (any online reviews are presented with search results)
  • Your agency’s social media platforms

Benefits of online reviews

  • People trust people. 85% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation – it’s a chance to read real people’s unbiased opinion about the experience that they had with your agency.
  • Transparency. Having online reviews – whether they are good or bad – shows potential clients or candidates that you are transparent and trustworthy, particularly if reviews have been responded to.
  • Effective for local SEO. In short, the more positive Google reviews you have, the more likely your agency is to appear at the top of Google for relevant local search queries. To learn why local SEO is essential for recruitment agencies, have a read of our blog.
  • Turn the negative into a positive. If you do receive a negative review for whatever reason, you can use it as an opportunity to learn and improve your candidate or client experience.

How to obtain online reviews

  • Ask candidates to review your agency immediately after they have been placed in a role. By seizing the moment, candidates are much more likely to take the time to write a review.
  • Once you have completed the recruitment for a client, ask them to spend a few minutes to write a review about the experience they had with your recruitment agency.
  • If a candidate or client is thanking you for your help, it can be the perfect opportunity to ask for some help in return by requesting a review or testimonial.
  • Ensure that it is as easy as possible for candidates and clients to leave reviews. For Google reviews, ensure that any correspondence you have with them includes clear guidance on how to do this.
  • Provide options for where people can write a review or testimonial. It could be an online survey so you can publish it on your agency’s website, links to your social media platforms or links for Google reviews.

How to deal with negative reviews

  • Respond promptly. Negative reviews are never easy to read, but responding right away in a professional manner can help turn that bad review around.
  • Acknowledge the problem. Shirking responsibility when something has gone wrong, regardless of how big or small, will only cause the candidate or client to become more unhappy with the situation. By understanding the issue with as much empathy and efficiency as possible, you’ll be more able to resolve the problem.
  • Reply online. Reply promptly to the negative review or comment online for all to see. By doing so, it shows that you take these comments seriously. Some candidates or clients will even correct a bad review after a successful resolution, so addressing issues quickly can help turn things around.

All in all, promoting online reviews or publishing testimonials on your agency’s website is advantageous as it shows potential candidates and clients that you are proactive with seeking feedback and focused on resolving problems in an efficient manner. In addition, potential new customers will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations as it builds confidence and trust in the service you deliver.

Are you interested in learning from other recruitment professionals how they manage and grow their successful agency? Download our free eBook today.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

10 Social Media Tips For Recruitment Agencies

Social media is now an indispensable element of every recruitment agency’s marketing strategy. However, without the right approach, it can often be a time-consuming activity and a difficult channel to measure return on investment.

One of the first steps when devising a social media strategy is to define what outcomes your recruitment agency hopes to achieve. These most often involve:

  • Driving traffic to your website.
  • Increasing brand awareness.
  • Connecting directly with candidates and clients.

Within this blog, we have outlined the top 10 social media tips that can improve your social media strategy and give you the knowledge to get the best ROI for your recruitment agency.

1. Not All Social Media Channels Are Equal

To spend your time as efficiently as possible, you need to understand where your target candidates and clients are most active and devote more time to these social media channels. The first step in understanding your audience is to create personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal candidates and clients. In doing so, you can make calculated assumptions about which channels are the most cost-effective for your agency. For example – if you are an IT Recruiter, after analysing the behaviour of your candidate personas, you may find that your time is much more valuable in creating content for and beginning conversations with candidates on Stack Overflow and Reddit rather than Facebook and LinkedIn.

Don’t know how to create candidate or client personas? Read this blog.

2. Optimise Your Agency Profile Pages

According to LinkedIn, “75% of candidates research your company’s reputation” before applying for a job. That being said, your agency’s social media profile is often one of the first touchpoints a new candidate or client will make with your agency, whether it is on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Ensuring it is up-to-date and represents your agency is as important as the home page of your website.

If you have a presence on social media, make sure:

  • The imagery and tone of voice of your agency profile page is consistent with your website.
  • You provide a link your website.
  • Your “About Us” is concise and summarises your services and value proposition.

By ensuring these fundamentals are upheld, you will encourage rather than discourage any visitors to your agency social media profile pages.

3. Conduct Hashtag Research (Twitter Tip)

Hashtags are not the be-all and end-all of a great tweet but they can help to amplify your message to the right audience. Hashtags are primarily used on Twitter but searches can also be performed on Facebook and LinkedIn. When using hashtags as a beginner to social media, there is a tendency to use as many as possible in the hope that you reach the largest audience. In truth, you need to find the balance between getting your message across in an engaging way and using the right hashtags that will encourage clicks, likes or comments, depending on your social media goal.

A free tool to make sure your hashtags are reaching the widest and most relevant audience is Hashtagify. By inputting a broad term, you can see what hashtags are the most popular, who the top influencers are and many more valuable insights which you can use to optimise your social media posts.

4. Choose Eye-Catching Imagery (For Posts)

When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
HubSpot

The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true no more so than on social media. Not only do images take up a lot more “newsfeed real estate”, they also have a much better chance of stopping the scroll, standing out and attracting the click.

Simply, the more relevant and intriguing your images are, the more clicks you will tend to attract.

5. Leverage Social Media Partnerships

Social media is about maximising your outreach with the people who value your content and conversations the most. Identify the companies or people who regularly like, comment and retweet your social media posts and assess whether you can utilise their expertise. By partnering up with these social media connections, you may be able to create some valuable content, leverage their knowledge to write a guest blog or even follow them up as a potential client or candidate prospect.

6. Use The 80/20 Rule

It can be tempting to use social media to only promote your recruitment agency services and live job ads. After all, your over-arching goals are usually to drive traffic to your website or attract high quality candidates to apply for your open vacancies. But, taking a strategic view of social media, your target audience does not want to be bombarded with sales messages 100% of the time – and this is understandable. They primarily use social media to stay informed and to be entertained. So, as an agency, it is essential that take notice of this and apply the 80/20 rule.

Looking at the social media output, you should aim to entertain or inform your audience 80% of the time with relevant articles and content whilst promoting jobs and your agency 20% of the time. This way, you can utilise your social media channels to achieve your business goals and grow an engaged audience simultaneously.

7. Monitor Your Competition

Social media provides an irresistible opportunity to monitor your direct competition and assess your social media output against your competitors. By creating “streams” on Hootsuite, you can quickly get a snapshot of the content that your competitors are posting. This will, no doubt, spark new content ideas and keep you abreast of any new social media and marketing activity that your competitors are investing in, such as an increase in content output or whether they are using social advertising.

8. Sensational Titles Succeed

To cut through the never-ending newsfeeds that exist on every social media channel, your aim with each individual post needs to be, “how can I stop the scroll?” And by this. we mean creating thought-provoking articles and posting something that will grab your audience’s attention. It is no surprise that the most shared articles, videos, images and content on social media gravitate towards the most extreme emotions, whether the posts are hilarious, shocking, adorable or revealing. As a professional recruitment agency, you may wonder – how can we create content that is aligned with our audience that also grabs people’s attention?

It is not easy and will take time to for your agency to find this balance, but to give you a real life example, here’s a title of an article by Jan Tegze that succeeds in grabbing your attention, attracting the click and driving engagement:

Perfect Candidates Don’t Exist: The Myth of Finding The “Perfect” Hire

This rather shocking titles implores Jan Tegze’s target audience, primarily HR professionals and high quality candidates, to find out what he means and how he has come to this conclusion. This method of using more sensational titles has certainly contributed to the success of the article on LinkedIn, where it garnered 318 likes, 40 comments and 141 shares. By aligning the title of your article with an extreme emotion, you are much more likely to achieve better results.

9. Timing Is Everything

Another key tactic for maximising your social media engagement is timing. Posting at the right time can be the difference between your content getting in front of your target audience or it getting lost in the social media abyss.

The first step is finding out who your target audiences are, assessing when they are most likely to be online and adjusting your posting schedule to match your analysis. If you’re aiming at attracting solicitors, for example, you may want to post early in the morning, between 6am – 9am, or early in the evening, between 6pm – 8pm. To get a more data-driven picture of when your audience is online, you can use Rival IQ which allows you to find out, “exactly which posts get the best response,” and at what time your posts receive most engagement.

10. Test, Measure And Improve

The majority of social media channels have their own native analytics which you can use to assess your social media output and performance. By organising monthly or quarterly reviews to analyse both your website (with Google Analytics) and the native analytics on individual social media channels, you will have a much more structured method of measuring how effective your current strategy is and where it needs improvement.

Simply devoting time to strategically assessing your social media output will give you a clearer view of what is working and what isn’t. By implementing data driven improvements, you can make your social media channels a more refined and revenue generating activity.

Social media is an important part of an inbound marketing strategy. To learn how to get started with inbound marketing for your recruitment agency, download your free guide.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

7 Key Recruitment Metrics For Recruitment Agencies

With the access of “big data”, your recruitment agency and recruiters have tools available to them like recruitment software and BI platforms to use data to analyse, track and measure operational and financial performance. But when it comes to operational performance, what recruitment metrics or key performance indicators can be identified and measured to gather insights of your recruitment agency and recruiting staff performance?

Below is a list of 7 key recruitment metrics that can assist you to analyse and measure operational performance across your recruitment agency.

1. Placements To Goal

Placements to goal equates to the number of placements required to meet a predetermined goal within a defined period of time. Placement to goal gives your recruitment team a clear indicator of how many placements they need make before reaching their monthly, quarterly or annual target.

2. Time To Fill

Time to fill can be measured in two ways with the most common being the number of days between a vacancy being received and a candidate accepting an offer. The additional measure is the number of days between the date a candidate accepted the offer to the candidate’s start date. Both are beneficial to measure the average time to fill a vacancy and then the average time from offer to start date to measure efficiencies and revenue forecasting.

3. Application To Interview To Placement

This metric is useful to measure how effective your overall recruitment process has been for a particular role or on average for your agency. You can measure the number of applicants (from either external advertising or candidates registered in your recruitment CRM), consultant interviews, CVs forwarded for a role, to client interview, to offer, to placement. This metric will provide oversight on the effectiveness at key stages of the recruitment process and highlight any areas of slippage.

4. Sourcing Channel Effectiveness

Sourcing channel effectiveness can be measured in two ways; quantity or quality. The quantity measure is the number of candidates generated from each sourcing channel during a given timeframe. The quality measure is the number of candidates generated from each sourcing channel and then successfully placed in a role. This data will assist with creating a clear picture of which sourcing channels are beneficial for volume candidate attraction and which are most effective in generating revenue.

5. Margin/Placement Fee

A temporary margin or a permanent placement fee are revenue streams for all recruitment agencies. By measuring and tracking your average temporary margin or placement fee for growth or erosion you can clearly see how your recruitment agency performing. This metric is also very useful to assist for revenue projections, measure overall discounting and market conditions.

6. Client Retention

A simple metric to measure, client retention refers to the number of clients where vacancies were received compared to the same period the year before. Fundamentally, this will compare how many clients you have gained, retained or lost in a 6 or 12 month period.

7. Candidate Satisfaction

Candidate satisfaction is an crucial metric to measure objective feedback from candidates regarding their overall experience with engaging with your agency/recruitment consultants. An online survey is an excellent tool for capturing candidate feedback through key stages of the recruitment to placement process. These insights can inform you where your particular strengths are and in what areas you need to improve.

Is your agency data driven? Find out how data can help build an exceptional recruitment team by downloading our free guide.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

6 Social Media Influencers In Recruitment You Should Follow

After conducting a survey of recruitment professionals in the UK and Ireland, we learned just how intertwined recruitment and social media activity has become and how highly regarded social media is within the industry:

“90% of recruitment professionals agree that social media is still an important channel”

“Over half of the UK and Ireland’s recruitment agencies predict advancements in social media will have the biggest impact in 2018”

Despite its importance, it remains a difficult channel to engage candidates and consistently inspire conversation that gets you noticed ahead of your peers. This is where following the right social media influencers can be advantageous.

By following the right recruitment influencers on social media, you can:

  • Stay on top of current opinion, trends and news within the recruitment sector.
  • Share and get involved in conversations with influencers to help build your online profile.
  • Become inspired and learn how to recruit, work and lead more efficiently.
  • Get ideas for fresh content for blogs or social media posts.

6 Social Media Influencers Every Recruiter Should Follow


1. Andy Headworth | HMRC | Deputy Director, Recruitment & Apprenticeships

@andyheadworth | Twitter Followers: 25k
Andy Headworth | LinkedIn Followers: 148k

Former Managing Director of Sirona Consulting, one of the UK’s foremost recruitment strategy agencies, Andy Headworth now works for HMRC. Author of best selling Social Media Recruitment, his advice, articles and know-how is well worth listening to.

He is active on LinkedIn and Twitter, regularly sharing industry news, his own articles and having the odd heated debate.

2. Louise Triance | UK Recruiter | Managing Director

@louisetriance | Twitter Followers: 10.4k
Louise Triance | LinkedIn Followers: 13k

Louise’s recruitment network and knowledge spans 20 years of hosting over 100 events for recruiters, founding and writing for the recruitment knowledge network, UK Recruiter, and co-hosting the Recruitment Stuff show.

She is active on both Twitter and LinkedIn and there isn’t a story or engaging conversation about UK recruitment that Louise isn’t a part of.

3. Johnny Campbell | Social Talent | CEO & Co-Founder

@JohnnyCampbell | Twitter Followers: 3,7k
Johnny Campbell | LinkedIn Followers: 24.5k

Johnny Campbell is the co-Founder and CEO of Social Talent, “the world’s leading provider of online recruitment training”. He leads Social Talent’s product strategy, marketing and content teams but is, perhaps, most recognisable as a regular keynote speaker at any, global recruitment event, “that will take me!”

Follow him on Twitter, Linkedin and even Instagram – you will learn and laugh in equal measures.

4. Lisa Jones | Barclay Jones | Director & Founder

@LisaMariJones | Twitter Followers: 6.1k
Lisa Jones | LinkedIn Followers: 9,9k

Lisa Jones is Founder of Barclay Jones, leaders in recruitment success training, recruitment technology strategy, and digital marketing strategy for the recruitment industry. She has particular expertise within recruitment technology having worked in the sector for nearly 20 years.

Read her blogs and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest insights on recruitment technology trends.

5. Kevin Green | Good Recruitment Campaign | Chairman

@kevingreenwnc | Twitter Followers: 14.6k
Kevin Green | LinkedIn Followers: 11.7k

Kevin Green was the CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Federation (REC)  for nearly 10 years, recently stepping down in March 2018. He is now a high profile consultant within recruitment and talent acquisition. He has also spoken at Tedx and writes regular blogs.

His opinion and insights are highly regarded and, as he begins a new chapter of his career, his presence on social media will only become more prominent.

6. Greg Savage | The Savage Truth | Principal & Speaker

@greg_savage | Twitter Followers: 56.9k
Greg Savage | LinkedIn Followers: 233k

Owner of two award-winning recruitment agencies, Australian recruitment guru, Greg Savage, now speaks to and trains recruitment professionals around the world. In 2015, he was voted the most influential person in the Australian recruitment industry in the past 60 years and in 2016, he was named the most influential business voice on Twitter (Australia).

He doesn’t hold back and his blunt view on all things recruitment is refreshing and often thought provoking. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn to be shocked and inspired.

For more insights from recruitment professionals about the UK and Ireland recruitment industry, download our latest eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Recruitment Software Implementation: 6 Steps To Prepare

When you are looking at implementing new recruitment software into your agency, there are a number of ways your recruitment agency can prepare to ensure the implementation runs smoothly and your software users embrace your new investment.

Recruitment software implementation services differs from one software provider to another, and will generally depend on:

  • The type of recruitment software purchased
  • Installing the software on your infrastructure
  • The type and complexity of data migration
  • Configuration of the recruitment CRM
  • Any bespoke software development
  • User acceptance testing
  • Training of the software users

Most recruitment software providers will offer a implementation specialist to coordinate the requirements with you, or paid project management / implementation services. Irrespective of what implementation approach your recruitment software provider offers, below are 6 steps your agency can take to prepare for the recruitment software implementation process.

Step 1. Get The Right People Involved

As your recruitment software is used by staff across your agency, the importance of creating a dedicated project team which includes a team member from each department will ensure you have the right people involved with your recruitment software implementation. Each team member should bring their knowledge of your business, to provide input, and do not underestimate the amount of time involved to implement the software successfully into your recruitment agency.

Step 2. Know Your Business

One of first steps for the project team is to ensure that they have a good understanding of how your agency operates in the delivery of your end-to-end recruitment services, to both candidates and clients. Do not underestimate the little things. By having either your processes documented or a clear understanding within the project team, this will ensure that they are able to address your specific business requirements during each stage of the implementation process.

Step 3. Know Your Data

Data migration is not a one-size fits all service and it will depend on what your recruitment agency decides is ‘essential’ data required in your new recruitment CRM. The only individuals who really know your data are you and your staff. Spend the time to review all your data, identify what is ‘essential’ data to migrate to your new recruitment software and cleanse it. This may include removing duplicate or incomplete records, or inconsistencies in data formats, or how the data has been entered. The time spent cleansing your data up front will certainly assist with any data migration services you purchase.

Step 4. Configuration And Test

Once your recruitment CRM has been installed onto your infrastructure and your data migration is scheduled or delivered, it is time to configure your new recruitment software. Depending on the type of recruitment software purchased, you may be able to do the configuration yourself or it might involve paid, bespoke configuration or software development. Spend the time by referring back to your processes, and test the software to ensure you have identified any gaps in the configuration and setup.

Step 5. Invest In Training

Understandably, recruitment software training can be seen as an additional option (and an additional cost) and not always essential. However, software training is a hugely important element to ensuring your staff have the knowledge and skills to successfully do their role efficiently. The more your staff are trained and understand how your new recruitment software supports them doing their role better, the more it will be embraced.

Step 6. Support Your Staff

The majority of learning for any software happens outside of the formal training program, as your staff get on with their daily work. To maximise the investment from the initial training, many recruitment agencies implement a continuous learning environment which aims to support staff after the initial formal training as their staff continue to use the new recruitment software and require either additional support or refresher training as they go.

See what fellow recruiters have to say regarding the landscape for the UK & Ireland recruitment industry in 2018, download our free eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

The Generation Game: Attracting X, Y & Z Candidates

As a recruiter, across your career, you will inevitably recruit for a multitude of varied roles that will attract a diverse range of candidates. But how often do you write your job ads based on the differing generation traits of your intended audience?

Although generations are, for all intents and purposes, fictional representations of specific age groups, they can be very helpful for this very purpose. Generations are based on “people within a delineated population who experience the same significant events within a given period of time”.

This means that they will often share similar personality traits, motivations, communication and work preferences. By using these generation guidelines, you can tailor your jobs ads and content strategies to appeal to the right candidates, advertise in the most lucrative places and receive more, higher quality applications. So what are these generational similarities?

Generation X (1965 -1979)

Personality: Talented, adventurous, innovative and resilient
Motivations: Independence, responsibility, stability.
Rewards: Freedom and real life fun.
Communication Preference: Direct – tailored email, telephone, networking
Career Path: Loyal, stable.

The often overlooked “middle child” generation are now reaching their early 40s to mid 50s. Research suggests that Generation X candidates are more productive and easily trainable compared to the earlier Baby Boomer generation. They are tech literate and use it in their work life but do not need it to exist like their younger Generation Y (Millennial) and Generation Z colleagues.

They usually seek a work/life balance and although they are highly motivated as a workforce, they need to be financially compensated because they have significant outgoings such as a mortgage and children.

This generation began their job search by looking through newspapers and job directories but they are now well versed with online job sites and LinkedIn. However, the higher quality candidates of this generation expect to hear about an opportunity either through their current contacts or to be contacted in person due to their level of experience. This highlights the importance of a well crafted introductory email or building relationships with Gen X candidates in person at related events.

Want to know the benefits of building a passive candidate pipeline? Read our blog.

Generation Y (1980 – 1994)

Personality: Tenacious, multi-tasking, creative and transparent.
Motivations: Making a difference, career growth, collaboration.
Rewards: Recognition, work/life balance, training and experience over salary.
Communication Preference: Email and social media.
Career Path: Always looking for the next challenge.

The well documented rise of the Generation Y, or millennial workforce, has dominated blog streams over the last 5 years as it has been forecasted that they will become the largest working generation by 2019, eclipsing Baby Boomers (1945-1965). These digital pioneers are significantly different to their Gen X colleagues because of the exponential growth technology has experienced in the past 15 years. They are currently at the forefront, testing and creating new technology and pushing the horizons.

They are smart, want to make a difference with their career and short term focused. They aren’t afraid to jump ship if they don’t see a future in their current role. In fact, they view moving on every 3-5 years as “the way” to progress quickly. The want their ideas to be recognised and to be a part of the strategic decisions, even if they aren’t responsible for making the final call.

They use social media on a daily basis because it has become where they consume their news – through Facebook and Twitter streams. Designing standout adverts or writing engaging content that will get shared on these channels is a sure-fire to get in front of Generation Y.

Generation Z (1995 – 2012)

Personality: Multi-talented, entrepreneurial, realistic, sceptical.
Motivations: Salary, creative license, progressive culture.
Rewards: Flexibility, material gain over experience.
Communication Preference: Mobile centric, video, social media.
Career Path: Job hopping in search of perfection.

The youngest and least researched generation is Generation Z or iGen, who are slowly infiltrating the global workforce, the oldest having just turned 23. Compared to their millennial colleagues, they are digital natives and barely remember a time where they didn’t have a mobile phone in their hand, connecting with their friends on a variety of social media channels.

They are data literate, analytical and less idealistic than Generation Y candidates. This may be because their parents experienced a damaging recession at the peak of their working years and they are cautious not to be left financially vulnerable. This means that they are motivated by salary but also expect a progressive working culture where they can express their creativity.

With a shorter attention span than older generations, their social life is dominated by virtual relationships; sharing videos, images and memes. Because of this, their standards of creativity are high. To attract Generation Z candidates, you must command their attention immediately with innovative ideas that are visually compelling, such as video jobs ads.

Learn how 5 leading companies are using video marketing for their candidate attraction strategy in our blog.

Understanding the target audience for the roles you’re recruiting for is an important step in deciding how to attract the desired candidates you’re searching for. By having clear picture of what motivates them and on what channels they are most active, you can devote your time to creating ads and content that will have a significant impact in candidate attraction.

74% of recruitment agencies identified finding talent as the top challenge for their recruiters in 2018. To find out more industry insights as predicted by recruitment professionals, download our free guide.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

5 Considerations For A Successful Data Migration

For any recruitment agency, data is one of your biggest assets. So when you’re looking at investing in new recruitment software one of the major considerations during the implementation stage is data migration.

So what is a data migration, why is it important and what do you need to consider when discussing data migration options with your recruitment software provider?

What Is A Data Migration?

A data migration simply refers to the transfer of data from one source into another. The complexity of a data migration depends entirely on the type of data you wish to be extracted from your existing recruitment CRM, applications or manual spreadsheets and imported into your new recruitment software.

What To Consider For A Successful Data Migration

1. What type of data migration services are available?

Data migration is not a one-size fits all service and it will depend on what your recruitment agency decides is ‘essential’ data and information required in your new recruitment CRM. Below are the two standard data migration services offered by most recruitment software providers:

Field data import from a excel spreadsheet or CSV file
The most basic data migration is an import of data from a excel spreadsheet or CSV file. This usually would contain specific candidate and client field data such as name, address, email address, phone numbers, employment preferences and associated attachments, like a CV.

This usually entails extracting data from your current recruitment software into a prescribed excel template provided by your new recruitment software provider.

Bespoke data mapping and conversion
A more complex data migration service would involve data mapping and conversion from one recruitment CRM to another. This generally would include your new recruitment software provider accessing your current recruitment software and performing a data mapping process to migrate candidate and client field data. This may include interaction and activity records, multiple compliance or vetting documents, right through to linked vacancies, timesheets and financials.

Deciding what data and information is business critical comes down to having a discussion within your business and identifying and prioritising what information will be essential to migrate. Then, you can consult with your new recruitment software provider to assess how that will impact the cost and duration of your data migration.

2. How will the data migration service be costed?

Cost is always a consideration when reviewing the type of data migration service is best for your recruitment agency. The cost of a data migration is based on what type and complexity of the data you have decided to migrate into your new recruitment software.

Most recruitment software providers will provide a fixed project cost for the data migration requirement, ranging from £850 to £1,200 per day. The project cost should include the total number of days and what stages are included like project management, data mapping, data extraction and conversion and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

NB: Depending on your existing recruitment software provider there could also be additional cost to release or extract your current data.

3. Do you need to review and cleanse your data?

Investing in new recruitment software provides the perfect opportunity to assess and review the quality of your data, clean it and make sure you’re complying with latest data protection laws, such as the upcoming GDPR. This may include the removing of duplicate or incomplete records or inconsistencies in data formats or how the data has been entered.

Unfortunately, this is usually the task that takes the longest to undertake and you and your staff are generally the best people to know how your data should look.

4. Who should you involve in the data migration process?

The process of data migration and in particular the data cleansing should involve key team members across your business. These team members will be in the best position to advise you on what data is critical and by involving people right from the outset, you can easily achieve buy in. By spreading the tasks of reviewing and cleansing your data across a few team members, it will expedite the process and make it more thorough.

5. How long will a data migration take?

Although this is usually one of the first questions asked about data migration services, it is not simple question to answer. There are a number of factors which dictate the time frame for a data migration project, including the type of data migration service purchased, the quality of your data and how long it would take your team to review and cleanse it and the time it takes your recruitment software provider to perform the data migration service.

Data migration does not need to be a complex and exhaustive project, but it will require some dedicated time from both your team and your new software provider. This will ensure your requirements are identified, the project is costed within your budget and ultimately your data is migrated successful into your new recruitment CRM.

Over 75% of recruitment agencies in the UK & Ireland identified recruitment software as a potential new investment for 2018. To find out more insights for the year ahead, download our free eBook.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

How To Build A Passive Candidate Pipeline

In our recent eBook – The 2018 Recruitment And Technology Trends – UK and Ireland – we found that 74.6% of recruitment agencies have identified “finding talent” as the top challenge for 2018.  Among the primary reasons why finding talent remains such a challenge is, of course, the skills shortage combined with a record low unemployment rate in the UK. For recruiters, this translates to the majority of quality candidates already being employed. In fact, these “passive candidates” make up the vast majority of the market, globally 75% of the workforce.

What Is The Difference Between An Active And Passive Candidate?

By definition, an active candidate is “actively” looking for a job whereas a passive candidate is not. Usually, a passive candidate already has employment but could be open to hearing about the right opportunity. LinkedIn’s U.S. & Canada Talent Trends report advises; “90 percent of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities.”

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Building A Passive Candidate Pipeline?

Pros

Exclusive
The nature of a passive candidate means that they are unlikely to be regularly interviewing for a number of roles because, realistically, they will only be looking to move for that next ideal opportunity. This means that when you do have a role that they are interested in, they are more likely to be exclusively your candidate.

Quality Over Quantity
When building your passive candidate pipeline, you can focus on building relationships with high quality candidates that you know have the motivation, skills, experience and cultural fit that your clients will be looking for in their current or future workforce requirements.

Reliable
Undercover Recruiter reported that passive candidates are 120% more likely to want to make an impact at a new business than active candidates. As a recruitment agency, your reputation is built on the quality of the candidates you provide to your clients so the more reliable they are, the better your agency appears.

Honesty
Honesty and transparency from a candidate is critical for any successful placement. Due to the job security that passive candidates can fall back on, they tend to be more open and honest in both what they are looking for and what they will accept if offered. Active candidates may be willing to accept a role even if they do not intend to stay there, simply because they may need employment.

Cons

Important Vs Urgent
Time management and prioritisation are two key skills of a successful recruiter, as you are consistently spending your day balancing important versus urgent candidate and client requirements. Building a passive candidate pipeline takes time and you don’t often see any immediate ROI. But, over time, as your pool starts to grow, you might not have to advertise every single role you receive from your clients, as you already have that ideal candidate in your passive candidate pipeline.

Negotiating Counter Offers
A counter offer from a candidate’s current employer is always challenging after you have spent time building a relationship, identifying a new opportunity and coordinating the interview process. As most passive candidates are currently employed, take a read of our blog on 7 Counter Offer Statistics Every Recruiter Needs To Know so, when you are presented with a counter offer, you have some stats and information to discuss with your candidate.

4 Tips For Building a Passive Candidate Pipline

1. Keep Your Friends Close (And Your Past Candidates Closer)

A. Stay in contact with your previously placed candidates
With your previously placed candidates, you can rely on their ability to perform at an interview and you already have that relationship based on finding them their current job. Set a reminder every 6 months to check how they are doing and you’ll be first to recognise when they may be interested in hearing about new opportunities.

B. Stay in contact with candidates you didn’t place
You may have represented candidates in the past who accepted another job offer. By keeping in regular contact with them, you can ensure that the next time they’re looking to move for another role, your name will be first on their mind.

C. Make use of your existing network
Ask your circle of friends if they, or any of their colleagues, might be interested in new opportunities.

2. Build Your Personal Brand

It is one thing to represent your recruitment agencies brand but, as a recruiter, a lot relies on you, as a individual. The more you can gain a positive reputation in your specialist sector, the more receptive passive candidates will be to talking to you.

Online
Write blogs or share industry news on social media that will resonate with your target candidates. By becoming part of the online community, you will begin to build relationships with relevant candidates without thrusting your open vacancies in their face. Optimise your LinkedIn profile to be as transparent as possible and encourage personal reviews on your LinkedIn profile from past candidates.

Offline
Attend events that your candidates will likely attend. It doesn’t always have to be business events either. Social events can be more lucrative for building real relationships and no matter how helpful new technology can be, there is nothing more effective than meeting someone face-to-face.

3. Be Authentic

At every point of communication with a passive candidate, authenticity is paramount. Passive candidates are often strangers before you contact them, they don’t owe you anything so by being personal, polite and genuinely interested in their career, you can give yourself the best chance of connecting with them.

4. Use The Tools At Your Disposal

Believe it or not, your recruitment software can also be an excellent tool for helping to attract and manage your passive candidate pipeline:

  • Add a personal touch to your communication with past candidates by recalling earlier conversations recorded in the communication log.
  • Use your recruitment software to schedule in reminders to contact passive candidates – don’t rely on your memory for everything.
  • Segment your candidate pipeline into active and passive candidates so you can manage where you need to devote your time.

Building a continuous pipeline of passive candidate is a long game tactic, as it takes time each day to reach out and build those relationships. But by focusing and developing pipelines of both active and passive candidates, you will be in a better stance to fill your clients roles quicker and more effectively.

Are your recruiters consistently struggling to hit their target? Download our free guide below and build an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

How Will Voice Search Impact Recruitment?

For our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment Industry and Technology trends eBook, we asked survey recipients a few key questions regarding the performance of their agency’s website and if they are aware of upcoming changes with Google searches. For any recruitment agency, their website acts as the shop window to both candidates and clients alike, so the importance of their website’s performance in relevant internet searches continues to be a business priority.

Did you know that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches?

Voice search was a major headline in the tech news of 2017. With the growth in popularity of voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search is changing the way that people interact with the internet and their search queries.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search uses speech recognition technology to allow users to make voice commands to a portable device such as a mobile, tablet or voice assistant. It is undoubtedly interlinked with mobile search, with 19% of people already using Apple’s Siri every day. Significantly, currently 78% of millenials use a mobile device to search for jobs.

With voice search gradually becoming a part of our everyday life, it will be on the radar of many industries. It is already having a profound impact on many sectors such as ecommerce, with studies showing that 1 in 4 people in the US used a voice assistant for shopping over the holiday season. But what will be the impact of voice search on the recruitment industry as a whole and what can you do ensure you stay at the top of Google?

Statistics about voice search

Voice Search And Content

As voice search becomes more prominent, a noteworthy change in the way that internet searches will operate will be focused around semantics. Technology has had to adapt its natural language processing systems to understand search queries being communicated in a much more conversational, human manner. As a result of this, search engines are now much more adept at understanding the more complex (also known as long tailed keywords or search terms) queries which dominate voice search.

As these long tail search terms become used more frequently, recruitment agencies may need to consider the language that they are using in their job adverts and blog content to reflect these changes in terminology. For instance, this would be the difference between:

“Part time waiter jobs East London” (short tail keyword)

verses

“What part time waiter jobs are there in East London?” (long tail keyword)

Long tail queries beginning with question words such as with ‘who, what, where, when, how’ which are indicators of the intent of the candidate, which can be used to your advantage in any content being produced. By understanding the kinds of questions which your potential candidates are asking, you can create content which is structured around these questions. This utilises the way that voice search results work as well as reassuring the candidate that you can answer their queries.

Research has been conducted which shows that 48% of people would like to receive personalised tips and information with their voice assistance queries. By writing FAQs and useful content that addresses your target audience’s (i.e. candidates) “pain points” you can appear in more Google searches and attract candidates earlier in their job search.

In addition to creating job adverts that are written with voice search in mind, this approach also demonstrates how effective content marketing and blogging can be if it is well executed. To find out more about inbound marketing, download our Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies eBook here.

Voice Search And Location-Based Results

When voice searches are performed on mobile devices, they are embedded with geographic information that isn’t always enabled on desktop devices. This means that if a candidate were to search for jobs using a particular job title, the GPS on the device they are using will be able to add this location information to their query. These location-specific web pages are more likely to appear first in the search engine results pages of Google and Bing.

By ensuring that your job adverts are clearly listed with their location, recruitment agencies can avoid missing any of the location based search traffic which is increasingly coming from voice search.

Voice Search and SEO

For the location-based results to work, local SEO for recruitment agencies is essential. Your listings may be ranking satisfactorily on desktop for generic searches, but it can be another story in the results for a voice search. As mentioned previously, SEO must be a vital element of your strategy in order to reap the rewards of voice searches.

Your SEO strategy doesn’t stop there, however. The rise in voice search has also accelerated a rise in the importance of featured snippets. A featured snippet (also known as an answer box) is the result which occasionally comes up in Google searches for specific queries.

How To Write A Great CV

These featured snippets take up more “real estate” on search engine results pages, often appearing before the Number 1 position on Google, and are of specific interest with regards to voice search results.

If a candidate were to use a voice assistant such as the Google Home Mini or Amazon Alexa, the featured snippet will be the first result that is read out. Recruitment agencies can use this to their advantage by optimising content such as industry-related blogs with answer box status in mind. Gaining an answer box is not an exact science, but ensuring that your content is written with your audience in mind is best practice for search engine visibility, regardless. If you’d like to learn more about the tactics that you can use for featured snippet status, have a look at this blog from Moz.

What Impact Will Voice Search Have On Recruitment?

Since Apple introduced Siri in 2011, the use of voice search has steadily grown. Considering the huge investments made by rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon in 2017 things don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

It seems likely that voice search will be heavily linked to search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. The more candidates and clients who opt to use voice search in their everyday lives, the more important SEO and your content marketing strategy will become in attracting potential visitors to your website and increasing your brand awareness.

To find out the other predictions and insights for the UK and Ireland recruitment industry in 2018 download our free eBook below.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

The GDPR Compliance Toolkit For Recruitment Agencies

As we are fast approaching the new GDPR regulations coming into effect on the 25th May 2018, all organisations that process individual/personal data as a ‘data controller’ or ‘data processor’ within the European Union (EU) are required to comply with the new regulation to avoid increased fines and penalties.

During our own extensive research on the new regulations, we have come across a multitude of online articles, blogs, guides and white papers providing advice on the new GDPR regulations, but not all of them deliver.

So to shortcut this exhaustive process for you, here’s our shortlist of the best online GDPR resources including some specifically for the recruitment industry to make up your GDPR compliance toolkit*.

NB: Be sure to bookmark this page for later so you can easily access the best resources on GDPR.

Quick Reads on GDPR

A Short Guide To The EU GDPR | IT Governance

IT Governance are a “leading global provider of IT governance, risk management and compliance solutions”. Their guide will give you the basic breakdown of what GDPR is, the primary impact it will have on organisations and what you will need to do to comply with the new regulation. It’s a 3 minute read so if you know nothing about the upcoming regulation changes, here’s a good place to start.

What is GDPR? The Need To Know Guide | Eclipse Software

Our recently published blog aims to provide a straightforward guide to the answers of the 8 most frequently searched questions in Google about GDPR. You will get concise information of the basics, as well as:

  • Who Enforces GDPR?
  • Are GDPR Fines Insurable?
  • What Does GDPR’s “right to be forgotten” Rule Mean?
  • Will GDPR Apply After Brexit?

Are You GDPR Ready? HubSpot’s Checklist | HubSpot

HubSpot’s GDPR section is very useful and practical for all organisations looking to prepare for GDPR. If you know the basics of GDPR for your recruitment agency but aren’t quite sure where to start, HubSpot’s checklist gives you the questions you will need to ask yourself in order to begin the process of compliance. It will only take 5 minutes to read but, after reading this resource you’ll feel a lot more confident of what you need to do before 25th May 2018.

Longer Reads on GDPR

Preparing For EU GDPR | Alan Calder

Founder of IT Governance, Alan Calder, is the author of EU GDPR: A Pocket’s Guide and in this resource, he provides a more detailed breakdown of the particular legislation changes that will occur after 25th May 2018 and what approach to take. The slideshare is accompanied by a 1 hour video presentation so, if you’re more engaged by video, then this is the resource for you.

Supporting GDPR Compliance in Recruitment | Volcanic

Volcanic, who specialise in making websites for recruitment agencies, have a wealth of knowledge about GDPR and how to make your website compliant for the new regulation. Their download, Supporting GDPR Compliance in Recruitment is a comprehensive guide specifically for agencies and covers:

  • Do I really need to comply with GDPR?
  • What does GDPR mean for me?
  • 12 steps to support GDPR compliance

What Does GDPR Mean For Recruitment Agencies? | Eclipse Software

Our downloadable eBook is a comprehensive guide specifically for recruitment agencies. We might be biased but we think it covers everything you need to consider when preparing for GDPR, plus a little bit more. Sections include:

  • An Individual (Candidate) Rights
  • The Definition of Personal Data
  • How Will GDPR Impact Recruitment Agencies?
  • What Does Your Recruitment Agency Need To Do?

GDPR In Full

If you still haven’t quite had your fill of GDPR compliance and would like to study the finer points of the legislation complete with legal terminology, you can use the two resources below:

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) | ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. Their complete guide is a bit more user friendly than the legislation itself and they also have a very useful 12 step guide as well as self assessment checklists for data controllers and data processors.

REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 | Official Journal Of The European Union

The regulation in full may not be the most engaging reading, but if you interested in reading the official language direct from the source, here is every clause of the GDPR legislation.

gdpr recruitment agency

*Disclaimer: Any person who intends to rely upon or use the information contained herein in any way is solely responsible for independently verifying the information and obtaining independent expert advice if required.

The Top 4 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Trends For 2018

The recruitment industry, and technology, as a whole is constantly evolving. The new year provides a natural opportunity to take stock of the year we’ve left behind and to speculate about the year ahead. In November 2017 we conducted an online survey targeting recruitment professionals across the UK and Ireland to seek their thoughts, predictions and insights regarding the landscape of the recruitment industry and technology for 2018.

Below are 4 trends taken from our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Landscape eBook.

1. 2018 A Year For Growth

Despite the ongoing brexit progression and the upcoming GDPR legislation, there is still a remarkably positive attitude across the employment and recruitment sector. In fact, the Office of National Statistics recently reported that unemployment in the UK has dropped to 1.44 million, a four decade low.

This is reflected in our survey, where 94.9% of recruitment agencies are predicting growth in 2018. This is primarily due to current sector demand according to 57.1% of surveyed participants. ONS statistician David Freeman confirms the prediction of recruitment professional in the UK & Ireland commenting, “Demand for workers clearly remain[s] strong.”

2. Finding Top Talent Remains Top Challenge

Although this is very positive for the recruitment industry in the UK, with a low unemployment rate and a strong demand for workers, it seems inevitable that this will perpetuate the skills shortage conundrum, making finding top talent the pressing challenge for recruiters. Almost three quarters (74.6%) of recruitment agencies predicted that this will remain true for 2018.

Recruitment agencies will need to rely on their skills of nurturing lasting relationships with passive candidates to build a pipeline of talent to place candidates in their clients’ hard-to-fill roles.

3. AI & Machine Learning Yet To See Investment

The development of new technology making a huge impact on the recruitment sector is not a new thing. If you cast your mind back only 10 years, LinkedIn Recruiter didn’t exist, recruitment software was in its infancy and social media wasn’t the widespread business tool that we know it is today. Last year saw a lot of hype surrounding the birth and implementation of AI and machine learning and you may have heard stats similar to:

By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.”

Having witnessed all of this, it doesn’t seem that UK & Ireland recruitment agencies are completely convinced about how this emerging technology can help their agency improve on a daily basis in 2018. Only 5.6% of recruitment professionals are considering AI & machine learning as a potential investment this year. There seems to be a much greater appetite for investment in tried and tested technologies with recruitment software (77.8%) and the website (55.6%) proving the most popular.

4. Social Media Remains Key To Candidate & Client Engagement

Social media has grown in importance over the last decade and it seems that this is unlikely to change in 2018. In fact, surveyed agencies predict that it may even have a larger part to play this year. Over half of recruitment agencies (50.8%) identified it as the technology predicted to have the biggest impact in the recruitment industry in 2018 and 89.8% recognised it as an key channel for their agency.

What is fascinating is the wide variety of tasks that recruiters now rely on social media for:

Social Media Trends Recruitment 2018

For a complete picture of 2018 Recruitment Industry and Technology Trends in the UK & Ireland, download our free eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

Chatbots in Recruitment: Pros and Cons

Chatbots have been a common buzzword in the news in recent years; but what exactly is a chatbot? Chatbots or ‘automated conversational agents’ are computer programs which use natural language processing to simulate human conversations. They have been around since the 1960s, with Eliza being one of the earliest. Created by Joseph Weizenbaum, Eliza parodies a Rogerian therapist, largely by rephrasing many of the patient’s statements as questions and posing them to the patient.

The evolution of chatbot intelligence, with increasing use of conversational interfaces powered by AI, are allowing companies to see the true potential of automated conversation at scale. In some industries, chatbots are beginning to take over from the more traditional communication of email, SMS and push notifications with customers. However, they are not meant to replace humans, but simply bridge the gap between companies and customers.

It’s easy to see the success that B2C companies such as Starbucks and Dominos have had with chatbots, but how do these success stories translate in the recruitment and staffing industry? Let’s see how recruitment agencies or talent acquisition functions could utilise chatbots to increase the candidate experience and maximise efficiencies.

What Are The Benefits Of Chatbots In Recruitment?

1. Increased Candidate Experience

The use of chatbots in messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp (when released in 2018) or text provides 24/7 support to candidates due to the ‘instant’ nature of a chatbot. Studies have shown that 74% of candidates do not complete the full application process, so consider the benefits of a recruitment chatbot that will nudge or remind the candidate that they have not yet completed their application. Once an application is submitted, 43% of candidates reported they never hear back from a company after one touch-point, which can be a challenge for recruitment agencies or staffing functions facilitating volume recruitment.

The advances made in natural language processing means that it is possible for a chatbot to give ‘human’ responses to questions, improving the candidate experience. You can see this in the software developed by companies such as Mya, who have already developed a chatbot specifically for recruitment.

what is chatbot in recruitmentImage credit: Hire Mya

2. Processing High Volume Administrative Or Repetitive Tasks

From eCommerce to professional services to recruitment, the time-saving benefits of using chatbots for customer engagement is tenfold. Chatbots are able to automate high volume administrative or repetitive tasks that would ordinarily take up a significant amount of time, leaving recruiters with more time to connect with candidates on other aspects of the recruitment process.

In a survey conducted by Allegis, 58% of candidates were comfortable interacting with AI and chatbots in the early stages of the application process. An even larger percentage – 66% – were comfortable with AI and chatbots taking care of interview scheduling and preparation.

Chatbots are currently being used by recruitment agencies or talent acquisition functions for:

  • Reminding candidates when an application has not been finished, or if it has been incorrectly completed.
  • Ranking candidate applications/CVs.
  • Clarifying a candidate’s experience or qualifications for an applied job.
  • Answering FAQs about an applied job or the application process.
  • Scheduling interviews.

It is, however, important to note that while the above features could certainly streamline recruitment processes in ways that have not been possible before, this does not dictate that chatbots will replace recruiters themselves.

What Are The Challenges For Chatbots In Recruitment?

It’s clear to see the benefits that using a chatbot for recruitment could bring, but what challenges can the recruitment industry expect to face when developing a chatbot?

1. A Lack Of Humanness

Due to the limitations of a chatbot only processing and generating questions and answers, there are still improvements to be made in how seamlessly they can interact with real people.

While candidates may be happy to interact with chatbots as part of the application process, a chatbot should not be used where ‘human empathy or questioning’ within the recruitment process is required.

2. Standardisation Of Language

Even in day-to-day written communication between a recruiter and candidate, the ‘standardisation of language’ is required to ensure the information being provided is professional and will be understood by both parties,

Because we all have different ways of texting (including slang, short form or emoji), a chatbot will utilise its knowledge gained from previous interactions or refer the conversation over to a recruiter when it gets stuck.

3. Problem Solving Capability

Chatbots are programmed to ‘learn’ responses based on previous interactions, which naturally means that they are not capable of solving new problems as they arise. A candidate’s reaction to the technology will likely largely depend on how well the chatbot tried to answer the question, or when they refer the conversation to a recruiter to answer or solve.

As you can see, using a chatbot powered by AI can certainly be a valuable way to automate high volume and repetitive tasks within the recruitment process, especially during the application/candidate qualification stages, whilst providing a round-the-clock service to candidates.

However, as with any new technology, chatbots will continue to evolve with the power of AI as it becomes more sophisticated with overcoming some of the challenges outlined above. In fact, our recent survey of recruitment professionals found that only 5.6% of UK & Ireland agencies are considering investing in AI/machine learning in 2018. The question is, could there be no better time to start investing in chatbots, especially where basic administrative tasks and candidate engagement could be easily handled by a chatbot?

Learn more in our free UK and Ireland recruitment industry and technology trends for 2018 eBook.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

7 Counter Offer Statistics Every Recruiter Needs To Know

Counter offers are among the most frustrating turn of events that can happen during the recruitment process. You’ve put in the hours of hard graft, having built a strong relationship with a candidate and introduced them to your client who, after months of searching, has identified your candidate as “The One.” They place a strong offer on the table and you can’t wait to get on the phone to tell your star candidate the exciting news.

They sound positive on the phone but they need a few days to consider the offer – nothing out of the ordinary. You’ve had a few high fives in the office and you’re already mentally spending the bonus money that you know your placement will bring in this month.

And then, it happens!

Their current employer swoops in with the counter offer and you can sense the placement, and your monthly target, slipping away. And we all know that, more often than not, counter offers DO NOT work out in the long term. To help you manage the situation effectively and convince your candidate to make the right decision for them, here’s 7 counter offer statistics you can use when you’re having that crucial conversation.

1. 80% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months.

Perhaps the most popular statistic recruiters are drawn towards is this one. It confirms the suspicion that by the time a candidate is motivated enough to go through the application and interview process for another role, even if they accept a counter offer, they will not be staying at the company in the long term. This may be for a number of reasons; whether they accept the counter offer and then quickly decide it is the wrong choice or they lose respect from their superiors and are inclined to move on a few months later.

2. 9 out of 10 candidates who accept a counter offer leave their current employer within the twelve-month mark.

Just to put the nail in the coffin, this statistic shows just how fragile the candidate’s future at their existing company is, if they accept. A counter offer is beneficial to the current employer because it also buys them sufficient time to look for a long term replacement, with the knowledge that the candidate is almost certain to leave within 12 months.

3. 50% of candidates that resign will be counter offered by their current employer.

In the past, counter offers were reserved only for senior members of staff but, in the last 10 years, the tendency for the existing company to counter offer has increased, even for more junior roles. As we can see from stat 4, although a counter offer may make the candidate feel valued, in truth, it is often more financially beneficial for the employer to make a counter offer than to immediately accept defeat.

4. It can cost the current employer as much as 213% of annual salary to replace a senior executive.

Financially speaking, counteroffers make complete sense to employers, particularly for senior roles. If the employer is tasked with replacing an employee who earns £85,000, this means it could potentially cost up to £181,000 when you factor in the recruitment process, time lost on work and training costs.

When you consider this, counter offering with a salary rise of £20,000 doesn’t seem like such an extravagant risk for an employer. In fact, employers can temporarily satisfy the requirements of a key employee in the knowledge that they can prepare themselves for their departure.

5. 50% of candidates that accept counter offers from their current employer are active again within 60 days.

This statistic re-emphasises just how short term the solution of accepting a counter offer can be for candidates. There are often a multitude of reasons why candidates are looking for a new role and, for the majority of cases, the novelty of an increased salary and the promise of more responsibility wears off very quickly; usually within 2 months.

6. Only 38% of hiring managers reported not making counter offers at all.

Admittedly, this statistic is from 2014 but it is unlikely to have dropped dramatically. The reality is that hiring managers will make counter offers if they feel that it is financially viable or they honestly feel that they can offer the candidate a more worthwhile career proposition. So if you haven’t come across them as a recruiter yet, it really is only a matter of time. The wise thing to do is to have your facts and figures prepared to help manage a counter offer situation when, not if, it happens.

7. 57% of employees accept counter offers made to them.

The demoralising fact is that the majority of counter offers are still accepted but this shouldn’t demotivate you. As a recruiter, you must act as an adviser to your candidate, giving them the broader context and the clarity to judge for themselves, but ultimately leaving the decision up to them. After all, it is their future and their career and whether they accept the counteroffer or not, you want to maintain a solid relationship with your strongest candidates so that when they are ready to make the next step up, they think of coming to you first.

Our survey of recruitment professionals identified “finding top talent” as the number 1 challenge for recruiters in 2018. Download the full eBook and learn what else 2018 has in store.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

What is GDPR? The Need To Know Guide

Over the last 6-12 months, the vast majority of recruitment agencies have been beginning to focus more and more on reviewing their approach of data processing to address the upcoming GDPR legislation. To give you a simple need to know guide, we have compiled the answers to the 8 most frequently searched questions in Google about GDPR.

What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is the much anticipated legislation that aims to further safeguard and standardise individuals’ data across European (EU) member states for all citizens.

The EU’s GDPR website says the legislation is designed to “harmonise” data privacy laws across all EU member states as well as give greater protection and rights to individuals. But why now?

You only have to think about how data collection and processing has changed in your industry since the 1990s to recognise the necessity to revise these regulations – it really was only a matter of time. What this means for organisations across EU member states is that they will have to audit and amend their data processes for individuals, accordingly, to comply with the new and updated laws.

When Does GDPR Come Into Force?

The new GDPR regulation comes into force for all EU member states from 25 May 2018. This means that you will have to have changed your processes before this data or risk incurring the increased fine. The new legislation was agreed to by all member states of the EU on 24th May 2016 giving businesses two years to comply.

Who Enforces GDPR?

Each member state of the EU will appoint Supervisory Authorities (SA) who will be in charge of enforcing GDPR. These SAs will be responsible for upholding GDPR regulation in their own individual states coordinated by the European Data Protection Board. They each have investigatory and corrective powers meaning that they can:

  • Conduct audits
  • Issue warnings and reprimands
  • Impose bans
  • Suspend data transferring
  • Issue administrative fines

The rigour with which the SAs enforce the legislation will depend entirely on the individual SAs and member states themselves. According to IT Governance, historically, this has differed quite significantly with Germany and Spain typically being toughest on data protection in comparison to the Republic of Ireland, which has a track record of being lenient.

Will GDPR Replace The Data Protection Act (DPA)?

Simply – yes.
The GDPR supersedes the 1995 Data Protection Directive (DPD) which was issued to all European states. The UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act will be superseded by a new DPA that will enact the GDPR requirements.

What Are The Maximum GDPR Fines?

The maximum fines under GDPR have increased to €20m (Approx £17.6m) or 4% of an organisations annual global turnover, whichever is larger.

This is a huge increase on the DPA’s current maximum fine of £500,000 but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has assured that fines will not become the norm. Writing in August 2017, the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham stated that, “issuing fines has always been, and will continue to be, a last resort”. In fact of the 17,300 cases concluded in 2016/2017, only 16 of them resulted in fines.

Are GDPR Fines Insurable?

As GDPR has not come into effect yet, there is not a definitive answer to this question and it will depend on a case by case basis. In brief, if a business is deemed to be committing a criminal offence, it seems likely that they will NOT be insured against GDPR fines under the principle of the “illegality defence.” The “illegality defence” prevents a claimant from pursuing a civil claim against another party if the claim is based on the claimant’s own illegal acts.
If you would like a more comprehensive answer on this topic, read brownejacobson’s blog.

What Does GDPR’s “right to be forgotten” Rule Mean?

Article 17 of the GDPR, the right to erasure or “right to be forgotten” has become a focal point of the upcoming GDPR. Under the new regulation, it will become an individual right to request the deletion or removal of personal data when there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

Some of the most common instances where an individual can request erasure are:

  • Where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected/processed
  • When the individual withdraws consent
  • When the individual objects to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing
  • The personal data was unlawfully received and processed (i.e. otherwise in breach of the GDPR)

Want to read Article 17 in full?

Will GDPR Apply After Brexit?

Due to the fact that GDPR will come into force some 10 months before the expected end of the United Kingdom’s EU membership, businesses and organisations will have to prepare regardless of changes Brexit may undertake.
It is still wholly unclear what effect Brexit will have on data protection laws but the best estimate is that the UK’s data protection laws will aim to uphold the key tenets of GDPR, namely the increased rights of individuals’ data privacy and the increased transparency by which businesses process data.

How Will GDPR Affect Recruitment Agencies?

In our July 2017 GDPR blog, we outlined the key impacts that GDPR will have on recruitment agencies in terms of changes to processes, data management and documentation.

We have also published a GDPR eBook covering the following topics:
1. What GDPR means for recruitment agencies.
2. What recruitment agencies need to consider.
3. The candidate data-related Eclipse Recruitment Manager 4 software configuration and functionality options available to you when reviewing your GDPR approach and processes.
4. The top 10 frequently asked questions from clients with the recommended approach with using their Eclipse Recruitment Manager 4 software.

Request your free GDPR eBook today.

gdpr recruitment agency

What Are LinkedIn Ads For Recruitment Agencies?

There is no doubt that LinkedIn continues to be an essential resource for recruiters and recruitment agencies to publish job ads, content, and promote brand awareness, as well connecting with potential candidates and professional networking.

Over the past number of years LinkedIn has developed its product range by releasing new offerings to the market, one of these in particular being LinkedIn Ads. With 2018 on the horizon and budgets being reviewed, in this blog we’ll explain what the LinkedIn Ads product is and how it works, so you can decide if it is the right social marketing product for your recruitment agency.

What Are LinkedIn Ads?

The LinkedIn Ads product is a form of paid social advertising which appears in the news feed or sidebar to promote your agency’s updates and content to targeted audiences. LinkedIn Ads are used to reach a larger audience and gain more attention than a native post, and are particularly useful to recruiters and recruitment agencies due to the ability to target specific types of LinkedIn users.

LinkedIn Ads: What Are Your Options?

There are three different types of ad you can use in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager – Sponsored Content, Text Ads, and Sponsored InMail – all with varying purposes.

Sponsored Content allows you to extend the reach of a particular piece of content on both desktop and mobile versions of LinkedIn. It looks like a regular update in the feed. There is also the option of using their Lead Generation Forms, which, for example, pre-populates forms so that potential candidates can instantly send you their information without having to fill anything out themselves.

Example of Sponsored Content by Adobe Software
Text Ads will only show up on the desktop version of LinkedIn, and are comprised of just a headline and a link to your company page or resource. They usually show up in the ‘Ads You May Be Interested In’ section, and are a quick and easy way to get started with Linkedin Advertising.

Example of a LinkedIn text ad by HubSpot

Sponsored InMail lets you send targeted messages to specific users via LinkedIn Messenger, which is useful if you’re looking for a more personal approach. Plus, they will only appear in the user’s inbox at a time when they are actually active, to help ensure that the message doesn’t get missed.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail example

How Do LinkedIn Ads Work?

LinkedIn ads are sold through an auction process. When you run ads, you compete with other advertisers who want to reach a similar target audience.

  • Set up a total budget, so your spend will never exceed that amount for as long as the ad is running.
  • Set a daily budget, so you can only spend a certain amount a day.
  • Create a maximum bid, so that you won’t go over a certain price when competing with other agencies targeting the same audience.

There are also three different ways that you can pay for ads, which will depend on the kind of content you are promoting and what your marketing goals are.

  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • CPM (Cost Per Impressions) – pay each time someone sees your ad.
  • CPS (Cost Per Send) – pay each time a Sponsored InMail is delivered.

Due to the ability to target specific candidates and clients with promoted content, recruitment agencies can certainly benefit from LinkedIn ads. However, a drawback is that it is more expensive than other types of social advertising.

LinkedIn Ads Best Practices

If you are considering investing in LinkedIn Ads, or even testing to see how effective they are, here are 5 best practices that should ensure you are optimising your ad spend.

  • BUDGET. Decide what your maximum ad spend will be. LinkedIn ads tend to be more expensive than other social media ads, but arguably, for recruitment agencies, it is the most lucrative platform.
  • TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. Spend some time really analysing what kind of candidates or clients you want to attract with you ad campaign. You want to be specific enough to attract high quality traffic but also keep the net wide enough to attract enough attention.
  • WRITE EXCELLENT COPY. As with any ad campaign, you can put all the money behind it in the world but people are only going to engage if you can give them a compelling reason to do so.
  • A/B TEST. This is a form of testing which allows you to try out different versions of an ad, so you can try out the efficacy of different colours, copy, images etc. You can A/B test within the Campaign Manager. By discovering what’s working and what isn’t, going forward you will only spend money on the kinds of ads that you know resonate with your ideal candidates.
  • MEASURE ROI. The LinkedIn Campaign Manager allows you to track performance by monitoring impressions, clicks, and costs, giving you the power to ascertain whether it is a worthwhile investment.

To discover how inbound marketing can support your wider marketing and branding strategy, download our free eBook today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

5 Steps For Maximising Your Recruitment Software Demo

In the 2017 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report it was advised, if money weren’t a constraint, 39% of recruitment leaders would invest in new technology and 38% would invest in better sourcing tools. Despite these statistics we often hear from new clients that they have previously rushed through the sales process with previous recruitment software providers without giving it the time that it requires. This can lead to buying recruitment software that lacks business critical functionality and, ultimately, becomes the wrong investment for your business.

Arguably, the most critical point of the sales process is getting the most out of your recruitment software demonstrations with potential providers. Recruitment software demonstrations allow you to see in real time how the recruitment CRM software works and whether the software has the right functionality for your business.

This 5 step guide aims to provide you with the knowledge of how to prepare before, and what to expect during the software demo process to maximise its value to ensure that you’re confident when it comes to making a buying decision.

Step 1 – Create A Steering Committee

The first step involves creating a steering committee including ‘subject matter experts’ from each department or business function. Each committee member can add in-detail value to the discussion on what functionality is essential within their department, function or user group.

What Is The Steering Committee Responsible For?
The steering committee is responsible for collating all your business, operational and user requirements so you have all the information you need before assessing the recruitment software market. This is vital because without knowing what you need, it will be impossible to recognise which software will be a valuable investment. They will also be responsible for making a shortlist of suitable software solutions and partners; attending demos, and providing feedback to your business during the sales process.

Step 2 – Shortlist Recruitment Software Providers

By understanding your specific business requirements and what functionality your business and users require, your steering committee will be able to shortlist a number of recruitment software providers with solutions that should be fit for purpose for your business.

When you commence engaging with recruitment software providers, as well as looking at the software’s functionality, you should also be assessing how they will work with you as a partner.

Potential recruitment software providers should:

  • Ask detailed information about your business processes, your specific sector, and what has taken you to market for a new recruitment software solution.
  • Provide a transparent picture of the software’s functionality and honestly advise you if it is the “right fit” for your business.
  • Provide transparent costs for any software configuration, software implementation, data migration, software training, and any additional renewing annual costs for licences or software upgrades.

If the provider isn’t forthcoming with any of the above information, you may want to question whether this is the provider for your business.

Would you like know what you should expect from your recruitment software provider?  Take a read of our blog.

Step 3 – Schedule The Software Demo

Before scheduling the first demo, your steering committee should clearly articulate to each recruitment software provider what your essential and nonessential functional requirements are. This will assist the recruitment software providers prepare and target the demos to your business requirements.

Step 4 – Request More Demos

The average recruitment software demo usually lasts 45mins. If you haven’t seen all the functionality you need to make a decision with confidence, then schedule another demo. The majority of reputable recruitment software providers will provide as many demos as you need to make a decision. During each demo, it is best to involve the relevant subject matter expert who will be using the software on a daily basis.

NB: Note down the important features during the demos (regardless of whether they seem small or obvious) and never assume all software functionality works the same way.

Step 5 – Evaluate

Once you are happy that you have all the information you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each recruitment software solution and provider, it’s time to assess and evaluate your options.

To help make the decision:

  • Obtain a quote outlining the investment cost (initial and recurring) from each software provider.
  • Shortlist the recruitment software providers based on cost, functionality and service/partnership approach.
  • Request a reference from each recruitment software provider or request their client testimonials (usually on their website).

A software demo is only one step within the buying process. Download our free step-by-step recruitment software buying guide and make the right choice for your recruitment agency.

The Recruitment Software Buying Guide eBook Download

9 Essential Skills Of A Modern Recruitment Consultant

There’s no doubt that the recruitment industry has undergone huge changes in the last decade. The influence of business intelligence, social media, advancement in technology and a candidate driven market, it is no surprise that the skill set required to succeed as a modern recruiter consultant has expanded somewhat.

With daily conversations with recruitment agencies across the UK and internationally, we hear a lot about what it takes for their recruitment consultants to succeed in the 21st century. So we’ve narrowed it down to 9 skills that are essential for the modern recruitment consultant.

1. Candidate-Centric Mindset

In traditional recruitment, you could construct a compelling job advert which became inundated with applications, which you could sift through to find the most capable candidates – simple enough.

Although this is still a worthwhile tactic, the process has become much more focused on the candidate experience. On top of producing job adverts, today’s successful recruiters are nurturing top talent on multiple platforms and expected to assist their clients in providing a seamless process that caters to the needs of the candidate. The more you can think from a candidate’s perspective, the more trust they will put in you as a recruiter.

2. Company Brand Ambassador

With the rise in popularity of social media, particularly LinkedIn, the personal brand of the individual recruiter has become even more important. What you publish and share online will be seen by candidates, clients and colleagues and must reflect your company values. In effect, as the recruiter, you become a brand ambassador both online and offline.

On the other hand, if you are capable of harnessing the power of social media to create an authentic online profile, aligned with your agencies content and brand strategy, you can position yourself, and your agency, as thought leaders. This personal brand can be used to attract a wider range of candidates and clients within your sector.

3. Social Media Savvy

Since LinkedIn Recruiter launched in 2008, there has been a seismic shift in how recruiters use social media – and it keeps on evolving. Instead of using LinkedIn purely for trawling through candidate profiles, the top, modern recruiters are targeting separate demographics on different channels and even running webinars or creating specific groups to increase brand awareness and publishing meaningful content.

They are also using social media for social listening; monitoring clients, candidates and competitors, tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.

4. Networking Machine (online and offline)

Attending events sounds like an old school skill, but it’s still as crucial as ever. These might be the traditional, like a black tie award ceremonies or online, facilitating a Twitter Q&A session, discussing changes in the market. Being authentic, determined and visible in the market by engaging with “real life” people will help build the connections that might secure that elusive client meeting.

5. Data Strategist

On its own, data is simply information or numbers. What separates good recruiters from great recruiters is the ability to analyse and convert data into actionable outcomes. By maximising your own recruitment software and the abundance of data now available online, top recruiters are able to identify trends in their sectors, and the market, and implement proactive recruitment strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

6. Technological Tester

With the influx of various technological tools, a modern recruitment consultant needs to recognise which tools will survive and add value to their daily routine and which are temporary fads. If you take Buffer and Hootsuite, for example, they are very similar marketing tools on the face of it but, in reality, they can be used for very different things. Where Buffer is arguably a superior tool for scheduling social media posts and tweets, Hootsuite streams is great for social listening. Being able to distinguish value in different technology is a skill that can separate you from your colleagues and competitors.

7. Consultative Approach

As a recruiter, aspiring to have a consultative approach with clients is not a modern phenomenon, but it has become a bigger part of the required skill set. By keeping on top of trends in the recruitment industry, top recruiters aim to become trusted partners to clients rather than just a provider of candidates. By being involved in the hiring conversation, top recruiters become indispensable to their client’s talent strategy.

A consultative approach also applies to managing candidates. The best recruiters guide candidates through the application and interview process, providing tips and advice specific to their clients or industry sector.

8. Content Marketer

In a 2016 survey, 86% of recruiters agreed that recruitment is becoming more like marketing and there is no reason to think that this has dropped significantly. To attract passive candidates and nurture client leads, top recruiters are beginning to produce effective content strategies, including blogs, social ads and video marketing. The modern recruiter knows how to write content that resonates with their target audience and how important this is as an aspect of their recruitment strategy.

9. Master of Influence

Some things don’t change. The ability to influence people, on the candidate and client side, is the bedrock of a successful recruitment consultant. No matter how many technological gadgets arise within the recruitment industry, the human connection will always remain a key facet to recruiting and should not be underestimated. Building from that strong foundation, a modern recruiter can use their influence to communicate across multiple platforms and channels to reach more diverse candidates and engineer profitable relationships.

Finding exceptional recruiters is just one component of building a top recruitment team. Want to know what else is essential? Download our free guide today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

LinkedIn Global Recruitment & Staffing Trends 2017: At A Glance

The recruitment industry has undergone dramatic change in recent years and the most successful agencies have tended to be the ones who have adapted and capitalised on emerging trends, such as social recruiting. Considering the exponential growth of technology, it is vital that your agency stays abreast of rising and falling recruitment trends that could affect your overall business strategy.

At Eclipse Software, we always look forward to the LinkedIn Global Recruitment & Staffing Trends report which gives a clear insight into the wider picture of the industry, and 2017 is no different. By analysing the data, we’ve put together a summary of what trends are already beginning to take shape this year.

The Lay of the Land

Despite global political events that have plagued certain countries in the last 12 months, it seems that recruitment agencies are working even harder to maintain and maximise growth potential. With 68% of staffing firms expecting to increase this year, 79% of staffing firms also expect to see an increase in candidates placed.

So, the mood is positive amongst political uncertainty and this might be due to an inward mentality that many agencies have adopted, refining their own processes and using technology to improve efficiencies to make the most of what they already have.

Read our blog on how to maximise your recruitment processes by adopting LEAN thinking.

Another reason could be the widespread reduction in time to place, with 83% of staffing firms advising that the average is now less than two months. It remains to be seen whether this will affect hiring quality or whether recruitment agencies are maximising the tools at their disposal to find high quality candidates at a faster rate.

Social Media for Agency Branding

Social media savvy recruiters are not only managing to find passive candidates and nurture client relationships online, social media is also becoming the most cost effective way to build your agency’s brand with LinkedIn coming out on top (74%), ahead of Twitter (36%). Referencing this with the current breakdown of recruiting budgets, it is also apparent that social media is delivering significant ROI for its low cost to set up and maintain.

LinkedIn Global Recruitment Trends 2017 – At A Glance

As a platform for branding, social media has huge potential to supplement marketing activity and attract new clients. Looking at the top 5 reasons clients are attracted to work with staffing firms (above), it seems likely that recruiters and will continue to invest more time into managing their social media platforms in 2017.

The Rise in Content Production

Closely linked to social media success is a dedicated content marketing strategy and 2017 has already shown that recruiters are taking notice. Rather than using social media just to engage with your audience and share newsworthy stories and open vacancies, leading recruitment agencies are proving their expertise by writing consistent and thought provoking blog pieces, producing podcasts and taking advantage of cost effective video marketing.

Interested in how your recruitment agency can implement video marketing? Take a read of our blog.

New Technology and Tools

LinkedIn Global Recruitment Trends 2017 – At A Glance

Although recruiters are still focused on traditional methods such as business development, there is a noticeable desire for cost effective technology which makes candidate sourcing faster and more efficient. If the skills shortage remains, the streamlining mentality will continue to grow and, as the LinkedIn Global Recruitment & Staffing report shows, this reveals itself in many ways. If recruitment agencies had an unlimited budget for 2017, the investment would be allocated to increasing the agencies brand through more creative online marketing programs, better candidate sourcing tools and new technology / recruitment software.

To discover the 7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies, download our free eBook below.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

Is Business Intelligence (BI) Essential For Recruitment Agencies?

Hans Luhn’s 1958 publication for IBM first popularised the importance of Business Intelligence (BI) defining it as, “an automatic system…developed to disseminate information to the various sections of any… organization.” However, it was not until this century that the supporting technology to implement his theories became cost effective to the wider business community.

As we can see from the Google Trends graph (below), global interest in “big data” has only grown drastically in the last five years and the Business Intelligence industry has seen a dramatic growth because of this. In fact, it is projected to be worth $19Bn (£15.3Bn) by 2019.

G Trends

Given this recent rise in demand, let’s look at how BI has evolved, how that transpires practically and whether it’s fundamental for your recruitment agency.

What Does Business Intelligence Mean Today?

The heart of Business Intelligence still remains consistent with Luhn’s original definition, however, to build upon that from a modern perspective: BI is the practice of using smart software to analyse data to better inform you of the status of your business processes to enable you to make data-driven, strategic decisions more efficiently.

Moreover, Business Intelligence platforms like Tableau are used across multiple platforms including mobile to give you and your employees live, visual statistics that can be understood, by even the least tech-savvy employee, to provide regular, informative insights.

Modern BI platforms are equipped primarily to:

  • Analyse customer and client behaviour, buying patterns and sales trends
  • Measure, track and predict sales and financial performance
  • Track marketing performance and individual campaigns
  • Streamline processes and operations
  • Manage customer relationships
  • Analyse risk

Are There Business Intelligence Platforms Specifically for Recruitment Agencies?

The success of BI platforms in recent years has witnessed a rise in industry specific platforms such as Cube 19 which, “provides recruitment-specific analytics, business intelligence, reporting, and gamification to help recruitment companies increase revenue, scale efficiently, improve data quality, and motivate teams.”

Specifically, the functions that can help your recruitment agencies include:

  • Identifying key drivers of success
  • Managing your recruiters more effectively to create a uniform culture
  • Enabling real-time data-driven decision making throughout the entire company
  • Demonstrating your success metrics to a client

Does Your Recruitment Agency Need Business Intelligence?

There is no doubt that your recruitment agency can benefit from Business Intelligence, the insights are invaluable and rather than estimating trends and process success, you can visualise it in real-time. The decision on purchasing a Business Intelligence platform to integrate with your recruitment CRM is purely based on how important ‘big data’ is for your agency and the cost of purchasing and configuring the platform for your business requirements.

Having visibility and access to data does not always mean investing in a separate platform or software. Within our recruitment CRM, our Management Reporting and Analysis Suite provides management reporting and analysis tools enabling you to have visibility across your business including:

  • Client, candidate, vacancy, timesheet and invoice activity
  • Vacancies by status, predicted revenue, actual revenue and lost revenue
  • Vacancy fill rates and revenue by consultant, client, industry/discipline and geographical regions
  • Recruitment Consultant KPI and recruitment activity
  • AWR clock assignment
  • Temporary worker compliance and right to work document expiry and management
  • Interaction log activity

We opened up the conversation with key clients regarding what makes a successful recruitment agency? To learn more download our free eBook.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

5 Video Marketing Tips For Recruitment Agencies

There is little debate surrounding the effectiveness of video marketing. You only need to look at the dramatic change in your social media feeds in the last few years to see the marked increase in video output. In a 2015 survey, LinkedIn’s Solutions Consultant Daniel Sanders revealed “across LinkedIn globally, videos shared in the feed had 100 per cent greater engagement and 75 per cent greater share rate.” Just imagine the potential video marketing could have for your recruitment agency.

Candidates spend an average 55 seconds reading a text job advert compared to 5.23 minutes watching a video job advert.Ongig

By analysing employer video best practice, we’ll take a look at how your recruitment agency can create unique video content (within a manageable budget) to enhance your candidate engagement and receive more qualified and reliable applications. Here are 5 different approaches you can consider for your recruitment agency.

Yelp: Let Existing Employees Tell The story

Yelp’s budget testimonial video offers an honest insight into their workplace, their employees, and what a career in Yelp’s sales development program really means. Instead of reading lacklustre “responsibilities” on a careers page, candidates can connect with people who have experienced a specific career path, at several tiers, and learn what their career could become. Aimed at graduates, it captures the emotion of applying for your first job and offers persuasive evidence that working at Yelp can satisfy their career ambitions.

Twitter: Showcase Company Culture And Personality

The success of Twitter’s mock recruitment video demonstrates the importance of conveying company culture to prospective candidates. What is almost impossible to consistently get across on a careers page is the personality of an organisation but, with video, this becomes a lot simpler and authentic. The added humour increases the shareability of the content, making it perfect for increasing brand awareness across social media.

Randstad Williams: Introduce A Hiring Manager

Randstad Williams’ story of building a career as an engineer is told through the experiences of the Technical Director of Advanced Engineering, Paul Macnamara. Listening to his thoughts about what it takes to become a successful engineer against the backdrop of an exciting workplace can only inspire prospective candidates. It also provides an insight into what hiring managers want candidates to demonstrate, and feels a lot more genuine than words on a page.

Starbucks: Inspire Candidates With Career Progression

Similar to Yelp, Starbucks have used current and past interns to share their experiences of what a career at Starbucks means to them. Through conversational interviews, the focus is firmly on the candidate’s training and potential for career progression. Using social proof to give credence brings their three key company tenets to life:

  1. Opportunity
  2. More than an employee
  3. Chance to become a partner

Heineken: The Cinematic Effect

Heineken short film-esque recruitment video entitled “The Candidate” shows how brands are adopting video marketing to demonstrate what makes their brand unique. Although this does have a larger budget, the core ideas remain the same:

  • Give a clear picture of the company culture
  • Inspire candidates to engage with the brand
  • Tell a creative story to increase shareability

Is Video Marketing Right For Your Recruitment Agency?

If nothing else, you can be sure that video marketing is not going away. In fact, YouTube reports that mobile-video consumption increases roughly 100% each year, and is one of the best forms of content for evoking emotion. Viewers on social platforms are more likely to share or like a video – so what better way to showcase your recruitment agency brand.

By capturing the emotion of job searching, telling the story of your candidates’ journeys and using video creatively, your recruiters and agency have the opportunity to engage candidates creatively to increase your brand, promote current and future career opportunities and vacancies.

What to learn more about inbound marketing for your recruitment agency? Download our free eBook below.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

What To Expect From Your Recruitment Software Provider

We have the opportunity to speak to a large range of clients each day who are at different stages of the process of sourcing new recruitment software for their recruitment agency. Getting the most from your recruitment software is a two-way partnership between your agency and your recruitment software provider but it helps to know what to expect.

Below are the 4 most common problems clients express to us with their current recruitment software provider that has taken them to market.

1. “Small Fish in a Big Pond” Customer Service

It is paramount to focus on assessing any new recruitment software’s functionality, but it is also paramount to take into account the size of the recruitment software provider you’re partnering with, and their approach to ongoing customer service. A lot of clients believe that a quality recruitment software CRM is only linked to one of the global recruitment software brands, which is not always the case. 

When dealing with some of the global recruitment software brands, some clients advised they felt being a”small fish in a big pond”, competing for attention with their larger clients and receiving a poor customer experience.

2. Mis-sold Functionality

A particular bug bear in the technology market is the regularity with which sales teams over promise the capabilities of their software, with functionality often being misrepresented or even mis-sold throughout the sales process.

3. Lack of Helpdesk Support

There will be instances where problems occurs or you have questions regarding the software’s functionality. To tackle this, you need an expert to understand the issue, provide a solution or give advice on how to resolve it. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, helpdesk support might be an additional premium for which you hadn’t budgeted for. In other cases, the customer service and delay in fixing the problem may cost your recruitment agency valuable time and money.

4. Hidden Costs 

Many low cost recruitment software solutions offer inexpensive licence plans or packages, but within this often hides additional or hidden costs. Cheaper software packages will frequently charge a premium with software installation and setup, ongoing software updates, additional modules/software functionality or helpdesk support.

Finding the Right Recruitment Software Provider 

To avoid these problems, you’re looking for an open and consultative approach from your new software provider, right at the beginning. If both parties commit to put in the time required during the sales process, your recruitment agency can reap the benefits in the long term.

Your software provider should:

  • Ask detailed information about your agency, your specific sector and what has taken you to market for a new recruitment software solution.
  • Understand your business objectives, strategy and future goals and how recruitment software can help support them.
  • Provide a transparent picture of the software’s functionality and honestly advise you if it is the “right fit” for your agency.
  • Provide as many demos as you need to assess the software’s functionality first-hand, so you are equipped to make a decision whether it is the right solution for your agency. We suggest you form a steering committee with staff from different departments represented, who can address the most important issues that affect them.
  • Provide detailed information regarding their helpdesk support packages and options.
  • Inform of their post-sales and implementation customer service offering, including account management to assist you as your business grows.
  • Inform of any additional costs for implementation, training, data migration or any renewing annual costs for licences or software upgrades.

The decision to change your recruitment software can take a little more time than you anticipate, but if you spend that time effectively, you can ensure your agency doesn’t suffer in the long term. Don’t settle for a recruitment software provider that isn’t dedicated to finding the right solution for your business strategy and growth plans.

For more recruitment insights, download our free eBook, 7 Secrets of Successful Recruitment Agencies.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

Are Your Recruitment Processes LEAN?

Lean is a principle we have adapted with great success within our own business and has formed the basis of recommendations to our clients to maximise efficiencies and streamline processes within their recruitment agencies. This blog outlines how you might use lean to do more with less within your recruitment agency.

What is Lean?

The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. Lean Enterprise Institute

In the 1980s, Toyota outstripped its rivals to become the biggest global car manufacturer from rising sales to market share. This was, in part, attributed to its streamlined processes which focused on maximising the value adding processes and eliminating the non-value adding processes. Jim Womack, in his seminal book, The Machine that Changed the World, popularised this process as “lean” and, with it, a new philosophy was born. Since then, “lean thinking” has infiltrated sectors and industries around the world as an effective management philosophy that champions “how to do more with less.”

Let’s look at how you can streamline your recruitment processes by accommodating lean thinking into your recruitment agency.

Customer Focused

Toyota strategists understood that, in order to adopt a process that eliminated waste and increased value adding processes, they needed look at things from a consumer-centric standpoint. Only then could they really identify the areas that were adding value.

In the recruitment industry, this equates to understanding the needs of the various customers in your business, whether they’re individuals, departments, teams, divisions, candidates or clients. Each group must be assessed separately, analysing data (where possible), to ascertain what makes their lives easier and their recruitment journeys efficient and stress free. This can be achieved through regular feedback from clients, candidates and your consultants themselves.

Identifying & Eliminating Waste

The Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) has suggested that, for most manufacturing operations, “only 5% of activities actually add value, 35% are necessary non value adding activities and 60% add no value at all.” In short, if a process adds no value to the customer then it is waste.

Looking at those figures, anyone in a position of seniority in a recruitment agency that seeks to improve the bottom line must ask two critical questions:

What percentage of your processes really add value to your customer?
What activities can be made more efficient?

These simple questions often result in uncomfortable answers.

For example, the time to fill a vacancy is a valuable metric which can suffer because of waste occurring in everyday routines through each step of the recruitment journey – from sourcing the right candidate, screening and interviewing, to placement. With each step, waste can be identified and by adopting lean thinking gradually, you can begin to streamline each procedure.

There’s often massive room for improvement, but a few simple building blocks will help you start to eliminate waste:

  • Ensure processes are followed during the candidate acquisition, registration and interview process.
  • Create standardised procedures for screening and registering candidates.
  • Identify what data needs to be captured and entered in your recruitment software at each stage of the recruitment process.
  • Continually review the way data is entered, managed and searched for in your recruitment software.
  • Record and review where your placed candidates are sourced from.
  • Map the candidate journey from CV collection to placement, and understand how technology can be used to automate repetitive tasks, track the candidate journey and reduce errors from double keying data.

By analysing individual processes and identifying where the value really lies, your frontline staff can recruit more efficiently and spend more time undertaking value adding activities.

Just in Time

Under the leadership of Taiichi Ohno, Toyota implemented a significant move away from the manufacturing norm to the Just in Time (JIT) process where parts were supplied only as and when they were required. As noted in Roberta Russell and Bernard Taylor’s Operations Management, although this process left, “no room for error,” its success was undeniable and became widely accepted by other global organisations. In one study, American firms that introduced JIT achieved an average 50% reduction in labour costs and 70% reduction in inventory over 5 years.

The theory behind this revolutionary framework can, also, be adopted to streamline your recruitment agency’s processes. By analysing and relying on the quality of your data and identifying trends in the market and your business, you can predict which candidates need to be supplied just at the point where the demand is rising allowing your consultants to source the highest quality candidates before demand peaks. However, this can only be effective with a lean recruitment database and rigorous processes in place.

Read our blog about how to maximise ROI from your recruitment software.

Another example of where JIT can eliminate waste is in candidate compliance. So much time is wasted getting every candidate compliant as quickly as possible. By applying the JIT philosophy, your agencies can focus on supplying compliant candidates as and when they’re needed. For example, from your data you may know that your hospital clients in London need 30% more doctors in December. This enables you to prepare more candidates and ensure they are compliant, ready for the increased demand.

Employee Empowerment

The communication and trust required to ensure lean thinking can operate at its peak begins with every employee. Their endorsement of the philosophy is as important as the cogs in Toyota’s manufacturing line. The clear frameworks and structural foundations should negate the need for micromanagement and empower your employees.

For example, train and allow employees to deal with issues autonomously (have an escalation process where needed) and have a feedback process for improvements. Employees should feel determined and empowered to analyse and improve your processes with you. An empowered workforce is the most efficient route to continuous improvement.

Continuous Improvement

Every successful process needs to be reviewed and tweaked because every business will have their own specific requirements and methods for reducing waste. By analysing your recorded data and listening to your employees and customers, you can refine your processes and implement a more streamlined and efficient strategy that is bespoke to your business.

How Can a Recruitment CRM Help?

Technology combined with a successful lean thinking strategy can play a significant part in eliminating waste and making your recruitment agency more streamlined. We have outlined some of our recommendations below:

  • Identify what your staff and business searching and reporting requirements are.
  • Set minimum data capture requirements at each stage of a process, which will improve real time searching and reporting.
  • Ensure candidate, client and vacancy records are recorded and coded up correctly to make real time searching effective and tools such as auto matching more efficient.
  • Set workflow rules to build in best practice and negate the need for micromanagement.
  • Record all candidate and client interactions.
  • Use pre-set rate templates to prevent consultants going outside contractual pricing.
  • Limit who can view, add or edit certain types of data within your recruitment CRM to ensure your data is protected and maintained correctly.


Discover the 7 Secrets of Successful Recruitment Agencies by downloading our free eBook below.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

IR35 Changes For Recruitment Agencies & Contractors

Despite opposition from contractors and employers alike, the new updates to IR35 will come into effect in April 2017 and this is likely to have a huge impact on UK recruitment agencies who employ contractors. But before digging into to the whys and wherefores, let’s understand what IR35 is, what the new regulations stipulate and how that might affect you as a public sector contract recruiter in the coming months.

What is IR35?

In April 2000, the government introduced the new IR35 ostensibly to combat employment tax avoidance by contractors working through intermediaries, such as Personal Service Companies (PSC). These “disguised employees” often worked long term contracts for employers whilst bypassing a large percentage of tax and NICs. IR35 aimed to ensure contractors paid a similar amount to those self-employed and directly employed.

However, the responsibility lay with the individual contractor to decide whether they fell “inside IR35” and, due to the vast amount of work this generated for HMRC, it has been impossible to enforce and remained largely ineffective. In fact, the HMRC recently estimated that, PSC’s non-compliance with IR35 is soaring at a rate of 90%.” In monetary terms, this employment tax avoidance is costing the Exchequer approximately £430m each year. Therefore, it is no surprise that there has been a concerted effort to remedy this in the upcoming regulation update. What does come as a surprise, to some, is how the government have proposed to do this.

How is IR35 changing?

Although the reforms were intended to be up for discussion, little has changed since the initial proposition was heard in early 2016. The section that has caused most debate in the recruitment industry stipulates that the burden of responsibility for ensuring that PSCs pay the correct tax and NICs now lies with the employer or the organisation who pays the salary.

This means that if your agency supplies contractors to the public sector, such as government departments, NHS, schools, BBC and publically owned companies, as of April 2017, it will be your responsibility to decide whether your contractors fall inside IR35 and are eligible for the increased tax and NICs deductions.

To help the HMRC police the new reforms, the government has planned the introduction of improved IR35 tests and a new digital tool. Suffice to note that if an agency is found to be negligent to the new laws, there will be steep penalties to pay.

What could this mean for the future?

In the immediate future, it looks as if the contractors will suffer the most, facing an average 13% income drop, according to Deloitte. As an example, Deloitte stated that if a contractor was earning £500 a day for 42 weeks, this would equate to a take home salary of £70,988. Under the new laws, their take home would fall to £61, 553.

Upon hearing the proposal back in March 2016, contractors reacted vehemently, with more than half the PSCs, 26,000 workers, vowing to quit if the law came into effect. Another theory is that contractors will have “no choice but to increase their daily pay rate” to compensate for any additional tax liability. Both of these eventualities would evidently have an adverse effect on employers, recruitment agencies and the public sector itself, which currently contributes £3.5 billion to the UK economy.

There are many who also predict that the new IR35 laws are being tested on the public sector and, depending on its success,will likely be extended to the private sector. John Chaplin, Executive Director at Ernst and Young, says that HMRC is using the public sector as “guinea pigs” and it’s only a matter of time before it impacts all UK contractors.

What should your agency do?

It is clear that the reformed IR35 will shake up the public sector and cause some alarming issues for recruitment agencies across the UK. However, the most effective way to prepare is neatly summarised by John Chaplin who recommends meeting technology with technology to, “drive efficiencies, such as in the policy creation process, and undertaking staff training and potentially client training too.” In this way, technology can be your safety net whatever the ensuing outcomes of the new regulations may be.

IR35 New Process Overview

recruitment agency IR35 flow chart

To support our customers with the IR35 changes we will be releasing an update to Eclipse Recruitment Manager 4 software in April 2017.

Discover the 7 Secrets of Successful Recruitment Agencies, download our free eBook below.

7 secrets of successful recruitment agencies free ebook download

Optimise Your Job Ads and Social Media Strategy

The ability to search and find information online plays a huge part of our daily life, and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing provide the technology to make this happen. With Google currently dominating 78% of the global search market, the question is, how you do recruitment agencies maximise their online candidate acquisition and social media strategies to attract more suitable candidates?

Google has the ability to crawl and build an index of about 50 million web pages in less than one minute and processes on average 40,000 search queries every second. It has been reported that up to 30% of search queries can be employment related, so it’s painfully obvious that candidates are out there, but knowing how to get in front of active and passive candidates online, however isn’t so obvious.

To assist you, we have compiled some practical tips to help you optimise your online jobs ads and engagement on social media.

Your Website’s Job Board

Posting job ads on your own website is a cost effective way to advertise your open jobs whilst building your brand within the market.

Compared to the wide range of paid job boards in the market like Monster, Jobsite, Indeed and LinkedIn, your own website’s job board gives you more freedom, flexibility and control to format and promote job ads to assist with attracting quality candidates. The only downside is that your job board probably doesn’t have the same visibility or online reach that major paid jobs boards possess. So how exactly can you hope to compete in an online paid job site oligopoly?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Keywords

Simply put, one of the ways Google (or any other search engine) determines relevance when listing web pages in a search result is through keywords. A website page that is well optimised for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords that help connect searchers to your web page.

The importance of keywords and SEO, is often overlooked by recruiters when writing a job ad, so we have a few simple tips to follow.

For job searches most candidates will type in something like this:

“Operations Manager job based in Central London”

Phrases like these are effectively the “target keywords”. In order to be even ranked for these page search results you need to make sure that these keywords are included in the right sections of your website’s job advert page structure. These sections are:

  • URL structure
    • recruitmentagency.com/job/operations-manager-based-in-central-london/
  • Title (page headline)
    • Operations Manager based in Central London
  • Job Information (page copy)
    • Job details
    • Requirements
    • Contact details and call to action

These are the main sections Google will look for when determining a pages relevance for certain phrases.

Make sure you’re using natural phrases and terminology that your target candidates actually use, and most importantly don’t overpopulate your job ad with the same keyword. Google notices when pages and posts have been “stuffed” with keywords, when it identifies this it will penalise this page and lower its rankings.

Structured Data Markup

Google is great at reading page text and content, what it often struggles with is the context around particular pieces of information. While Google might recognise that “Central London” is address orientated, it won’t understand whether that address is a location for a job ad. While this might sound overly technical (most web developers should be able to get their heads around this) you can deploy specific code on your job advert pages that clearly signposts to Google that all of the information on this page pertains to a job advert.

A Responsive Website (Mobile Friendly) 

Your website pages needs to look good and be responsive when viewed on a mobile device for two very important reasons.

  1. According to Glassdoor, 68% of job seekers use a mobile device to perform job searches once a week or more. While potential candidates may use a desktop computer to send their CV and cover letter, the bulk of their searches and research is going to be done in their spare time or while they’re on the go.
  2. Google has introduced guidelines for websites that it thinks aren’t mobile friendly when presenting search results on a mobile device. If candidates have to pinch and zoom to read your job ads, then you must upgrade your website if mobile visits are important to you. If you’re unsure if your website is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes, you can use Google’s free tool which will give you a simple “Yes this page is mobile-friendly” mark if it is.

Optimise Your Job Ads and Social Media Strategy

Increase Job Ad Visibility & Engagement on Social Media

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

Posting job ads, blogs, news articles and company updates to social media can be quite an effective way to get in front of both active and passive candidates, but wasting efforts on the wrong social media platforms is all too easy to do.

You may know which social networks your candidates are on as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are rife with job ads across a myriad of sectors. Perhaps try different social media channels, for example, if you’re recruiting for design and creative jobs try posting your job ads in Instagram and Behance. If you’re constantly posting to all of these social networks, how do you know which social media platforms to spend the majority of your time on?

By checking the data, you’ll know you’re wasting time on certain social media platforms if the metrics you’re seeing don’t justify the amount of effort you’ve put in. Checking your companies Facebook Page Insights, Twitter Analytics or LinkedIn Page Analytics and seeing low numbers of engagement is a decent indicator that either your candidates aren’t on that network or they’re not being enticed to interact with your job ad posts, new articles or updates.

Posting Times

If you’re creating your social media posts directly to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and clicking “publish” straight away there’s a very good chance you’re posts aren’t getting seen. Create your posts and schedule them for when your audience (candidates) are actually online. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts throughout the day, evening or weekend so that your posts don’t get pushed down in feeds when your audience is not online. For example your audience might be on LinkedIn during office hours and more on Facebook and Twitter outside of office hours.

Speaking of which, audience analysis tools like Audiense and Followerwonk will measure and show you when potential candidates are actually on social media and highlight the best times to schedule your postings to social media.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising is a model that Facebook and LinkedIn offer in which you pay when your post is viewed. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your web page, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

There is a large debate on the effectiveness of PPC advertising but it does allows you to granularly target demographics to the point where only the best candidates fit for your posts will actually see them. You can target by interests, education, current job role and geographic location so that attracting quality candidates is effortless.

 

Optimising your job ads and social media strategy is an effective way to maximise your online presence. Why not take the next step and introduce inbound marketing as part of your recruitment agencies marketing strategy? Download our free guide today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

Cloud vs Desktop in Recruitment Software

Even outside of the realm of recruitment software, there are a number of misconceptions about what it means to be ‘in the cloud’ and the advantages that may come with such a lofty position.

“In the Cloud” “Cloud Software” “Cloud Solutions” “The Cloud might be the single most misunderstood technical-term-cum-marketing-buzzword of this decade. Before we can have any kind of sensible comparison between Cloud and Desktop based recruitment systems, we need to clarify what being “in the cloud” actually means… and what it doesn’t.

#1 Cloud as a Platform

There is a common misconception that “Cloud-based” software refers to browser-based software, and the Cloud vs Desktop debate often transforms into a debate over the relative merits of desktop applications versus increasingly popular in-browser apps.  This is an interesting debate in its own right, however, at its heart is the misconception that –

Browser based software = cloud
Desktop based software = not on the cloud

THIS IS FALSE

Both browser based and native desktop recruitment applications are equally capable of interacting with a cloud-based infrastructure in much the same way that you could argue that both are equally capable of being hosted on your own on premise IT infrastructure.  There’s absolutely no reason you have to sacrifice the benefits of desktop recruitment software in order to take advantage of ‘the cloud’.  The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

In fact, using a desktop application has many advantages over browser based recruitment software – desktop applications are often faster, more powerful and more stable than in-browser apps, which have to render your management interface through a different application like Chrome or Internet Explorer.  For similar reasons, desktop applications tend to be more secure, which is a key consideration if you’re routinely processing the sensitive sort of personal data related to the recruitment process.

That’s not to say that there is no advantage to browser-based recruitment apps.  In general, you can expect a browser based solution to ‘just work’ (don’t quote us on that) without having to install and configure the application on each workstation.  This means that browser based recruitment software has the potential to save the IT department a lot of installation headaches, it often makes licensing a bit easier to manage, and gives you a bit more flexibility to work from anywhere without too much messing around.

It’s also worth mentioning that – while there’s no technical reason for this to be the case – browser based recruitment software is often a lot more modern-looking and attractive than a typical desktop solution – probably because the UI can be built up in a similar fashion to a webpage.  The modern looking appearance can be seductive, luring many companies to choose inferior browser-based apps over more suitable desktop recruitment software solutions.

#2 Cloud as a Licensing Model

Another popular tangent that creeps into the Cloud vs Desktop debate is:

Cloud = Subscription
Desktop = One off cost

FALSE AGAIN

Again, this is a crucial misconception – more than that, this is a false dichotomy that assumes that Cloud and Desktop sit in opposition to each other, which we have just established is not the case.  In general, you can expect to see software which is hosted “in the cloud” to use a SAAS subscription model, but this is equally applicable to both desktop and so-called “web-based” software.  Many recruitment manager packages and CRM solutions deploy a desktop application provided on a rental basis.  This licensing model is not exclusive to browser-based packages.

#3 Cloud as Hosting Location

The premise here is:

Cloud = The IT infrastructure, database and backups are hosted by an external provider in a remote datacentre (in the cloud)

In-house = Your IT department installs, administrates and maintains the hardware to host your databases, manage your backups, compliance and security.

TRUE

What characterises a recruitment management solution as being “cloud based” is the use of remote datacentres, as opposed to purchasing, installing, maintaining your own breezy roomful of whirring servers.

So, with that in mind, let’s explore the pros and cons of these two different approaches.

 

internal-hosting-recruitment

Cloud Hosted Recruitment Management Software

Pros

Cloud recruitment software is initially cheaper than hosting in-house. Rather than paying a lump sum up front (and ongoing salary for the IT staff), you’re typically paying monthly costs, which is a great solution for those with a smaller budget or waiting for the new financial year.

If you’re expecting your company to grow and you’re looking for flexibility, a cloud solution allows you to scale with relative ease.

If time is of the essence for your company, cloud software can be helpful. Installation is quick and IT services are managed externally, meaning you can get on with your work without anyone interrupting to update or maintain the software – great for companies with few employees who lack the knowledge or struggle to find time to do this.

A cloud solution also means that you’ve outsourced having to worry about local storage data, backup and recovery services, and data protection regulation and compliance is someone else’s problem.

Cons

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows behind the cloud, though. If you opt for a cloud-based solution, extra subscriptions for when your business grows will induce extra costs.   You can often find yourself locked in to lengthy contracts where you end up ultimately paying many multiples of the equivalent one-time fee.  If your provider decides to up their fees on a whim – they can.  You’ll always be dependent on the cloud provider.

Cloud software may also have its disadvantages if your company deals with incredibly sensitive data. It may be more secure to store your data on a less, ‘publicly accessible’ network. There are also some legal nuances here if you are storing data concerning EU nationals on servers outside of the EU, so check with your legal advisors before taking the plunge.

Remember, if you’re also paying for your desktop or browser-based application in a SAAS-type model, cloud hosting is often a separate consideration and a separate bill.

Recruitment Software Hosted On Premise

Pros

In theory this usually a onetime investment (IT staff, on-going hardware maintenance, hardware upgrades, software licensing and data protection compliance notwithstanding).

You also have full control; over the restrictions, monitoring, integration, managing your data, customising the development – the full works! The ball is entirely in your court here.  If something goes wrong with your network connection, you aren’t stuck behind support tickets trying to get an answer, you can speak to the relevant IT staff  and find out what’s going on.

If you’re in a company that handles incredibly sensitive data, then self-hosting might be ideal for you as security is potentially greater than cloud. There’s less of a danger and less worry of breaching data protection laws.  That said, the onus for security and data protection is on you.

In the event that your in house hardware is in the same location as your recruitment team, you’re able to access the system without an internet connection. If you’re hard at work and the internet temporarily stops, you’re still able to continue working.

Cons

Although a onetime investment is convenient in some respects, its upfront cost is often more than a cloud software subscription as aspects like hardware, installation etc. may also be considered.

Additionally, you’ll need IT staff or outsourced IT suppliers that are skilled and knowledgeable enough that they can maintain and manage your in house infrastructure.

What’s the verdict?

Ultimately, the choice is entirely yours. It really depends on what your business priorities are, what your short and long term requirements are, and how a cloud or desktop solution will support your business growth.

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Is Facebook the Future for Recruiters?

Facebook is currently testing a new product which will see Facebook formally enter the job ad market. This new product will allow recruiters to post job adverts within Facebook, including salary, job information and a Apply Now function. Candidates will be able to view and apply for job adverts using their Facebook account, with personal details automatically filled in from their Facebook profile.

A statement from a Facebook spokesperson, “based on behavior we’ve seen on Facebook, where many businesses post about their job openings on their company Page, we’re running a test for Page Admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates.”

Many recruiters already vet candidates via their social media accounts, as well as posting job adverts on Facebook, but this new product will bring a closer and direct link between recruiters and potential candidates. Recruiters will also be able to pay to target their job ad out to specific Facebook users, which will see a direct competition with LinkedIn’s paid job ad product.

In addition last month Facebook unveiled a new business product designed entirely for the office named Workplace. It is a tailored version of the social network for inter-office communication, where employees can post status updates, photos and videos, “like” and comment on posts within their feed and chat with colleagues. Workplace is separate from Facebook, and employees do not need a Facebook account to use Workplace.

Changes to the UK Immigration Rules

On the 3 November 2016, the UK government announced changes to the Immigration Rules which will affect applications made on or after 24 November 2016. The Home Office are making the following changes which will affect a number of categories.

Tier 2
The first of 2 phases of changes to Tier 2, announced by the government in March following a review by the Independent Migration Advisory Committee.

  • Increasing the Tier 2 (General) salary threshold for experienced workers to £25,000, with some exemptions.
  • Increasing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) salary threshold for short term staff to £30,000.
  • Reducing the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) graduate trainee salary threshold to £23,000 and increasing the number of places to 20 per company per year.
  • Closing the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) skills transfer sub-category.

These changes will come into effect for all certificates of sponsorship assigned by Tier 2 sponsors on or after 24 November 2016. The date from which intra company transfers will be liable for the health surcharge will be announced in due course.

Tier 4
A number of changes are being made, including amendments to the academic progression rule, maintenance requirements for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and evidence of overseas qualifications, UK qualifications used as evidence, and a series of minor and technical adjustments.

English Language Requirement
As announced in January 2016, a new English language requirement at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is being introduced for non-EEA partners and parents. This affects those applying to extend their stay after 2.5 years in the UK on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM (Family Member) of the Immigration Rules. The new requirement will apply to partners and parents whose current leave under the family Immigration Rules is due to expire on or after 1 May 2017.

We will keep you updated with more information as it is released.