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    How to Embed Diversity and Inclusion into Your Recruitment Policy

    The ‘S’ (social) in ESG campaigns is integral to any business, a lack of diversity can negatively impact growth and stifle creativity. Diverse teams generate almost 20% more revenue than those that are lacking in this area.
    Thinking carefully about the specific language used in job adverts, using blind CV assessments, and employing inclusive interviewing techniques can all help businesses embed diversity and inclusion into their recruitment policies.
    With almost one-third of jobseekers and employees have said they would not apply to a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce, it’s time that businesses start to scrutinize their recruitment policies.
    Think about the job advert
    Pay attention to the nuances in recruitment communication to ensure what is written is inclusive and unbiased.
    Job adverts should avoid phrases such as “competitive nature” and “aggressively determined” in favor of truthful descriptions of competency, these phrases are also typically ‘male-coded’, so might deter female applicants from applying. Similarly, complex jargon and specialist terms can also overwhelm applicants. Adverts should be as simple and to the point as possible.
    The use of equality and diversity statements in job adverts can aid in creating an inclusive atmosphere from the very start of the recruitment process. One study found that job adverts with an empathetic diversity statement left 71% of potential applicants with a positive impression of the hypothetical employer.
    Similarly, awards such as ‘The Times Top 50 Employers of Women’ can be mentioned on job applicants to reassure minority applicants that they are welcome to apply.
    Blind CV assessment
    The Department for Work and Pensions sent out applications to 1,000 job vacancies with 2/3 containing names typically associated with a certain ethnic group. Results showed that ethnic minority applicants needed to send out 74% more applications in order to generate the same success rate as those with White sounding names.
    Removing names, ages, genders, and postcodes from CVs before they are assessed can remove opportunities for bias to enter the recruitment process. A number of top employers adopt this technique, including the UK’s Civil Service.
    Championing diversity and inclusion is not just about CV blind initiatives. It’s a complex and multifaceted agenda.
    Keeping an eye out for opportunities to learn more about diverse talent pools should be a priority. At Totum Partners, we host a series of successful diversity and inclusion webinars, such as: ‘How to create the most diverse firm in Britain’.
    Inclusive interviewing
    Once a candidate is at an interview, the best way to minimize bias is to combine a number of efforts, there is no magic bullet approach.
    Standardizing the interview questions in a structured manner will allow the employer to focus on the candidate’s skills that will determine their ability to perform the job. Unstructured interviews are difficult to compare, making it more likely that personal factors will infiltrate the hiring decision.
    Sometimes called a “mental shortcut”, affinity bias is common. This means we gravitate towards people who we feel are similar to ourselves. Training modules and workshops are a good way to generate self-awareness of your own biases.
    The importance of succession planning
    Employees should be able to see diversity all the way up an organization. Last month it was reported that 2 in 5 Black employees have left their job because of a lack of diversity.
    Initiatives that only focus on entry-level recruitment leave BME employees without anyone to look up to. Since 2018, among the Fortune 500 boards, of the 974 seats filled by new directors, 80% were by White directors, this is an example of bad succession planning.
    Organizations should consider lateral workplace diversity when looking at how to progress talent internally. Firms that ignore this form of conscious inclusion, will soon be left behind, especially considering the escalating numbers of employees quitting their jobs in the UK in recent months.
    Accountability
    Having awareness of the benefits that diversity brings to the workplace is important, but actions speak louder than words.
    As a recruitment firm, Totum is committed to questioning candidate lists that show a lack of diversity. Feedback on a BME candidate that reads “something was not quite right” needs to be followed up for factual feedback. Too often this behavior goes unquestioned.
    This is embedded into the Race Fairness Commitment that Totum is a part of. The Commitment pledges all members to engage in activities to ensure equal access to opportunities for all candidates.
    Calls for diversity and inclusion will grow louder in 2022. Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey demonstrated that diversity is integral to workplace loyalty, with candidates saying they are more likely to stay with an employer for over 5 years if there is diversity in the workplace.
    Employers must be aware of how to entrench diversity and inclusion into their recruitment policies, or both their business and colleagues will suffer. CV blind assessments, inclusive interviewing, and succession planning should be a staple in any recruitment process in 2022 if businesses want to take this agenda seriously.
    By Deborah Gray, Director at Totum Partners.
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    Hiring Top Candidates with Today’s Tight Talent Supply

    With a resurgent job market, demand for talent in specialized roles has surfaced gritty competition between employers seeking to quickly fill positions. Recruiters must harness the same creativity they utilized over the last year to adapt their hiring processes and candidate experience or risk losing out on top talent.
    Emerging from a global pandemic, candidates now have greater expectations from recruiters and organizations. According to Jobvite’s 2021 Recruiter Nation survey, 47% of recruiters cited the lack of skilled/qualified candidates as the biggest concern in hiring quality talent.
    By catering to candidates’ needs and offering an optimized apply process, recruiters can gain an edge in today’s candidate market. Jobvite’s latest e-book, “How to Hire Top Talent Quickly,” dives into how recruiting teams can hire top candidates by shifting their recruitment and application processes to compete for a tight talent supply. Below are ways recruiters can apply these insights to better attract quality talent.
    Begin with your employer brand
    Recruiting for highly skilled roles that require extensive training and specialized degrees means standing apart from the competition. Employers can entice top candidates to complete their applications with a unique employer identity that emerges from the cluster of competitor listings.
    48% of recruiters consider a company’s career site a top tool when it comes to growing employer branding. With greater expectations from candidates regarding recruitment processes and company culture, communicating an up-to-date employer brand will streamline attracting high-quality talent. Companies must ensure every channel – from career sites to social media – conveys a consistent, genuine message about their identity as an employer and company. Organizations with a thoughtfully designed brand spend less on recruiting because they do not have to work as hard to sign top candidates.
    Building and maintaining an employer brand is no small task, but it can provide significant long-term benefits. A company’s career site is a great place to start when cultivating an employer brand. Job postings give candidates an inside look into role requirements and create an opportunity for employers to connect with quality job seekers by highlighting their culture and values.
    Elevate the candidate experience
    Attracting specialized candidates requires engaging candidate experience. According to the 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report, the most essential factors to a positive candidate experience are great communication from the employer (54%), ease of scheduling (47%), easy application process (45%), and a quick hiring process (30%).
    Delivering the right experience can often involve taxing coordination of various aspects of the application process. And, leveraging automation can play a crucial role in a talent team gaining a competitive advantage. For example, AI-powered sourcing tools can automatically tap into resume databases and job boards to build a broader, more diverse pool of talent, identifying the relevant skills and experience needed to excel at any job requisition. Utilizing tools like text-to-apply, self-scheduling portals, and chatbots can further help create a streamlined, personal experience for every candidate without the need for tedious manual processes.
    Glassdoor recently found that 58% of candidates look for jobs on their phones, and 35% would prefer to apply for jobs from their phones. Mobile devices serve as an excellent contact point to meet top talent. Ensuring the career site is compatible with mobile browsers will help recruiters reach candidates on the go and prevent candidates from dropping off from the mobile application process.
    Build your talent pipeline
    Recruiters must also build a quality talent pipeline to promptly fill these roles with qualified employees, staying ahead of their competition when a need arises. As businesses and corporations return to full operation, a talent pool presents a readily available candidate database to tap into without letting quality candidates slip through the cracks.
    To create a robust talent pipeline, recruiters should revisit their database of past applicants, sorting candidates that are a good fit by location, skillset, role, and level of engagement. Maintaining a regularly updated database allows recruiters to generate targeted campaign messages, keeping passive candidates engaged year-round. Utilizing intelligent messaging solutions, recruiters can nurture each audience segment via targeted texts, job notifications, and recruitment marketing content so they aren’t faced with a roadblock when in need of talent.
    To round up a talent pipeline, why not tap into the satisfied majority? 82% of workers are likely to click on a job opportunity posted by someone in their social network. Employee referrals offer speed and quality with hiring skilled candidates – and they’re incredibly cost-effective. Incentives including leaderboards and other automated gamification elements can keep referral programs top-of-mind with employees.
    Highlight key job details
    Remote and hybrid work are here to stay. In the past year, 54% of recruiters have seen candidates turn down an interview or job offer due to a lack of flexibility and remort work options in the workplace.
    Another way to highlight key job details is flagging roles as “urgent” on job titles and descriptions. This helps listings stand out, allowing job seekers to filter for urgent hires. These roles can attract skilled candidates seeking a fast interviewing and onboarding process, quickly filling vacancies for specialized positions.
    As organizations scramble to fill openings in the wake of a recovering job market, competition, especially for roles requiring specialized skills and certifications, can lead to a strenuous recruitment process. Implementing a comprehensive employer brand, utilizing new technologies, and strategies that cater to job seekers’ expectations and needs can help recruiters hire top-of-the-line talent.
    By: M.T. Ray, Customer Success Manager at Jobvite.
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    Top 2022 Recruiting Strategies for Fast, Effective Hiring

    In December 2021, total payroll employment rose by 199,000 nationwide, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%. But despite the solid rehiring in the last few months, the labor force participation rate remains short of pre-pandemic levels.
    A low participation rate – coupled with a labor shortage that is giving workers more leverage than they have experienced in years – is continuing to challenge employers in attracting and retaining key talent.
    While positive for workers, the competition for talent is expected to last well in 2022. And though hard to predict what the future will hold in this candidate-driven market, it is clear that hiring will not get easier in the coming year. To overcome this, recruiting teams should turn to various tools including talent acquisition (TA) planning “workbooks,” which are catalogs of tools designed to help recruiters approach strategic recruitment in the new year with a reimagined gameplan.
    Create a high-level strategy
    The first step in improving recruiting strategies this year is creating a strategic and detailed plan to help achieve 2022 hiring goals, including anticipating the number of new hires over the next 12 months. Recruiting teams should work with their executive leadership team to understand what the company’s strategic plans are for the new year, and in turn, what roles they will need to hire.
    This is also a key time to examine if a team should:

    Conduct employee engagement surveys, which can help anticipate satisfaction, engagement, and turnover.
    Study historical trends, as some employee turnover and hiring needs can be cyclical. For example, many employees make the decision to leave their current jobs in January.
    Estimate the impact of the “Great Resignation” on your employee base and anticipate increased employee turnover as well as expectations such as increased wages, better working conditions, remote work options, flexible workplaces (especially for working parents), and improving diversity, equity, & inclusion (DE&I) efforts.
    Similarly, get a firm understanding of DE&I goals for 2022, as well as any plans for attracting, hiring, and retaining talent from all walks of life.
    Consider any internal mobility or promotions anticipated that will lead to the need for new hires. Additionally, determine the anticipated number of new employees needed by role, location, and business unit.

    This strategy should help establish goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Recruiting teams should set a realistic number of goals that a given team could achieve depending on team size, maturity of the TA function, and the company’s strategic plans. A great way to think about goals is to put the team into the future: “By Dec. 31, 2022, the team will have hired 10,000 new employees, increased the percentage of underrepresented employees by 10%, and reduced time-to-hire by 30%.”
    Build targeted audience plans
    Another strategy recruiters can employ in 2022 is identifying, prioritizing, and nurturing the audiences most important to the organization. Specifically, this includes:

    Key talent audiences: These audiences have the experience and skill set to fill high-volume jobs, geographically targeted jobs, or critical jobs like executive hiring.
    Strategic audiences: These demographic groups that businesses want to attract such as underrepresented candidates, veterans, and military hiring, along with university relations for students, interns, and recent graduates.
    Relationship audiences: These include candidates that the business already has a known relationship with, including employees, alumni, employee referrals, contingent workers, and past applicants, such as high-potential candidates.

    Most companies are already focused on developing great content, whether it be through clear job descriptions, cultural videos, or company blogs as means to attract and engage new job seekers. To ensure this content is seen by the right candidates, recruiters should incorporate targeted audience planning into the research and development steps that come right before the content is built. Before executing any recruitment marketing effort, TA professionals should gather a team made up of a representative from marketing, recruiting, customer success, sales, and employees who match the type of hires the company is looking to attract in order to ensure materials are seen through multiple perspectives within the organization.
    Overall, organizations need to become more adaptable to labor market conditions in the new year. In addition to the above, this can include automating recruiting processes and leveraging innovative technology such as intelligent messaging and chatbots, as well as outsourcing more jobs and making more internal hires.
    These strategies are just the beginning of ways teams can ramp up hiring efforts in 2022. Because of the constant change in the TA landscape over the last year, it can be difficult to know where to begin when preparing for the new year in recruiting. But with the worksheets as a tool, recruiting teams can take stock of current programs and make data-driven decisions to get better results from future processes, ensuring a positive return on their hiring budget for the new year.
    By: Kerry Gilliam, Vice President of Marketing Strategy at Jobvite.
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    New Research Reveals Priorities for Recruiters Amid the “Great Resignation”

    Recruiters are confronting a dramatic shift from one year prior when the world was facing job losses, layoffs, and staffing reductions. Today, the country is seeing a return to early 2020 employment numbers, with the economic recovery allowing many companies to increase staffing levels rapidly.
    According to Jobvite’s 2021 Recruiter Nation Report, 39% of recruiters said their organizations are increasing staffing levels and hiring rapidly – an increase of 13% since 2020. However, priorities and expectations in the workplace have shifted. Companies are experiencing a new kind of worker revolution where candidates and employees feel empowered to choose a job where they feel supported and valued. As workers’ confidence continues its upward trajectory, recruiters face new challenges to win over top talent.
    Companies are Struggling to Find Talent
    While there are millions of jobs available, recruiters are finding it incredibly hard to place job seekers. Jobvite’s new report found that 59% of recruiters say their organizations have experienced increased turnover since the onset of the pandemic. The lack of qualified/skilled candidates is also the number one challenge that recruiters face right now. As a result, organizations are under enormous pressure to rethink hiring processes and adapt to labor market trends.
    What Workers Want
    In the past year, 54% of recruiters have seen candidates turn down an interview or job offer due to a lack of flexibility and remote work options in the workplace.
    2020 showed many companies that employees can be productive while working remotely and do not need to stick to a rigid schedule, which is being brought into the job search. Fifty-seven percent of recruiters believe the lack of flexible or work-from-home policies makes it harder to attract potential candidates. In contrast, 60% believe organizations will lose employees if they do not transition to a hybrid, fully remote, or remote-first culture.
    Workers also want to be part of a welcoming work environment where they feel like they belong, and this year’s report reaffirms that companies must prioritize Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives to succeed. Nearly half of recruiters say that job seekers are inquiring about D&I initiatives more than they did in the previous year – up 16 percentage points from 2020.
    And while most organizations are putting more emphasis on building a diverse workforce than the previous year, 20% of organizations still have no D&I goals. This could lead to challenges for attracting talent, as 44% of recruiters surveyed said candidates have turned down an interview or job offer due to a lack of diversity.
    How to Adapt
    The best hiring teams have adapted to this new labor market by adopting an agile recruiting strategy. Agility in recruiting allows teams to remain flexible and adjust as the market changes. Seventy-eight percent of recruiters reported that their priorities shifted over the last year – and agility helps teams quickly adjust.
    But agility is not just about being flexible and shifting priorities. It’s about executing a well-rounded recruiting strategy. According to the Recruiter Nation report, here are some ways that organizations are reimagining recruiting processes to hire top talent more effectively:

    40% said recruiting budgets have increased, while an impressive 64% of recruiters reported that they expect budgets to increase over the next 6-12 months.
    35% of recruiters are outsourcing more jobs to freelancers, while 54% of organizations plan to outsource even more jobs moving forward.
    40% are making more internal hires to meet hiring needs better, and nearly half are seeing higher participation in employee referral programs in 2021.
    Previous job experience and cultural fit have diminished in importance, proving that more recruiters are taking chances on different types of candidates to adapt to the labor shortage.
    54% plan to increase their use of texting in recruiting processes in the next year, and half also plan to incorporate more chatbots in the recruiting process.

    Social media and employer branding are more vital in an organization’s recruitment marketing efforts, as TA teams see success in sourcing and engaging candidates on social media. According to the report, today’s recruiters use social sites to post job openings (66%), reach passive talent (47%), build an employer brand (57%), and learn about candidates (30%).
    Finally, companies are paying workers more, with three out of four recruiters reporting an increase in candidates and current employees negotiating higher wages – 20% higher than the previous year.
    In Conclusion
    Companies are competing for top talent – and those that do not adapt to this ever-evolving workforce will continue to have trouble attracting the right candidates. The pressure is on for organizations to respond to these challenges by being agile and strategic while also embracing initiatives that align with candidates’ values and priorities.
    By: Jaylan Fisher, Talent Business Partner at Jobvite.
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    Why Successful Recruiting Has Become Harder in the Past Five Years

    The debate on labor market changes and transformation has been ongoing globally for years. Yet, most organizations are still suffering from a lack of good quality candidates in the recruitment pipelines.
    In a recent study of over 200 HR professionals, most organizations are suffering from a lack of good quality candidates, even if 43% of companies are investing more into recruitment than previously. Despite increased resources, 55% of the interviewees said that recruitment has become more difficult in the past five years. Less than 20% of the companies have been able to increase the number of quality candidates.
    The effectiveness and costs of different recruitment channels are not monitored
    Recruiters are largely unaware of which advertising channels work best. This is due to the rapid growth in the importance of marketing in recruitment and the lack of attention paid to measuring the effectiveness of these channels. In general, there is a shift in recruitment advertising from traditional advertising channels to digital channels. Digital recruitment marketing allows the effectiveness of channels to be measured so that decision-making and recruitment development can be based on data with confidence.
    The direct cost of recruitment campaigns in terms of capital invested into visibility and reach varies from less than a hundred euros to over 1,000 euros. The most surprising finding in the study was that a whopping 28% of the respondents didn’t know how much money was spent on their recruitment campaigns.
    Digital tools and channels make it possible for much more detailed data gathering than traditional channels, like newspaper ads. Even so, almost 40% of the organizations couldn’t name their most effective recruitment channels. In the worst-case scenario, this leads to more investments into ineffective channels, making recruitments unnecessarily expensive and heavy for the companies.
    Of those who buy social media publications, 46% report that most of their leads come from social media. Less than one-fifth of those who buy paid job boards said that job boards are the largest source of job seekers. The vast majority of service providers direct candidates from social media ads to their own employer job board, which partly skews the estimate. A third of organizations use direct search services for recruitment.
    The importance of marketing in recruitment is highlighted, but the effectiveness of marketing is not measured. This leads to an increase in costs because it is not known which measures are working. In the worst case, this leads to organizations investing in ineffective measures, resulting in higher costs.
    Challenges vary between industries
    One of the hardest industries for recruitment is the healthcare industry, with a crippling 93% of organizations feeling that recruitment has become more difficult. Another hard-hit industry is IT, with 83% of the organizations finding it hard to recruit suitable candidates.
    Internal vs external recruitment factors
    Based on the responses, the factors influencing recruitments can be divided into two main categories: internal and external factors. The internal factors describe the organization’s own activities, while the external factors are external influences.
    Around 69% of those who experienced a negative development attributed the cause exclusively to external factors. The most common external factors influencing recruitment are industry attractiveness, the influence of Covid-19, and political and economic factors.
    External factors can have both a positive and a negative impact on organizations in the sector at the same time.
    Communicating with candidates
    The survey shows that less than 58% of respondents reported that their organization managed recruitment through a recruitment system.
    Candidate communication plays an important role in the success of recruitment. It is the candidate’s first contact with a new potential employer and has a strong influence on the candidate’s perception of the new employer. The main purpose of candidate communication is to inform the candidate about the recruitment process and to guide the candidate through the different stages of the recruitment process.
    From the candidate’s point of view, the best processes provide candidates with interim information on the progress of the recruitment process and any delays. In addition to this, candidates who are not selected for the post will be informed in person.
    Bottlenecks in the application process hinder hiring top talent
    Employer brand development is often sparked by a lack of quality or quantity of candidates, but the main bottleneck is often in the application process. Application processes have been built over time to attract active job seekers, so that today, when sectors are suffering from labor shortages, it is not possible to attract talent already in employment elsewhere.
    Less than half of organizations have optimized their application process for modern times. Recruitment processes are often designed from an employer’s perspective, which means that the fast pace of modern life and the value of effortlessness are not sufficiently taken into account for candidates.
    Approximately one-third of the interviewees in the study said that they had developed their recruitment processes. However, most of these had developed their process to be organization-driven, meaning that organizations are trusting their brand to be strong enough to get the best candidates into their pipeline instead of smooth application processes and modern recruitment marketing strategies.
    Companies that emphasize the candidate’s experience and develop their company brand to support that are more successful in getting qualified candidates.
    To receive applications, companies should emphasize a smooth application experience, and ensure that it can be done with all mobile devices. The use of mobile devices has exploded as a tool to access various services and applications. Making the experience nice and effortless for the candidate usually demands a complete restructuring of the current process.
    Challenges with applications being made on mobile phones include open text fields and the requirement of attaching a full CV into the application, for example.
    Almost a third of respondents indicated that the application process requires separate registration in order to submit an application. From the candidate’s perspective, separate registration makes the application process more challenging and discourages in particular passive applicants. The requirement to register was particularly prevalent in the public sector.
    To sum up
    Companies that are not ready to radically change their ways of working will face major challenges in their recruitment efforts. Those that have been willing to evolve their practices to respond to market changes have been able to turn the situation around.
    With efficient candidate marketing tactics, following metrics and cost-structures of different channels, and fixing the broken process, many organizations can fix the issues in their recruitment.
    By Henri Nordström – CEO, Jobilla.
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    How to Secure the ‘Passive’ Candidate

    Thanks to the sudden shift from a client-driven market to a candidate-driven market, recruiters and employers across all industries, including accountancy and finance, are having to change tact to source and secure top talent.
    With many of the most desirable candidates having already been snapped up by the competition, knowing how to target the ‘passive’ candidate is more important than ever. Passive candidates are not on job boards or #OpenToWork on LinkedIn. Basically, they are not actively looking for new employment. But that does not mean they are not interested…
    What is in it for them?
    Passive recruiting is all about showing suitable candidates why a position within your company is the best possible fit for them.
    But how do you convince them to leave the comfort of their current role to join your team? Simple (sort of) — give them an offer they cannot refuse. When recruiting passive candidates, you are trying to convince them that the grass really is greener on the other side.
    So, what are the primary things you should focus on as an employer to impress your ideal candidate and sway them towards your business? There are several ways for companies to stand out against the competition and secure the best fit for the job when actively seeking passive candidates…
    Do your research

    How long have they been in their current position?
    What could you offer them that their current employer cannot?
    What is their experience, and why does it make them a perfect fit for this role?

    To make extra sure you are right to invest your time and energy into attempting to recruit a person not actively looking for a new job, it is essential to establish what it is about them that makes them ideally suited to this opportunity. This will make your communications with them more personalized and targeted from the first contact.
    Offer a competitive salary
    Unfortunately, it is not enough to slap a high salary on the offer and expect it to do all the talking. But although it is by no means the sole deciding factor for job seekers these days, salary will always remain an important draw for candidates. With both starting salaries and temp pay expanding at a sharp rate, it is imperative that the salary you are offering is attractive when reaching out to prospective candidates — and in line with industry benchmarks.
    Consider flexible working
    A recent survey found that 34% of UK workers said they would resign from their current position if their employer failed to offer flexible working options. In the new age of hybrid working, this will continue to be an important factor for candidates to consider. Employers must seamlessly incorporate and facilitate the new style of working if they want to secure — and retain — new talent, from early recruitment and onboarding procedures to long-term, flexible working policies.
    Demonstrate company culture and values
    Ensuring your company’s brand and values are consistently represented across all channels and communications is integral to making you stand out in the industry. Many candidates are growing increasingly aware of company values and how they are being implemented — both in policy and the workplace. This could refer to diversity and inclusion programs, gender equality initiatives, emphasis on work-life balance, or any other aspects of your company’s culture that make it a desirable place to work.
    Build a good reputation with existing staff
    Your current employees could become one of your greatest assets in the hunt for passive candidates. A positive review can make all the difference to a candidate weighing up whether or not to take up an offer. If past and existing staff speak highly of a company, it will create a positive overall impression and provide all the evidence needed to reinforce any claims about why a candidate should leave their role for a different one.
    By Julie Mott, Managing Director at Howett Thorpe. Julie is a highly respected and well-connected recruitment individual with over 20 years of experience working in the ever-changing industry.
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    2021 State of U.K. Tech Salaries

    What You’ll Learn U.K. tech salary trends based on role, industry, and years of experience How technical employees ranked non-salary compensation, such as benefits The impact of the Great Resignation on the demand for tech talent 4 Steps to accelerate your hiring process short term and develop a long term recruitment strategy to handle attrition. […] More

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    Want to Hire in Q4? Tap the Passive Market and Flex Your Hiring Muscle

    Contrary to the popular narrative – these aren’t “crazy times”. This suggests that things will eventually go back to normal – which is far from the truth. The reality is that these are “new times”, and employers struggling to hire and retain talent need to adapt accordingly.
    Listen: In a detailed analysis of the Great Resignation earlier in September, Business Insider pointed out that September will see even more significant data once numbers for the month are released. They write that COVID-19’s resurgence under the guise of Delta coupled with the lack of available childcare as kids return to school will send quit rates even higher.
    Add to that a new report from Manpower finding that 59% of US businesses are planning to add to payroll in the final quarter of 2021. Not backfill. Not rehire. Add to payroll. This suggests economically healthier times, but with job quit rates and job openings already at levels unseen in two decades, Q4 2021 will see even more challenges for recruiters.
    Are recruiters nervous? You bet they are, and a GetApp survey confirms this: 56% of recruiters fear that they have job openings that they will never be able to fill.
    Employers are at an urgent time. They don’t have time to pontificate over the “why” of all this stuff. They need to fill roles – and fast.
    The rules of engagement have changed
    Ultimately, these numbers show that the traditional recruitment process no longer applies to today’s working world. The rules of engagement have changed – nay, evolved – and smart-thinking recruiters and employers would do well to stay ahead of these changes. What’s normally a hiring frenzy in Q4 is going to be weird and different this time around.
    So, it’s important to look at what matters right now to potential job candidates. At the start of summer, recruitment technology leader Workable surveyed 1,250 workers in the US and UK to find out what matters most to them in a job. The resultant Great Discontent survey reports – one for the US, and one for the UK – find that, in the midst of all the findings around salary and other hiring topics, two themes really stand out: the high number of passive candidates among those open to new jobs and the high value of flexible schedules for many employees and job seekers.
    Passive candidates
    Let’s start with passive candidates. In the survey, Workable found that in the US, 70.7% of eligible workers are open to the idea of a new job – with 37.3% passively open to new opportunities. In the UK, those numbers are even higher – 75.6% are open to new opportunities, and 45.1% are passively open to new work.
    So, it’s not just about putting up a job ad and watching the applications roll in. Workable’s Hiring Pulse for September 2021 identified a sharp downward trend in candidates per hire right up to the end of July – so recruiters need to work a little harder to root out those valuable candidates.
    Part of that could be a need for better recruitment marketing, but it also means that recruiters will need to actively source candidates with cold calls and emails. Why? More than half of those open to new roles are passive candidates. That’s an incredible resource worth tapping into.
    While passive candidates aren’t actively looking for new work, they are open to having a conversation with you about a new opportunity. They’ll make a big career shift if it suits them.
    The other thing is, these are people who haven’t quit. They may actually be easier to recruit than those who left the workforce altogether.
    That’s a pretty good opportunity for recruiters looking to woo new talent to their organization.
    Flexible schedules
    Let’s move on to the other topic dominating the recruitment world: flexible work. But don’t fall into the trap of understanding it as one entity. There are two very distinct aspects of flexible work: remote work and flexible schedules.
    The data in the Great Discontent report shows why this distinction is important: 31.6% in the US and 25.3% in the UK said their job can’t be worked remotely at all. That compares to just 19.4% and 14.6% respectively in that they can’t realistically work on a flexible schedule – significantly lower numbers.
    The number of those who do think their work can be performed on a flexible schedule is significantly higher – 57.1% in the US and 53.8% in the UK voted 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of how easily they can work flexible hours (1=not at all, 5=completely).
    Plus, 58.2% of US and 57.7% of UK workers consider flexible work schedules to be quite important to them. Again, these numbers are notably higher than the importance placed on remote work.
    We also asked why flexible schedules are important to workers. More than half in both countries – 55.8% of US workers and 57.3% of UK workers – say having flexible schedules makes it easier to balance personal and professional priorities. At the core of this, of course, is maintaining your personal life obligations such as being there for your loved ones.
    So what does that mean for recruiters and employers? If you offer flexible schedules in your workplace, you’re helping your employees integrate their home and work lives rather than forcing them to find a balance between the two. That can be a powerful attractor for your business.
    Overcome those hiring challenges
    These aren’t the be-all and end-all solutions, of course. There’s a lot more. But as mentioned above, employers need to act quickly if they want to attract new job applicants.
    Actively sourcing passive candidates and building out flexible work schedule policies can help fill those crucial roles as you head into the traditional hiring season of Q4.
    The times have changed – and the onus may well be on you to adapt accordingly.
    Keith MacKenzie is Content Strategy Manager at Workable, a recruitment software company, and is the author of the Great Discontent survey reports which were published in September 2021. 
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