On Thursday 1st February 2018, we hosted the most recent in our series of breakfast events in partnership with In-house Recruitment Network. The event ‘New Recruitment Trends with the Public Sector’ brought together HR and recruitment specialists from a wide range of organisations. As ever we combined expert speakers with round table discussions to provide as much opportunity for sharing experiences, ideas, best practice and insight.
Our speakers on the day were:
– Kesh Ladwa – Recruitment Manager, Warwickshire & West Mercia Police
– Wyn Jones – Deputy Director of Human Resources, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
– Fraser Chapman – Commercial Director, Jobsgopublic
We were delighted to have attendees from over 25 organisations such as Cabinet Office, UK Home Office, Cafcass, Hertfordshire County Council, Transport for London, UKEF, Mencap, London Southbank University and National History Museu plus many more.
The event was a great morning with conversation flowing throughout. We wanted to share some of the best ideas.
Throughout the event, the topic of employer branding came up again and again. Whilst it has been something of a buzzword for some time now, it is now being embraced by many. Employers recognise the need to have a strong employer brand as a tool in attracting new staff as well as retaining current employees.
Use of careers sites is becoming an increasingly common way of boosting employer brand and communicating your employee value proposition (EVP).
It was great to hear that even those who haven’t the time to develop their employer branding and use it in their recruitment strategy are beginning to embrace and hold it as a top priority moving forward.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
A common theme that emerged from this event is the extent that people have integrated some form of ATS into their recruitment strategy. This has not only allowed them to also implement online application forms (candidates’ preferred form of applying) but also enabling better candidate communication.
Another common theme throughout the morning was ‘onboarding’ and the different ways in which organisations are carrying out procedures such as background checks and references. Those that were happiest with their ATS’s were those whose systems facilitated these processes and made them quicker and easier for both the employer and candidates. 76
Over the years it has become unanimously accepted that social media as part of your recruitment strategy is not only necessary, it is essential.
Some of the examples of the ways that social media is being used in public sector recruitment was inspiring. Organisations have not only begun using it, they are finding ways to genuinely innovate in terms of candidate engagement and boosting employer brand.
There is still some trepidation about the opening yourself up to potential negativity and criticism. However, the general opinion was overwhelmingly positive – we are excited to see what is to come in the future.
Volume/Hard to fill recruitment
Something that definitely showed during the event is that certain challenging areas of recruitment continue to frustrate many.
Some had found that having a campaign site that provided significant information on the organisation, location and the roles themselves, as well as the teams, had proved highly successful. Others had found that giving their organisation a face and a voice through social media and video content had worked incredibly well. Also, the use of an ATS to make assessment, shortlisting and communication streamlined had ensured that minimal numbers of candidates were dropping out in the process.
The main message is there are solutions out there but it’s no longer one size fits all and organisations are having to go the extra mile to secure the best candidates.
A number of people spoke of the importance of staff retention – the money spent on attracting new staff quickly becomes meaningless if they don’t stay with you.
Many now recognise the importance of implementing a retention strategy to help ensure that the staff that you want, stay with you. Those with deep pockets will often simply look to increase salaries in order to keep their people happy, however for many this simply isn’t an option.
In these instances, a focus on aspects such as organisational culture, training and development, workloads and support structures can make a difference in improving working life and retaining staff.
These were just a handful of the key topics that came out of the event. We are in the process of arranging the next one and will be sending out the details very soon. Stay tuned.