As arguments for and against Brexit are gaining pace ahead of the national EU Referendum on June 23rd 2016, consideration needs to be given to UK employers, the effect on them, and the knock on effect on UK Human Resources Departments and the Recruitment Industry. Whichever way the EU referendum goes, it will have consequences for UK employers.
Take a Look at History
A dominant swathe of those eligible to vote in the EU Referendum in June were not eligible voters back in 1973 when the UK entered the European Union. This has two-fold power. Firstly, this age group of voters are the current working generation, many responsible for business and with it recruitment and employment law and regulations. Secondly, these voters mostly won’t remember what Britain looked like on the outside of the EU looking in.
To understand the implications of Brexit and the EU Referendum now it is important to look at it within the social, political and economic political climate of the pre-EU days. In the heart of the Thatcher era, private business was king. With the entry in to the EU in 1973, the effects weren’t just apparent directly on the economy and trade, but also in a more subtle and slower way through the legal effect of EU treaties gradually making their way in to EU law.
Europe: The Issue for Employers, Human Resources and Recruitment Industries
The biggest implications of the EU on UK employers and therefore their Human Resources departments and the wider recruitment industry needs to be looked at within two key contexts: Employment Law and The Job Market.
Europe and Employment Law
Without a shadow of a doubt, the UK’s Employment Law landscape would look enormously different without the direct influence and implications of being part of the EU. The main Employment Law areas covered by EU legislation include:
Working Time Regulations 1998 – whilst the UK negotiated various Opt-Outs and Exemptions, the UK is still largely subject to the weekly maximum hours, rest break and holiday entitlements, as dictated by the EU. One of the key reasons the UK negotiated the Opt-Outs and Exemptions was precisely because of UK business concern that such restrictions would hinder UK businesses, damage their profitability, and make working environments too restrictive. However, we were able to negotiate the Opt-Outs, and long-term our competitive edge hasn’t been affected.
Equality Act 2010 – the EU is largely responsible for bringing the UK fully in line with the rest of the Western World when it comes to discrimination. The Equality Act protects individuals from discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion, belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships. Without a shadow of a doubt, this Act has made the workplace one that is fairer, and brings in valuable talent previously overlooked due to discrimination.
Agency Workers Regulations 2010 – these regulations give Agency workers in the UK the right to equal treatment as that of their permanent counterparts. This obviously has a knock on effect for Recruitment Agencies looking to fill temporary agency positions.
Part Time Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 – regulations to ensure that part-time employees’ employment rights are protected enabling UK businesses to benefit from more flexible working patters, especially making it possible to make the best possible business use of women returning to work after having children, bolstering the economy overall.
Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 – similar to the Part Time Employees Regulations, these regulations brought in from the EU help to ensure the UK workplace is fair for all.
On top of the above laws and regulations, the reach of the EU is completely intertwined with UK Employment Law. Europe is responsible for bringing us Maternity Leave Rights (protecting both the individual and the employer) Parental Leave rights, further pay equality than the UK’s own previous laws, Data Protection, Redundancy Consultation, TUPE (Transfer of Private Undertakings), Health and Safety, and Human Rights. All these areas of law are governed by, or largely affected by, EU directive.
All the while the UK remains in the EU then UK business has a voice in the shaping of these regulations. A worrying scenario would be if the UK went down the Norwegian route and the UK was still governed and restricted by these laws, but without the power to influence them going forward. At present, UK business has a strong voice in the EU. Remove this and UK business could find itself hindered.
Europe and Jobs
The Office of National Statistics tells us that 942,000 Eastern Europeans, Romanians and Bulgarians work within the UK. However, these figures can’t be looked at in isolation. The UK plays host to a further 791,000 western European workers. But this figure still pales in comparison to the number of workers the UK has from outside of the EU – a whopping 2.93m, from places such as China and India. These figures need to be considered as a whole, and why the UK economy is currently reliant on non-UK workers.
Working in Human Resources or Recruitment yourself, you have likely been faced with skills shortages from within the UK market alone which you can more easily fill from abroad. This ability to recruit from beyond our own borders gives us economic power. Professor Adrian Favell, from the London School of Economics, says that limiting freedom of movement and employment would deter the brightest and the best that enter the UK from the EU.
Without this freedom of movement the UK employers may have to move to other lower cost, more competitive EU countries. The car manufacturing industry has already hinted at this possibly knock-on effect of leaving the EU. In a slightly different vein, UK farmers would struggle even further if EU subsidies were removed.
Europe for Recruiters: To Stay or Go
There are pros and cons for both camps. The reality is that even if we exited Europe, we aren’t operating in the political and economic climate of the 1970s. We’re now in the digital age, and it seems to remain competitive then we have to utilise Europe to the best of our advantage, whether that’s staying in or getting out. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Job Boards. The Simplest and most straight-forward recruitment strategy, yes? Well, not quite. They are tempting, and an easy Go To Recruitment starting point, but knowing how to utilise them to your advantage can be a tall order. This is a HR Manager’s Guide to Job Board Advertising, and how to get it right.
Business Benefits of Online Job Board Advertising
The business benefits of using online job boards are alluring to say the least. This article gives an excellent run down from a Recruiter’s Perspective: what’s good about job boards, the business benefits, and how to maximise their potential. The business benefits include:
Online is the Place to Be: without a doubt, recruitment in 2016 is heavily reliant on the internet, therefore making sure you have an Employer’s Presence on the best job boards makes sound sense.
Candidates Start Here: you only need to look at the odd article aimed at candidates, such as this one, to know that the most active candidates start their search here, having typed in a generic Google phrase. The candidates scour them, and the savviest of candidates know how to play the Job Board game, so if you’re not to miss out, you need to be there.
Speed is of the Essence: with a quick click of the mouse and a few completed form fields, your vacancy is up, being advertised, and reaching out to candidates. It doesn’t get much faster than a Job Board. Time feels efficient because within minutes you’re accessing candidates.
Ease of Use: When you have a million other tasks demanding your attention, job boards are easy because they are simple and straightforward to use.
Money Matters: Recruitment Budgets are often being squeezed. A Job Board advertisement is one of the cheapest options on the Recruitment Market, or at least the upfront costs are known, quantifiable and low.
You’re in Control: When you place the Job Board advert, the applications are going to come flooding into you. You know what you’re looking for, so post accordingly, and can filter accordingly. The leg work is down to you, so you can stay in control.
Employer Branding Online: Utilising Job Boards can be a good way of getting your name out there about the type of employer you are, the roles you offer, and generally beefing up your image and Employer Branding.
Linking to Social Media and Other Strategies: Job Boards are easy to link to your Social Media accounts and any other recruitment strategies you have. This makes a more holistic approach to recruitment.
Top Tips on Choosing the Right Job Board for Your Business
The problem starts when you realise that there are literally thousands of Job Boards out there. But not all Job Boards are created equal. There can be enormous variations from one board to another, and simply ‘dumping’ your post on a random choice is not going to come up with the goods: real, high-calibre candidates. Choosing the right Job Board ensures you attract the right candidates for your vacancy. After all, one high calibre well-experienced and accurately qualified candidate is better than a thousand inappropriate ones. So how do you pick the right one?
Change Your Hat: Take of your HR Recruiting hat and put on the hat of a candidate. Think as they would think. Where would you start our new job search? Knowing the most savvy candidates, you’re likely to start with a quick Google search. So do this, see which job boards come up on the first page of results for jobs in the area you’re looking for.
Think About Your Needs: Don’t just dive in but give some care and thought to your recruitment needs. Are you after a specialist or a generalist? Are you after someone with 10 years’ experience or a new graduate? Identify your needs and use this to hone your search.
Location, Location, Location: Are you looking for a local recruit or are you casting your net wider to the global market?
Your Niche: Understand and know your business niche. Which job boards cater to this?
Identify the Top Boards: Now you should have a handful of ‘nearly’ appropriate job boards to choose from. Now is the time to compare them to one another by looking at factors such as site performance and traffic, and therefore narrow your choices down.
Select the Job Board for You: Once you’ve done the above groundwork, you should have a good idea about which job board is best for you as a HR Manager. Now you can draft your post, fill in the online form, pay the sum, and get cracking.
Job Boards do sound easy and cheap, but in reality things are necessarily all they are cracked up to be. Whilst your initial outlay may be low, chances are you’ll be paying a heavier price in the long run when other costs mount up (whether these be due to your time, or indirect recruitment costs such as losing a new recruit early on). Even assuming you identify the right job board for your vacancy first time from the thousands out there, you are still going to be a needle in a haystack. The right candidates finding you will still be largely down to luck. On top of this, you’ve just given your Inbox carte blanche to send you crazy. You will be inundated with candidates. Sifting through them to find exactly the right ones, the ones who do truly meet your criteria is going to take a great deal of time and effort.
Is There Another Way?
For savvy HR Managers there most certainly is. Whilst Recruitment Agencies can bring a higher upfront cost, they definitely bring a personalised and confidential service bringing you the very best pre-qualified candidates whilst honing your employer branding. They are time efficient and cost effective. Nonetheless, Recruitment Agencies can have a bad rap. That’s why Net Recruit is different. We offer a Campaign Builder package that allows you to know exactly what you’re spending and what you’re getting. The result: affordable high quality recruitment, for each and every vacancy, within the Job Board headache.
The Christmas break is an important time for recruiters to review how they’ve done in the past year and to look forward to that all-important future. With employment levels rising and competition for jobs becoming slightly less drastic, standing out from the crowd is going to be the name of the game in 2016 with recruiters working hard to incorporate new technology, find the high performing candidates and deliver the top notch service that many businesses are looking for. To help you stay ahead of your competition, we’ve compiled a list of what we think will be the top recruitment trends in 2016.
If recruiters are going to find the right top performers for their clients in 2016 there is going to have to be a good deal of soul searching and measuring of outcomes. That’s going not only going to involve monitoring recruitment processes but how accepted candidates perform on the job and whether they succeed, fail or move quickly onto somewhere else. Weak hires that only benefit a company for a short while are going to impact on recruitment agencies particularly now that the market is becoming more buoyant. This may well involve working closely with the hiring managers of particular customers and ensuring that bad practice is eschewed for good that produces positive outcomes.
There’s no doubt that in 2016 recruiters are going to drill down deeper into how, where, when and why they choose their best candidates.
A More Scientific Approach
There has been a much bigger push by companies to be more diverse in their employment selection over the last couple of years which has led to some opting for CVs that have no evidence of sex, age, race or gender and for interviews that are carried out, for example, by telephone or even with the panel of judges keeping the backs to the candidates. Recruitment firms are also embracing this kind of procedure which is intended to get rid of any unconscious bias on the part of the interview or selection panel.
2016 will see more initiatives such as this as mainstream employers try to follow the tech industry and force a more diverse employment profile.
Being More Innovative
Finding the people who can innovate in the workplace is going to be a key concern for many businesses. It’s no longer simply desirable to hire a steady Eddie who can come in and get the day’s work done, many posts now rely on a significant amount of project management and thought creation that can help drive the company forward. Innovators are likely to be more demanding too, wanting tweaks to the job description and package before they agree to go and work for someone. That’s something recruiters will have to learn to cope with better.
Selling Clients Better
Finding the top talent around, at the right time for businesses who need it, has always been a big issue with recruitment agencies. 2016 could well be the time for many to go back to basics and ensure that the sales and recruitment skills of their own staff are up to the mark. With more jobs out there and plenty of well qualified candidates, it’s going to come down to who finds the right people more often for the right jobs. That means selling those potential opportunities much better.
Videos That Sell
While attracting high value candidates is going to be the name of the game this year, there are plenty of opportunities for recruiters to set out their potential offers in more dramatic and eye catching ways. One solution may well be the greater use of videos in recruitment, from slick, professionally produced adverts through to staff YouTube channels that show the day to day working of a company. We are more likely to click on a video upload than to click on a link nowadays and with smartphones practically a staple of modern life, top potential candidates can be reached in much more efficient and more interesting ways.
Adding Pep to Job Descriptions
Standardised and largely boring job descriptions may have to go out of the window if you are going to attract the best candidates and taking a fresh look at how you word things is likely to be important. They’re still going to need to be accurate, as misleading ads will generally lead to disappointment and a quick, unwanted turnover, but the crux of the matter is that recruiters need to engage and bring the benefits of each job out much better than in 2016.
Companies Must be Mobile
Everyone, let’s face it, is going mobile. If a top performer is working without the use of a smartphone, then something has to be seriously wrong. The number of job seekers who use mobile devices to enable their search for the ideal position is increasing, up to almost 50% at the moment. The vital thing here is that the phone is always with them and if you want to have the best opportunity for engaging and bringing them on board, your systems need to be ultra-mobile friendly. This may well be a case of investing more money in IT infrastructure over the coming year but the expenditure will be well worth it.
The early bird catches the worm and nowhere is this more obvious than in the recruiting business. The top performers are hot property and if you want to get them then you have to work fast, close them down and convince them of your credentials before anyone else moves in. You may think that you are offering a candidate the best deal on the market but they are not going to wait for ever. Sometimes they are not even willing to wait a week. Top performers tend to make quick decisions and if you are delaying for any reason then it can hamper your chances of sealing the deal.
This year many recruitment agencies will be looking to speed up their processes. While this may prove difficult with a number of larger companies who have their own processes to go through, recruiters will need to impress on the need to fast track when it comes to the top candidates.
Faster working, more mobile friendly approaches, better measurement and a selection approach that meets diversity issues are all in the frame for this new year. While you may be thinking that you will get round to some of these changes in the near future, your competitors could be implementing the strategies that work right this minute.
With parties to attend and extra shopping to taken care of, you can be forgiven for being busy during the next few weeks. However, if you’re responsible for looking after staff morale this festive season, it’s important not to neglect them and their feelings. Failing to do so can impact office morale and productivity, so try these easy to implement tips to boost office spirits this Christmas.
Throw a Christmas party
Everybody loves to boogie right? So to do your staff! Award their efforts this year with a party, allowing them to let their hair down and blow off some steam. A recent survey concluded that 1 in 6 companies use Christmas parties as a way of increasing morale within their company. Just be sure to film the guy who makes a clown of himself for even more laughs in the new year.
Decorate the office
It’s no secret that well-designed office spaces can increase employee morale and productivity. If your office space isn’t up to scratch aesthetically, now’s a great time to do something about it(even if it’s just temporary). Your staff will be walking around town on a daily basis, being subjected to the constant visual stimuli of decorated street lights, shop windows and makeshift Christmas trees, only to turn up to an office which unless you’ve seen to it will be dull and downright depressing in comparison.
So dig out the tinsel, buy a tree, burn some cinnamon candles and make things a little bit brighter for your employees. Even if the changes are subtle, it will help to boost morale and take thoughts of that 200 page report that needs to be done for Monday.
Play some Christmas classics in the office
“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Music and the mind go hand in hand and there’s a lot of science to back this up. You may have the next Britains Got Talent winner sat within your realms and you didn’t know about it! That said, bring out the CD player this festive season, get the office geek to burn a compilation disc(all legit of course) full of the cheesiest Christmas classics around and pump it out amongst the office. People will soon start tapping their foot, throwing a few fist pumps out there. Even if they’re not to everyone’s taste, it will certainly get them chatting as they get on their high horses to slate the downfalls of the song.
Here are some of the tracks which we have on repeat in the Net-Recruit office during the festive period:
Consider bringing payday forward
December brings an unavoidable increase in social activities. Trips to the local Christmas Markets, unplanned Mulled Wine Nights and trips to the pub which wouldn’t normally occur. All of these things can tighten the Christmas purse strings even further. If it’ financially feasible, take a look at bringing the monthly pay day forward a week, allowing your staff to purchase some last minute stocking fillers or perhaps have that tipple with an old friend which they may not have been able to do otherwise.
Organise a Secret Santa
Who doesn’t love gifts? More so, who doesn’t love a surprise? A secret Santa allows people to get creative and buy for somebody who they wouldn’t normally consider. It will also get your staff chatting around the kettle, as they try and discover what interests a colleagues, who they perhaps might not normally speak to in such detail. Winner! Be sure to set a limit so that your employees don’t have to spend the earth, check out these top Secret Santa Gift Ideas for under £10.
So there you have it, 5 easy to implement ways of boosting morale within your company this Christmas. By sending your team off for the Christmas break in a high spirits, they are more than likely to come back fired up and ready to tackle the New Year head on.
Being a HR Manager can be tough! Based on a recent survey of over 150 people, the infographic below helps to highlight some of the most common concerns keeping Human Resource Managers and Recruiters up at night. We hope that some of the stats may shock you enough to change your ways for the better.