Reputation matters to job-seekers

Why any business looking to recruit new team members would be wise to take a good look at their reputation.

Today’s discussion rather neatly follows on from our last post. If you haven’t read it yet, it highlights the importance of job skills in relation to the ongoing skills shortage.

With many stats pointing towards both high staff demand and low application numbers, employers must appraise their staff attraction approach. And this is where brand reputation comes into the conversation…

Never more important than now:

It’s said that a brand’s online rep is more important now than ever before. Alongside the recruitment climate we’ve outlined above (and over the past few articles!), we all clearly possess the digital means to thoroughly investigate our prospective employers. The stats suggest:

  • 70% of people will always research an employer’s reputation before applying for a job.
  • 56% would not go on to make an application if the business had ‘no online presence’. 57% say they would distrust these companies.
  • As for what the candidates are searching for, employee satisfaction and how staff are treated top the priority list.

The power of word of mouth…

It’s not only low job application numbers that employers should be concerned about. Future buying behaviour may also be affected by their recruitment reputation.

Perhaps understandably, candidates who’ve been through an unpleasant recruitment experience are less likely to support that employer’s products or services. What’s more, word of mouth could further harm wider purchasing choices.

  • 69% of candidates would discuss their negative experience with others – 81% would do so through one-to-one conversations and 18% via social media broadcasting.
  • 47% who heard about such a negative encounter from a friend would be less willing to purchase the brand’s offerings.
  • The experiences most likely to influence buying behaviour included poor interview encounters, and ‘lack of transparency’ regarding salaries or job descriptions, alongside non-existent interview feedback.

A reputation for the positive:

Thanks to HR News, we’ve observed the importance of employer reputation and the consequences of a poor recruitment rep. Now, we turn to Recruiting Times and the draw of a positive impact.

Employees feel that working for these companies would increase their individual happiness and productivity. In addition, staff members would be willing to leave roles that didn’t prioritise a positive or meaningful ethos.

How companies can work with recruitment agencies to improve their employer reputations

  • As well as ensuring you have an up-to-date and easily found website, why not provide some extra details that support your employer reputation profile? This could include links to any awards you’ve received (especially those for staff management), links to review sites, and HR provisions you’re proud to offer.
  • If you have had any negative reviews as an employer, it may be worth discussing these with your Consultant. Perhaps it came from previous management and new methods are now in place. Honest conversations can help your Consultant to communicate openly with prospective candidates.
  • Sometimes it helps if candidates can meet with one or a few employees during the interview process. This also proves a useful tool for ascertaining potential team fit.
  • Recruitment consultants can advise on how to best conduct the interview process, support you in creating the most appropriate job descriptions and help provide interview feedback/updates.
  • The above can also include a focus on your impact statements and brand purpose. This must be authentic though, or else an excited applicant could soon become a disgruntled employee!

Please call the office on 01225 313130 to discuss your recruitment needs.

Job vacancies: record highs or figures falling?

What does the number of job vacancies tell us about the state of the employment market? Well, the answer could depend on your chosen source…

Two different news items published only a day apart suggest that:

a) Advertised job vacancies are falling and reflect a ‘cooling off’ period 

Source: Recruiting Times & Adzuna

Adzuna has been recording its own data since 2012. However, it will not have access to the same quantity of data as our next source.

That said, it’s still of national interest as it considers the UK as a whole. Perhaps most interestingly, these findings also report on competition levels; stating that application numbers have fallen to an all-time low since Adzuna’s records began 6 years ago.

b)  Job vacancies have reached a record high since 2001

Source: HR Review & the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Conversely, the ONS reports that job vacancy numbers have reached the highest level recorded in 17 years. Although these figures are taken from the August to October 2018 period; Adzuna’s refer to the ‘latest data’ which may well be exploring the past month.

This report also reflects a talent shortage, stating that ’employers across many sectors are continuing to experience fundamental challenges in finding the staff and skills that they need.’

What the REC has to say on this topic…

As you may well know, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation also conducts regular research.

Their latest press release explored October’s figures and found:

  • Staff appointment numbers rose at their fastest rate last month.
  • Job vacancies ‘expanded at the softest pace’ for almost two years in October, yet staff demand was ‘historically sharp’.
  • Overall candidate availability fell at its steepest rate in nine months.

Considering all these findings, it appears that there is greater consensus across the sources than it might have appeared at first glance.

Certainly, each agrees that businesses are facing skills shortages, with HR Review reporting that “employers can expect to face continued recruitment and retention pressures and need to prioritise workforce planning.”

Looking to overcome the skills shortage?

Measuring Job Quality

The first measure of Job Quality has officially been launched. What is it and what’s affecting job quality right now?

Who’s rating your Job Quality?

This measure comes from the CIPD in the form of a new annual survey. This means workers themselves will be rating their own job quality as well as its relative importance across a series of ‘seven dimensions’.

You may recall that the Taylor Review recommended such a measurement approach – and stated its importance across all job roles and arenas.

The results of the inaugural survey show:

  • Job satisfaction is relatively high at 64%. However, ‘low-level’ workers and middle managers are each facing high stress with poor support.
  • Furthermore, ‘low-skilled’ and casual workers are lacking development opportunities. 37% of this group has not received any training over the past year. What’s more, 43% say their ‘job did not give them opportunities to develop their skills’.
  • Middle managers are also experiencing the ill-effects of high stress. 35% report an excessively high workload, while 28% are facing mental health consequences.
  •  28% of middle management respondents are additionally struggling to maintain their personal commitments.

For further findings and the CIPD’s response, please refer to HR Magazine.

Thoughts from a recruitment agency…

It’s hard not to welcome any exploration of job satisfaction. This sits well with our recent report on the measurement of soft skills – something also proposed by the Taylor Review.

Both aspects are vital to the everyday functioning of our national workforce and place workers’ abilities and attitudes right at the heart of things.

The more that this is all discussed, the more employers will become aware of these topics. Hopefully leading to a happier and more productive workforce all-around!

What matters to you in your career or business needs? And what would you like to see more of on our news page? Tell us here.

The candidate shortage continues!

The UK’s candidate shortage continues, says the latest ‘Report on Jobs’. Yet, at the same time, employers are concerned that more staff will leave. What does the latest jobs news mean for you? Advice included!

We often report on the IHS Markit & REC Report on Jobs – a monthly national snapshot of what’s happening in staff placements.

Candidate shortage concerns…

The latest report shows that not only is the candidate shortage continuing, it’s actually worsened over the past month. In fact, Recruiter reports that candidate availability is now at its ‘weakest rate for a year’.

Interestingly, new job placement numbers continue to rise; both across permanent and temporary openings. This fact applies across the whole nation, with the South leading some of the growth on the temp side.

As Tom Hadley (REC Director of Policy) explains, ‘while more people are entering employment, it is not compensating for the shortfall of candidates for many roles’.

Employers fear workers are on the move!

At the same time (and as discussed by OnRec), 61% of businesses are also experiencing greater staff turnover, with more than half expecting this to worsen over the next few years.

Approximately 1 in 7 employees are now ‘likely to seek a new job’.

Returning to Tom Hadley’s comments, it appears many businesses are increasing new starter pay in an attempt to lure candidates from their current roles.  Temporary pay rates are said to have seen the greatest rise.

Hadley suggests that candidates who decide to make a job move are more likely to experience a growth in pay than if they ‘stay put’, noting the disparity between increases in new starter rates and in-role pay rises.

What does this mean for you?

The advice shared in our piece on the UK Skills Shortage very much still applies – both for employers and job-seekers.

  • Managers and business owners reading this news are encouraged to review their staff retention rates. This article explains why – and includes some key resources. Of course, steps to improve staff attraction also remain essential. Perhaps it’s time to review the top benefits that appeal to today’s workers.
  • Job hunting candidates may be at an advantage for now. However, this advantage can soon be lost if you’re not making yourself known in the right way. Refine your approach with these tips.

All parties are encouraged to seek the advice of an REC-accredited recruitment agency with plenty of experience in their field. Expert insights can really help guide you through your recruitment challenges.

Looking for more recruitment and career advice? Let us know what matters most to you.

Recruitment Predictions for 2018…

Sharing 2018 recruitment predictions from leading industry commentators… 

Each year brings a fresh wave of business estimations and predictions. None more so than as we enter our penultimate year as a European member state. So, how could employment and recruitment change this year?

1) Through legal & policy updates

SOURCE: Recruiting Times

Recruiting Times discusses a host of potential legislative changes and discussions, including:

  • The implementation of the Taylor review. This is an independent review of modern working practices, which explores today’s employer responsibilities and workers’ rights.
  • Increased (and more public) penalties in cases of ‘unfair employment’.
  • Greater support/recognition of Transgender equality rights.
  • The possibility that caste may also be covered under racial discrimination policy in certain circumstances.
  • Further discussion of disability rights. Partially in light of two major ongoing cases.
  • More governmental guidance on workplace dress code policies.

2) Continued high job-seeking levels

SOURCE: HR Magazine

  • Just under half of all UK employees are set to look for a new job this year, says HR Magazine. This is a reduction on 2017’s figures (59%). However, such a stat represents continued low job satisfaction levels.
  • Management issues are the biggest driver for a job change (49%). Alongside this, other workers are motivated by earning potential (43%) and a desire for greater skills recognition (29%).

3) Fluidity & flexibility

SOURCE: HR Grapevine

The magazine highlights 8 distinct trends, which include:

  • Increased ‘fluidity’, suggesting that changing jobs more frequently will become socially ‘acceptable’.
  • Greater value placed on employee perks. This is something we only recently discussed!
  • Further focus on closing the gender pay gap.
  • An increase in ‘returnships’.
  • More flexible working policies.
  • A better work-life balance.
  • More attention paid to workplace leadership in relation to staff morale.
  • Diversity to be celebrated and ‘taken more seriously’ by employers.

4) Reduced employer confidence

SOURCE: Recruiting Times

  • We hear that 51% of businesses expect 2018 to be ‘more challenging than 2017’.
  • The remaining companies surveyed suggested this year will be no better. Meaning that not one of the employers surveyed expected 2018 to be easier!
  • Low employer confidence primarily centres around concerns regarding the economy and post-Brexit trade potential.
  • However, despite poor confidence levels, 51% of businesses intend to expand their workforces this year. Promising news for job-seekers!

5) Through a clearer understanding


Recruitment’s leading governing body has drawn its own predictions –or ‘things to look out for’– this year:

  • The organisation agrees that hiring and employment rates will continue, although perhaps at a slower growth rate versus recent (record-beating!) years.
  • They remain ‘hopeful’ that we will garner a clearer understanding of the post-Brexit trade and employment potential.
  • Further discussions on automation and its effect on the jobs market. This will include an upcoming TedX talk by Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive.
  • Ongoing campaigns to keep the UK labour market as ‘dynamic, flexible and agile’ as can be.

As you can see, 2018 looks set to be another fascinating year in recruitment. We’ll be sure to keep all of our job-seekers and employers posted on the developments as they unfold – so do keep a close eye on our News!

We’re also interested to hear from you. Which changes or issues concern you most or would you like to hear more about? Share your thoughts via Twitter, LinkedIn and email.

Culture matters to marketers + latest jobs news

Why culture matters to marketers, jobs are ‘going unfilled’, and EU workers are looking elsewhere. Discussing the latest recruitment news from around the UK…

Story 1:Culture, not pay, motivates marketers to move jobs.”

Source: Marketing Week

UK marketing professionals prioritise workplace culture, training opportunities and a healthy work-life balance above salary levels. These findings are connected to high levels of ambition – a characteristic currently shared by 87% of marketers. 

71% will accept a pay cut in order to enjoy their workplace culture. However, the stats do suggest that pay rates become more important when seeking longer-term roles.

Bath businesses can use these findings to communicate recruitment benefits. Employers can also review their offerings to ensure a competitive package.

Story 2: “UK jobs go unfilled as skills shortage bites, study warns.”

Source: Sky News

The Skills Shortage is back in the headlines! Here, Sky News reports on last month’s findings from the REC.

National candidate figures have ‘plummeted’, according to the research discussed. Yet a multitude of sectors require additional staff to facilitate growth and service provisions.

Cybersecurity skills shortages are now of primary concern, following the recent ransomware attacks.

TIP: Local employers should read our Skills Shortage guide: aimed at achieving continued growth.

Story 3: “EU workers look elsewhere for jobs as UK loses appeal.”

Source: The Telegraph

Finally, there’s a marked reduction in UK job searches from EU countries. The figures have declined by 37.2% since last year. That said, the UK remains the job-searching hotspot for European workers.

These results are attributed to Brexit and reflect a ‘sharper and longer decline’ then the drops observed soon after the referendum.

Eager to learn more about items affecting local employers and managers? Register for the quarterly HR Newsletter. The next edition explores common seasonal issues.