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Mervyn Dinnen

Three Ways to Learn at IHRE17

It’s almost time for the 3rd In-House Recruitment Expo, which takes place at Olympia on 21st & 22nd February. This year’s event sees some of the biggest names in recruitment technology exhibiting, whilst an impressive range of recognised leaders and coaches offer their perspectives and advice on how to overcome problems and create better recruitment functions across two days of more than 40 seminar and masterclass sessions.

Some of the pressing concerns for in-house recruiters revolve around building stronger talent pipelines, more effective employer branding, improving candidate engagement and reducing cost and time per hire. There is also the perennial conundrum of knowing when to outsource and when to recruit specialist knowledge internally, whilst the need for improved and more meaningful metrics is also never far away.

This year’s Expo promises to give in-house recruiters from all sectors and backgrounds the advice, insight and knowledge they need to succeed and overcome their challenges, and there are three key ways to learn.

Firstly, in the Exhibition area we will have many of the leading names in Recruitment and HR technology demonstrating their latest applications and research. With sourcing high on the agenda, Broadbean will be showcasing their analytics, which can help find the most successful sourcing channels and provide metrics to help increase effectiveness. Meanwhile Total Jobs, Jobsite and Indeed will be on hand to illustrate the latest in job board functionality and reach. Those looking to enhance their selection and assessment processes can investigate Easyrecrue’s pre-screening platform with live & pre-recorded video interviewing, and Sonru’s multi-platform video interviewing tool, whilst Xref will be exhibiting their automated referencing. Those recruiting and managing larger workforces might also want to check out Peoplefluent’s talent management software and also Artifice Cloud Platforms for high volume flexible workers.

The second way to learn will come from our range of speakers. We have already featured some of our seminar speakers on previous blogs, and their sessions are getting booked up, but we also have a series of Masterclasses that do not require pre-booking. Amongst these are Vodafone’s Nick Thompson offering practical advice on getting to really know your candidates, and a practical guide to building equality and diversity into the hiring process from Wandle Housing Association. Another case study will come from Anna Capodici of CERN, who will share her experiences of changing an ATS to help manage volume, different contract types and talent pipelining. Another masterclass not to miss promises to be the one from sourcing supremo Martin Lee. His session provides practical tips and examples of the latest sourcing techniques, and will also look at how to adopt a mind-set that enables you to undertake any search.

And the third way to build your knowledge at the In-House Recruitment Expo? Networking! We have a dedicated networking area, right next to the Masterclass stage, for delegates to mingle, chat, share learnings and experiences, and help each other to build the best recruitment functions. With so much thought provoking content from the speakers to digest, and innovations from the technology exhibitors, the networking area should be buzzing with ideas.

You can start designing your own learning experience at the In-House Recruitment Expo today. Download the free IHRE17 app and create your own agenda, planning the seminar and masterclass sessions you want to attend, and checking out the exhibitors to meet. We’ll see you there!

Mervyn Dinnen

5 Reasons Why You Need to Download the IHRE17 Visitor App!

The coming year promises to be one of challenge, opportunity and innovation for in-house recruiters. Most industry commentators predict increasing skill scarcity and mismatch, leading to the need for stronger pipelines, creative resourcing, relevant data, stronger branding and better candidate engagement, all of which you can hear more about at February’s In-house Recruitment Expo. As we countdown to the event we recognise the importance for each attendee to maximise their learning, making sure that they attend the sessions that are most relevant to their priorities and interests, and taking advantage of networking opportunities.

To help visitors make the most of the Expo, and keep them updated with event developments and content, we have launched a free app, available to download now from both the Apple Store and through Google Play. The app is sponsored and powered by Total Jobs, one of the UK’s leading job boards. They attract up to 12 million visitors, and 3 million job applications on a monthly basis, and will also be exhibiting at the show on stand 106.

The app will help attendees to get maximum benefit from the Expo, ensuring they don’t miss what is important to them and helping make the right connections. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, here are 5 reasons why you need to do it straight away:

It’s easy to register – you can sign up through the app; it’s quick and instant.

Check out all the content – there are 2 days packed with seminars and masterclasses at which some of the industry’s leading practitioners, speakers and analysts will share tips, insights and perspectives on how to get ahead in 2017. From strategic sourcing to overcoming skill shortages, ideas for creative attraction and relationship building, there are more than 40 sessions to choose from. The app shows you who the speakers are and shares details of what they are going to talk about.

Sign up for sessions and create your itinerary – capacity for some of the sessions is limited, and attendees are already booking their slots. The app makes it easy to sign up and reserve your place for the topics you want to hear more about, helping to shape your learning experience, and the ‘My Agenda’ page helps you create your own itinerary.

Rate the speakers – all speakers like to get feedback and know if attendees enjoyed and were inspired by what they said. The IHRE17 app leaves them in no doubt as it lets you rate them instantly. And with instant ratings, you can be sure that the sessions you hear will be focused and informative.

Meet the exhibitors – as well as hearing the speakers and networking with other attendees, many of those visiting the event will also be looking to find out what new developments the recruitment and HR technology exhibitors have up their sleeves. The app lists all those exhibiting, with background information and contacts, and contains a floor plan to help make sure you leave no stand unvisited.

The In-house Recruitment Expo takes place on 21st & 22nd February and features many insightful and sought after speakers, covering all aspects of the recruitment lifecycle. With Seminar and Masterclass sessions already filling up there’s no quicker way to book your place, and create your own agenda and event experience, than by downloading the free IHRE17 app today!


Merv Vegas

The Importance of Building Strong Internal Relationships!

In-house recruiters need to build great internal relationships. The best approaches to sourcing and selection, and many effective strategies to reduce cost and time per hire, need to be supported by a strong network of internal partnerships. They are the bedrock of successful recruitment. Hiring managers need to know they can rely on their recruitment team to find the people they need, and in-house recruiters need to be able to trust their internal clients to sell opportunities and make the right impression.

Recruiters usually take responsibility for the tools, processes and technology, but they also need to advise and coach. Helping hiring managers to understand their vacancies and the external market is key. Does the role need to be filled? Is there an internal option available? Can some duties be scheduled to another team member to create a different role profile? A recruiter can help shape the opportunities available whilst briefing managers on the available talent, both from the in-house team’s pipeline and the likely external pool. It is important to set expectations so that the hiring manager knows what to expect – timeframes, technology and routes to market, and likely numbers and quality of candidates.

The recruiter is also a coach. Quality of hire is an increasingly significant measure for them and yet usually depends on the hiring manager, the person who makes the final decision and to whom the new hire will be reporting. Through coaching, recruiters can help managers become better interviewers, take more ownership of the hiring process and learn to sell their opportunities.

Successful relationships will take time to build. The first stage should be information gathering – making the effort to get to know each hiring manager on a one to one basis, investing time in understanding their priorities and goals, business approach and team dynamics. This shows you care about their situation and can identify their pain points and help solve them.  As well as helping to shape a more individual service to each manager, much like an external supplier would, the recruiter can also use this stage to audit how the manager and team approach recruitment.

Whilst the business may have an overriding culture, individual managers are likely to have their own idiosyncrasies and preferences. One size of service won’t fit all, so the best recruiters approach their internal meetings with an open-mind. The most productive relationships are developed by tailoring the approach, building trust and varying the communication style for each manager and division.

At February’s In-House Recruitment Expo you will be able to hear from Ruth Penfold, Director of Talent Acquisition at Shazam, and one of the UKs most influential in-house recruiters, on how she has built a successful internal recruitment team. During her session ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ she will share her experiences of building effective relationships with internal stakeholders, enabling her to develop effective recruitment strategies. She will also be sharing tips on how to build a reputation and gain trust.

Offering practical tips and advice, she will show how you can build your internal reputation.

Partnering With An RPO For Effective Talent Strategies!

In-house recruitment teams have many competing pressures. Budgets are stretched, yet reducing metrics such as time and cost per hire, whilst improving quality and relevance, are constant targets. Many specialist roles are becoming difficult to fill, requiring more in-depth sourcing or creative matching. Candidate expectations of the experience they get when applying and interviewing for a role are heightened, with review sites offering the opportunity to share their impressions.

The optimum structure of an in-house team is much debated. Sourcing, researching, consulting, and selection and assessment skills have always been necessary. To this, we can now add requirements for data mining and analysis, social engagement, workforce planning, skills analysis and employer branding. As recruitment fits seamlessly into the ongoing suite of talent management processes, so the recruitment team becomes more involved with on-boarding and orientation, and career and succession management. As always, for bringing these new skills into the team, the question is whether to insource or outsource. Grow the internal capability or look at external collaboration.

There is a middle ground however, through flexible use of RPO teams. The early wave of providers were often engaged to do the heavy lifting, reduce costs and remove parts of the internal recruitment function; and sometimes to replace it completely. Now though they are often bought in as a flexible extension to the internal team, sometimes providing expertise in an area where experience is light, or taking on a project thereby freeing in-house recruiters to focus on specific targets. Some specific examples might be running a graduate recruitment function, offering a search capability for senior roles, or a specific project requiring a quick, volume solution such as a new site or function.

The RPO can now also look at a wider remit than purely resourcing and support the overall talent management journey. One key area is on-boarding. Current HR practice is for this to start during the recruitment process, and certainly well ahead of a new employee starting. An RPO can take over the pre-employment checking and vetting procedures, and create an online portal to enable a new hire to start their initial learning, whilst make connections within the new business, offering a consistent experience across a large organisation. Similarly, they could offer a holistic approach to internal mobility and alumni communities and support on diversity.

So what part of their remit should an in-house team outsource, and what areas could they benefit from a partnership arrangement?

At February’s Inhouse Recruitment Expo you’ll be able to hear Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of award-winning RPO The Curve Group, talk about how businesses such as hers can offer a flexible extension to internal recruitment teams, helping to free up part of the recruitment budget to help towards attraction, retention and branding. The Curve Group have been recognised as a ‘Best RPO Provider’ and in 2015 were also identified as one of the Everline Future 50 Most Disruptive UK Businesses. During the Expo Lyndsey will also present a masterclass on how to unlock contractor value and reduce risk in your contingent workforce, both pressing concerns for today’s recruiters.

With inhouse teams needing to offer innovative and cost-effective services to their businesses, it may be that looking at greater partnership and collaboration with RPOs could be a good way to start.



Mervyn Dinnen

In House Recruitment Expo 2017 is open!

Registration is now open for the 2017 In-House Recruitment Expo! Taking place at Olympia, London on 21st & 22nd February 2017 it will be the third time that the event has been held and is supported by The FIRM, Personnel Today and Recruitment Grapevine. The seminar sessions will be sponsored by award-winning graduate recruiters Give A Grad A Go.

This is an exciting time for the in-house recruitment sector. The way that organisations attract, hire, onboard, engage, and retain the people they need is a significant differentiator in the recruitment marketplace, increasingly shaping the way that businesses grow and succeed. There is much more information available through digital channels on what a company is like to work for so candidates now know much more about the business they are applying to, and their expectations are shaped accordingly.

For the 2017 Expo, we are assembling a roster of high-quality seminar speakers, all ready to share their knowledge and insights, with many also providing case studies on how they are embracing new opportunities. We’ll hear about the future of sourcing with Toby Culshaw from Philips, particularly on how sourcing can give the recruitment function stability and credibility, leading to a more strategic and impactful approach, rather that transactional, low-value offering.

Accenture will be looking at how technology is changing talent acquisition and talking about some of the skills that recruiters will need in the future, whilst Microsoft will be sharing their experiences of adopting a data-driven approach to hiring whilst retaining a people-centric approach to the recruiting process. Recruitment technology provider WCN will talk about building and managing talent pools, and how to keep them engaged, whilst Broadbean will chair a panel examining the intersection of recruitment marketing and employer branding.

Award winning RPO The Curve Group will take an in-depth look at when to outsource and how to balance the competing pressures of evolving technology, sourcing, stakeholder engagement and changing budgets. There will a look at the 10 critical steps to creating your own critical data suite from recruitment analytics provider Resourcing Insights, and the FIRM will run a panel to discuss sourcing strategies and some of the tried and tested methodologies that work. In another session, respected resourcing trainer Anne Carrigan will look at how we sourced in the 100 years before LinkedIn was invented…and how we’ll source in the future!

In total, there will be 28 seminars across the two days, with a number of keynote and masterclass sessions also to be announced.

To register for free entry to In-House Recruitment Expo 2017, and start reserving your seminar places, go to :

Article written by Mervyn Dinnen, content creator and social engagement consultant – writing for, and advising, businesses within recruitment, talent acquisition and HR.




7 Habits for Recruiters


In my early days in HR and Organisational development, I came across Stephen Covey’s 7 habits and it was perhaps the most powerful learning experience that I had in HR (well, one of the top 5 anyhow – the experience on Land Rover assembly as Industrial Relations Officer aged 22 was certainly a steep learning curve; as was managing in the NHS)!

Anyhow, many years on I still mentally refer to his text and pose questions of myself, all relating to the initial 7 habits.  And that got me thinking; what if those habits were considered – and more importantly applied – against the world of recruitment and resourcing?

habit 1 – be proactive®

As a recruiting function, think about what talent your organisation may need and how you may seek to identify it early in the process. How you can nurture the talent in the marketplace (e.g. how do you keep in contact and court that talent) and how do you build processes and systems that allow you to do this?  The theory can sound good, but if you don’t have a good applicant tracking system that underpins this activity, then it can seem like an insurmountable mountain.

habit 2 – begin with the end in mind®

Covey described this as a need to develop the habit of concentrating on relevant activities; to avoid distractions and become more productive and successful.  All too often we see companies who start setting out what they think their needs are, based upon their own painful experience that they are currently undergoing.  Instead, they should seek to create a full picture of what they would like their resourcing world to look like and put steps in place to achieve that.  To quote Donald Rumsfeld, companies often “don’t know what we don’t know”.  So take time to learn what is in the marketplace – attend exhibitions relating to HR/resourcing – there was an excellent one, The In-House recruitment Expo in February (at Olympia, London) aimed specifically at in-house resourcing.  The talks and workshops, which were all free at the exhibition, complemented the talks so you could see how the ideas were becoming reality.

habit 3 – put first things first®

Covey calls this the habit of personal management. This is about organising and implementing activities in line with the aims established in habit 2. So how does this translate to recruitment?  Well, this is about organising your own work – assuming you have some sort of Applicant Tracking System, notifications of what is important to you when you log on to a system can be very helpful in this.  As can dashboards of activity – how many candidates have applied since you last logged on?  How many new roles are awaiting sign off?  How many candidates are still in the onboarding process?  When you’re very busy, it is easy to get distracted by the first thing that pops up in your inbox, or by the first person who calls you that morning.  Establishing priorities and working with a system that supports these can be priceless.

habit 4 – think win-win®

Covey calls this the habit of interpersonal leadership, necessary because achievements are largely dependent on co-operative efforts with others. He says that win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone, and that success follows a co-operative approach more naturally than the confrontation of win-or-lose.  So in the world of recruitment, this can be seen with the need to engage with all stakeholders (hiring managers, agencies, advertisers etc) – no-one really sets out to do a bad job, but often the feeling that some parties are not working with you can generate a negative attitude.  Our own experience is that information shared, on a common platform and in real time, is a huge help in ensuring all parties see and understand what is being done and then they can work together towards the common goal.

habit 5 – seek first to understand and then to be understood®

One of the great maxims of the modern age. This is Covey’s habit of communication, and it’s extremely powerful.  In our own experience of working with recruitment teams, we would say that this trait is best exercised at the outset of choosing a system and defining your own processes.  All too often companies can set out on very strident terms what they think they need (most often when using a tender process).  However, if they spent a little more time exploring the market first, talking to suppliers and learning what the art of the possible is, then they may be surprised and what they can then ask for. Listening first and then being listened to is surely what we all hope for isn’t it?

habit 6 – synergize®

Covey defines this habit as one of creative co-operation – the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Good ideas come from all sources.  Within Jobtrain, we are constantly surprised (and pleased) at how many ideas for future development of our applicant tracking system come from users and candidates. We listen to the issues they experience (channelled through our support desk or from the Relationship Managers we have) and we then seek to feed these into our own creative, innovative approach to developing the solution.

habit 7 – sharpen the saw®

This is the habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow. In other words, don’t rest on your laurels!  One bone of contention I have with clients who use our applicant tracking system is that they can see it as a panacea and as soon as it is introduced, they consider the task complete and simply use Jobtrain as a support for existing practice.  However, it is far more powerful than that.  The data it can provide and the insight it offers on how much it costs to hire a candidate; or where your best candidates come from? Or how long it takes to hire etc, all provides information that allows you to make changes that will continually improve your business.  This is the single most powerful way to make a mark on your own organisation and to create a base of influence.

Article written by Chris Keeling, Managing Director of applicant tracking system (ATS) provider Jobtrain Solutions


Mervyn Dinnen

4 Things You Must Learn at In-House Recruitment Expo

The way we go about attracting and hiring candidates is changing. The need to fill increasing numbers of vacancies, particularly those requiring specialist skills and capabilities, is putting pressure on In-House recruiters. Our brand, and the experience we provide candidates, is now visible, whilst today’s job seekers have access to information about our recruitment process, employment experience, and the type of company we are to work for.

Recruiters need to find different and more creative ways to identify and reach out to potential candidates. New technologies and platforms help to increase the number of opportunities that job seekers can access, and how they engage with us. Application volumes increase and so do candidate expectations. The impressions they gain of us from our recruitment process are likely to inform any decision they make as a potential employee…or customer.

Recruitment teams need more resources, and greater knowledge. They are operating in a market where today’s methods could well become obsolete before they’ve been mastered, and every new enhancement to existing tools opens new possibilities. Candidates quickly adopt new methods and devices. They access career sites at different times, search for jobs on their mobiles during the commute, whilst watching TV or even while lying in bed. The way they engage and connect is always evolving. Do they want emails? Should you be arranging interviews through WhatsApp?

Our approach to shortlisting and selecting candidates for interview is also evolving. Video interviews, strengths based selection and virtual assessments all contribute towards greater insights and better data to help hire the right person. Recruiters are used to the twin pressures of being measured on cost of hire and time to hire. Quality of hire, whether judged by retention rates or strength of contribution in the first 12 months, is becoming increasingly crucial too.

In the changing world of recruitment there is much to absorb and more to learn. At this month’s In-House Recruitment Expo (23rd and 24th February) there will be many opportunities to hear some of the industry’s leading practitioners and authorities offer case studies and advice on all of the various trends impacting the recruiter’s role, and in particular some of the hottest topics:

How to really engage with candidates – We have more access to a greater number of candidates than ever before. Yet as companies try to exploit some of the new opportunities offered by social, digital and mobile channels are we in danger of drowning candidates in a sea of white noise and bland content? At the Expo you will be able to hear International trainer and speaker Katrina Collier tell you how to cut through the noise and really engage with candidates by using social media properly, whilst marketing expert Dave Hazlehurst will present a masterclass on how to give candidates ‘Goosebumps’ with your candidate experience and employer brand messaging.

How to build a recruitment team with limited resources – Getting the budget to build a first class recruitment team is difficult, so how can you do it on limited resources? On Day 2 of the Expo you can hear from Terry Swann, Global Recruitment Manager with leading social intelligence agency Brandwatch, exactly how he has achieved it. In a not to be missed session he will cover team structure, hiring manager and director level engagement, and candidate experience, whilst offering useful tips on building awareness and relationships through sponsorship, events and speaking engagements.

What do candidates really want from their job search – The way that job seekers approach the market has changed, and barely have we absorbed a new tool into our approach when more appear on our radar. Recruitment technology expert Steven Ehrlich, Global VP of TMP Worldwide, will deliver the opening Seminar on Day 1 of the Expo. He’ll be telling us what candidates really want, how they behave, which tools they use, and how you can best reach out to them. This is a key session, as to get the best talent its important to understand the psychology behind candidate behaviour, particularly when the are using multiple channels for their search.

How to manage the contractor supply chain – Recent forecasts estimate that within 5 -10 years up to 50% of our workforces will be contingent. There is definitely an increase in the use of freelancers, temps and independent contractors, but how best to find them and manage the risk? Changes to legislation are making companies more accountable, so it’s vital to understand what to look for when partnering with recruitment agencies, umbrella companies and outsource labour providers. On Day 2 of the Expo there will be a joint presentation from contingent workforce management specialists Advance, and International accounting firm EY, offering practical advice on how to protect and fiscal, commercial and reputational risks.

Although a lot seems to be changing there are also big opportunities to really shape the way that companies hire talent for the future. There’s never been a more exciting time to be a recruiter!

Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Talent Acquisition

Spin back 20+ years and the role of in-house recruiter probably didn’t exist in most companies. Vacancies were likely to be routed through personnel and it was usually left to a junior member of that team to call third party agencies and register the hiring need, or to find the cheapest media deal and book an advert in the local, national or trade press. CVs and covering letters would have arrived by post, or maybe a fax machine, and often be hand written. They might take weeks to get there. The junior personnel officer would open the letters and probably sort the CVs into piles depending on whether they looked interesting or not. Arranging interviews could be quite laborious, usually involving a mixture calls through a landline phone or letters. Offers, and references, were similarly communicated and could take ages to close.

All a far cry from the Talent Acquisition specialists of today! Communication is instant, applications direct and plentiful, and there’s a range of digital and mobile channels for attracting candidates – career sites, job boards, aggregators, CV databases and social networking sites. Everyone seems findable and the breadth of our personal and professional networks grows. We have technology to store and filter applications and can arrange interviews and assessments within seconds.

Increased speed and volume places heightened expectations on the modern Talent Acquisition Partner. They need to be good at sourcing; able to locate and identify the hardest to find skills. Marketing skills are crucial; the best people are much in demand and there will be competition for them, so the recruiter has to be an advocate and employer brand champion. Relationships need to be maintained with a whole range of contacts, from alumni and previous candidates to suppliers and collaborators, to help get both the best referrals and also the widest coverage for each vacancy. And there are hiring managers to advise and coach – helping them scope the job description, preparing them for interviews, getting them to sell the opportunity and engage the candidates.

Today’s Talent Acquisition Partners are measured by certain key metrics – such as time, cost and quality for each hire – and need to be data specialists, understanding market trends and constantly analysing the best sources and backgrounds for the most successful candidates. And they are also operating in the ratings economy. Candidates who submit reviews to sites such as Glassdoor are making their personal experiences of the recruitment processes public. Future candidates can research the interview questions asked, the reputation of the hiring manager, overall length of the process and the quality and frequency of communication and feedback. We need to look in the mirror and get the hiring process functioning perfectly.

How did we get here, and how do we know if we are doing it right? At February’s In-House Recruitment Expo you will be able to hear two of the UK’s most respected and experienced in-house recruiters guide us through the how and why of the modern Talent Acquisition function.

Firstly Isabelle Hung, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition EMEA at ADP, will look at the evolution of the in-house recruitment role and give some key tips on what it will take to be a successful Talent Acquisition Partner in the future. And you will also be able to hear two presentations from James Purvis, Head of Talent Acquisition at CERN. In the first he will showcase the differences between Recruitment and Talent Acquisition, and later he will deliver a Keynote session on how to get the Talent Acquisition process just right, or else risk losing the talent you‘ve worked so hard to attract.

With skills short and talent scarce, the demands and expectations being placed on in-house recruiters are increasing. Recruitment success depends in part on getting the basics right, but also in finding out the secrets to gaining a competitive advantage.

Driving Results Through New Ways of Learning

Emerging social and collaborative technologies are not just changing the way we work and communicate; they are also triggering a fundamental shift in the way we learn. This comes at a time when some of the HR processes around learning and development are also evolving, with individual employees increasingly taking responsibility for their own development. Opportunities to broaden their skills and experiences through working on a range of projects, across functions and disciplines, are being favoured over the more traditional linear promotion routes. Not everyone wants to be a manager.

Taking responsibility for development also means taking control over individual learning. A new generation of recruiters are used to finding their information from the Internet. If they don’t know how to do something then a search engine can helpfully direct them to a YouTube video that will show them how. If they are struggling with a concept then a shout out to friends through social channels, or to those in their personal and professional networks, will usually mean that they can crowdsource the knowledge they need. We are living in an age of networked intelligence.

All of this means that there are now opportunities for traditional Learning & Development to develop new approaches to help employees and consultants get better at what they do to, and to help enhance performance. They need to help everyone to be their best self at work, by embracing some of the ways that we all now use to learn and develop our knowledge. This means a move away from the traditional ’stand and deliver’ type classroom teaching towards new ways of learning. For employees it also requires a mind-set change from being taught, to finding out and learning for themselves. Complex training programmes are giving way to practical experiences, collaboratively shared.

Much of Learning & Development now revolves around peer based learning. People learn from, and with, each other; knowledge and experiences are explained and shared. Learning facilitators may encourage people to find information out for themselves by searching on their smartphones, or watching videos, during a training session. Self-study, with learners then sharing their interpretations of what they have read or found, is becoming more commonplace in the work environment. Sometimes reading material may be sent in advance and the ‘classroom’ session will involve a group discussing what they have learned whilst also helping each other figure out how to incorporate it in their role. Open mic sessions are increasingly used to get individuals to share their experiences of overcoming problems or difficult assignments. For hard-pressed recruiters this offers a great chance to found out about the techniques that colleagues, partners and collaborators are using to source and attract talent.

At February’s In-House Recruitment expo you’ll be able to hear Sukh Pabial talk a lot more about peer based learning and the various approaches, how to enable your employees to be their best self at work, and gaining maximum benefit from learning. Sukh is Head of Organisational Development at One Housing Group and is also a key figure in the UK Learning & Development community. He brings the principles of Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence and Neuroscience to the workplace.

With recruiters finding the right talent more difficult to source, taking a fresh approach to learning and developing skills at work can only help improve performance and results.

The Value of Talent Pipelines

Talent Leaders are increasingly under pressure. With sought after skills in short supply, and some positions proving stubbornly difficult to fill, reactive recruitment is no longer a viable option. Waiting for someone to resign – or worse leave – before starting the search can leave teams exposed and under pressure to cover extra workload, resulting in disengagement and lost productivity. Many recruitment teams are beginning to adopt an ‘always be recruiting’ approach enabling them to be constantly on the lookout for people who will be a good culture fit, and who have in-demand skills and the right attitude to succeed in the business.

This requires a mindset shift from recruiters. Rather than thinking purely about the talent that is needed right now, they need to think more about the people and skills that will be needed in the future. This means getting much closer to workforce planning. Instead of being a vacancy filler, working with hiring managers on their short term needs, the recruiter takes a longer term view and becomes a consultant, helping the hiring manager to think ahead and plan for their future requirements, identifying the skills that may be needed. Then they can begin to build networks of potential candidates.

These networks, usually called Talent Pipelines, are a key resourcing strategy for corporate recruitment teams. Relationships can be built with people who are not actively looking for a new role, and are unlikely to apply to job adverts, but who could be open to an approach in the future. Without the need to try to make an immediate hire, the recruiter can work on longer-term engagement, using every opportunity to showcase employer brand and culture, and share relevant content to underline company values and purpose.

Pipelines should be seen as a recruitment marketing investment, building company awareness and creating interest in potential future vacancies. They also provide a great opportunity to encourage referrals from employees and alumni, particularly of good people who may not be looking for a new role immediately, but who would be happy to build a relationship with the business. By using a range of marketing channels, and varied content, recruiters will be able to draw interest from a wide range of sources, specifically catching the interest of the elusive passive candidate.

The benefits to the business are clear. When a hiring need arises the time to fill can be shortened, and a candidate recruited who is already familiar with the organisation’s culture. In building the networks, the recruitment team would have gained a good understanding of the overall talent landscape in their sector and so will be in a strong position to advise hiring managers. Cost of hire should also be low, as a strong pipeline should negate the need to advertise, use third party suppliers, or source from scratch.

Many fast growth companies are already working on talent pipelines and using them to help fill an ever-growing demand for key people. At February’s In House Recruitment Expo you’ll be able to hear Colette Feeney, Director of Talent Acquisition EMEA for Groupon, present a practical guide to building talent pipelines. She will take you through the steps to build relationships in a meaningful way and manage pipeline candidates, while proving ROI to business leaders.

With budgets stretched and additional resources usually unavailable, this session could be invaluable for recruiters looking to develop long-term candidate relationships and broaden their sources of hire.

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