Blog about online recruitment solutions and services

TalentPuzzle's Online Recruitment Blog was created to provide valuable content to the HR and recruitment agencies community about trends and innovations in the recruitment industry. Besides various topics such as Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Cost Per Hire, social media recruitment and cultural effects, we are focusing on pros & cons of different web based recruitment methods.

How To Make People Work For You

*Hands up* How many of you assume that high unemployment and a shaky economy means that everyone will want to work for you?

There may not exactly be a shortage of candidates in the market but there certainly is a shortage of top talent.  Struggling to compete? Being overlooked, for Google, Facebook et al.? I think it’s time to take stock and have a good long look at yourself.

What EVERY employer needs to realise is that, a strong positive reputation and brand really matters to future and current employees. Employer Branding is the buzz word across recruitment and HR but few companies take it as seriously as they should. ..

Don’t believe us? Well we have compiled a seriously comprehensive infographic making the case for Employer Branding and why you need to invest in it if you want to learn how to make people want to work for you. Enjoy!

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How Sabio Hire their Technical Talent

The month of February has brought with it, fewer days, Valentine’s Day and the tube strike. In the height of the strike Robyn and I went to Sabio HQ to meet with Claire Clifford, Head of Human Resources, to discuss their recruitment processes, ATS systems, PSL management and of course, TalentPuzzle.

Sabio is an innovative communications and contact centre services company. Headquartered in London they also have offices in Glasgow and Singapore. The recruitment team is tasked with the unenviable job of having to source  some pretty niche, technical roles.

The Difficulties

Sabio came to TalentPuzzle  to help fill some very niche roles particularly in their Glasgow offices. As a result TalentPuzzle was added to their PSL list meaning the HR team had access to an additional 600 agencies located across the country.

As many of Sabio’s more technical roles are based in their Glasgow Support Centre, the challenge was to find the right talent within the area. As TalentPuzzle has an expanding directory of agencies covering the UK we have ventured to increase the number of local agencies that Sabio have access to for their positions in Glasgow.

The Recruiting

At present Sabio use Zoho an ATS system that TalentPuzzle currently integrates with so the team only have to deal with their system and we take care of the rest. So far the integration has proven to be smooth and time efficient for the team.

‘Working with TalentPuzzle saves us so much time and is proving to be cost effective. We have been able to develop long term relationships with agencies that we may never have found before and they have been great. It’s a great resource.’

Claire Clifford, Head of Human Resources, Sabio

The Present

As it stands the PSL are doing well, but the Sabio HR team has built up some great relationships with a few of the agencies through TalentPuzzle which has resulted in much higher quality CV’s coming through and converting to interviews and placements.

We hope that this positive tangent continues and that TalentPuzzle can continue to be of great use to Sabio and many companies like it in the future.

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The Value of Transparency in Recruitment

Here at TalentPuzzle we are complete advocates for transparency in the recruitment market. It’s far too easy for recruiters and employers alike to get lost in the murky waters of recruitment. There is no hiding from the truth at TalentPuzzle our agencies are rated and reviewed by actual hiring managers and HR personnel. With everyone reporting on your work and how you operate it’s never been more important to take charge of your image and this excellent piece written by Alison Hadden at Glassdoor on the job posting, employer branding and transparency.

“The Inside View and the Value of Transparency

Not just Millennials, but employees across all age demographics are posting and commenting about their work experiences anonymously on Glassdoor, which to date features 6 million reviews of the over 300,000 companies profiled on the site.

In turn, job candidates are consuming this “inside view” in record percentages—a recent Glassdoor study shows that 95% of job candidates are influenced by others’ opinions about a company. Is it any wonder in this age of AmazonYelp, and TripAdvisor reviews for products, restaurants and services?

Talent sees what their friends and networks post about work on social networks. This means newsfeeds on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn factor greatly in shaping and spreading the word about your employer brand. As you might expect, if your company fosters, creates and exudes a good work environment, your employee network will spread that halo effect, making your organization a desirable place to leave a resume.

Software Advice recently reported that 48% of job seekers use Glassdoor at some point during their job search, illustrating how much candidates value workplace transparency when it comes to applying for jobs.

Some not-so-good news for employers: 69% of job seekers, even if unemployed, would not take a job with a company with a bad reputation, according to a 2012 study by Allegis Group Services & Corporate Responsibility Magazine. 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent reputation….”

Read the full article here at Smart Recruiters

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What’s the average time to hire?

Every vacant position has an impact on a business whether it means teams lack the right expertise, projects are delivered late or there is increased burden on other staff. HR professionals have a responsibility to minimise business interruption and mitigate the risk caused by having open positions. This means having a permanent focus on reducing the amount of time between the day a position becomes available to the day a new employee starts.

Our system gives us access to data that shows what the average times to hire are for many employers and allows us to track how they change. We regularly monitor time to hire as we consider it an important KPI for the success of our own offering.

We thought we’d share some of them as they may give you a useful benchmark.

- Average time from posting job advert and filling vacancy – 4.8 weeks

- – IT Sector – 2.7 weeks
- – Sales – 4.1 weeks
- – Technical – 3.2 weeks

- Average time between posting job and employee start date – 7.7 weeks

- – IT Sector – 4.5 weeks
- – Sales – 6.8 weeks
- – Technical – 8.2 weeks

These figures come from a select sample of our employers and we will be publishing figures like this regularly to help you work out what your performance should be like.

In our most recent review of these figures, we found that while the average time taken to fill a vacancy is around 12 weeks, our customers are reporting an average of 4.8 weeks.

CIPD Benchmark

The CIPD reported on average times taken to fill vacancies in its Recruitment, Retention and Turnover report.

CiPD industry figures

- Managers and professionals – 12.5 weeks

- Administrative, secretarial and technical 6.5 weeks

- Services (customer, personal, protective and sales) – 7.0 weeks

How do your time to hire figures compare?

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How To Stop Losing Your Employees (Video)

Who wants to read on a Friday??? Here’s a fun video instead!

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A Further 3 Assumptions you make when Engaging a Recruitment Agency

Following last weeks’ immensely popular blog it seems there are many more assumptions we make when engaging agencies, so here are a further 3…

1) ‘Talking to the agencies is a complete waste of time, they are specialists in this area and should know what we want’

Specialists will know what ‘good’ looks like on paper but they definitely don’t know that the line manager is a lunatic and only a very special sort of person could handle working with them. Even the briefest of conversations can ensure candidates hit the mark from the start.

TalentPuzzle Tip: A recruiter can’t guess your company culture or team fit. The more information you can give them, the easier it will be to find you the perfect match.

2) We never use agencies

This may be true 80% or maybe even 95% of the time. However you never know when the time will come where you needed that hire yesterday or a senior exec. is leaving the business and you need to discreetly backfill the role. Never say never…

TalentPuzzle Tip.

When you do need to engage an agency use TalentPuzzle to search for and connect with rated and reviewed recruiters.

3) We have a PSL and don’t work outside it.

I think someone is telling porkies. It is almost impossible to build a fully comprehensive PSL that performs every time, covering every eventuality. Ok, maybe you aren’t telling porkies, maybe the procurement team doesn’t allow you to work with anyone else but that must be so frustrating?

TalentPuzzle Sneaky Tip.

Add TalentPuzzle to your PSL and open up a whole new pool of potential agencies. There is only ever one billing relationship if you use a TalentPuzzle agency! You can use as many agencies as you want and procurement will be none the wiser.

Watch this space for more hints and (tricks) tips on working with the agencies you want when you want.

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10 Principles for Hiring Hackers

Whilst perusing one of my favourite recruitment blogs I came across the following gem on hiring hackers or IT developers, to less informed amongst us. Now many of our current clients are seeking some of the top IT talent this side of the pond. However what is abundantly clear is that many haven’t got a clue what they are looking for or where to begin to find them.

So here is an excerpt written by JohnPaul Bennett the Co-Founder of


The founders of 37Signals put it simply, “Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first.” Because things change so rapidly with programming, hackers are always learning. Learning is in their DNA. If they don’t know something, they learn it. You should too, or at least attempt to learn. To get started, ask friends who program what books or articles to read. If you don’t know any hackers, go to a local Meetup group for hackers…

Test Drive

Since 95% of hackers are already employed, it’s more important than ever to target passive candidates when hiring. Don’t get stuck in all or nothing mode. Everyone wants a technical co-founder or full-time hacker. Full-time hackers get offered six figures with many benefits. Focus on the things you can do, and work toward the things that are temporarily out of reach. Hire a freelance hacker. It’s the quickest way to get your project built and in front of customers…

Ask for a referral

This one is straightforward. Ask a hacker for three client referrals and three developer referrals. Client referrals are important to understanding how they communicate and what they are capable of building. Developer referrals will give you a better snapshot of how they work with other people.

Read the full article on SmartRecruiters here.

How did you find your developers? What have been your best and worst experiences when trying to recruit technical talent?

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#Thatawkwardmomentwhen nobody clicks +1…

The internet playground can be your favourite place or your worst nightmare and as a hiring manager it’s likely to fall into the latter. The social media sphere is a constantly evolving beast filled with #hashtags, +1’s, likes, recommendations and tiny hearts. If you only just mastered the art of the increasingly redundant Facebook page you might need to hurry up and get on top of your social game.

You could be in Human Resources, a Startup founder or just an ambitious individual trying to make a name for yourself within the online business world. Everybody knows that social and mobile are the future; and now they are the foundation on which all future plans should be based on henceforth.

It’s easy to say ‘craft an eye-catching blog post’, or ‘create a re-tweet worthy tweet’ but in practice it’s extremely difficult to get right. Apparently there is a formula to it; Hootsuite (a social media management tool) claims to help you deliver your posts at the optimal time for your audience. BUT do you know who your audience is? The key to great content and those that Follow, Like and Retweet it; is that they have nailed who their audience is and what is of interest to them. Consider these key tips before your next social media endeavour:


Nothing beats solid research, asking the right questions will be integral to your success on the social media front.

Business: Who are my customers? Who generates my money?

Recruiter/ HR: What talents/skills do we need? Where do they hang out (online)? What are they talking about?

Talent/Rising star: Where do I want to go? What will set me apart from the others?


Twitter has trending topics and #hashtags that help group interests and topics, Linkedin has groups, and G+ has circles, communities and hangouts. Spend some time in there and find out what the hot topic is that day/week and capitalise on it. *Cheat* Set up google alerts for industry specific news so that you are the first to report on the latest developments.


Your posts have to be relevant and useful; you want to become the authority in your field. If you are targeting technical candidates for instance then you need to be presenting them with new information and events that could potentially be of interest e.g. Hackathons, Ruby and Drupal conferences. Campus in London and Meetup are great resources to use.


If your content creation is in its infancy then distributing your content is very important. Utilise all of your social channels which might come across as quite ‘spammy’ but you will start to pick up a following. It’s about finding where your audience is and bringing them to you. When you have built it up then start to really analyse where your audience is coming from and when, then you tailor your content accordingly.

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The 2 Deadly Sins that are Increasing your Time to Hire in 2014

1. Awful Candidate Experience

This can be anything from essay long application forms, time consuming tests, multiple round interviews, the list can literally go on (…and on). Youth Unemployment in the UK may be at all-time high and yes some people will be desperate for a job but you don’t want the desperate; you want the dedicated. I have lost count of the number of applications I have abandoned during my job search due to a ridiculously long process.

Overcome it by: Keep the application questions short and simple. Make it a quiz and get creative. Screening questions can filter out most irrelevant CV’s, those that pass can upload a CV and get given a time for a phone interview. It’s that simple.

2. Your Offers aren’t Competitive

Budgeting constraints are real, but if you can’t afford the very best, you are really going have to get creative with your benefits and perks to attract them. Money isn’t everything people flock to ‘unpaid’ internships just because they like a company. You have to get competitive.

Overcome it by: Create a list of achievable perks, flexible work hours, extended vacation pay, course sponsorships, FUN Team building days. You want to become a place where people want to work.

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3 Reasons Why Nobody Wants To Work For You

I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is there are some great companies killing employer branding right now (e.g. Netflix). The good news is that there is still time to gear up and compete as the majority haven’t got it figured out yet.

So here are the Top 3 reasons nobody wants to work for your company….

1.       Your company doesn’t exist

Obviously you exist, but not in the channels that are relevant to the hottest talent around. If your Google SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) brings up nothing but an outdated website page then you will be overlooked.

Overcome it by: Joining social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and G+. If you have very little control over your company’s website then let your social media outlets do the talking.

2.       You don’t know what you want

When hiring you should always have a goal in mind, but be prepared to modify it. You will be interviewing real people with real experiences not an android.  There are many candidates that can perform exceptionally for your company that will be nothing like your version of ‘perfect’. Be open to change and listen to the candidates.

Overcome it by: Have your image of perfect and create a sliding scale of attributes that you want down to what you don’t want if a candidate has 3/5  or more shortlist them. Second interviews are great for finding out more information you may have missed initially.

3.       Your name is EVERYWHERE

Whilst all publicity is good publicity, bad publicity is still bad publicity. At TalentPuzzle we are helping a client overcome this problem, if you have saturated the market with your roles and they go unfilled for a length of time then you really need to stop and read this list to find out why NOBODY wants to work for you.

Overcome it by: Reviewing your process, do some research and ask the agencies to provide you with candidate feedback and then address the issues raised.

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