An Overview of The Recruitment Best Practice Forum on 17/05/2013

Friday the 17th May TalentPuzzle hosted its’ Recruitment Best Practice forum at 76 Portland Place. There were 30 attendees and 5 speakers. The day kicked off at 9am and TalentPuzzle’s own Ben Fletcher opened up proceedings with an introduction to TalentPuzzle and how the day would progress.

The first speaker, Roger Philby from The Chemistry Group opened for us with a very energetic and immensely interesting perspective on reducing the cost of recruitment. He postulated that the biggest cost of recruitment is in hiring the wrong people. Addressing the issue of wrong hires would involve re-training the HR managers to concentrate on what they wanted from an employee and subsequently select candidates based on that; which would ultimately reduce the cost of mis-hire.

Susan Keyes, Director at People in Business, followed with ‘Creating and maintaining a strong Employer Brand’ Susan talked in great detail about how important it is to be aware of your Employer Brand (EB). The EB is essentially what people most associate with you as an employer. Your employer brand is in many ways affected by your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)- what you want people to associate with your organisation. The key things mentioned were how important it is to establish what your brand is and to be realistic about what you want the brand to be. This is essential when it comes to recruiting for your organisation.

After a brief intermission and some chitchat over light snacks and beverages we all got talking about the talks and discussed how to implement them into a recruitment strategy…. I spoke to Kate Parkyn just before she took the stage. She was all nervous and trembling and after some well wishes from the table she got up and presented on how she has had to handle recruiting for Sporting Index and its’ new Tech start up Sporting solutions.

Recruiting for the two companies has been an on-going battle for Kate as the tech industry in London is fiercely competitive. Attracting the right type of candidates is something she has been actively working on. Some of the difficulties she’s having is with external recruiters, ‘they are selling jobs and not careers’. Kate went into more detail on how she developed her internal ATS platform, which is geared towards candidate satisfaction.

Susan Couper from Harris and Hoole (a start-up coffee franchise) followed Ms Parkyn to discuss the difficulties of running recruitment for a brand new start up and being the only person in charge. Working at a busy and quickly expanding start up is ‘like surfing on the edge of chaos’. Harris and Hoole have a 10-week expansion plan, which involves opening up one shop a week for 10 weeks. With Susan running the whole of H&H recruitment she has found that recruiting creative arts and theatre students has been most successful for the H&H brand. The recruitment strategy is a 16 question questionnaire and if successful an audition to follow. The recruitment strategy is to have an answer for the candidate within a week of application. It’s all very ambitious, and exciting! We wish them the best of luck!

To end the day we had Matt Alder a Social Media guru from Metashift; who gave us a ‘Social and Mobile Snapshot’. Matt gave us the latest ways for HR managers to utitlise social media to garner potential candidates. HR managers should have open talent communities, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter pages, with a regular stream of updates. Matt also extolled the virtues of optimising your career site for mobile. Everyone and their grandmother appears to have a smartphone and Gen Y is relying heavily on their mobile to meet their needs. Shifting into mobile optimisation is definitely worth the investment.

Being the ‘newb’ here at TalentPuzzle I personally found the day extremely informative. The attendees were also impressed and they were certainly left with a lot to ponder when the session was over. I’ll be writing a few more detailed entries about the day for anyone that is interested in the intricacies of what was discussed.

By Imriel M.

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