Is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

Is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

February 23, 2022

As technology becomes ever-more advanced, the question naturally arises: is the old-school job board a thing of the past?

For years, jobseekers have been turning to job board websites, such as Indeed or Glassdoor, as a first step towards a new career. We’ve all, at some point or another, opened up a new tab and scrolled mindlessly through job postings in pursuit of vaguely relevant and appealing openings, and then proceeded to send off our CV at the click of a button.

However, a trend seems to be emerging. As the internet evolves, jobhunters and employers alike are yearning for a more dynamic, engaging, and efficient job application process. For hiring managers, old-school job boards can feel like a bottomless pit of faceless mass applications. Employers prepare themselves for an influx of responses, hoping they’ll stumble upon a gem in a sea of coal.

For candidates, applying via job boards is a similarly mundane and anonymous experience. Upon applying, jobseekers can feel like they’re simply sending their CV out into the abyss.

With the rise of social media, the drawbacks of traditional job boards are becoming increasingly apparent. Is the death of the job board as we know it looming on the horizon?

What is a job board?

Job boards are online platforms dedicated to advertising job postings. Using job boards is an established method of finding potential employment opportunities.

Due to the sheer number of people that have been using job boards over the years, these platforms are a goldmine of potential candidates. The resume database on job boards gives companies access to millions of passive candidates. Recruiters and hiring managers alike can tap into this resource to access great talent.

The process of applying for a role via a job board is straightforward and user-friendly. With the click of a button, you can apply to multiple jobs in quick succession. You can also filter down your search to find relevant, focussed job opportunities.

There are many job boards out there; a huge selection from which you can take your pick. Many companies and recruitment firms tend to advertise more graduate and entry level roles on generalist job boards. Meanwhile, they often advertise more niche jobs on specialist job boards dedicated to roles in a particular field or industry.

With 64% of employers still using job boards to advertise openings, it would seem that the demise of job boards is still a relatively long way off.

Are they slowly edging towards irrelevance?

With constant technological innovation comes more innovation in the jobhunting process. As it stands, job boards constitute a pretty antiquated process, and they’re far from efficient.

Through using job boards, hiring managers tend to receive an influx of candidates, not all of whom are qualified for the role they’re applying for. The process can be infuriating; due to the ease with which candidates can apply to many roles at once, there’s often a lack of focus or specificity in their CV. It can feel like they’re simply hoping for the best, taking a stab in the dark and playing a numbers game by applying for as many roles as possible without tailoring their approach. If employers were to rely exclusively on job boards, they’d be depending solely on active candidates to fill their open positions. This would mean missing out on some of the best talent out there in a candidate-short market: passive candidates.

The process is no less exasperating for jobseekers. All too often, candidates will click the ‘apply’ button and be greeted with radio silence. Chances are, their CV is falling into a towering pile of other applications, sucked into a vacuum. Job boards lack a personal touch.

What alternatives are arising?

Both employers and candidates alike are seeking a more spontaneous and dynamic approach to the hiring process.

If candidates really want to put themselves out there and make themselves known to prospective employers, networking is key. Networking cultivates a human connection between hiring managers and candidates from the get-go. Due to the immense popularity of social media, the scope for innovative networking is huge.

There are numerous examples of individuals striving to stand out by approaching the job search in a unique way.

‘LinkedInfluencers’ are taking the platform by storm, with more and more people establishing a public presence on LinkedIn, cultivating a personal brand. These individuals are proactively putting themselves in the spotlight. By being so vocal on networking platforms, candidates are paving the way for job opportunities to come to them.

We’ve all heard the story of the unemployed banking and finance graduate, Haider Malik, who went viral after he stood outside Canary Wharf station holding up a sign displaying his CV. He was invited to an interview after just 3 hours, and ultimately landed his dream banking job. Disillusioned by the traditional approach, many candidates are finding more success by showcasing their personality and employing unconventional methods.

As of late, everyone’s been talking about the dating app Thursday, due to its innovative and quirky marketing campaigns. Their hiring methods are unorthodox, with many offers being made to interns who display unconventional creativity in their applications. For example, candidates have posted TikToks of themselves wearing placards advertising the dating app in public spaces, or composed a cover letter through putting songs together in a Spotify playlist.

Clearly, there’s a demand for personality to shine through in the application process. Recruiters also offer a more personal and human service to candidates and clients alike, taking out the arduous part of the process for hiring managers and prospective candidates by doing the heavy lifting for them. Recruiters reach out proactively to passive talent, source qualified candidates for specific roles, and filter the applications of active candidates from job board postings to ensure the best talent gets put forward for the role. They streamline the process and eliminate the clunky element of companies posting directly onto job boards.

Do job boards stand a chance of survival?

That’s not to say that job boards are now a fragment of a bygone era.

In order to survive, job board sites must evolve and innovate, incorporating other technological developments to remain relevant. As candidates and hiring managers alike are on the lookout for more dynamic and personal ways to breathe new life into the hiring process, job boards need to flesh out their offering and become more than a robotic application platform.

They need to start providing their users with a more varied offering. Job boards such as Reed and Indeed are leading the way on this, using social media and email marketing to advertise a range of certified skills training courses or valuable content to their users. They’re becoming more engaging, mixing the interactive elements of social media into the platform. Job boards need to embrace digital advances with open arms, injecting some new material into their platforms.

The traditional job board model is clearly contending with some serious competition. Recruiters source the right fit for job openings as opposed to inundating hiring managers with an influx of poorly-suited candidates. Furthermore, social media provides users with the chance to interact more proactively with prospective employers, making them feel less like an anonymous and faceless application in amongst a sea of a hundred others.

However, job boards clearly still form a crucial part of the hiring process for recruiters. Less companies are using them directly due to the inefficiency they’re confronted with on the platforms. If job boards want to remain relevant in the future, they need to catch up with the innovation materialising at a rapid rate all around them.

If you’d like help making your hiring process or job search as efficient and productive as possible, get in touch with our recruiters at contact@nicholsonglover.co.uk.

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How to attract the best talent in a candidate-short market

How to attract the best talent in a candidate-short market

February 16, 2022

handshake candidate interview

During the pandemic, the working world came to a grinding halt. Between August and November 2020, roughly nine million employees were depending on the government furlough scheme for their income.

However, the world of work is now gradually easing back into some semblance of pre-pandemic normality. We breathe a collective sigh of relief upon hearing the latest government announcement that all remaining coronavirus restrictions could end as early as this month.

The job market is bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, as demand for new hires across the board is sky-rocketing to all-time highs. The market is brimming with opportunities, bubbling away to the point of overflowing.

There’s just one problem. As businesses confidently sprint towards the finish line of the pandemic, one major stumbling block stops them in their tracks: many jobs to fill, not enough candidates to fill them.

In the fallout of the pandemic, companies are being confronted with the challenge of a candidate-short market. The dramatic increase in demand for new hires is not matched by a supply of highly-skilled candidates. Roughly 1.5 million employees across the country remain on furlough, less EU candidates are available for employment as a consequence of Brexit and coronavirus restrictions, and the best candidates are snatched up by big corporates in a heartbeat.

This candidate shortage has led to many companies struggling to hire, especially those looking for highly-skilled candidates in niche fields. A Telegraph survey found that recruitment posed a significant challenge to a third of more than 1,000 business people.

So, what’s the solution to this conundrum? What methods should companies be adopting in order to hire and retain staff? Read on to find out.

Sell yourself

In a candidate-short market, the scales are tipped in the candidate’s favour. Top talent is in high demand, and in order to stand out against competitor companies, hiring managers need to craft an attractive offering.

It goes without saying that a competitive salary is likely to appeal to candidates from the outset. However, it would be wrong to presume that high quality candidates are simply drawn to the highest bidder. The reality is, if you really want to lure candidates in, you need to be furnishing an offer with attractive benefits that extend beyond a competitive salary.

By the time you make an offer, the power is in the candidate’s hands. Nowadays, candidates tend to have an established set of expectations from their prospective employer. These may include: more annual leave, flexible working, a healthy work-life balance, interesting and engaging work, professional development and learning opportunities, or training programmes.

women talking at desk

Clients should not underestimate the power of an attractive benefits package; it could be the deciding factor that swings the pendulum in your company’s favour. If you think you’re going to win candidates over with beers on a Friday afternoon and a monthly team social, think again.

In today’s climate, companies also need to cultivate a strong personal brand. To stand out to candidates in a sea of other prospective companies, you need to craft a detailed and up-to-date EVP (employer value proposition), showcasing exactly what your company brings to the table and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

A powerful EVP is a major selling point; 51% of people would actually be willing to accept an offer at a lower wage if the company had strong employer branding.

A great way of showcasing your company’s EVP is through social media. Make the most out of your candidate-facing platforms by posting employee testimonials, company culture insights and case studies. Give your candidates a taster of life at your company that’ll leave them wanting more.

Revamp the hiring process

In order to present your company in the best possible light, create a positive first impression by making the hiring process a constructive and worthwhile experience for all parties involved. Nowadays, it’s all too common for job ads to read like fatal warning signs, cautioning you not to trespass further. They paint the hiring process as an arduous, never-ending challenge, in an attempt to scare off the ‘weakest links’ and initiate prospective employees through a baptism of fire.

This is an outdated and close-minded approach. At many companies, the hiring process is nothing more than a tick-box exercise in its early stages; great candidates are slashed from the list by hiring managers simply because they may not have the exact skillset or amount of experience required.

To attract the best talent in a candidate-short market, hiring managers should be more open-minded to candidates who may not match their desired profile exactly. They may be missing out on candidates with huge amounts of potential. Studies have shown that experience is actually the least reliable indicator of future success. So, instead of focussing on the number of years someone has been working in a particular industry, why not consider their potential instead?

handshake interview candidate

If you really want to hire top talent in a candidate-short market, build a relationship with prospective candidates from the outset. Don’t treat candidates in a hostile way during the hiring process. Is your company’s hiring process engaging and personal? Concise and simple?

Don’t view the hiring process as a means of weeding out unsuitable candidates; view it as an ongoing conversation, an opportunity for both hiring manager and candidate to learn more about each other. Imagine it as a dating experience: you’re in the courting stage, but they’re probably still seeing other people. Use this time as a chance to woo and romance them. Put them at ease so you can truly get to know them.

Cut down on unnecessary steps in the process, making it less clunky and more efficient. This will be a positive for you as much as for the candidate; you’ll be bringing out the very best in people, and making the process more streamlined. Instead of rejecting candidates at the first hurdle who may not match your expected criteria point-for-point, look beyond strict expectations, and go into the process feeling more open-minded. You’ll be more receptive to talented individuals even if they may not fit the mould exactly, and you’ll be making a better first impression on all prospective candidates.

Don’t dilly-dally

A crucial part of an efficient hiring process is keeping communication prompt and consistent throughout. In a candidate-short market, you need to act fast. Not only is circling back a way of showing respect to prospective candidates, it’s also a way of remaining at the forefront of their mind so they don’t get snatched up by a competitor company.

If a talented candidate seems interested in a role at your company, don’t dilly-dally. Start forming a bond with them from the get-go, keeping them engaged. Throughout the hiring process, keep them in the loop regarding the status of their application.

hourglass time running out

And if you’d like to make an offer, don’t beat around the bush. Candidates are most likely courting other companies as well as your own, so make an offer to get ahead of the competition, and strike while the iron is hot.

Even if a great candidate happens to be unsuccessful this time around, maintain a relationship with them by communicating and giving them feedback. A role may crop up in the future that they could be perfect for. People are four times more likely to consider a company for future job opportunities if they received feedback from them during the hiring process.

Enlist a recruiter

At a time when quality candidates are in high demand, putting a job ad out into the abyss and hoping for the best is not the most effective means of attracting talent in a candidate-short market. Meanwhile, actively sourcing candidates is incredibly time-consuming, something that many hiring managers simply do not have the resources to do.

In which case. why not enlist a recruitment agency to help you attract the best talent out there? Recruiters have databases brimming with talented individuals. If you’re time-poor, using a recruiter’s candidate pool is a highly efficient method of alerting top talent to opportunities at your company. Tap into this resource in order to engage the best candidates on the market.

If you’re interest in attracting the best talent in the data, insight, or strategy sector. get in touch with the Nicholson Glover team via email: contact@nicholsonglover.co.uk.

 

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Conversation with a Consultant: Oliver Steele

Conversation with a Consultant: Oliver Steele

February 8, 2022

One of the latest additions to the Nicholson Glover team, Oliver Steele opens up about his new role as an Associate Consultant. From running marathons to uploading daily on YouTube, Oliver talks about his personal challenges and achievements as well as his experience working at Nicholson Glover thus far. 

How did you get into recruitment?

The original plan was to pursue a career in the real estate industry. I attended Sheffield Hallam University to study Real Estate. I gained property-related work experience, built up my network, completed a placement year and accepted an offer to join Savills Graduate Scheme. So, all seemed to be going according to plan.

However, over the 4 year journey, I decided that the career path ahead of me was not one that I wanted to go down. This feeling started during my Placement year, and I began to research alternative career opportunities.

I spoke with a lot of people, from a variety of industries. One common theme was that the careers I was most interested in were sales-based roles. The meritocratic nature of the job and the fact that there was a clear beginning, middle and end to the work was what really caught my attention.

It wasn’t until I was at some after-work drinks in November 2021 that I got talking to someone who worked in recruitment. After that conversation I decided to bite the bullet and start looking for recruitment jobs.

How did you know you’d be a good fit for Nicholson Glover?

I had interviews and offers from several other recruitment companies. However, when considering if I should accept, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t enjoy working for them. They were mid-size companies with around 50-150 employees, and I feared that I would just be another employee where I wouldn’t have a direct and visible impact on the business. Leaving an established and respected Graduate Scheme, I wanted to find the right recruitment company.

I had a telephone interview with Nicholson Glover booked in. I thought it was going to be like every other first interview I had previously. Going into the interview, I was expecting questions such as: “How are you going to spend your money?” “Why are you going to be the biggest biller?” “What makes you competitive?” “Why do you want to join this company?”. But this call was different.

I was speaking with Francis Nicholson (Founder & Director) and there were the initial, and understandable, questions of “Why recruitment?”, “If you want a role in sales why not be an Estate Agent?”, “Why tech recruitment?”. But after that something different happened. Rather than me having to explain why I want to join Nicholson Glover, Francis sold the company to me.

He explained that NG is a small company but have ambitions to grow. He said that if I joined I would be part of developing the business. I would be joining the newly formed Data & Analytics team and that he would welcome me to set up my own desk in NG if I could identify a new area of recruitment. He then arranged for me to speak to Will Fitzhugh and Will Cuthell who confirmed Francis’ genuine nature and gave very promising testimonials about their experience at NG.

After these conversation’s I realised that NG was the perfect company for me. It gave me the opportunity become a recruiter, but also exposure to the entrepreneurial aspect of growing a small business. It presented a bigger picture as to why I would come to work every day.

Did anything surprise you when you joined the company?

When I told people that I was leaving Savills to join a recruitment company everyone was telling me horrible experiences that friends, and family had in recruitment. They told me I would have to go behind people’s backs to get deals done, cold-call all day long, get zero client exposure, and put up with a senior leadership team of borderline bullies.

But NG is the complete opposite of the stereotypical recruitment company. There is a genuine collaborative nature to all the work we do. We don’t spend all day cold-calling candidates and clients trying to shoehorn people into roles they aren’t fit for. We provide a genuine consultancy service where we find the best people for the role.

The team is amazing as well. From Directors through to Associate Consultants. Everyone has been so helpful and willing to engage in any questions I have. I have no regrets in changing careers to join Nicholson Glover.

What’s an interesting fact that people don’t know about you?

I uploaded 100 videos in 100 days to YouTube….Why?…I wanted to see if I could.

Check out my channel, “Holding Name Required”.

What is your proudest achievement?

I have completed numerous physical challenges. From running marathons, completing triathlons, and playing in sports teams. But for me my proudest accomplishment is losing my lockdown weight.

I put on a significant amount of weight whilst at university and during the lockdowns. Over a 1-year period I have lost it all and I am probably in the best shape of my life. The amount of sacrifice and mental resilience to not give up, far outweigh any physical challenge I have set myself.

What do you find most interesting about the data and analytics industry?

Just how important data and analytics is to businesses. Companies collect vast amounts of data on their users, customers, logistics etc and analyse to generate insights to find ways to make more money. A 2017 Economist article stated that the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.

Almost every aspect of a business can be analysed through data to create efficiencies, generate growth as well as money, whether its footfall in a shop, goods being purchased or email marketing.

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Out with the old: the rise of the four-day work week

Out with the old: the rise of the four-day work week

February 7, 2022

Yes, you read that right. A four-day work week. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Well, perhaps not. Offices in the UK are currently abuzz with the news of a trial taking place in June of this year, which will see around 30 companies across the country adopt a four-day work week for a six-month pilot period. The programme is being run by 4 Day Week Global, in collaboration with researchers at Oxford, Cambridge, and Boston Universities. The trial will aim to determine whether employees are able to maintain 100% productivity for 80% of the time, with no deduction in pay. News of this project has spread like wildfire, receiving a warm welcome across the country, and brightening up the bleakest months of the year.

Crossing our fingers and biting our nails in anticipation, we’re all thinking the same thing: this handful of companies better not screw it up for the rest of us.

A three-day weekend is no longer a mere pipe dream, a distant utopia that exists exclusively in your head whilst you fantasise on your lunch break. If all runs smoothly during this six-month trial, a four-day work week could become a tangible possibility for many employees across the country.

For decades, a five-day work week has been the begrudgingly-accepted norm. But society has seen dramatic changes in recent years. The question arises: need we rely upon the archaic model of a five-day week in the 21st century?

In the wake of the global pandemic, our collective attitude towards work has shifted. If you’d have told me two years ago that we’d all be working from home and seriously considering a four-day work week, I wouldn’t have believed you. But more and more companies are waking up to the fact that their employees do not need to be glued to their desks for 10 hours of the day, five days a week, in order to produce results.

Here at Nicholson Glover, our Senior Consultants have been enjoying a four-day week for around four months now (we’re ahead of the curve, we know). The results have been overwhelmingly positive thus far, and our co-director, Rudy Fernando, described the initiative as “a very small compromise for those that value their time”.

That’s not to say that a four-day work week is a quick-fix that, if applied nationwide, would solve all of society’s problems. It’s a complex issue, one that warrants deeper exploration.

Employee wellbeing

Take a moment to think about the countless ways you could spend your extra day off work each week. Fancy taking up a pottery class? Learning French? Joining a netball team? Or simply having a lie-in, doing your laundry, and getting your life in order? The choice is yours.

There is a lot more to life than work. Obvious as it may sound, this is something we tend to lose sight of when caught up in the whirlwind of our day-to-day lives.

As a society, we underestimate the importance of spending time away from work. To have an extra day each week to spend as we please – cultivating interests, catching up on sleep, seeing loved ones – would do wonders for our mental and physical health as well as our general wellbeing.

According to the charity Mind, 1 in 6 people in England report experiencing a mental health problem in any given week. Whilst there’s no easy remedy to this problem, a reduction of the working week would no doubt present an opportunity for individuals to take a deep breath, recuperate, and focus on self-care. New Eagle Hill Consulting research recently found that 83% of workers in the US are convinced that a four-day work week would help ease burnout.

Working excessive hours can have a hugely detrimental impact on employee wellbeing, and the work culture of Japan exemplifies this clearly. Japan is notorious for extreme working hours, and this intense attitude towards work leads to many individuals succumbing to stress-induced illness. In extreme cases, approximately 10,000 workers die each year from overwork, known in Japanese as karoshi.

Shortening the working week is a viable option that should be taken into consideration if solely for the sake of employee health and wellbeing.

Increased productivity

Employees aren’t the only ones who would reap benefits from a four-day week.

Companies could see a positive payoff too. Some traditional employers may consider the amount of hours worked per week as inextricably linked to productivity. This is an outdated assumption, as evidence shows that a shorter working week could actually dramatically improve the productivity of an organisation. Gone are the days of believing that whoever sits at their desk twiddling their thumbs for the longest is the hardest worker.

Rudy explains that “meaningful productivity is optimised when you empower people with the autonomy, freedom, and flexibility to get their work done when they need to”. Describing how the team made the four-day week work for them, he states that “the reality of condensing a 50-hour week into 40 hours is that, in order to compensate, we need to work more intensely during those 40 hours”.

Many companies have opted to pursue a four-day work week off their own bat, and the results speak for themselves. Microsoft Japan reported a 40% increase in productivity after adopting the progressive working model.

Furthermore, the employee wellbeing that stems from a shorter working week does not only benefit the individual, but the wider company as well. When employees are less stressed and burnt-out, the quality of their work will likely be higher. It could also save the company a significant amount of money, as poor mental health costs companies across the UK £33-42 billion per year. An overworked workforce is statistically more likely to take sick days, or experience decreased motivation at work.

A shorter work week could well improve the productivity of a business. But beyond that, it could help organisations cultivate a happier, more dedicated workforce.

Environmental benefit

A four-day work week does not only benefit employers and employees. It’s actually a more sustainable working model that could help to reduce air pollution.

If practically every company across the country implemented a shorter work week, this would mean that nationwide, commuting into work would be cut down by one whole day every week. This would have a monumental impact on the environment; a study commissioned by the Four Day Week campaign from Platform London determined that this would reduce UK emissions by 127 million tonnes, a decrease of over 20%. In other words, this would equate to taking the whole private car fleet across the UK off the roads entirely.

There’s another, perhaps less obvious way that a four-day week could reduce our carbon footprint. For an additional day each week, it’s likely that people across the country would be engaging in more low-carbon activities. The pace of life would be slower; less about quick-fixes to get you through the working day. For example, for one more day each week, you may opt to purchase fresh ingredients and take the time to cook that meal you’ve always been meaning to try, instead of settling for the last plastic-packaged frozen ready-meal left standing for convenience’s sake. Or, maybe you would opt to engage in a low-carbon activity such as cycling or running, as opposed to driving to the office for that one extra day each week.

Overall, the evidence decidedly points towards a shortened working week having a majorly positive environmental impact.

Difficult to implement

So far, we’ve presented the four-day work week as a pretty airtight model. However, one major crack remains on show: the shortened week would be near impossible to implement UK-wide in one fell swoop.

Despite the trial going ahead in June, we shouldn’t get our hopes up that a four-day work week is just around the corner. Chances are, there’s a long way to go yet.

A number of sizeable obstacles stand ahead on the road towards a universal four-day week. For one thing, the model is completely industry-dependant. In safety-critical sectors it would be difficult to draw such a clear line in the sand between work and free time by shortening the work week. For people in the public sector, for example in the military or NHS, a four-day week still seems a long way off.

And this is a small part of a much wider problem. Adopting a four-day work week is no easy feat, as it would be a massive cultural shift that would require an institutional overhaul. Our entire society is founded upon a five-day work week and functions around this established model. If the government were to snap their fingers and introduce a four-day work week tomorrow, we’d be in for a rude awakening, simply due to the fact that we’re not used to the structure. The adoption of a four-day week requires long-term and gradual financial, legal, and institutional changes before it stands a chance of succeeding.

However, that’s not to say it’s completely out of reach. A four-day work week is now a topical subject that is being put forward for serious consideration. It’s the talk of the town, and soon enough, cries for a shortened work week will be too deafening for many companies to ignore.

 

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