Archive for the ‘Corporate Blog’ Category

GUEST BLOG: Using social media as a listening tool

Friday, November 15th, 2013
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So much has already been said about social media, talk of how it’s revolutionizing the way we interact, communicate and broadcast – is there anything else to add? In my opinion, something is always overlooked and it’s something really simple in this case – the real key to making the most of social media is listening.

What's that? Using social media as a listening tool?

What’s that? Using social media as a listening tool?

Let me be clear here, I don’t mean spying. I mean, using social media as your benchmark and monitoring tool. Twitter is simply a global chat room where people share thoughts – 500 million tweets / thoughts are shared daily to be exact – so you can bet someone has already been tweeting about you and sharing  their thoughts . I urge you to use Twitter to tap in and gain authentic, straight ‘from the horse’s mouth’ feedback from candidates – and hear how you stack up.

Do you honestly know how your recruitment process – and recruitment brand – feels like from a jobseekers perspective? On paper, you might be hitting your targets and deadlines – but have you lost something in pursuit of that? How aware are you? Do you know what are your competitors doing, saying? Do you know how you compare?

Its time to lift your chin up from your desk and take a listen to what’s going on.

Why listening is important

Social media has given everyone a public voice. Take me for instance – if something goes wrong with a product or service I’ve bought – the first place I go to share my thoughts  is social media. I want my followers to know what happened to me so that they have insight when making similar decisions themselves. And this applies to recruitment also.

Some scary stats

So there’s a lot to discuss and improve!

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the direct tweets to your account or @ mentions you need to look out for. Search Twitter for your company name, graduate programme and even industry. Listen, engage, and respond to your audience. Who’s talking about you, what do they need and how can you help? You might even find positive feedback about what you do – wouldn’t that be nice to share?

The search function on Twitter is a useful way to key into what's being said about your business

The search function on Twitter is a useful way to key into what’s being said about your business

Since it’s impossible to be everywhere at once, there are an abundance of options for keeping track such as, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and a useful tool called Twitonomy. You can set these up to create weekly reports, allowing to you to keep your finger on the pulse.

So, what do you do once you’ve listened? It’s entirely up to you.

If you’re the proactive type, look for trends in the mentions. There may be something you can easily fix – a website error or ATS glitch. If it is something that needs more time and effort – get the experts in – but you can still respond to show the candidate you’ve listened. In turn, these improvements will help to change your perception on social media.

Can you afford not to listen?

Blog by Kat Fox, owner of Peters-Fox consultancy and employer brand & candidate experience warrior.

Connect with Kat on LinkedIn

Visit the Peters-Fox website

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Are candidates being mis-sold what their jobs entail?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
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Latest findings from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) illustrate that less than half those who have moved jobs in the past year, consider themselves as being “happy” in their new role.

Apparently, a fifth of those included in the study found the job differed from what they expected, whilst many found the work to be vastly less or more challenging than what they had been led to believe it would be. Consequently, a shocking 69% of employees now report they are looking to change jobs again within the year. Moreover, 56% of employees argued the role of the line manager significantly influences an employee’s job satisfaction level.

Here at PPS headquarters, we can’t help but argue that this is a serious case of mismanaging candidate expectations throughout each recruitment stage, but also failure to keep in contact during those key first few months of employment.

As we move out of the recession, the job market will become increasingly more candidate driven, and as such it is vital companies

whatdoyou think

Ask the questions that matter to your company

have efficient employee retention processes in place. Not only should job roles, company culture and role expectations be clearly represented throughout the recruitment process, but there should also be a marked effort to keep up with new recruits during their first year of employment.

Critical to achieving this, is understanding what your employees really think about your organisation. Although this may immediately sound off alarm bells in your head, we thoroughly believe in the power and use of employee retention interviews.

By inviting an experienced 3rd party to gain an objective and honest perspective of your new recruits’ initial employment experience; you can gain a wealth of insight on what is working for your business, and what is not.

At PPS, our employee retention interview program has helped uncover the real issues a business faces when it comes to keeping their new employees engaged. As such, with relevant and actionable data, our program has helped to boost retention rates, improve employee engagement schemes and, overall, the bottom line.

For more information about our employee retention scheme, contact us on 0121 713 8320 or alternatively visit our website.

Megha Sthankiya Marketing Executive at PPSWritten by Megha Sthankiya, Marketing Executive at PPS

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How to Hire your own ‘Gareth Bale’

Friday, September 6th, 2013
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This week has been record breaking for football in more ways than one.Transfer deadline

Bale’s transfer to Madrid for an astounding £86 million was all over the headlines; transfer fees in general were an eye watering amount – over 600 million in total from all of the Barclay’s Premier League clubs.

Which begs the question – was it all worth it?

Candidates who have the potential to contribute such a huge amount will always make the recruitment process worthwhile. Your company may not have Real Madrid’s capacity to offer their own star candidate, or ”their Gareth Bale”, £200,000 a week wages. But a smooth recruitment process can certainly add to the attraction of a candidate to make their dream move.

Some of the transfers failed because they did not meet the 11 pm deadline. Poor communication, team work and a rushed recruitment process means that some teams missed out on those players that could have meant the difference between them reaching the highs of winning trophies or the threat of relegation and the financial implications that may bring.

Using an RPO service means that you will rarely miss out on a candidate. Let’s face it, you don’t want to be like Hull, who missed out Shane Long after he flew from his Ireland training camp to sign on the dotted line – only to be dragged back by his former employer West Brom due to a lack of communication from both sides!

With several of our clients, we have reduced their time to hire astronomically, and continue to do so through streamlining the process even further. Our communication to both candidates and hiring managers, including ‘good luck’ texts, consultation calls and “hints and tips”, means that candidates and managers alike are fully aware of the stages of the recruitment process at any given stage – making sure that the best applicants do not fall through the net.

Finally, most teams recruit for their future. It is not something which will create instantaneous results – some players take a season to fully establish themselves in their new team. The EPPP, the Elite Player Performance Plan, has been conceived by the Barclay’s Premiere League and devised by Ged Roddy, the Premiere League’s Director of Youth. Youth development is at the EPPP’s core and they have thrown £340m into giving young players more of a fighting chance, such as increasing the amount of contact hours with managers and trainers.

Like the EPPP, PPS understand the importance of recruiting young, fresh minds. Recruiting apprenticeships, graduates and Industrial Placements into your business is an investment into the future of your company. Youth development takes time, but the benefits are broad and impressive.

So, although your recruitment process may not make the headlines – make sure it was a worthwhile investment.

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS

Edited by Chris Ellis, Account Co-ordinator

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Guest Blog: How much do lost candidates cost your organisation?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
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Chris Gunn is an HR professional specialising in resourcing, talent management and learning and development.  Her recent experience includes working for one of the UK’s largest forecourt retailers.    In this blog, Chris talks about her experience of implementing Moodle for on-boarding and learning management.  

After an average of 6 weeks to fill a vacancy, at a median cost of £8.3K for senior managers/directors and £2.5K for others (according to the CIPD’s 2011

Moodle Learning Centre

Moodle Learning Centre

resourcing and Talent Planning survey), losing a candidate due to start with your organisation or a newly recruited employee, undoubtedly has enormous implications for an organisation and its reputation.

We need to think about the effectiveness of on-boarding in our businesses – both before and when a new colleague starts. 65% of organisations say they start on-boarding before a candidate’s start date, with only 25% saying they start on Day 1. A third of organisations’ on-boarding scheme lasts between 1-4 weeks, whilst 25% say the duration is over 3 months. Whatever the optimum for your organisation, you need to ensure it is as effective as possible.

A forth coming acquisition of our business made us think again about developing effective on-boarding for our new organisation. Our goals for on-boarding were to:

  • ensure employees were engaged with the company culture
  • align them with the priorities and goals of the organisation
  • ensure employees had the key knowledge to perform quickly in their roles

Part of the company acquisition meant we were to acquire a new Learning Management System (LMS). We looked to choose one which would support us as part of our on-boarding activity. We selected Moodle – a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Moodle is a popular tool among educators and employers, for creating online dynamic websites for their colleagues or students.

As a replacement for our old e-learning system, Moodle would form part of our on-boarding process. It offered our company a new and improved way to manage and promote learning, which established our newly formed commitment to continuous colleague development.

Moodle was rolled out to 4,000 users, employees (permanent and fixed term), agency temps and externals to our business. By utilising its security features, we could customise access control for different groups. Furthermore, its customisation features allowed us to tailor various learning and teaching styles for colleagues with different needs. Through activity modules such as forums, databases and wikis, we built collaborative communities of learning around key subject matters. Through videos, assignments and quizzes, we delivered content and assessed learners.

Moodle essentially become a one stop shop for all colleagues’ e-learning information and needs through the employee lifecycle, in an easy to use friendly format.

For those new to the company, a new and improved modular on-boarding induction programme, Step to Success, was made available. Steps to Success allowed managers the opportunity to develop and enhance the performance of their team whenever a training need was identified. A How2 section was also created and easily accessed via the intranet, providing a hot spot of information to all colleagues. Our “Message board”, where course availability and cut-off dates were communicated to all, ensured that colleagues were always informed of training options, which ultimately helped to achieve a higher retention rate. To compliment colleague training courses, team training blogs were set up and frequently updated.

Monitoring the on-boarding programme feedback and new colleague turnover allowed us to proactively and reactively adjust to any feedback or issues that arose. With the correct tools and planning in place, you will be able to do just that; plus reduce the costs of losing new employees from your business.

So, here’s our question to you: are you sure your on-boarding programmes are effective?

Written by Chris Gunn, EDF Energy.

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What are your employees true reasons for leaving?

Friday, June 21st, 2013
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We are living in a world where budgets are getting smaller and we are encouraged to tighten our belts. We demand more from our suppliers and if we could drive down costs by recruiting less frequently – how much money and time would that save?

We have all been in that situation when a member of staff resigns and your initial reaction is: “I need to find a replacement and quick.”blog

We start to look in our talent pools, speak to HR about finding a replacement and engage with suppliers. We focus so much on finding a replacement that we often forget to really explore the reasons why they are leaving – and to be prepared to accept an answer which may not be the truth.

So ask yourself a question – if you were asked why you are leaving by the person whose relationship with you had made you consider leaving, would you feel comfortable telling them the whole truth (and nothing but the truth)? Especially when you consider that they will be supplying your next employer with a reference?

It is vital to know why people are leaving so issues can be addressed and trends analysed. But if the data collected is not accurate, you could be addressing a problem that does not really exist, or not solving anything.

A solution to this is an exit interview with an external company as this can help a leaver give their true reasons about leaving, allowing HR to address any issues.

Some of our clients have been able to stop people leaving by addressing concerns that we have raised to them. Over time this could help reduce staff turnover and in turn this could help reduce recruitment costs.

What are your thoughts? Are exit interviews a worthwhile investment?

reiteenWritten by Reiteen Ladwa, Account Manager at PPS Works.

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Six things to look for in an RPO

Friday, May 17th, 2013
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The recent release of the Everest - Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix Assessment 2013 gives some useful insight into what RPO is about in an international context, and also gives us an opportunity to ask how it is different at a local level.


Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Everest Group defines RPO as transfer of ownership of all or part of recruitment processes or activities on an on-going basis rather than “out-tasking” arrangements (typically handled by recruitment agencies, staffing companies, or executive search firms) that are managed on a project-by-project basis.

This distinction is much more blurred when looking at the local level, with plenty of recruitment agencies looking to add RPO type service alongside their more traditional offerings.

So what should you be looking for if you want to “transfer of ownership of all or part of recruitment processes on an on-going basis” to an external provider?

With the help of Everest research, and PPS’ own experience, we propose the following list:

1) Market segments – make sure that the providers that you consider are specialists in your area. RPO is about the process, but it’s mostly about the recruitment, and so doesn’t differ from other services in requiring a knowledge of the market and the candidate.

2) Account Management – make sure that your account manager knows as much or more about recruitment than you do! And that they quickly come to understand exactly what sort of talent your organisation needs. Expect to be challenged in what you are doing – this is what you are paying for.

3) Technology – this needs to fit your process, rather than the other way around. Applicant tracking and talent pool management systems have come a long way recently, but configuration to your requirements is likely to be more relevant than some of the fancy functionality available.

4) Management Information – this should demonstrate how you are recruiting better talent more efficiently than before, and over the length of your contract. Hiring Managers will need to be persuaded by any change, and direct evidence that the RPO is helping them deliver is essential.

5) Resourcefulness – Twitter, Pinterest, Situational Judgement Tests, video assessment – all aspects of sourcing and screening talent that have emerged over the last few years. What will be next? Are you going to hear about it from your RPO once it is relevant to your business? You should!

6) Your brand – An applicant sourced and screened by PPS for one of our RPO clients recently fed back to us that though they were disappointed to not have been selected for the role, they were so impressed with the company, that they had gone out and bought one of their products. Make sure you select an RPO that guarantees to uphold your brand 100%.

So what do you think? Disagree with any of these? Think that another aspect of RPO provision should have made the top 6? We would love to discuss it with you.

willWritten by Will Shepherd – Managing Director of PPS Works Ltd

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I wellz wnt a job innit – Young people in the job market

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
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Giv uz a good job bruv?

According to a report from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), young people are using more and more “text-speak” in applications and have unrealistic expectations of the job market.

They also claimed that young people have a lack of understanding of basic common sense when it comes to interviews. That means turning up in inappropriate gear, turning up late, or not even turning up at all!

Full story: Daily Mail

Have you ever had a candidate who has not taken the application process seriously?

Let us know your thoughts!

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS.

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Video Interviewing – the future of recruitment?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
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We chatted to our Graduate Recruiter, Loretta, about how video interviewing is used here at PPS. Have a look and see what she said!

Written and edited by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

Starring Loretta Snape, Account Co-ordinator at PPS Works.

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The Recipe for PPS Success

Friday, April 12th, 2013
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yammaDesigned and made by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

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The Recipe for PPS Success

Friday, April 12th, 2013
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yammaDesigned and made by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

Find Hannah on Twitter

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