Retention & Recruitment: An Interview with Totaljobs

Back in January Totaljobs found out that nearly half of employers are having to reduce the length of their hiring process in their Understanding Talent Series, which caught our eye. Totaljobs have a wealth of data, attracting over 4.8 million jobseekers every month on the hunt for one of over 90,000 vacancies the site carries. For anyone in business – knowing what’s happening on the job market is key.

We caught up with director John Salt to talk about the report, the insights we can all take away about the job market as it stands, what the best companies are doing to retain talent and what candidates are looking for.

What is the reality for the job market, is there a shortage of top talent or are candidates in a position of power?

Our Totaljobs Employment Index revealed a huge increase in applications towards the end of 2016, but we still operate in a candidate-led market. Unemployment is at its lowest level for more than a decade* and recruiters are having to do all they can to attract the very best. Good candidates are in strong position at the moment and top talent can be choosy about what they want from a job.

How has the wish list from candidates changed over the last few years, and have companies like Google and others within Silicon Valley using perks had an effect on what employees feel is normal?

Gone are the days where salary was the sole motivation behind a candidate’s application. Now a candidate looks at multiple factors when selecting who they work for. These can of course be financial such as a bonus, or pension, which attracts 42% and 36% of jobseekers**but non-financial perks are definitely high on the agenda, such as flexible working (32%), or private healthcare (21%) according to our Understanding Talent research.

Most of the top 10 benefits jobseekers want are perhaps unsurprising, but many employers still fail to offer them, or simply don’t showcase them in their job adverts. Perhaps more unusually, a small but significant 8% of jobseekers surveyed chose ‘Unlimited holiday allowance’ as a favoured benefit, something made famous by Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson. More unique perks do have their appeal; Google, for instance, apparently offer ‘massage credits’. But such benefits remain the exception not the rule

Your report shows that 84% of employers use their company website to advertise, whilst only 15% of candidates look on this channel. How can employers increase their chances of filling prime positions?

Promoting vacancies through your own website is important – after all, it’s your own channel and helps illustrate your employer brand…

However, it should not be your main recruitment tool. Use generalist recruitment websites such as totaljobs to advertise jobs, as these were preferred by 57% of candidates according to our Understanding Talent research. Recruitment agencies were preferred by 45% whilst professional networking sites were favoured by 24%. We suggest employers build their recruitment process to meet the needs of the candidates they’re trying to attract, and that means advertising where they are actually looking for jobs, as well as where you hope they will look!

Your report also showed that there is a reduction in the length of time people are taking to recruit- do you think this will have a positive or detrimental effect over the long-term?

The more agile recruitment process is simply a response to the changing behaviour of candidates, and the need for employers to move quickly to hire them. Candidates want a swift recruitment process and given there is so much competition for top talent, the best people are getting snapped up fast.

A compressed recruitment process shouldn’t be detrimental, as long as it’s carefully considered. Don’t cut stages out for the sake of it, but look at what’s necessary. If you cut a stage out, or replace it with a tech solution (such as video interviewing) be sure that you are still able to accurately assess skills and fit for the role you are hiring for. One of the easiest areas in which to save time is between interviews and at offer stage. Don’t let internal processes slow you down to the point where you miss out on that perfect hire.

Just 10% of employers are conducting interviews over Skype. Do you think there is a reticence to use the latest technology, and why is this?

It takes time for new technology to enter the mainstream and while there will always be a percentage of ‘early adopters’, many employers simply won’t have adapted their recruitment processes yet to include video interviewing or tech such as Skype. Let’s also remember that these tools are not suitable for every role, particularly those in which skills and competencies are more important than appearance or communication skills.

Nearly a quarter of the employers you surveyed are using psychometric testing – is this a growing trend?

Candidate cultural fit is directly linked to candidate retention, employee engagement, productivity and employer brand – all key focuses for successful employers. So assessing candidates through psychometric tests is naturally popular. However, the lengthy, exam-style psychometric tests of old are not the only option now, and as employers look to compress the time to hire, more agile solutions are increasingly popular. Vibrant apps such as Good &Co are available, allowing employers to build a profile of their team and the fit of the candidates they want to hire. The tool also allows candidates to see which employers are the best cultural fit for them – and all through a swift, gamified experience. It’s an engaging way to gain serious insight.

What are the growth areas in terms of job roles?

Our recent Totaljobs Employment Index data shows that in February there were a few high performing industries in terms of jobs growth. Catering and Hospitality was up 13% while travel, leisure and tourism was up a marginal 2%.

It’s encouraging to see such growth in sectors that could potentially be impacted by Brexit. Such growth is consistent with employment figures generally however, which have remained robust in spite of the question marks that hang over Britain’s future relationship with Europe.

Finally, what are the very best companies doing to retain staff?

The very best companies recognise that employee engagement (some might say, happiness) at work is the result of a number of factors. An attractive salary is one, of course, along with flexible benefits, including working hours, workplace culture, the people within it and the day to day content of the job. Job location and even the ethics of the business are all increasingly key elements.

In short, the most successful employers pay attention to their employee’s needs, think carefully about the kind of candidates they want to attract, and tailor a recruitment and retention approach that appeals to those individuals. It really is all about thinking like the talent you want to hire.

*ONS figures
**Jobseekers asked to choose three benefits from a list of 32 benefits, including the option ‘other’

More Incentive and Motivation News:

Take a look at other categories across our site to find out more about employee engagement, rewards and benefits. Employee Engagement | Employee Benefits | Employee Reward and Recognition | New Launches | Interviews and Case Studies | Marketing and Loyalty

Don’t forget we’re social too! Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.