SearchHigher Director Mark Holleran was delighted to be invited to speak at the first HE Recruitment 2017 conference on the 28th March and it was a huge success. Take note of the key things we took away from the speaker sessions.
“The HE sector is increasingly thinking about bringing in people from the private sector to help achieve their goals”
Mark Holleran, Director of SearchHigher, talked about Professional Services department within HE institutions looking outside the sector for the right talent – but, interestingly, reflected that when engaging with candidates from outside the sector, very few of them had thought about going into Higher Education. So, it’s important to tap into where people outside of the sector are going and how you can incentivise. So, it’s important to think about your institution’s brand message and what your current staff value to create employee value propositions that can be communicated through your channels.
“It’s easy to get caught up telling jobseekers what you want from them – but what do they want from you?”
Business Development Managers Kerry Walker and Bryony Morley from jobs.ac.uk talked about the data they have access to that give insight into the non-HE talent out there looking for roles in HE. The presentation went to emphasise that your institution’s message needs to be shaped to highlight the benefits HE offers that other sectors do not – such as a healthy work/life balance – which is key in attracting and retaining the right candidates.
“It is more difficult to be different in today’s market – but success is not about doing what others aren’t but using your own channels effectively”
Giles Guest, Director of Enhance Media, delivered an enlightening guide to the world of online recruitment, emphasising how adopting a consistent recruitment methodology is essential – research, activity, act. He discussed the role social media plays in recruiting, reflecting that it can be a tool for nurturing candidates but rarely results in any placements. Also, Giles stressed the importance of PPC, citing 88% of candidates as using search during job seeking. So, if you aren’t already doing it, start now as your competitors will be.
“Technology drives changes in work”
Giles O’Halleron, Freelance Strategist in Digital HR, gave our audience an insight into Digital HR and how it is becoming a business practice. His interests lie in the way in which organisations are changing and how work is being redefined by digital tools. Digital, he argued, lets you tap into people’s interests, not just what they do at work, in a climate where the lines between a candidate’s work and social life are increasingly blurred. Although Giles believes technology drives changes in work, he warned that digital working in not a silver bullet – so, think about some of the digital tools available and put them in the context of your own organisation.
“We must not let the risk blind us to the opportunity, and not let the opportunity blind us to the risk”
In a thought-provoking session from David D’Souza, Head of Engagement & Head of London at the CIPD, the subject of automation was explored interactively. David argued that independence on technology is useful in some situations and dangerous if we turn our brains off. You all had interesting observations on the fine line between privacy and social recruitment, and David pushed us to consider what we are measuring when using a candidate’s social identities during the recruitment process.