1. Tap into Social Media

Social media isn’t just for chatting to your friends online, it can be a great and cost free way of reaching out to candidates. Facebook adverts are relatively inexpensive, alternatively you could just post about your vacancy in an interesting and fun way using your company’s Facebook page and then ask your staff to share it. Twitter and Linkedin are also great ways to spread the message.

2. Go Viral

It’s relatively cheap and easy to make a fun or quirky video that will grab people’s attention. It doesn’t have to be Oscar worthy just distinctive enough to grab people’s attention. (Check out how Australia mastered viral recruitment)

3. Don’t wait on the talent to come to you, go out and find it

Some of the best candidates out there are ‘passive’ candidates in other words they’re not actively looking for a new job. If you know of someone who is a good fit approach them speak to them about the role. I’ve known recruiters who have made appointments posing as customers just to get a chance to speak to a prospective candidate.

4. Online Networking Events

Attending networking events in person can cost money and time. More and more businesses are turning to online networking events as a quick and cost effective way to meet new talent.

5. Video Interviewing

We all lead busy lives these days so trying to coordinate and arrange interviews can be a logistical nightmare! Video interviewing is a great way to conduct interviews if it’s not possible to coordinate diaries due to location issues. It can also be more cost effective and helps to show that you are an innovative organisation.

6. Open Days

If you are recruiting for multiple entry level positions then you might want to consider holding an open day where people can pop in to receive further information about the role and even take part in a short assessment or interview. Short, snappy and fun interviews can be a great way to get a good feel for a candidate’s personality –a bit like speed dating!

Pensions, apprenticeships, employee expenses and benefits are some of the aspects of the 2014 Budget which will impact your business and HR

Last month’s budget dictated that income taxes and thresholds will increase this and next year. The personal tax allowance is expected to rise to £10,000 in 2014/2015 and up to £10,500 in 2015/2016 with the highest basic rate remaining at £31,865 this new tax year, slightly reducing to £31,785 in 2015/16. The highest rate tax threshold is expected to rise to £41,865 this April and by a further 1% in April 2015.  Apprenticeship Grants for Employers scheme is to be extended and will provide grants for employers to create an additional 100,000 apprenticeships by 2015/16. In relation to how this might affect Scotland, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has set out plans to extend the grant for small businesses in order to support 100,000 apprenticeships. Consequential to the power devolved into the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood will receive funding as a result.

There will be wide-ranging pension reforms taking place which will enable individuals to access Defined Contribution (DC) pension savings “as they wish from the point of retirement”. The DC scheme is a retirement plan in which the employer, employee or both make contributions on a regular basis where individual accounts are set up for participants and benefits are based on the amounts credited to these accounts. The government will introduce a new duty on both trust-based pension schemes and pension providers to offer a “guidance guarantee” which will offer members who retire with the DC pension scheme to have free and impartial face-to-face guidance on their choices when they reach retirement.

There will be a new £500 tax exemption for employer-funded medical treatments for employees applying from October 2014. The employer will not have to go through a formal process to claim the exemption which will be available to all employees.

In terms of employee expenses and benefits, a consultation will take place in 2015 on a package of four simplifications of the system.  Some of these proposed simplifications will allow employers to payroll certain benefits and expenses voluntarily and replace the expenses dispensation scheme with a Reimbursed Expenses Exemption. Company car benefits will increase by 2% in 2017-18 and to a maximum of 37% in 2018-19. Completely tax-free childcare will be introduced from 2015 encouraging more parents back to work, with existing relief from tax and NIC workplace nurseries continuing unaffected. PAYE regulations published before the Budget are expected to have an effect on employers with a few employees being able to report PAYE information on the last pay day in the tax month rather than on the date of each payment as well as RTI reporting being applied to certain employees who deduct tax and NIC from their own employment.

In addition, there will also be an increase in the threshold for small loans exemption from £5,000 to £10,000 for employer provided benefits and from April 2014 the maximum monthly limit that an employee can contribute to a Save-As-You-Earn scheme (SAYE) will increase from £250 to £500.

For further advice please contact Solve.

Money, Time and Quality. Like most things in Business, these are what Recruitment Process Outsourcing is all about.

According to a 2009 report by the Aberdeen Group, Recruitment Process Outsourcing users;

  • – cut cost-per-hire by an average of 48%
  • – received an average increase of 67% in hiring manager satisfaction
  • – achieved 60% reduction in time-to-hire
  • – made a 55% improvement in their new-hire retention rate

Outsourcing all or part of your Recruitment Function, when well executed, can be an excellent way not only of reducing costs, but also of enhancing efficiency and saving valuable business time. This allows your managers to get on with their “day jobs”, and your in-house HR professionals to concentrate on strategic goals and delivery.

Having a dedicated, experienced and effective Recruitment Partner who works for you and assumes ownership of the recruitment process and the responsibility of achieving results, can be especially important when you do not have the resources or internal skill sets to find that perfect candidate. Outsourcing therefore can do a lot to alleviate recruitment pains or shortfalls that your business may be experiencing.

Contracted on either a short or long term basis, a Recruitment Partner who works for you and at the same time is close to the market, and has crucial industry knowledge and experience can really help in getting the right people in place in the most cost effective and time efficient way possible. Not only can they advise on the best recruitment options, such as advertising and attraction strategy they will also know market conditions, and they can also bring an objective eye to your Recruitment and Selection processes. They can often bring to the table advice on job description design, recruitment authorisation and reporting processes, competency and behavioural selection methods, as well as strong candidate management experience.

However there are key things to remember to ensure that outsourcing your recruitment function is successful. You should be considering the following:

How do I choose the best Recruitment Partner for the business?

  1. What can I do to ensure that the chosen Recruitment Partner really understands the business, recognises our business needs and how to achieve success from the agreement?
  2. How should I manage the relationship with the chosen Recruitment Partner on an on-going basis to ensure maximum benefits?

Follow these important points to ensure that your chosen Recruitment Outsourcing relationship works for you.

Choose your Recruitment Partner wisely

Ask them;

  •  Do they have experience with other similar companies, industries and projects?
  •  Have you worked with them already on other projects or campaigns, where they have successfully delivered and demonstrated a strong understanding of your business?
  • Do they have a strong technology base to support delivery?
  • Do they have established processes that will work well for your business?
  • Can they provide references for similar previous outsourced recruitment agreements?

If you are able to tick a lot of these boxes, then a good approach is to agree a trial project for your chosen Recruitment Partner to manage. Like a first date, this will allow you both to get to know each other, to see if there is a spark and to decide if the relationship should go further. By agreeing for them to manage an initial campaign or a small part of your recruitment needs at first, you can see how successful they are likely to be in delivering results on a larger scale.

Decide on the Scope of Service to be Outsourced

When you have chosen your Recruitment Partner, and they have successfully delivered in their “trial period,” it is important to agree the on-going level of service required. You may need to transition your entire recruitment process, from job profiling right through to candidate on boarding. Or you may want support just at the initial advertising, screening and telephone interviewing stages.  You may want to outsource only key, specialist, high-level or particular types of roles that you quite often find difficult to fill and do not have the resources to do so. On the other hand, you might not have the time to recruit for those high-volume campaigns and need a fast-paced recruiter to run these for you.

Whatever the objective, make sure that what you need is discussed and explained fully to your new partner at the beginning.

Get the Right Logistics in Place

Agree the technology, reporting, infrastructure and overall methodologies to be used, based on what you need, perhaps what you have followed in the past with some improvements, and what your Recruitment Partner can deliver. Some questions to ask are, do you want the Recruitment Partner to assume the company’s existing documentation, job descriptions, advertising, and interview templates and so on? Or is it best to start from scratch and to work with your new Recruitment Partner to develop new improved ones? A good Recruitment Outsourcing provider will be able to constructively criticise and diagnose, as well as offering excellent process improvements. Importantly, decide how the Recruitment Partner should act. A good approach for cohesion is to agree for them to become almost an extension to your existing HR team, as an internal Recruitment Manager, with an internal email, utilising the company name and branding.

Agree the Metrics

Know what success looks like to you and what you expect from your Recruitment Partner, and make sure that you communicate this at the beginning. The metrics agreed should be right for your company, linked to your overall resource and company growth plans, but still be realistic and achievable.

You should still keep in mind challenges and problems, either internally or externally that you have faced before and may still be there awaiting your new Recruitment Partner. Engaging a Recruitment Partner will not immediately eradicate your business of these issues, and being upfront about these challenges is important – you do not want to set the new relationship up to fail, and a Recruitment outsourcing relationship should not be seen as a way to “manage the mess for less.” Quite often however, a good Recruitment Outsourcing professional can provide much-needed solutions.

Some things to agree as measures of success can be –

  • Time to Hire
  • Cost to Hire
  • Retention Rates of hired staff
  • Quality of the candidate experience – you can measure this by asking newly hired employees to complete surveys on the overall process including timeframes, interviewing experience, and candidate response
  • Talent management to show how hired staff develop and grow with the company
  • Level of communication between you and your Recruitment Partner– How, when and how often?

These set KPI’s (key performance indicators), SLA’s (Service Level Agreements), targets, whatever you label them, are crucial. However that’s not to say that they should be set in stone. Regular communication and review with your Recruitment Partner is key, and you should not be averse to restructuring any agreed metrics if required. After all, the labour market is changeable, and a good Recruitment Partner will be able to advise how best to deal with these changes.

Let your Recruitment Partner In

Help your Recruitment Partner find out everything they need to know to understand your business so that they can promote the company in the right way and in the right places, manage the candidates’ expectations and ultimately find the right person not just to meet the skills criteria for the role, but also culturally for your organisation.

Some really effective ways to do this can be –

  1. Share the company’s vision, mission statement, values and goals, organisation structure and key contact list
  2. Share with them the employee’s lifecycle, training and induction, and company benefits.
  3. Let them know the history of your company, its purpose and how it evolved.
  4. Introduce them to key stakeholders in each department so they can see how the roles they are recruiting for work at an operational level. Work shadowing some employees can also help enhance this understanding
  5. Allow them to have access to talent management professionals in the company who can give them an insight in to the avenues for development and progression available– always a key selling point to potential candidates.

The important element to tie this together for success is to make certain all the internal key stakeholders in your business buy into the arrangement. There is no point in doing all of the above if senior management do not or cannot see a benefit of doing so and therefore jeopardise the arrangement before it even starts or even the Managing Director delays payment every month as he/she cannot see the benefits and as a result the Outsourcer stops working due to lack of payment!

Recruitment outsourcing can provide real benefits to busy HR teams, however, only if the relationship and supplier is right. Intelligent Office UK outsources their senior management recruitment to Solve. for more information on how this works please contact us.

Solve. are experts in recruitment. We’re here to give you advice and guidance on your recruitment strategy.

Call our team now on 0844 567 6156 or email us at:

You may or may not be familiar with the term social recruiting but it’s important both business owners and HR professionals are aware of and can make use of this ever increasing trend.

What is social recruiting?

Social recruiting is the concept of combining social media and recruitment.  It involves using social media platforms, online forums, online communities and other online channels to find, attract, contact and recruit talent.

There a two different forms of social recruiting: Internet Sourcing and Social Distribution.

Internet Sourcing, which is commonly used by recruiters, involves finding and searching for candidate data online on social media platforms like LinkedIn and specific recruiting online communities like Monster.  Business owners and HR professionals should capitalise on online candidate information on professional and recruitment sites when considering candidates for interview as it allows recruiters to establish a deeper understanding of their suitability for the role.

Social Distribution describes the process of using social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+) to distribute vacancies.  This may through HR vendors or crowdsourcing where job seekers and other influencers share vacancies on their social media profiles.

What are some of the benefits from using social recruiting?

One of the key benefits to businesses is the reduction of the cost as you move away from the more traditional recruitment advertising which is more expensive.

Also, with social recruiting you can immediately publish job opportunities to your social media channels reaching potential candidates quicker than ever before.  And when your customers, employees, partners and followers are encouraged to partake in social distribution across their personal or business profiles, your vacancy can be seen by thousands of people!

Recent figures indicate 62% of people on social media are of a ‘professional’ age so its vital businesses and HR professionals look to include social media platforms in their recruiting strategy to access the pool of talent out there.  If your business currently does not have a presence on social media then you must look to create and build a network online before implementing social recruiting in order to reap the benefits.

What are some of the downfalls from using social recruiting?

From an internet sourcing point of view, it could cause a negative image of the business is potential candidates are harassed online by representatives of your business.  Ensure you set up a tracking process to ensure anyone involves in sourcing can check if that person has been contacted before and what the outcome was. Equally as important is ensuring the employees carrying out sourcing are trained on building and maintaining relationships.

For social distribution, you must consider the resource required to respond to real time conversations and questions by candidates, and to ensure that your social media profiles are up-to-date. If the candidate asks a questions online and it’s not answered in a timely fashion, not only will that candidate, but other potential candidates, clients or partners viewing your social media channels will be turned off of your business by the lack of ineffectiveness.

Social recruitment has started to extend to candidates profiling businesses.  Candidates can now have access to information about the internal workings of a business before they apply for the vacancy. The online community GlassDoor, popular in the US and emerging quickly in the UK, allows candidates to view reviews of the company written by existing and previous employees. (There are of course guidelines of what is published and all information is given anonymously.)

When you do decide to implement or review your social recruiting strategy you should consider reviewing all information about your business online.  To be viewed as an employer of choice and therefore attract the right talent it’s essential that you keep up with the trends and ensure your online reputation is excellent.

Solve. are experts in recruitment. We’re here to give you advice and guidance on your recruitment strategy.

Call our team now on 0844 567 6156 or email us at:

As a result of the recession, recruitment budgets have been slashed and Employers are seeing more applicants per position than ever before.  Therefore, at a time where savings and efficiencies are expected in all areas of business, the question Employers are rightly asking their HR teams and suppliers is ‘how can I make sure I get it right?’  Whilst one to one interviews have become the norm, even in small Companies, there are other options for hiring well and cost effectively.   Here we examine just a few:

Assessment Centres

The assessment centre or group interview has been around for some time in various guises, from the retail industry with its group interviews for seasonal temporary jobs, to recruitment agencies assessing and gauging their next consultants.  However, what they all have in common is that they really allow Employers to assess a Candidate’s  interpersonal, communication and problem solving skills – how they interact, whether they lead or follow, whether they are an influencer or easily influenced and just how do they deal with last minute projects?  The term “assessment centre” can make uneasy reading for Candidates and Recruiters alike.  Candidates fear a survival of the fittest, Lord Sugar style Board Room gruelling, while the Recruiter often sees more co-ordination, more administration and more headaches! The fact is though, some well-designed group exercises or role plays really let a Candidate show the Employer their true colours and can give a unique insight into a side of the Candidate that can be difficult to assess in a one to one interview.

Work Trials

The UK government is actively encouraging Employers to undertake work trials, promoting it as a “risk free” recruitment option.  Whilst nothing in business is completely without risk, the work trial does offer a valuable; first hand assessment of how a Candidate performs ‘on the job’ and how they fit with the team they could be working with in the future.  Pret a Manger are an example of a prominent organisation who has been using a form of the work trial as part of their recruitment process for years and are often cited by the CIPD as an ‘Employer of Choice’. Work trials offer Candidates the opportunity to work in the role for which they have applied, for a short period, e.g. half a day, whilst having their ‘performance’ assessed, prior to a final selection decision being made.  Work trials allow Employers a real, tangible way to gauge how someone will perform ‘in role’; however, they aren’t suitable for every role.  Therefore, before implementing, Employers should consider the time and cost that may be involved, particularly if the Candidate doesn’t work out!

Situational Interviews

A twist on the traditional competency based interview, where a Candidate is encouraged to focus on examples from their past employment, situational interviews look forward and ask “what would you do if…..”  Purists of the competency based interview would say that this is exactly what the competency based interview sets out to avoid, as this form of interviewing is based on the premise that past behaviour is an accurate prediction of future performance.  However, whilst the benefits of competency based interviewing are undisputed, entry level jobs, traineeships or apprenticeship may attract younger Candidates who probably don’t have work related examples to provide.  Thus, the situational interview allows would be Employers to level the playing field for these inexperienced Candidates.

The above are just a few examples of alternatives to consider outside of your business’s ‘standard process’.  The list of alternative ways for Employers to recruit and select goes on and could include methods such as computer aided interviews, the lunch-time interview (sometimes called the beer test), video interviewing and personality profiling, to name but a few.  However, the most important consideration for any Employer is what will work for you, your business and your Candidates.

Whatever your selection process of choice, Solve. are on hand to offer you guidance and support on managing your recruitment and selection, whether you need some advice on the creation of a Job Description or a fully managed end to end outsource, recruitment service, our team of experienced Recruiters can advise.  Should you wish to discuss any aspect of your recruitment and selection please contact us at



When it comes to recruitment there’s a misconception that advertising is the easy bit.  True, placing an advert is relatively simple but attracting great applicants, who buy into your business without the cost of advertising breaking the bank, is more difficult.  With the average cost per hire sitting around £3,000, costing UK business over £2bn per year,  employers are looking for ways get more for their money when it comes to recruitment advertising.

To get the right advert in the right place, it’s important to start with the end in mind and think about your recruitment strategy.   Who do you want in the post at the end of the recruitment campaign, what skills, and what experience?  Which media are they likely to be using to look for jobs?  It’s also important to consider the business needs.  Just because the previous job holder was full time that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to recruit a full time replacement.  Do you really need a full time employee in that job?  Could it be done part-time or by job sharing?  Could it be done by someone working family friendly hours?  These are big attractions for some candidates so you should give them serious consideration before drafting your advert.

Where companies have to pay for the vast majority of online and printed recruitment advertising space, there is no cost to using your own company website.  As advertising solely on your own company website may not bring in the volume of candidates you need, why not use complementary adverts on other recruitment websites and newspapers to hook those candidates in?  A small advert, finished off with; “visit my company website to apply” can be effective if it teases with enough  information to be interesting.  It’ll also test your candidates and automatically deselect those without the motivation to follow through, whilst also having the benefit of not blowing the budget on a full page advert.

So, the advert itself; whether it’s placed online or on paper, the job advert is more often than not the very first step in your candidates’ journey from prospective candidate to keen new recruit.  The principals explored in What’s in a Job Description? apply equally to your job advert as they do to the Job Description.  Communicating your Company values will ensure your campaign focuses in on the right people.  Firstly, tell the applicant who you are.  This doesn’t just mean your company name.  Unless you’re a big company with an established employer brand, unfortunately your name may not mean a lot to candidates. So tell them who you are in a few lines and be sure to emphasise your values: “SS Joiners is an established, successful joinery business.  Due to continued growth we are recruiting for a skilled joiner”.  This, to your candidate says trust, security, quality; all traits that are lost without this simple little tag line.  Similarly “A dynamic and exciting new business, we supply cutting edge cloud-based technology to the banking sector” says you’re exciting and vibrant place to work and that you provide a quality product.  This is not to say we should flower our advert up for the sake of it, but if we’ve been trading since 1965 and are proud of this long, family history, then work it into the advert.  Of course, space particularly in printed adverts is at a premium so don’t clear out the coffers on giving the candidate a potted history of your company, just a few sharp lines to open up will do nicely.

Secondly, the job itself – remember space is at a premium both online and in print so the advert should also be used as a driver to take candidates to your company website.  There, you can take all the space you need and even provide a link to the full Job Description.  Within an advert, applicants only need to see; job title, location, salary or salary band and how to apply or get further info.

YHA: Job Advert

But where should you advertise?  There’s no right answer to that sadly and it wouldn’t be appropriate to endorse (or not) specific websites or publications however remember this; it’s not about appealing to a million-and-one applicants, unless you want to sift a million-and-one applications!  There are several free media out there, including the however, in practise these often lead to lots of unsuitable applications.   Recruitment is about focussing your advert at the right group so much better to consider carefully where the advert is going.  Only receiving five applications, as long as they’re the right five, is perfectly acceptable.  The more specialist the role, the more we should veer away from the mainstream websites and media and perhaps look to trade journals or publications.  Never be afraid to ask around within your own business for advice on these matters.  If you are recruiting for a role in your admin team, why not ask your admin team where they would look if they were looking for a job?  Don’t underestimate the experience of people in your business.  After all, they have all been job-hunters at some point.

So how do you attract candidates without blowing the budget?  A full page glossy advert is all well and good but when cost is an issue, as it tends to be, a small, punchy advert which drives the right candidates to your website can have the same results, at a fraction of the cost.