As proud Glaswegians, we know all about the ribbing our city gives Edinburgh and vice versa. Banter aside, we never shy away from a trip to the capital, especially when there’s some great industry chat (and a free lunch) up for grabs.
Yesterday, we were at TruEdinburgh – the recruitment ‘un-conference’- which was held at the city’s gorgeous Ghillie Dhu venue. Stephen O’Donnell who is a long-time friend of Firefish and who runs the Tru events north of the border got things kicked off, welcoming everyone to a full day of recruitment ideas and talk from a stellar line-up of track leaders.
Our CEO Wendy was also leading a track (whey hey!) titled 'Ensuring Every Candidate Takes Your Call'. She addressed that absolute gutter of a moment when a recruiter realises the candiate has 'ghosted' him/her. It happens; you think the candidate is keen on the role and then when you need to call them to arrange an interview or to come in and meet with you they suddenly don't take your calls. No bueno.
Wendy spoke at length about the reasons a candidate could get cold feet and highlighted that often, candidates aren't completely bought in on a role and feel bullied into the process. The attendees at Wendy's track were great at getting involved in the discussion as they discussed how multimedia job ads, promoting the company culture and scheduling contact with candidates could all go a long way to ensuring they don't just drop off the face of the earth or the potential placement doesn't fall at the last hurdle. It may seem obvious; but ensuring your candidate understands the recruitment process early on can also save the heartache of being effectively 'dumped' by the superstar you're hoping to place. If candidates are bought in to the journey and feel involved and respected, they're more likely to hang around. As Kevin Bacon says on those pesky EE ads, "it's a no brainer, Britain!".
Other tracks which we enjoyed included Stephen O'Donnell, Russell Dalgleish and Bill Boorman (who's speaking at our event in June). Stephen spoke on 'What Candidates Really Want in Online Recruitment' and pointed out that candidates are keen to have a branded experience where they can really get a feel for their future employer. He also noted that more candidates than ever before carry out job search on mobile so you have to be optimised to accommodate this traffic and candidate expectations are ever changing so online content has to be kept fresh and updated. Russell Dalgleish led his track titled 'Capturing the Millennial' where he discussed the risks recruiters and businesses should be taking but alluded to the reasons that they're perhaps hesitant to do so. Younger candidates are often overlooked for roles because they don't have a 'traditional' skillset, but they're still tremendously talented and could fulfill the demands of a role with their 'digital age' experience, he said. Recruiters often look for candidates with so many years of experience but many of these emerging industries -social media- for example are very young so you could only have a few years of experience but really, you've been working in that area since its inception so you are the best person for the job. He also added that younger job seekers can be paired with a mentor who they in turn can teach a lot about the new digital age we are in. It was a really thought provoking track which we think will have recruiters thinking "Oh yeah, that's where I'm going wrong" and have millennial job seekers saying "Finally! Someone understands our pain points of job hunting!"
Bill Boorman's track was focussed on 'Myths, Legends and Recruiter BS' and it was quite the epic tale of where recruiters are going wrong and missing the mark. He discussed areas where recruiters think they know what candidates want but are slightly off in their understanding. Bill said that recruiters should recognise candidates are increasingly not entering into jobs for life, but instead looking for the most tolerable post right now. He teased the idea that no candidates are permanent, they are all temporary as they look at how their current role can leapfrog them on to the next opportunity and progress their career. This track really made an impact with attendees and you could see minds whirring as he spoke. Bill's is an interesting way of looking at recruitment.
Other key takeaways from the event included:
We should think of recruiters as consultants, not sales people
Recruiters don't need to be marketers; but agencies should hire them
Recruiters have to be more creative when matching younger candidates with 'traditional' job titles
Workflows and processes should be made transparent to both clients and candidates
To find out more from the day, check out #TruEdinburgh on Twitter and head on over to the Firefish Facebook page to see more photos [We can get a bit snap happy].