Recruitment News 2017: Surveillance, Candidate Drop-Offs & The £100k CV

Hey! It’s a new week so I’m here to bring you your next round-up of news and resources! Enjoy!

The Pay Gap Closure is Stagnating

Back in January we brought you the good news that UK companies with more than 250 employees will need to publish information regarding the differences in wages between the men and women they employ. Beginning on the 5th of April of this year, the information is due on the 4th of April 2018 and is something I’m personally looking forward to seeing.

However, a recent investigation conducted by the law firm Clyde & Co. casts a shadow over the hopes that this is making the change we need. Taking figures directly from the HMRC, it has been revealed that the proportion of female higher rate taxpayers (those earning between £43,000 and £150,000) has stagnated over the past six years, with the figure remaining at a rather paltry 27%.

Though the issue doesn’t just stop there. Recent figures also show that the average woman in the UK will earn 85.5p for every £1 a man earns. This translates to an average pay packet £8,524 smaller than their male counterparts – and roughly equates to women working 1 hour and 39 minutes every day for free. I think we can all agree that this is unacceptable.

So what’s the problem here? Well, despite the progressive nature of the reporting system, businesses will face no consequences. Those that fail to submit a report won’t face any sanctions, and those that do, but which demonstrate a pay gap, will face no repercussions.

Whilst I understand that doling out generalised punishments for companies can quickly become problematic, there needs to be some sort of incentive for change. The threat of deeper investigation, at bare minimum, should be enough for companies to understand the seriousness of the situation and make adjustments accordingly.

Gina Wilson of Clyde & Co., has come up with some advice which I think companies submitting ought to take heed of:

“Businesses should be taking steps now to analyse their April 2017 data so that they can take remedial steps ahead of the reporting deadline in April 2018. If they can make a difference over the next 12 months then they could consider releasing their April 2017 data, followed closely by their April 2018 data which could show a marked improvement.”

Let’s see what happens next year, but right now I won’t be holding my breath.

Brexit May Bluster, But…

I don’t know if you caught it last week, but Chancellor Philip Hammond gave an address that got me thinking. Speaking about the effects of Brexit on the jobs market (as I have done here and here and here and here), he reinforced the fact that curbs on immigration will make the skills shortage even more acute – at least temporarily. But this wasn’t what grabbed me.

Speaking about the wider picture, and the developments of technology which are shaping modern business, he has revealed concerns for how the UK is preparing future generations for future living; consultants up and down the country are clamouring to claim that 20% of jobs will be extinct by 2025, and that 60% of jobs that will go to the *current* crop of school kids haven’t even been invented yet.

With technology bleeding into every crevice of our lives, it’s practically impossible to predict what will be the next booming industry. Look at Uber, the world’s largest taxi company which doesn’t own a single taxi. Or Airbnb, the largest hotel company, which doesn’t own a single hotel. This is the age of imaginative business. The rules of the old school are dead, and the economy is in the clutches of good ideas.

So Brexit or no, we’re in a tumultuous economic period, and we need to be thinking far more macroscopically than our relationship with Brussels. Whilst we can’t foretell what the future jobs markets will look like, we can be certain that they will be predicated upon tech and digital.

Therefore we need to be doing everything we can to encourage kids, and older job seekers, to engage with technology beyond the staples of social media. Get them interested in computing and the power it can afford us. And most importantly, encourage their ideas and imaginations, because without that, we just have people good at using machines.

Twenty Sixteen-Seventeen & Surveillance Laws

When we look at human rights in the workplace, we tend to focus on working conditions, hours and pay. And rightly so. But there’s a spectre at the feast that seems to get swept under the rug: surveillance.

Before we get into it, let’s first take a step back. Twenty-sixteen saw the Snoopers’ Charter finally pushed through Parliament, much to the chagrin of most internet users. The officially named ‘Investigatory Powers Act’ means that police and other powers can conduct mass, indiscriminate data analysis whenever they want. At the same time, internet providers must also keep records of their users, and the websites they have visited.

Opposition to the act was, as ever, met with the old adage: if you’ve got nothing to hide… But is that the right way of looking at things?

What most don’t realise is at the same time that the Snoopers’ Charter went through, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 was deemed unlawful by the European Court of Justice. Great news for those in the EU, not so great for those exiting

How the introduction of the charter will be impacted by the repealing of the European bill remains to be seen, however, when it comes to workplace surveillance, things are a little bit clearer: if a company is monitoring its staff, it is legally obliged to explain how and why they are conducting it.

The key points to know are:

  • Employers should have written policies and procedures in place regarding monitoring at work.
  • Monitoring shouldn’t be excessive and should be justified.
  • Staff should be told what information will be recorded and how long it will be kept.
  • If employers monitor workers by collecting or using information the Data Protection Act will apply.
  • Information collected through monitoring should be kept secure.

Additionally, employers must tell workers:

  • What counts as a reasonable amount of personal emails and phone calls
  • If personal calls and e-mails are not allowed, or if they are going to be monitored as well.

Further information about acceptable surveillance in the workplace can be found at The Citizen’s Advice Bureau website here.

How to Reduce your Candidate Drop-Offs

According to the latest report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), both permanent and temporary candidate availability is at a 16 month low, whilst demand for staff continues to grow. This demand increase has sharply risen in the private sector, declining in the public sector. A trend that we have noticed ourselves.

So with less available candidates, but an increase in demand, what can recruiters in the private sector do to ensure they reduce their candidate drop off rate, and actually manage to hire the talent available to them? Here you go:

Reduce Application Time

One third of applicants won’t spend more than 15 minutes on an application, and you can bet your star candidates are amongst them. Make the forms mobile friendly, and let candidates apply through channels like LinkedIN directly.

Reduce Screening Time

Seeing a pattern? Time is of the essence, and your best candidates will move on quicker than you know. By incorporating screening through recruitment software, as well as the incorporation of video interviews, this time can be minimised, .

Engage! Engage! Engage!

Keep your candidates aware of your company. Many are applying for tens of positions, so you want to make sure you’re sticking in their heads. Using automated, personalised emails is super simple, time efficient and really helpful.


Referrals coming from trusted sources tend to lead to a far better quality hire, and should be fast tracked through the recruitment process.

Self-Scheduled Interviews

Give your candidates the flexibility to arrange their own interview times (out of normal working hours too!) will help attract those star recruits.

Minimise No-Shows

People can be forgetful, and dates can get mixed up. Simply sending a text or email a week or two before the interview isn’t enough. Make sure you are keeping your candidates in the loop and confirming interview dates and times close to the day.

Make A Quick Decision

According to Advorto it takes 4 days for HR to make a decision. Three days too many. Speed up communications and have a decision making process set firmly in place.

Reply to Applications!

Perhaps they’re not the right candidate for right now, but maybe they will be in the future. Make sure to reply to each unsuccessful candidate (this can be automated), to reduce bad blood and improve brand reputation.

1 in 5 Young Women Choose Their Career too Young

According to research by the Oxford Open Learning Trust, 17% of young women feel that they chose their career paths too early, without the proper information and insight needed to make a proper decision.

The government survey carried out by the OOLT, and which coincides with the launch of their career change tool ‘The Profession Picker’, inquired as to the advice British students received at school, and how that advice actually translated to their future careers.

And whilst one in five claim they chose their path too early, a worrying 35% said that the education and training they have received has not prepared them for their current career. Additionally, 71% of those surveyed said that their current career path is not what they thought they would be doing when they left school.

However, it’s not all bad. Although many have doubts about their career paths, only 3% of young women between the ages of 18-24  claimed that they felt a push towards ‘gendered’ subjects. So whilst the advice in schools may still not be amazing, at least it’s no longer sexist. We’ll count that as a victory.


Revealed: The £100,000 CV

So, according to Adzuna, who analysed over 10,000 CVs of people who earn six-figure salaries, there are 4 key things a £100,000 CV needs:

1. 20 Years Experience.

The results have shown that the top earning CVs have an average of 19 years experience on them, 13 of which were spent at managerial level.

2. We Don’t Need No Education.

You don’t even need to have an education, let alone filling out the section. Twenty-three percent of those earning over £100k don’t have a degree, however, those without degrees have spent longer working their way up. Compared to those with higher education certificates, they have spent 22 years working as opposed to 18. But when you consider the average amount of time spent at university, this about adds up.

3. IT and Finance

Nineteen percent of the top earners have a background in IT, whilst a further 19% have spent time working in the finance sector. Twelve percent have worked in consultancy; 5% in engineering and 5% in sales. So getting experience in these sectors is pretty important.

4. CEO, CTO, CFO. No More.

Whilst many would think that it’s only the big abbreviations in their corner offices that get the big bucks, the top five titles of those surveyed were actually; operations director, finance director, managing director, director and chief executive.

Did you know?

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About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.