Recruitment News May 2016 Part 1

Hi! It’s time for your first instalment of our weekly roundup this month, and we have lots to talk about!

Selecting Apprentices: Lessons We Can Learn from Germany

The UK Government is making extra efforts to create a “world class apprenticeship system” in order to strengthen the economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give young people an alternative to university and the debts that come with it. It aims to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020.

One country that’s really getting it right is Germany. They have a “dual system” whereby apprenticeships not only harness practical skills but also embody theoretical training in the classroom. Technical skills have always been highly valued in Germany’s culture.

The UK has its work cut out emulating this, but times are changing and now youngsters are looking to apprenticeships to start their careers. Considering the vast increase of interest in apprenticeships, picking candidates all boils down to one thing: will they behave in a way that fits your organisation and fits the role they’re applying for?

Behaviour of the candidate depends on their conscientiousness, their reliability and their punctuality and there may even be other behaviours that you require, such as teamwork or creative thinking. One challenge to be faced in this is that the responsibility of choosing the correct apprenticeship to apply for is left to candidates with little to no experience, therefore they might not be applying for a role they’re best suited to.

Germany has a solution to this too. Personnel Today have worked with Siemens in Germany to develop an online pre-application assessment that isn’t scored or timed in any way – it simply helps them pick the right apprenticeship which ultimately begins the rest of their career. If you can help candidates identify and apply for the right roles that they could be passionate about, then it’s an additional win-win situation. You have to know if your candidate fits in well with your organisation, but they need to know where they want to be.


Using Social Media to Improve Quality of Hire

Quality of hire is the most important metric for recruiters this year and to help improve that metric, social media is proving quite helpful for a few things:


People are connecting, and making referrals, but that’s not a new thing. What LinkedIn has done in particular though is make this far easier, allowing the networking world to dramatically increase in size. LinkedIn’s networking abilities benefit everyone – you have candidates presented to you that you might not have heard about before, and they’re “pre-qualified” through recommendations, so you know that they’re credible. They get to access more people and opportunities, and there’s a lot more information available to them about you to assess before applying. Given that it isn’t all ‘cold contact’ people are far more likely to respond, even if it’s to politely decline.

Evaluating Cultural Fit

Assuming you’re pretty well versed with social media, candidates are able to get a feel for your company’s value and culture and if it fits well with them before the conversation even begins. As we discussed in our last roundup, it’s so important that your candidate’s values fit in with your organisation especially in terms of employee retention. Giving people the ability to assess on both sides of the fence not only saves time but it improves your statistics.

“No Pressure” Approach

The thing about social media is – it’s social. It’s far less formal to an extent and it’s quick and easy to get involved with projects or businesses. You don’t feel under as much pressure to respond on social media as you do if someone is pestering you with emails and phone calls. As a result of this, there’s a “no pressure” approach to recruiting and people are far more likely to engage.


Living Wage to Put One Million Retail Jobs at Risk

HR Review has reported that the next decade could see up to 1 million jobs dry up, as the high street adapts to changing shopping habits and adjusts to the introduction of the living wage.

The BRC (British Retail Consortium) has warned that government policies including the new national living wage, the rising business rates and the apprenticeship levy will add as much as £14bn to retailers’ bills over the next 4 years.

BRC estimates that as many as 900,000 jobs could be affected or lost by 2025 as a result of retailers trying to cut corners and meet the bill. It’s unfortunate news as we observe major supermarkets already in the throes of cutting countless jobs in order to cope with the changing landscape of shopping.

5 Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Career

Imagine you could do what you love, and get paid for it. You’d never work a day in your life! You don’t have to let it stay a dream. The Undercover Recruiter came up with 5 ways you can make your hobby your career:

1. Teach Others – If you simply don’t see yourself taking up your hobby as a career, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing to do with it. Whether you’re a skilled painter or guitarist, you could turn doing what you love into a job by teaching others how to do it as well as you do. You can set yourself up as a private tutor, or offer your services at local schools and colleges.

2.Provide a Service – How could you use your hobby to assist other people? If you’re really into health and fitness for example, why not set up a business as a health coach or personal trainer? If you are absolutely in love with animals, why not become a dog walker or a cat sitter? There’s so much out there for you to do.

3.Sell Your Creations – Let’s say you make a mean batch of cupcakes and everyone always looks forward to you bringing them round. Why not start selling your creations? You could strike up a partnership with a local bakery, or if you’re an artist – a gallery? The possibilities are endless!

4.Write or Speak About Your Passion – The rise of blogging has made it easier than ever for us to share our ideas and opinions. If you’re passionate about social or cultural issues for example, why not write about it? People always want to learn new things and if there’s something you know a lot about or love researching, why not start a blog or contact magazines to collaborate on a column? Passionate writing is good reading.

5.Go Professional – This could be the first step for everyone, but not everyone is lucky enough to get their big break that throws them into a full blown career. If you’re passionate about photography, why not take the next steps and enroll yourself on a course and invest in some professional equipment? That convinces yourself you’re ready to take your craft to the next level and in no time you’ll be filling in your first invoice.

Gender Pay Gap Most Noticeable in the Higher Earning Brackets

The BBC has just released an article explaining the full extent of the gender pay gap – and it’s not looking good. If you want to earn a big salary, you should study medicine or economics apparently, says a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Only 10 years after graduation, male students of medical are earning a median wage of £55,000, their research found – but women are earning only £45,000. Where you study matters and students of the London School of Economics, Oxford and Cambridge earned the most. The research was based on the student loan records of 260,000 individuals whose salaries were tracked over a ten year period up to 2013.

The gender pay gap is most noticeable amongst higher earners, the IFS noted. In a table published by the BBC on the most lucrative degrees 10 years on, the disparity between genders in terms of pay is hard not to notice. Women earn significantly less than men on every single degree listed on the table. Engineering and technology – £8,000 less. Education – £5,200 less. Social Sciences – over £6,000 less. Even in the Creative Arts, women are earning up to £4,000 less than men.

Raise Paternity Pay to Address Gender Imbalances, say MPs

A report has been published by an influential parliamentary committee that considers new measures to address the gender pay gap, with suggestions including a serious consideration of an increase in the rates of paternity pay and 3 months of non-transferable paternity leave.

‘The Gender Pay Gap’ report by the house of Commons Women and Equalities Committee is attempting to address the causes of gender pay disparity and says there is currently a “lack of effective government policy” in many of the areas that contribute to the pay gap. The flagship policy of shared parental leave has made “little difference” so far.

They have proposed that 3 months of parental leave be automatically granted to second parents as well as current parental leave benefits and that payment of paternity leave increase to 90% of salary with 3 months non-transferable paternity leave paid at 90% for the first 4 weeks. In addition to greater paternity leave they want the government to make all jobs flexible from the outset unless there is a “strong and continuing business case for them not to be”. Interesting approach.


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.