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New year, new trends: Resourcing roundtable with BSkyB, Volkswagen, Anglo American and Ladbrokes

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Data and in-sourcing are just some of the buzz words for recruitment in 2014, Georgina Fuller discovers. She asks four HR professionals to share their predictions for the coming year.

Lee Yeap, head of recruitment, BSkyB

Mobiles and other portable devices are now an integral part of our lives. Social media is part of that revolution and it’s going to be hugely influential going forward. It provides a real opportunity to showcase your organisation through social networks, especially in terms of driving direct recruitment and engaging with talent.

Now companies can build relations with talent through social media and reach people who might look for a job in the future. Whether you hire a candidate or not, the whole experience has got to be super slick. Everything candidates see or read must be consistently authentic throughout the process. Negative word of mouth can spread very quickly. 

The candidate experience is driven mainly by the capability of the recruitment function, and you need a different skill set now – to adopt a strategic talent advisor role. I certainly expect my team to understand what’s going on in the external marketplace.

There will be more investment in data analytics as it grows in importance. Lots of the decisions we’re making around employer branding are driven by statistics. Through LinkedIn, for example, we can see how engaging the content we post is within the targeted skill set or region. We can search and base key hiring decisions on data and we have the metrics to show why people want to work for us and how to build brand attractiveness.

We are also seeing a big trend around in-sourcing recruitment and internal mobility. The days of outsourcing whole functions is slowly starting to turn around. In the last 12 months we have recruited 90% of talent through a blend of referrals, LinkedIn, job boards and old-school headhunting. People are slowly starting to realise that representing your own brand is crucial and I think there will be a gradual reduction in agency spend as time goes on.

Lee YeapLee Yeap, head of resourcing, BSkyB

Lee is building a best in class talent acquisition. Before this he worked in various recruitment roles at British Telecom.

Fiona Roberts, HR director, Volkswagen Group UK

The recruitment market has been fundamentally affected by the economic downturn. People are less inclined to change jobs unless they are unsettled or poached, and they tend to change roles in-house before moving to a new employer.

The Holy Grail of recruitment is now finding good candidates who are not actively seeking roles.

Social media and online business networking sites have really come into their own. Traditional advertising is expensive and does not always deliver, but by achieving the right presence online you can get some great results.

However, we’ve found that we still need to headhunt for senior roles, and the more senior, the more candidates expect to receive a personal approach. That said, social media will still play a part and it is always useful for researching behind the CV and gaining informal references. Now we source 50% of our candidates ourselves, while three years ago we did it all via agencies. We also recognise how candidates benefit from using online recruitment tools and have just launched a new microsite – www. vwgontheroad. The site allows us to streamline and boost recruitment across the company’s five UK brands, but it also aids the application and recruitment process of the candidates themselves.

As people become more technologically savvy, the role of the recruitment agent will become less about sourcing and more about campaign management and bulk recruitment. The more we can source directly and therefore reduce costs, the further we will continue down this route.

Fiona RobertsFiona Roberts, HR director at Volkswagen Group

Fiona has 17 years’ HR experience and has worked across several sectors in roles within operational and strategic HR management, international talent management and employee relations.

Cath Jowers, resourcing manager, Anglo American

Mobile recruitment is a big deal for us right now and will continue to be so. We have to ensure that potential candidates can easily access information and apply for jobs, particularly in parts of the world where access to computers is limited. Social media has also made a big impact on our resourcing strategy – we can build relationships directly with candidates, which means we can fill existing vacancies more quickly and at lower cost.

“We’re investing heavily in workforce planning so we understand our future demand requirements for our scarce and critical roles. Social media also provides us with a key opportunity to engage with prospective candidates and develop a relationship with the intention of building our longer-term talent pipelines. In setting out our future recruitment and resourcing strategies, employer branding is critically important, too.

It helps us shape the candidate experience and define the kind of practices we need to make our recruitment and on-boarding processes deliver the right experience.”

I would also advise other employers to build a close link with their communications team. Our communications function has been invaluable in developing how we use social media to support resourcing.”

Cath TowersCath Jowers, group resourcing manager, Anglo American

Cath has been with global mining company Anglo American for seven years. Before this she worked in HR and talent management at TK Maxx and Boots.

Andrew Harley, group HR director, Ladbrokes

We brought our resourcing team in-house two years ago. The move from agencies to a single website and a dedicated team has worked really well for us. Before, we were using lots of different agencies but wanted to focus more on our brand and our marketplace. We spent quite a lot of time talking to our colleagues in marketing about how we could present the website to job applicants, so it has the right look and feel.

We will be focusing more on the candidate experience and making sure people have plenty of communication and feedback with our resourcing team. There is a clear crossover between our customers and potential employees – lots of our employees are interested in sport or have joined us part-time while they are at university.

We want our customer and candidate experience to have a really strong resourcing strategy at its heart. Social media provides us with lots of ways to access people, but I also think there’s a question about how long some of the sites will be viable and how it’s going to change. Lots of people can be quite scathing about LinkedIn, for example, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves over the coming years.”

Andrew HarleyAndrew Harley, group HR director, Ladbrokes

Andrew joined the gaming industry in 2010, after leaving Lloyds Banking Group.

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