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7 Thought-Provoking Recruitment News Stories to Delve Into this Week - 5th September 2016

In recruitment news this week:

Post-Summer Blues Predicted to Spark HUGE UK Jobseeker Surge

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The UK may be about to see a surge in job applications, as over half (57.1%) of UK workers reveal that they are more likely to consider a new job as summer ends.

According to data from CV-Library, figures in September 2015 saw a 13.2% increase in candidates registering their CVs to the site; job applications were up by 7.5% during the same period. Over half of those surveyed (55.8%) believe that workplace morale drops as summer comes to an end, with 86.9% believing that it’s an employer’s responsibility to keep morale up.

However, 79.4% stated that their employer does not make allowances for post-summer blues, despite 70.1% finding it difficult to get back into a routine after a summer holiday. Almost three-quarters admitted that it takes them 1-2 days to get back into work mode, with the most difficult factors to get used to being getting up early (28.4%), getting back into a routine (25.1%), catching up on work (17.9%), catching up on emails (10.9%), staying motivated (8.5%) and dealing with work stress (5.8%).

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Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, Lee Biggins

“We’re entering a traditionally busy time in recruitment, so it will be interesting to see how the job market favours, especially given recent concerns in the economy,” says Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library. “Post-summer labour market activity always tends to improve, as more people return from their holidays. During this period last year, for example, we saw job creation rise by 17%, and we’re hopeful that we’ll witness a similar increase again this year”.

He continued: “It’s clear that the post-summer blues can get Brits down, with many struggling to readjust to the working day. Implementing a robust process which helps to ease people back into work post-holiday is extremely important. Our research tells us that employees feel much better if they have an update meeting on return, followed by time to catch up on emails and projects, as well as speaking with team members and having enough time to create a priority list. Ensuring you accommodate these needs can help workers feel more positive about their return to work after a summer break and may prevent employees looking for work elsewhere.”

(RELATED: These are the BIGGEST Job Turn-Offs for UK Professionals)


Top 10 Most Sought After Soft Skills

When LinkedIn asked 291 U.S. hiring managers how hard it was to find candidates with the right soft skills for each of the jobs they were hiring for, they were told it was hard to find people with the right soft skills for a whopping 59% of their open jobs. So, in an effort to discover what the most sought after soft skills are, LinkedIn analysed the soft skills listed on the profiles of members who job-hopped (defined as a member changing their employer on their LinkedIn profile) between June 2014 and June 2015 to identify the most sought-after soft skills among employers.

This is what they found:

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They also analysed where the most in-demand soft skills rank by seniority:

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As well as the industries where soft skills are most and least common among professionals:

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“In yesterday’s industrial economy, a lack of soft skills wasn’t as big of a deal since jobs were mostly routine and reliant on specific skills to accomplish. But today, in our knowledge, global economy, soft skills, like collaboration, team-building and introspection, have become vital – and executives are noticing that a lack of them limits the company’s productivity,” says Guy Berger. “In fact, our survey showed that 58% percent of hiring managers believe the lack of soft skills among candidates is “limiting their company’s productivity,” he continued.

How large a part do soft skills play in your industry? Are you surprised by the results shown here?

(RELATED: What is the Most Valuable Skill You Can Possess as a Recruiter?)


Atlasssian Now Lets You Hire Freelancers Right from JIRA

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JIRA, Atlassian’s flagship project management service, is getting a new feature today that will let users easily convert JIRA tickets into job postings on Upwork’s freelance marketplace.

“The smartest people will always exist outside of your company,” Atlassian’s head of growth for JIRA and Bitbucket Sean Regan told For many companies — and especially small startups — it’s also hard to have all the right expertise available in-house to solve every problem. With this new integration, these companies can now click a button in JIRA and get a pre-populated form to submit to Upwork’s marketplace.

Regan also noted that this feature will likely appeal to non-technical founders, too, who want to build a first version of a project by purely working with freelancers before fully committing to it. “Once you have product-market fit and a Series B, you can crank and hire people,” he said. “But if you hire too many people too early, you can dig yourself into a hole.”

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Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel, too, noted that this feature will likely appeal to small businesses that often have a backlog of feature requests and bug fixes they never get to. He also noted that this is not the first time Atlassian and Upwork have partnered around JIRA. Upwork clients can already link their JIRA tickets to an Upwork account to allow freelancers to track their time, for example. Clients can also use Upwork’s messaging feature to receive updates when a freelancer checks in code to Bitbucket, for example, or update a JIRA ticket.

One interesting idea both Kasriel and Regan mentioned is that enterprises, too, are now waking up to the idea of using freelancers, both for their software development needs but also for some administrative functions. “As we have become more mainstream and as managers in big enterprise companies have gotten closer to technology, the enterprise space has woken up to this idea,” Kasriel said.

For now, the Upwork integration is only available for users on the Atlassian-hosted version of JIRA. As Regan told, the company also plans to bring it to the self-hosted version as well, but he also noted that many of the users on the hosted platform are small and medium businesses which, despite the growing interest from enterprises, remain more likely to use the service than others.

(RELATED: LinkedIn ProFinder Expands Nationwide)


Introducing “The Social Index”: The Latest Candidate Social Media Vetting Tool

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Let’s face it, vetting our job candidates can be a long, tedious and messy process, particularly when it comes to vetting their social media profiles. That’s why a Sydney-based startup, The Social Index, has built a tool that aims to streamline the process.

With its bespoke analytics platform, The Social Index analyses a candidate’s digital footprint to enable better conversations and understanding of culture fit during the hiring process by understanding the key skills, experiences, networks and brand alignment to the role and organisation. The process is permission based, time bound and based on specific role requirements. The resulting insights mean HR professionals, hiring managers, recruiters and importantly candidates are better prepared for meaningful interviews.

How does it work?

The Social Index sends shortlisted job candidates an email with a unique identifier, then following a two-factor authentication process, the candidate signs into their accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and the program’s algorithm analyses their social footprint in around 30 seconds. Within 24 hours, both the candidate and the client should receive the resulting report:

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“I worked with someone early on who was hiring for a social media role, and they were getting a lot of people who were saying ‘well I know social media, I do a lot of it,’ but the reality was they knew the theory of it but couldn’t demonstrate it,” founder Fiona McLean explained to The Social Index is therefore, about delivering the big picture of how someone uses social media. Factors examined in the report include whether a candidate is posting, their interactions and how often they’re posting. “We aggregate trends,” McLean explained further. “It’s not about one or two posts being profiled, and that deciding someone’s career. I think that’s what’s currently happening.”

She also said the tool would align with the role. If the job requires a lot of social media activity, then it will be flagged as a positive if the person is very active. “If the role is a back office accountant and they are equally on social media between 10 and 4pm, the chances are, they are not doing the core part of the role as well as they could,” she said.

But what about privacy concerns on the candidate’s part? McLean was quick to emphasise that the system only looks at public information, and it doesn’t share individual posts with companies. “We want to give assurance to the candidate, too: If it’s not online, then a client can’t see it in the report,” she said. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the social platforms chosen for analysis, mostly because they’re common, but also because they’re typically most relevant to a company’s client activities or reputation. But McLean stressed that if someone does not want a site examined, they don’t have to provide it. “If there’s no reason to ask for Facebook and it’s not relevant to the role, it doesn’t get asked for,” she added.

But while many job seekers will probably find the idea uncomfortable despite privacy measures, McLean believes The Social Index is definite improvement on the current hiring process. For her, the tool is better than a Google search, which is the current approach for many recruiters. After all, with Google, you can’t even be sure the profile you’re looking at is for the right person.

What’s you opinion of the service? Is it something you’d find useful? Do you think it’s ethical? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.

(RELATED: 10 Ways to Spot if a Candidate is Lying)


PageGroup Introduce Inspiring New Initiative to Support Employee Mental Health

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International recruiting giant PageGroup is tackling the mental health of its workforce head on with a new initiative. The group has launched Ability@Page in the UK, an initiative that supports employees who are directly or indirectly affected by disability.

recruitment newsReferred to internally as ‘OpenPage’, the programme champions a diverse, multicultural and inclusive workforce that informs employees of the support available to them through consistent internal communications campaigns. The program aims to remove all barriers: physical, technological and attitudinal, but in particular seeks to raise awareness and encourage conversation on mental health.

Sheri Hughes, Associate Director of OpenPage at PageGroup, said the initiative has already received “amazing” feedback. “We are predominantly focusing on non-visible disabilities like mental health to encourage employees to address and seek help through our Employee Assistant Programme,” she said. “Reading the real-life stories and feeling like they aren’t alone means taking that initial step is a lot less daunting.”

One of the inspirational profiles was written by Bridget Wilson, Business Partner at Page Personnel and an ambassador for Ability@Page, who spoke about how she suffered from mental health issues that affected her work, relationships and life at home. Commenting on the support available, Bridget said; “Addressing my mental health problem initially was the hardest part, but once I did, it was a weight off my shoulders. I was referred to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions through PageGroup’s healthcare partner and over time, I started to feel normal again. I’m proud to be an ambassador for this fantastic initiative, simply knowing that I can provide my peers with first-hand advice and help improve the lives of others around me.”

(RELATED: 10 Companies Around the World That Are Embracing Diversity in a BIG Way)


REJOICE! Instagram Now Lets You Zoom In on Photos and Videos

Hate not being able to zoom in on Instragram images? Me too! But neither of us need worry any more as news reached us last week that Instagram is rolling out brand new pinch-to-zoom support in its iOS app (Android users will have wait another couple of weeks).

The new feature lets users zoom in on both photos and videos in the main feed, on profile pages and on the Explore tab.

(RELATED: 5 Ways to Engage Talent on Instagram)


The Rise of the “Helicopter Parent”

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Naturally, parents want the best for their kids, and most will do whatever it takes to help them get ahead in life. But there’s a difference between parents who are invested in their child’s career success and “helicopter parents” — parents who hover over their child’s every career move.

A survey conducted by California based staffing company OfficeTeam has found that parents weighing in on their children’s job search are more common than you might think. In fact, more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the US and Canada have reported stories of “helicopter parents”. When asked to recount some of the more unusual stories managers answered as follows:

  • “The candidate opened his laptop and had his mother Skype in for the interview.”
  • “A woman brought a cake to try to convince us to hire her daughter.”
  • “One parent asked if she could do the interview for her child because he had somewhere else to be.”
  • “A father asked us to pay his son a higher salary.”
  • “One mom knocked on the office door during an interview and asked if she could sit in.”
  • “Parents have arrived with their child’s resume and tried to convince us to hire him or her.”
  • “A job seeker was texting his parent the questions I was asking during the interview and waiting for a response.”
  • “Once a father called us pretending he was from the candidate’s previous company and offered praise for his son.”
  • “Parents have followed up to ask how their child’s interview went.”
  • “A father started filling out a job application on behalf of his kid.”
  • “I had one mother call and set up an interview for her son.”
  • “Moms and dads have called to ask why their child didn’t get hired.”

What’s almost even more surprising is that 29% of managers professed to having no problem with parents weighing in! In fact, just 35% said they found it annoying. While 34% were in the middle, saying “I wouldn’t recommend it, but I’ll let it slide.”

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Source: Officeteam

OfficeTeam District President Brandi Britton said of the findings: “If a parent is becoming overly involved in their child’s job search, an employer might politely tell him or her that they need to deal with applicants directly.” She added that some parents intervene in their children’s job searches without being asked. In those situations, “it may be helpful to make candidates aware of their parents’ inappropriate behaviour.”

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