Organisations must consider the digital experience of candidates, according to Adrian Wightman, head of resourcing for RWE GBS UK.
Speaking at the HR Innovation & Strategy Challenger Meeting, organised by ExpediteHR, Wightman explained how much recruitment practices have changed during his career. “When I started looking for jobs buying a book of stamps was an important part of the process,” he said. “You would write a letter, and then wait for the response.
“But now my organisation gets 2,000 applications per month, not including graduate or entry-level roles. Nearly half of those are instigated by mobile. Use of technology affects all of our daily lives.”
He said that businesses must think about how to attract candidates in this different setting. “You should produce engaging content and a compelling story about your organisation. If you don’t, those candidates will look to another firm that does.”
Also speaking was William Meehan, senior HR business partner for the Home Office, who described the difficulties he has faced in a previous role when it came to engagement. “We had some people who were disengaged but took pride in their work,” he said. “Often there were people who had a high passion and took pride in their work, but they just weren’t engaged.”
Using data Meehan was able to identify the groups of employees who were most disconnected, then talk to their leaders about this. “We could break it down by age, sex, and pay grade by drilling into our data,” he said. “We needed to give these employees the chance to put their money where their mouths were, and let them know we were listening.”
Donna Halkyard, head of diversity and inclusion at RPC and VP of the City Women Network, hosted a discussion on the potential benefits of gender diversity in the boardroom. She described a ‘gender tipping point’ – the number of board members of the same gender needed before their opinions stop being attributed to their gender. “For most firms this is around three, or one-third,” she explained.
“We are trying to reach a level playing field but we need to consider elements such as unconscious bias, which make it uneven,” she added. “One of the things that needs to be looked at is careers advice given to both girls and boys. They need to be able to access all the information available when they make education and career decisions.”