Video – How do Procurement Leaders hire the best in Digital Transformation?

We’ve just helped a leading international supply chain services business hire the specialist leadership they need for one of the most ambitious digital procurement transformation projects in Europe.

This company has long been seen as an early adopter of procurement tech solutions but they are now about to embark on a program that will take them to a new level.

How did we find the great people they have hired in such a competitive market for these skills?

This short video from Andrew will give you an insight.

Video – Four things great hiring organisations do to attract talent

There’s a real skills shortage at present, so how do you give yourself the best chance of hiring great talent?

In this short video, Andrew shares his experiences of what he has seen from companies that consistently win when it comes to competing for great people.

It covers go-to-market strategy, a range of sourcing approaches, and other key factors that can make a big difference in a competitive market for talent.

Click this link for immediate access.

Video – Exploring the value of Talent Intelligence from Edbury Daley

How do you source the very best candidates in such a competitive market when there is a skills shortage?

Hiring in the digital procurement, supply chain technology and sustainability tech markets is really challenging at present.

This short video gives an insight into how we at Edbury Daley ensure we are working with the very best people who are looking for new career opportunities in the European market.

It explains how the various elements of our Talent Intelligence offering combine to give our clients a competitive advantage with their talent acquisition.

Video – How do you solve candidate sourcing problems when there’s a skills shortage?

Is the skills shortage in the digital procurement and supply chain technology markets impacting your growth ambitions?

Are you wondering why you can’t find the people you need for your organisation?

What are your competitors doing about it?

Watch this short video from Andrew to understand how we address these challenges for our customers.

Video – 4 keys to hiring in today’s market

If you are struggling to hire the talent you need, you are not alone. Vacancies are increasing sharply and the supply of candidates is diminishing.

This two-minute video below by Simon Edbury highlights four keys areas to focus on to improve your chances of getting the right people into your company.

The dynamics of professional recruitment markets – how are they changing?

In this article, Peter Brophy examines a number of critical factors affecting hiring in the current climate including:

  • Professional recruitment activity has been severely disrupted by C19.
  • Capacity in the recruitment sector is drastically reduced.
  • Top performers can perceive job moves as risky.
  • People think recruiting has become easier but making great hires can be harder than ever.
  • What are your options when hiring for a key role?
  • Recruitment models will take time to adapt.

One of Edbury Daley’s most popular and most read articles over the past couple of years was on the subject of the various different Recruitment Models that are used by large organisations. It discussed how recruitment actually worked in reality, and was written to help our clients and candidates get some insight into the sector, so they could improve their own hiring or job search strategies.

Similar to many other professions, these recruitment models were evolving as recruiters embraced new trends in social media and increasingly adopted the use of AI and Digital solutions. However the recruitment market has been severely disrupted by C19 in ways that were never anticipated. At the height of the pandemic the recruitment industry reported drops of up to 80% in permanent recruitment and 50% in temporary markets. 

All bets were off and Internal Recruitment and Talent teams were suddenly faced with headcount freezes and hiring blocks on all but critical roles.

This has several affected capacity in both internal recruitment teams and external suppliers.

The market has bounced back to a degree since then but is still some way short of pre-pandemic levels.  In many sectors it’s recovering slowly as this report from KPMG and the REC shows. 

We don’t actually know yet what the ‘new normal’ will be but we do know that many of the potential changes and pre-existing trends to adopting new technology or ways of working have been amplified, so some of these changes have accelerated.

In tandem with the crash in recruitment volumes many organisations and external recruiters had to furlough a significant proportion of their people.  Many face the real prospect of redundancy before the year is over. As the UK furlough scheme comes to an end, anecdotal evidence indicates that many will take advantage of the Chancellors new Job Support Scheme meaning many recruiters will be working reduced hours or not at all. This has big implications for recruitment and the way it works.

Another major impact is that with increasing redundancies there are unfortunately more people looking for jobs, just at a time when there are fewer recruiters to deal with the impact of this e.g. huge advert responses often made up of largely unsuitable candidates.

So It should get easier to find good, available people right?

As we all know many organisations furloughed staff and as we reach the end of the scheme we are seeing a wave of redundancies particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

That should mean if you are hiring you will get plenty of good candidates right?

Well, actually not necessarily, no!

There are some big issues to challenge this assumption.

Recruitment actually gets a lot harder in a recession, not easier as recruitment models and behaviours change, particularly if you really need to find the best candidates, not just anyone to fill a seat, and that is the case in professional recruitment where head count is limited and leaders need the right person to fit the team, achieve targets engage customers, suppliers or stakeholders.

If your business is up against it in terms of pressure to deliver, then it may seem counterintuitive but recruiting directly for the ‘first’ people who apply could be the most expensive mistake you make.

The big challenges to overcome when recruiting right now

This ultimately is related to quality versus quantity and the impact on internal recruiters / HR.

Yes the volume of available candidates has increased and many people have lost jobs through no fault of their own, particularly in the badly affected sectors.

However most organisations are looking closely at their headcount costs as they try to remain profitable against often unpredictable demand. We know that many are using this as an opportunity to lose the poorer performers, often the ‘bottom’ 5 or 10% of their workforce or those in ‘non-core’ departments.

It is rarely admitted but few organisations will allow their better performers to go or lose their best people unless absolutely necessary for business survival. Think of your own business and how much you need your best people right now.

Equally important is the psychology of those remaining who feel relatively ‘safe’. Would you risk a move right now if your job appears ‘safe and you are performing well? There is also the old ‘last in first out’ adage and many feel moving to a new employer is a risk unless it is in a strongly performing business or sector. 

The reality is that most top performers in any profession or sector are sitting tight and making sure they are safe right now and do not want to take the risk of joining a new ‘unknown’ company unless they face redundancy themselves

Therefore the reality right now is that typically the volume of applicants to any given job is often higher, but critically the quality or relevance of those candidates may actually go down.

Another critical factor to consider is that due to the economy many people are desperate for a job so they will apply for anything, so are they really after your job or just any?  Will they take the first job they are offered and then resign as soon as a good job in their sector or preferred environment comes back? That risk is actually very high so when you think of the total cost per hire, the time wasted in the process, the problem of finding replacements etc it makes sense to tread cautiously.

So think carefully – yes you’ll get lots of applicants and potentially fill a role quickly but are the vast majority of the newly available and relatively inexpensive candidates really the people you want to hire?

Don’t you owe it to yourself and your business to think a bit more strategically and carefully about how you recruit right now?

The impact on internal recruitment / HR

Often internal recruitment teams are one of the first hit by cost-cutting and are typically very vulnerable in a recession. In the financial crisis of 2008 many were severely cut and it took a year or two before they bounced back. We have seen many being badly affected already in this Covid crisis. In fact, RPO and Outsourced Recruitment arrangements seem particularly badly affected as they are often linked to a flexible demand based resourcing model.

HR often have to deal with recruitment as well, but the function has been swamped by a number of conflicting priorities at the same time such as working from home, health and safety, mental health, furloughing staff and redundancies along with restructuring etc.  These issues are ongoing for them and unlikely to disappear any time soon, so this impacts on their capacity across the board.

So are you surprised that resourcing or recruitment may not top of mind for your HR colleagues right now? Or that it is one of many priorities they are struggling to juggle?

What are my options if I’m hiring for a key role?

So if your Recruitment and HR functions are constrained by limited capacity and you have a business critical hire what are your options?

Sorting through your own advert response will be time consuming, particularly in the current market with job seekers adopting a “nothing ventured nothing gained” mentality which is only exacerbated by the ability to apply to an advert in a handful of clicks.

Spending money on recruitment fees is a sensitive subject for many organisations who are scrutinising costs more than ever, but it can be money well spent if a credible, specialist recruiter is able to bring strong candidates into the process swiftly.  Particularly if their knowledge and network enables them to identify risk averse candidates who wouldn’t apply to job adverts, but could be interested in quality opportunities if engaged in the correct way.

Also bear in mind that with the recruitment sector facing its own commercial challenges, there has never been a better time to negotiate reductions in fees and maximise your value from the process.

The value of a good, specialist recruiter is emphasised when the job market displays extreme criteria, whether that be acute skills shortages, too many candidates or overcoming issues like job security fears, yet many people don’t realise that side of what they offer.

What does this mean if you are looking for a role?

Organisation’s HR people or in house recruiters are typically either feeling overworked or dealing with many priorities and are swamped. In some organisations the recruitment team will be much reduced or gone altogether.

Specialist in house team recruiters often suffer the worst headcount reductions as the business focuses on its core roles, so specialist knowledge in the team is often lost (such as procurement, sales and other commercially focused roles) and the generalist recruiters are retained to focus on core operational roles.

Many recruitment agencies (particularly broad generalist ones) face similar challenges as they focus on core areas and with reduced fees often focus only on those (clients and candidates) likely to make them a fee.

What does that mean for the candidate experience? Well typically the impact is a negative one with much slower response times, often a lack of feedback, or just poor communication generally leading to a feeling of wasted time and effort.

In some sectors there has been a deluge of applicants and when compounded by there  being fewer recruiters it has inevitably meant that candidate experience has significantly  declined. 

We know that many people are not hearing back from adverts or applications and are rarely getting feedback. Many candidates tell us they fear their CV has gone into a big black hole and of being lost amongst many applicants, particularly when they have applied online or via social media sites or even company websites.

The companies are subject to increased volume of applicants often sometimes, irrelevant or of low quality or from those just desperate for any job at any salary…..

Internal managers may need to recruit a replacement but may struggle to get budget or headcount sign off or find that HR are too busy with other things or the internal recruitment team or RPO is focusing on core roles or simply can’t give each role the specific attention it needs.

What this means for candidates is that it can be a bit of a lottery unless you have a direct contact in the business or you have someone specifically interested in what happens to your CV and is talking to people at the right level so your application does get considered. 

Consider your chances of being noticed – is it best applying via a portal or job site or sending a speculative CV?   Or is it better being represented by a specialist agency where the outcome really matters to them?  They  are often more likely to be talking to someone in a senior position who needs to hire.

Of course this article has covered a wide range of issues affecting the market today.  If any of these resonate with you we maybe able to help so if you are hiring in our specialist areas of procurement technology, spend management, finance and payments tech’, analytics, procurement or supply chain then please do get in touch.

We are also happy to help if you need general guidance on how to recruit outside our specialist areas.  You can contact me via peter@edburydaley.com

Want more information?  Why not read our follow up article – What are the challenges of recruiting in the current environment and how are companies overcoming them?

Peter Brophy

Associate Director

Peter Brophy is a CIPD qualified HR professional with significant experience of leading in-house Talent Attraction teams particularly in the Consulting sector before he joined Edbury Daley.

Image credits – https://www.proxyclick.com

What to Expect when you Recruit in a Recovering Market

Blog - Andrew Daley on recruitment and career development

Covid 19 is throwing the global economy into a deep recession. That much is obvious. What is less clear is when the recovery starts and how long it will take.

From an individual business perspective the beginning of your revenue recovery will depend on what industry you are a part of, or supply to, but reading between the lines many economic forecasters are expecting the worst for the remainder of 2020 with an equally sharp recovery starting in 2021.

So if your business starts to see green shoots towards the end of this year or early next, what can you expect when you look to strengthen your team? Will recruitment be easy or hard given the wider economic circumstances?

The answer is a bit of both.

Hiring people in what was, pre-Covid, a specialist, candidate short market may become easier because most industries will see some redundancies.

Furlough schemes in Europe are expected to taper off during Q3 leaving employers to pick up at least a portion of their furloughed employees wages or start making redundancies. It feels inevitable that a number of skilled, experienced workers will be forced into the job market.

Naturally, they become active job seekers, sending their CV directly to advertised positions and registering with sector specific recruitment agents. In short, the availability of previously hard to find skill sets and specific sector experience improves considerably.

In addition, the candidate’s negotiation position on salary is a lot weaker. Whilst gainfully employed pre-crisis they would only move for a decent increment in remuneration. Now, they are more than likely to be happy with parity with their last salary, making them cheaper on your payroll.

In summary, finding candidates is easier and they cost less to hire.

However, and this is the uncomfortable bit, companies often use a period of cost cutting to jettison their weakest performers. Sure, it’s the position that gets made redundant not the individual but, off the record, many senior decision makers ensure their best people get retained whilst below average head for the exit.

This begs the question: Are the newly available and relatively inexpensive candidates really the people you want to hire?

Naturally, there will be some high performers who are merely a victim of circumstance and they are the hidden gems if you are hiring, but buyer beware of every CV that ends up in your inbox. And prepare yourself, if past recessions are anything to go by, there will be an awful lot of applicants with very little relevant experience swamping your inbox or overwhelming your recruitment team.

So let’s say you pick up a couple of excellent new employees from the huge flux in the employment market but you still have positions to fill. You decide to contact directly, or via a recruiter, potential candidates working in your competitors.

This is where you can expect it to be even tougher than pre-Covid hiring. Why?

From personal experience of approaching hundreds of candidates, I know you will get a much higher incidence of one of these two reactions.

“My current company has been loyal to me through a very difficult period, I feel I owe them that loyalty back”

or…

“The economy still looks uncertain at the moment and I don’t want to take the risk of moving jobs”

No matter how attractive your company, job or salary is, these are very difficult objections to overcome.

So how do you react? The best way to deal with this is three-fold.

Firstly, ensure whoever is doing your recruiting (internally or third party) is a fantastic ambassador for your company and can brilliantly convey your job proposition to a prospective candidate thus maximising the chances of them getting interested and wanting to take it further.

Secondly, make sure the list of candidate targets is long enough to give you a strong chance of finding those who are willing to take the risk of a job move. Yes, it’s a numbers game and a real test of thoroughness.

Finally, start pipelining candidates before you are ready to hire. In other words, reach out to candidates who look like they could be a fit for your organisation and start a dialogue. Be transparent about when you are hoping to hire and view this as investing in a relationship via regular, meaningful contact.

In an economy as volatile as this, individuals’ circumstances and attitude towards a job move can change very quickly in your favour. If you have established contact and credibility with them you are already ahead of your competitors in your pursuit of the best possible talent.

Simon Edbury

simon@edburydaley.com

Is recruitment about to get harder?

 

We offer some valuable insights into how recruitment actually works in a market like the one we are about to experience as the global economy gets back on its feet.

We are all hearing about how the Covid pandemic is changing the world as we know it and it’s pretty clear that it’s going to affect employment markets, hiring trends, and potentially recruitment activity but do you actually understand what this means for the mechanics of the job market?  If you don’t then how will you understand the changes and take advantage of them for your organisation? For many, making the assumption that you will automatically have lots of good candidates applying for your vacancies who will be willing to accept reduced salaries is a misconception.  It’s also a dangerously floored strategy.

Now for many years recruitment in these markets has been what we recruiters call “candidate-driven”. i.e. there is a shortage of specialist skills so those that offer them are often in high demand when they come to the market, and this puts proven candidates in a strong position when it comes to selecting who they work for. It also strengthens their hand when negotiating salary.

Recruiters like us spend a lot of time nurturing our relationships with these people so they decide to consider moving roles we are the first to know and can give our clients the first opportunity to hire them – this is a fundamental benefit of our Talent Intelligence offering.   Specialist recruiters also spend a lot of time actively headhunting these people for open roles in our clients in order to find talent to fuel their headcount growth.

A good example of this is software sales and presales people who truly understand the value proposition of procurement solutions to the client community.  This has come about because the market has grown quicker than the talent pool can keep pace with and is one reason why such people command very high basic salaries – the simple demand/supply equation.

One major impact of Covid is that many organizations are reducing headcount or at least taking their foot off the growth pedal which reduces demand.  So it’s quite likely that we could move to a “client-driven” market.   This appears to be great news if you are a hiring manager from a growing software company, but is it all good news?

If you look at why people are coming into the job market in the current climate, they fit into three main categories:

Made redundant – employers have had to cut costs drastically to survive and have to lose people quickly.  These people have largely been unfortunate and will include both top and underperformers as well as those in between. The trick is knowing which of those categories they fall into – it’s our job to know this and/or find out for our clients.

Fearful of employers long term stability – the financial implications of Covid are massive with many companies seeing a drastic reduction in sales in recent months.  The impact of this is clear, especially to those close enough to the leadership team to have an insight into decision making.  There are some excellent people who have been retained by their employers because they are such strong performers that are keeping a close eye on the job market in case there is a better option available to them.  People who fall into this category often reach out to recruiters like us to let us know they are potentially in the job market.  We’ve probably tried to headhunt them for roles in the past or helped them move jobs at some stage.  This is where our specialist market expertise enables us to be talent magnets and get access to people that others can’t.

Unhappy with decisions made at the top of the organisation in the current crisis – business leaders have had to make some tough decisions recently.  Often these decisions are questioned by people in the organisation.  Time will tell who calls it right and wrong but frustration with those above you in the management structure has always been a key driver in people wanting to move jobs.  The net result is the same as above – they come to people like us that they know and trust to keep an eye on the market for them.

So what does all this mean to you as a hiring manager?

Do you use valuable time and resources to sort through the huge numbers of job applicants to try to find the right hires and hope you get it right?  The benefits are that you will make use of your internal recruitment/talent attraction/HR team and save on recruitment fees in the process.

However, it’s likely that you will miss out on that specialist market insight and background information that will help you hire the top performers I refer to above.

So do you engage a specialist to guide you through it and increase your chances of  success because:

We save you time and resources and therefore money.

We put proven high-quality performers in front of you quickly.

We don’t waste your time with unsuitable candidates who may be unqualified, lacking relevant experience or have patchy track records of performance.

If you want to read a brief summary of how we are able to do exactly this for our clients, you can read about our Talent Intelligence approach here.

If you want to discuss how we can help you with these particular challenges please contact me via andrew@edburydaley.com or +44 7711 715258.

Andrew Daley

Director – Procurement & Supply Chain Technology

Talent Intelligence – The Future of Procurement Technology Recruitment

In a fast paced market like procurement technology, service providers like us can’t operate in isolation. Whilst our deep market knowledge has enabled us to see the patterns and market trends as they emerge, we need to stay close to our clients to understand their challenges and adapt our services to meet their needs, now and in the future.

So our recent client audit was undertaken in order to understand what our clients truly value in our services. We wanted to know what the expectations were from the digital procurement community and how those expectations are likely to evolve in the future.

It’s been a fascinating, rewarding process giving us vital information.

We’ve used that information to help refine and improve our service delivery and define the value we add to help potential customers understand what we offer.

This is the result:

Imagine the benefits of partnering with a recruiter that has deep sector knowledge. One that maps the market and knows it intimately, often identifying a company’s recruitment requirements before they are even aware of their own needs. One that boasts a strong network of contacts and pre-qualified candidates.

A recruiter loved by its candidates because it invests time to get to know them, offering regular advice and giving feedback, leading to a more streamlined and professional recruitment process for all involved.

An agency that doesn’t simply tick all of today’s ‘must have’ boxes but, with an eye on tomorrow…

One that has the vision to recognise that, as technology advances, it must anticipate change – in order to help turn visions and innovations into reality – by providing its clients with the right talent in a manner that enables great hiring decisions.

But who presents themselves as that recruitment agency for today and tomorrow? A company that’s passionate about finding the talent that will shape the future of procurement by utilising technology, making it innovative and exciting? A true specialist that invests considerable resources and doesn’t work anywhere else apart from in the procurement technology sector.

One that connects great talent with career development opportunities that result in successful long term appointments, business success and fulfilled employees.

Combining all of our skills and sector knowledge gives us a unique asset and point of difference. It’s the added value that’s a game changer for our clients and what they value the most. We call this Talent Intelligence and if you work with us, it will positively transform how you source your talent, now and in the future.

That’s our commitment to you, that’s what makes us the solution for companies operating across the digital procurement ecosystem – solutions vendors, their consultancy partners and the end users – the cream of the procurement profession.

And the benefits of using Edbury Daley don’t end there. Keeping a close eye on tomorrow, we promise that no matter how quickly procurement technology evolves, we’ll always be there, evolving alongside the market to put the right talent within your reach.

The problems we solve – Problematic business critical roles and how we fill them

The Procurement Technology market has specific characteristics that make hiring for certain skill sets particularly challenging.

If your current recruitment model is failing, It’s likely that it’s because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • Advertising hasn’t identified the right candidates
  • Your in-house or outsourced recruitment team doesn’t know where to look for the right people
  • Your recruitment partner doesn’t have a strong enough network or market knowledge to identify the right candidates
  • The people you want are in high demand generally and could be too expensive for your salary bands
  • The career opportunity you are offering has not been presented to the market effectively in order to get the interest of relevant candidates
  • Your selection process is floored.

A key part of our service is our unrivalled market knowledge and international network of sector specialists and using our Talent Intelligence model we’ll give you access to people that aren’t currently available to you through your existing methods.