Eloise’s May 2021 News – Recruitment Confidence, Flexibility, Inclusivity, Unconscious Bias

Vanilla Recruitment Confidence

Hello and welcome to May 2021

May is one of my favourite months, so transitional. The lighter evenings and warmer days are very welcome and brighten everything. And, of course, from May 17th, we’re on track to be able to relax another tranche of the restrictions.

Meeting up with friends and family in small outdoor groups has been fantastic over the past few weeks. But hasn’t it been chilly?! I have done various meet-ups where I’ve ended up wearing most of my wardrobe in an attempt to keep warm. It’s been so worth it though for my overall mental health.

Talking of mental health, one thing we all need to be very aware of is that the easing of the restrictions brings with it a mix of emotions that we need to acknowledge and support each other through.

For me personally, I have lots of joy and hope for the next phase for my business and for other businesses to get back on track. Plus, it is good for my children and family. But I also have areas I feel uneasy about. Taking out of the picture the turbulence from a business point of view, there has been a slowing to the pace of life which I have enjoyed. I am less keen at the thought of the speed of life and everything I used to have to pack in coming back with a bang.

How do we balance this moving forward? I really hope that as individuals and business leaders, we’re able to take the good from the last 14 months and create something positive for the future. To really learn from what we’ve all experienced. The responsibility is all of ours.

The recruitment market

Permanent placement is at a 6-year high. Temporary worker recruitment has expanded at its steepest rate since November 2017. This is ahead of where it would normally be at this point in the year. Month on month since January, the recruitment confidence has been coming back to the market. The rise in the number of placements at the start of this quarter has been the steepest seen for just over 2.5 years.

We are getting lots of very exciting roles coming through.

This is all amazing news. And not just for recruiters and job seekers, but because, as I always say, the recruitment market is a real barometer for business and economic stability.

Recruitment confidence has grown and that can be linked to the vaccine rollout and the government roadmap providing a clear direction.

Nursing, medical and care skills are the most in demand across permanent and temp recruitment. Closely followed, and more relevant for us, by IT and accounting skills.

Candidate availability is a funny one though. With redundancies and business closures there have been more available candidates in the market. But a lot of employed people are reluctant to change roles or seek new opportunities at the moment. Having said that, regionally we’re bucking the trend slightly with permanent labour supply falling in the South and North of England but increasing in London and the Midlands.

Data source = KPMG recruitment market report March 2021

What does the current recruitment market mean for your business?

It’s a very similar story to where we were 18 months ago. To secure the best talent for your roles, you need to have a strong employer brand. Be a good company to work for and have an employee offer with meaning.

What has changed though is having a flexible working offer. One of the first questions more and more candidates are asking us, is what the home/office split is. Where there isn’t an option to work part of the week from home, many candidates are dismissing a role altogether. This could set you apart from the competition.

We recently ran a survey on LinkedIn asking:

If your perfect role became available but it didn’t include remote working and was 100% office based, would you still apply?

We received 521 votes:

  • 64% of responders said “no, I need flexibility”
  • And just 36% said “absolutely”

 If you are not taking this seriously and are not building flexible working options into your roles, it is going to hinder your recruitment process. It might also impact your employee retention.

If you need any guidance on how other businesses are doing this, I’d be very happy to have a conversation with you about the best practice we’re seeing at Vanilla.

Calling all candidates – recommend a friend

Recruitment Confidence - Amazon VouchersWith the above in mind, if someone you know is thinking of looking for a new role, now is the perfect time to let us know.

We have a great number of opportunities for the right candidates, and every day we’re seeing more jobs becoming available than we’ve seen for a very long time.

Plus, if you recommend a friend to us using this link, and we place them in a permanent role, you and your contact will both receive a £50 voucher.

Previously, we have gone with Amazon vouchers. But, in the current climate, and to support independent retail and hospitality businesses, you’ll be able to choose an independent business local to you to get a voucher from.

HRHuddle – Diversity & Inclusion – The Secret Sauce

Dana James-Edwards is our guest speaker at the next HRHuddle. This is a peer-to-peer learning group for HR professionals. The session will be via Zoom at 2pm on Wednesday, 12th May.

We will explore if there is a formula to getting diversity and inclusion right? If there is a secret ingredient?

Whilst diversity and inclusion remain at the top of everybody’s to-do list, Dana is not only a breath of fresh air but will also be our guide in the world of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

She helps companies build diverse brands and inclusive cultures where team members want to stick around. She helps to build safe spaces for open discussion where people can explore, enquire, and expand their own understanding.

This is a free event for HR professionals. Find out more or book your place here.

Unconscious bias in your recruitment process

With diversity and inclusion being a focus for me and looking at how Vanilla can support other businesses better. It’s important we remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process.

Unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions. This can be from a CV, face to face, or from something else where you find out information about that candidate. Or, it’s when you prefer one candidate over another simply because one seems like someone you’d get along with better outside of work.

This might not be something you even realise you’re doing.

Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s CV, picture, their name, or their home address could influence your opinion more than you think. In short, unconscious bias influences your decision – whether positively or negatively – using criteria irrelevant to the job you are recruiting for.

How can you tackle this? …

Creating a more inclusive labour market

We want to play our part in creating a more inclusive labour market and offer stronger options to help businesses avoid unconscious bias as much as possible.

With so much change having happened in the labour market and for businesses recently, now is the perfect time to consciously make the future of our workplaces a more inclusive one.

There has been a great deal of progress on diversity and inclusion in recent years, but we all know that there is much more still to do.

The recruitment process is an incredibly important tool in improving inclusion in a business.

By anonymising CVs, using diverse interview panels, offering flexible working options from the outset – all of these can be valuable steps to increasing the range of candidates who will apply for a role and then for improving the selection process itself.

If you’d like any help to improve the inclusivity of your recruitment process, please do get in touch. We can alter the way we discuss candidates with you and how we supply CVs. Or we can help you review your interview and selection process.

That’s it for May

Lots to be very grateful for and lots to think about to shape a better future.

Please do get in touch if you have any ideas, questions, or areas you’d like to chat through.


PS If you’ve not already done so check out the ‘The State Of Recruitment Report 2021’ to see what impact has COVID-19 had on the recruitment market in the East Midlands?

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

Please find below some helpful links:

Gain a new skill in 2021

Study in your own time and at your own pace to get a verifiable qualification with New Skills Academy. With over 700 courses to choose from you’re sure to find a course that interests you. All of the online courses can be studied from your PC, MacBook, tablet or smartphone device. Click here for more info.