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Survey charts effects of recession on job-boards

An online survey by whatjobsite.com (mission: ‘Making a success of online recruitment’) reveals the extent to which UK job-boards have been hit by the recession. Some 43 senior-level job-boarders participated in the survey, which was conducted during the summer.

Over half of the respondents had experienced a decline in business (56%) and a reduction in marketing spend (58%), while two-thirds (68%) had seen a decrease in job applications and 70% reported receiving fewer job-postings from recruitment consultants.

But although there have been fewer jobs around, there’s been a surge in online applications, with almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) reporting an increase in unique users and 58% a rise in CV uploads.

And optimism abounds: a third (33%) of respondents have already seen signs of ‘green shoots’, while nearly three-quarters (73%) are generally positive about the coming year.

Looking at broader market issues the survey also notes that, while in previous recessions the online recruitment sector was largely insulated from any negative impact by the structural move of recruitment advertising from print to online, “this time it’s different” since job-boards have been fully exposed to the damaging effects of business and economic conditions as a mature business sector.

With an estimated 15% of job-boards now seen as ‘zombie job-boards’ (effectively out of business, but maintaining the appearance of activity by pulling jobs from job-posting services like Broadbean and Idubu), the going looks to be particularly tough for the market’s smaller independents, many of which could struggle for survival or eventually be lost.

But few players see further rationalisation as a bad thing, with most believing that there are still too many job-boards, which merely puts pressure on price and service to the detriment of the sector as a whole. So while there might be fewer of them around this time next year time, those that survive might be the better for it.

● The whatjobsite survey also records a major decline in job-board revenues from the recruitment ad agency sector, with “very little for job-boarders to be positive about”. All those consulted reported revenues from this sector as “significantly down”, with many job-boarders expressing the opinion that it faces “terminal decline”. That said, just over half (54%) were positive about potential growth from the sector over the coming year.

Courtesy of RI5

New CIPD Internship Charter raises the bar for both jobseekers and employers

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) today launches the Internship Charter – a voluntary code of practice aimed at improving the quality of schemes – to support jobseekers, particularly graduates, and employers during these difficult economic times.

Given the commitment from the Government and business community to expand internships, the Charter is designed to encourage best practice and to ensure that increasing the quantity of work placements on offer does not reduce the quality of placements.

Tom Richmond, CIPD Skills Advisor says:

“Our Internship Charter will offer organisations a way to provide interns with a genuine and worthwhile experience that enhances their skills and their overall employability, which will have important knock-on effects for UK businesses and the overall jobs market.

“There are many potential benefits for businesses of all sizes but only if it is of sufficient quality. Key skills like team working and project management are best developed in the workplace, which is why internships can be rewarding for both individual and employers. During these difficult times it is right for government to encourage organisations to offer internships, but we believe that our new code of practice should be adhered to, especially if interns are working for no salary.”

The Internship Charter’s six principles are set out below:

1. Recruitment – Interns should be recruited in broadly the same way as regular employees of an organisation, with proper consideration given to how their skills and qualifications fit with the tasks they will be expected to fulfil. Recruitment should be conducted in an open and rigorous way to enable fair and equal access to available internships. The job advertisement should give a clear indication of how long the internship will last, and at interview, the intern should be told honestly whether there is a real chance of obtaining a full-time contract.

2. Induction – Interns should receive a proper induction to the organisation they enter to allow them to fully integrate. Whether joining a large organisation, or an SME, an Intern just entering the job market may find the workplace intimidating. It is important to introduce an intern to the staff and the values of the organisation to help them integrate into the team, and allow them to hit the ground running.

3. Supervision – Organisations should ensure there is a dedicated person(s) who has ring-fenced time in their work schedule to supervise the intern and conduct regular performance reviews. This person should provide ongoing feedback to the intern, be their advocate and mentor during the period of internship, and conduct a formal performance review to evaluate the success of their time with the organisation.

4. Treatment – During their time with an organisation interns should be treated with exactly the same degree of professionalism and duty of care as regular employees. They should not be seen as ‘visitors’ to the organisation, or automatically assigned routine tasks that do not make use of their skills. Organisations should make some allowance for interns to, on occasion, attend job interviews or complete study requirements.

5. Payment and Duration – As a bare minimum the organisation should cover any necessary work-related expenses incurred by the intern. This includes travel to and from work, and any travel costs incurred whilst attending external meetings/events. If an internship is unpaid and provides only expenses, then the internship should be no longer than four months.

6. Certification/Reference and Feedback – On completion of their internship organisations should provide interns with a certificate/reference letter detailing the work they have undertaken, the skills and experience acquired, and the content of the formal performance review conducted at the end of the internship. Interns should also be offered the opportunity to give feedback on their experience in an ‘exit interview’, giving organisations the opportunity to reflect on its own performance in delivering internships.

Courtesy of Onrec.com and CIPD.co.uk

Survey outlines best firms for graduates

A survey of university leavers has revealed which of Britain’s top firms perform best when it comes to graduate recruitment.

Around 24,500 young people and 100 of the UK’s biggest companies took part in the poll for Graduate Prospects.

The research found that Accenture and Waitrose came out top of the list for corporate social responsibility, with law firm DLA Piper UK, Pinsent Masons and GSK just behind in second.

For training and development Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Explore Learning and Cancer Research UK scored highest, with DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons again a close second.

Graduates most likely to be satisfied with their pay and benefits package were working at Sellafield Ltd. Baker & McKenzie and Bruckhaus also performed well in this area and took second place.

For strong leadership, graduates would be best suited to positions with Explore Learning (highest score) or Intel. While those looking for a supportive working environment should look no further than finding jobs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Explore Learning. The Bank of England came in second in this category.

University leavers most satisfied with their recruitment and induction programmes were working at Pinsent Masons and DLA Piper, while Baker & McKenzie, Explore Learning and Cancer Research UK all took second place.

Mike Hill, chief executive of Graduate Prospects, said: “When we launched Real Prospects we wanted to paint a true picture of graduate working life, so it was vital that the study explored all areas of employment.

”The findings deliver great insight into which companies perform well in key areas, so if you’re a student or graduate thinking about where you’d like to work it will help you to make more informed decisions.”

courtsey of onrec.com

Are recruiters in danger of forgetting to look after their number one asset?

I recently read this article on rec-con.co.uk and thought it may be of interest to our readers…

Are recruiters in danger of forgetting to look after their number one asset? According to one jobseeker some possibly are while others are still keenly taking into account the candidate’s sensibilities.

“Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, it is my wife written about in this feature, she now has a job and I was there throughout her month-long experience; I believe this unprecedented access to my interviewee gives a more three-dimensional perspective.

I shared some of the less pleasant experiences with her as well as the eventual joy of achieving gainful employment – especially during these rather sparse times.

So which agencies did she think were the tops and which were the pits? While I am happy to let you know which ones treated her fairly, you will have to buy me a drink during awards season to prize out the name of the agency employing the seemingly bitter and rather rude consultant….”

Click here to read the full article.

The art of bagging a job

Enterprising graduate Alex Kearns is proof that jobseekers need to think outside the box if they are to secure employment in today’s tough market.
The 23-year-old, who graduated with a French and Italian degree from Swansea University, won an hour’s slot on the fourth plinth in sculptor Antony Gormley’s One & Other Project in Trafalgar Square.
After applying unsuccessfully for scores of jobs, Alex used the opportunity to attract the attention of would-be employers by unfurling his CV on a 10ft long banner.
For good measure he added a placard which read: ‘Save a graduate. Give me a job.’
And it worked. Soon after his appearance in July he was contacted by a manager at the International Business Development Group.
After a telephone interview, he was invited to an assessment day with 16 other hopefuls and was one of three offered a job.
He has now begun working as a sales executive at their London offices, selling consultancy services to companies in the UK and abroad.
His stunt also brought offers of an interview with another company and work experience in an advertising firm.
Mr Kearns, who lives with his parents in Kingston-upon-Thames, South-West London, said: ‘I saw it as a golden opportunity to sell myself.
‘I had applied for hundreds of jobs but nobody was giving me a chance. And it worked, my new boss said he was impressed that I had some get-up-and-go.
‘I know I’m really lucky. Lots of young people who are just out of university are totally stuck, there just aren’t any jobs out there.
Under-25s have been hit hardest by the employment slump.
Nearly 200,000 of the 573,000 people made jobless last year were aged 18 to 24 and an additional 300,000 graduates and 400,000 school-leavers join the jobs market this year.

Jobcentres not working, turn to jobs boards instead

Small businesses are urging the Government to overhaul the Jobcentre network amid claims they are failing to help people into work and are not providing value for money.
According to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) more than a third of small firms believe the centres are ineffective at helping them recruit staff and as many as half said they were unsure whether job centres were successful or not.
They want John Denham, the Work and Pensions Secretary, to intervene and review Jobcentres, which cost the taxpayer £3.36billion-a-year to run.
Ian Partington, managing director of Simply Jobs Boards, said small businesses needed to embrace alternatives to the old-fashioned job centre if they were to find the most suitably skilled workers for their posts.
”Job centres are no longer the first port of call for those seeking employment,” he said.
”Many workers find that posting their CV on job boards, such as our own, offer them much greater access to employers and a wider choice of potential posts.
”Gone are the days when those seeking work spend hours staring a noticeboards in a job centre on their local high street. Recruitment has become more sophisticated and job centres need to move with the times if they are to compete for high calibre candidates.”
John Wright, FBS chairman, said members felt let down by a service appearing to offer precious little for money.
Firms complained that candidates were badly briefed about the nature of jobs being advertised by small businesses before they were sent for interview.
One small firm boss, who took part in the survey, said: “I had 55 applicants for my last vacancy but only five had the necessary qualifications.”

Firms using Twitter for e-marketing

Firms are increasingly looking to social networking site Twitter as a more economical means of e-marketing, according to Deborah Collier, chief strategist at e-business consultancy Echo E-Business.

Collier says: “Email marketing offers a channel to directly target subscribers, however the return on investment, particularly for smaller businesses, is still fairly low in comparison to other media channels.

The biggest email marketing value for many businesses, particularly in the B2B markets, is in relationship and brand building over a period of time, supporting the overall sales process. Now we have Twitter to do that, and it’s free.

“From restaurant bookings to product launches, Twitter has now become a de facto tool, not only for relationship building, but also sales.

“It’s important to remember, however, that it’s not what tool you use, but also why, how and when to use it. With any strategy it’s important to ensure that you are in the right place at the right time, and that your message is communicated effectively.”

Courtest of Recruiter.co.uk

UK employment market ‘recovering’

The UK jobs market is starting to show signs of recovery, according to a survey of recruitment agencies.

The research, produced by Markit Economics, finds “marginal increases” in both permanent and temporary appointments in August.

For permanent staff, this is the first increase since early 2007.

“This is first time we have seen really positive news for the UK jobs market in 17 months,” said Bernard Brown from KPMG, co-sponsor of the survey.

The survey is said to be the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market.

‘Confident’

The report also found that the decline in the number of vacancies is easing, and that the decline in pay is the slowest in 10 months.

“It seems that employers are becoming more confident in their hiring decisions,” said Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, the survey’s other co-sponsor.

However, the report said it was too early to say whether the encouraging figures signalled an end to the recession.

The latest jobless figures showed that the number of people out of work in the UK has risen to its highest level since 1995.

Unemployment increased by 220,000 to 2,435,000 in the three months to June, taking the jobless rate to 7.8%.

Consumer confidence

Separately, Nationwide’s Consumer Confidence index showed that UK consumers are the most optimistic about the future they have been in over a year.

The index rose to 63 in August from a revised 61 the previous month, the highest since May 2008.

The survey suggests consumers have a greater willingness to spend as economic data suggests the UK recession may be approaching its end.

“[This] is no surprise, as a number of key economic indicators continue to show that we may have reached the bottom of the current recessionary cycle,” Nationwide’s chief economist Martin Gahbauer said.

On Tuesday, respected research institute the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said the UK economy grew 0.2% in the three months to August.

And UK manufacturing output rose at its fastest rate in 18 months in July, helped by a sharp pick-up in car production, official figures showed.

Recovery risks

But the Nationwide survey suggested consumers are still downbeat about their present employment and economic circumstances, with more than 70% describing it as “bad”.

On Tuesday, the British Retail Consortium said retail sales fell in August after two months of increases, casting doubt on a prolonged recovery in consumer spending.

Last week, official figures showed that he rate of contraction of the UK economy in the three months from April to June was 0.7% from 0.8% compared with the previous quarter – less than previously estimated.

But the annual drop of 5.5% remains the biggest since records began in 1955.

The UK has been in recession since March 2008.

Courtesy of BBC News

CV Safe

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment has written a comprehensive guide to help job seekers stay safe when searching for a new job. With identity theft rife in the UK and candidates perhaps not realising how sensitive a document their CV can be, Aaron Wallis have written a no-nonsense guide detailing precautions to take to help protect you against identity crime.

As Rob Scott, Managing Director explained, “most people regularly shred their bank statements and utility bills yet happily send their CV containing their full name, address, date of birth, career and educational history to complete strangers.

This information is just one or two pieces of data away from opening a bank account in their name. With a few searches of social networking sites this additional missing information can be found in minutes”.

The guide goes on to detail recruitment scams and the dangers of social networking when looking for a new job.

Download the free article ‘Staying safe when job searching’